Coming off another incredible weekend performance, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has another reason to celebrate. He is the team’s nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award. The world champions announced the news via their Twitter account Thursday morning.
The five-time Pro Bowler received the distinction because of the work his foundation 87 & Running provides to “empower disadvantaged youth to achieve success by providing resources and support to their communities and cultivating their talent in the areas of education, business, athletics, STEM, and the arts.”
Kelce spoke more about the inspiration behind starting the the organization in the video posted alongside the revelation.
“What inspired me to create ‘87 & Running’ is my upbringing. One of the most beautiful things about Cleveland Heights is that it’s a melting pot — and growing up in Cleveland Heights, I really understood lending a helping hand is always the right thing to do. Not everybody has the same privileges. Not everybody has the same advantages in life. I just want to make sure that all the kids have those advantages, have those extracurricular opportunities to find something that they love.”
Announced during the NFL Honors, the Walter Payton Man of the Year “recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field.” Each team is tasked with nominating a player who they feel exemplifies those qualities. Check out the individuals nominated for all 32 franchises below:
Kelce Finally Joins the Madden 99 Club
By the looks of things, Kelce is certainly having a pretty remarkable week. On Thursday, he also became the latest player to join Madden’s elite 99 Club.
The 31-year-old’s teammate, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is the only other Kansas City player to have that distinction this year. The other players around the league who eclipsed a 99 player rating in the video game include New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey. Kelce is in some pretty great company.
Mahomes was the one to deliver the good news to his colleague on Twitter, presenting Kelce with the trophy that comes along with the honor.
As Mahomes noted, Kelce was the one to present him with his trophy earlier this season. So, it’s only fitting he return the favor months later.
Kelce Will Be Chiefs Red and White for the Next Six Seasons
Kelce inked a four-year, $57 million extension with the Chiefs in August, keeping him at Arrowhead Stadium for the next six years. He’s already proving he’s worth every dollar as well. In their “Run it Back” season so far, the former University of Cincinnati star has registered eight touchdowns on 1,114 yards and 82 receptions. The career accolades are even more impressive.
Kelce recently notched his fifth-consecutive 1,000+ yard season. No tight end in NFL history has ever achieved 1,000+ yard seasons throughout an entire career or even consecutive campaigns. To accomplish both certainly proves Kelce is undoubtedly Hall-of-Fame worthy when that time arrives.
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