Here’s the Sentimental Reason Why Travis Kelce Wears Number 87

Did not expect to be crying over football, but here we are.

In case you hadn’t noticed from Taylor Swift sartorially repping Travis Kelce’s jersey number at Kansas City Chiefs games, it happens to be 87.

kansas city chiefs 27 vs new england patriots 17 at gillette stadium

And the reason why is honestly sentimental. Before we get into it….

A Quick Lesson on How NFL Players Pick Numbers
Basically, you pick a number (or get assigned one!) based on what is available and what position you play. The range of potential numbers was actually expanded in 2023, so as of now, this is how things work:

Quarterbacks: pick between 0-19
Punters and placekickers: pick between 0-49 and 90-99
Defensive backs: pick between 0-49
Running backs, full backs, and Hbacks: pick between 0–49 and 80–89
Tight ends: pick between 0–49 and 80–89
Wide receivers: pick between 0–49 and 80–89
Offensive linemen: pick between 50–79
Defensive linemen: pick between 50–79 and 90–99
Linebackers: pick between 0–59 and 90–99
Travis Kelce (who joined the Chiefs back in 2013) is obviously a tight end, and he was able to choose from the ranges 0–49 and 80–89 barring duplicates.

So Why Did Travis Pick 87?
The sweetest reason, honestly.

It turns out Travis wanted to honor his brother, Jason Kelce, who was born in 1987. Travis revealed this sweet fact to Jason while they were chatting on the sidelines following a game, saying, “You’re the only reason why I wear 87 anyways. I never told you that, man. You started the legacy.”

Travis also spoke about the ~legacy~ of it all to the NFL, saying, “If there is a Kelce legacy, two brothers making it to the NFL, it all started in 1987 because this big guy was born in 1987.”

He went on to sweetly gush, “He’s paved the way. I can’t thank him enough for doing that. I just hope he stays as happy as he is right now and that that never changes for him and that he only wins one Super Bowl and that I win the rest.”

WOW, if your sibling isn’t dedicating their life’s work to how great you are, time for an awkward family talk during the holidays.

While We’re Here: Why Is Jason Kelce’s Number 62?
Jason explained in the above ^ video ^ that “unfortunately I can’t wear 89,” the reason why being those aforementioned rules. Since Jason is a center (aka part of the offensive line) he has to wear a jersey between the numbers 50–79.

But despite not rocking his brother’s birth year, Jason is clearly proud of Travis. “I love him and I’ve tried to be a good big brother, but I think Trav sometimes gives me a lot of credit,” he told the NFL. “But I’m just so happy for everything that he’s done to get to where he’s at. Seeing him turn into the player and the man that he is has been just the ultimate feeling of being proud.”

As for why Jason wears 62, he said in 2018, “The significance of No. 62 is that when I made it to the NFL, this is the number that was given to me and I am honored to wear it. Growing up, I kind of liked the No. 13 for the sports that I played. But I had a football coach in middle school that once said to me, ‘The player makes the number, not the other way around.’ Since then, I’ve taken the number that was handed to me. I have an identity with 62, and I’m going to have that forever.”