He had great regular-season stats, great playoff stats, multiple rings, and great playoff performances, like the key catch that set up the only touchdown in the New England Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53. (Then, when he went back to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he added to his resume.)
But now, in 2023, you can make a very similar case for Travis Kelce, a star player for the Kansas City Chiefs, with at least one major difference. Kelce hasn’t retired yet, and he said Sunday night after Kansas City won Super Bowl 57 38-35 that he has no plans to do so soon.
But he heard people talking about him as a “GOAT” and tried to ignore it.
He said, “I think I’m a very useful tool for the Kansas City Chiefs.” “And I did those plays with a lot of pride and honor for this team and organization.”
No other tight end can come close to his seven straight 1,000-yard seasons, and his 1,416 yards in 2020 set a record for his position. He has caught more than 100 balls three times. Kelce caught his 16th touchdown in the playoffs on Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. Only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice has more receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown catches in the playoffs than Kelce.
Shannon Sharpe, a tight end who is in the Hall of Fame, told “The Sporting News” that “Gronk was the GOAT tight end, but about four years ago, I didn’t see Travis coming on like he did.” If you look at the numbers he puts up every year, it’s hard to say that Travis is not the GOAT tight end, especially if he wins the Super Bowl. He still has two or three years left in this position. He plays with a great quarterback and a great play-caller, which puts him in a position to make plays every game.”
Kelce said no again.
“I still have a lot of work to do to catch up,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for Sharpe, Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, and Jason Witten, among others. There are so many loose ends that I really like and appreciate. When it comes to the best, I’d say that being here with that quarterback and this offense is one of the best things that could happen to any tight end in the National Football League.