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NFL star Travis Kelce puzzles teammates, fans with how his name is really pronounced

Is it "Kels" or "Kel-see"?
/ Source: TODAY

Travis Kelce has become a big name in the NFL during his eight seasons as a star tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs.

If only we knew how to pronounce it correctly.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce says his last name is pronounced "Kells" and not "Kell-see" like everyone has been saying it for years. Justin Edmonds / Getty Images

According to the man himself, we've all been saying his last name wrong since he came into the league into 2013.

Kelce, 31, blew the minds of Kansas City Chiefs fans and teammates, including the star quarterback who throws him the ball, by saying that his last name is pronounced "Kells" and not "Kel-see," as it has been pronounced on every broadcast of Chiefs games for nearly a decade.

"You learn something new everyday," Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes tweeted in response to a Barstool Sports video posted by a podcast host in which Kelce says, "My real name is 'Kels,' so I just kind of roll with the punches."

"So I've been saying his name wrong this entire time," Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill replied to Mahomes' tweet.

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"You’ve been sayin it right man, I go by both…. One’s my real name and one’s a nick name," Kelce replied.

Kelce also appeared to confirm it by retweeting a tweet by Fox 4 Kansas City sports anchor Harold R. Kuntz featuring a video from ahead of the 2020 AFC championship game in which Kelce says his name is pronounced "Kels."

Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones also apologized, tweeting "I’ve been saying Travis Kelce(y) the whole time. My apologies @tkelce"

"Not trippin at all… you can actually keep calling me that," Kelce replied.

NFL fans also couldn't wrap their heads around it.

"Wait what!? Please tell me this is a joke! I can totally see @tkelce doing this as a joke!! 😂 my mind is blown if this is true!" one fan tweeted.

"Sooo we’ve been saying Travis Kelce’s name wrong the whole time????" Pro Football Focus tweeted.

It's hard to tell if Kelce is being serious or just having fun with people. However, Kelce's older brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, 33, called into Philadelphia sports radio station 94WIP on Thursday to say their last name is pronounced "Kel-see," but there is a reason Travis offered the alternate pronunciation.

"So I'll give you the story behind why my brother said that," Jason Kelce said. "My brother and I have gone by Kel-see our entire lives. I still remember my dad answering the phone as Ed Kel-see all growing up when he was on work calls and everything.

"But we have a really small family. We don't have any first cousins. Somehow we got so disconnected with that side and my dad at some point, when he was working at the steel mills in Cleveland, Ohio, got tired of correcting everyone who was calling him Kel-see. Apparently the correct, the standard pronunciation is Kelse, which the rest of my family goes by. So my dad, out of pure laziness, completely changed his last name. For some reason he decided to change it, and that's what we've gone by our whole lives.

"We've gotten plenty of messages and texts since becoming NFL players from extended family members all over the world that have told us, 'You're pronouncing the name wrong!' I prefer Kel-see because that's what I've gone by my entire life."

Fans had gone to the archives to find Jason Kelce pronouncing his last name "Kel-see" in a video from the 2011 NFL combine.

Chiefs fans are fine saying it any way Travis Kelce wants as long as he keeps delivering seasons like last year, when he caught 105 passes for 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns and helped Kansas City reach a second straight Super Bowl.

He also now has joined Alicia Silverstone and a host of other celebrities in the, "Wait, that's how you say their name?" pantheon.