She is the first mother to have two sons playing against each other in a Super Bowl — Jason Kelce, who hikes the ball to Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, versus Travis Kelce, who catches passes from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“It’s gonna be really tough but I’m just gonna cheer my head off when the offense is on the field,” Donna Kelce told The Post. “So I’m gonna be screaming the entire game. I’m gonna root for both of ’em to score. A lot.”
She has witnessed each of them winning a Super Bowl, but at the end of the night, it will be a bittersweet feeling for her knowing that only one of them will have a second ring.
“Somebody’s gonna go home a loser for sure, and one of ’em’s gonna be heartbroken because they didn’t beat their brother,” Donna said. “That’s what it’s gonna come down to, it’s gonna come down to bragging rights.”
It was a bragging-rights childhood in the Kelce’s home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
“It was always a competition,” Donna said. “Who gets to the table first. Who’s got the last chicken wing. Who’s gonna get in the front seat of the car. Who’s gonna take the elevator and get down to the bottom floor first. It just always was competition. And they don’t like to lose. They want to win, and that’s just the way they are.”
Jason, 35, is two years older than Travis.
“You hate each other when you’re growing up, but later on in life, you’re best buds, because you’ve gone through everything together, so it’s kinda fun,” Donna said.
Kelce versus Kelce would steel them both.
“They competed with the best that they had in the city. … It was living right next to them, you know?” she said. “In the next room. Whether it was — mini-hockey in the basement, whatever, it was always competition.”
Football wasn’t their first love, but of course they rooted for the Browns.
“It’s just surreal,” Donna said. “It’s just like you’re in a dream, and you don’t really know if it’s happening. We’ve thought about it for the past 10 years that Travis has been in the league that he may someday play them, but they usually only play every four years, so the only time they would ever meet would be in the Super Bowl, but during the season some years. I know they’ve been talking about it since they were 10.
“But the scenario was always that they were playing on the same team, and they were with, you know, the Brownies. So they both had Bernie Kosar jerseys and pants and everything and helmets.”
Before their NFL dream, the boys dreamed a different dream.
“They both had the hockey dream,” she said. “That was what they wanted to play. They were on skates for most of their life from the age of 3 and up. They loved football, they loved to watch it, but they couldn’t play it ’til middle school.
“I remember Travis coming to me one year and say: ‘I want to go to Canada, and I want to go on the junior leagues.’ And I’m like, ‘There’s no way I’m letting somebody else raise my kid. He was good enough, he coulda played anywhere, he was really, really good. But it’s like you’re away from your family most of the year. It just wasn’t an option.”
Football wasn’t initially an option because mom wouldn’t let it be an option.
“I wouldn’t let them do that,” she said. “Nobody ever says, ‘I was the best peewee football player ever.’ And it’s not very well organized. So there’s always suspect to parents and injuries and things like that. They’re not really trained coaches, so I made them wait until they were in middle school to play football. They played seventh and eighth grade.”
They didn’t play football together until they were at the University of Cincinnati in 2009. They didn’t play together in high school when Jason was a senior and Travis, then a quarterback, was a sophomore because Travis missed the season.
“Because he flunked French. And I wouldn’t take him to summer school,” Donna said, “I said, ‘No buddy, you screwed up, you gotta pay for this.’ So he didn’t play with him.”
The boys played lacrosse in middle school, and Jason played it in high school.
“Travis was very good as a pitcher, so he did that,” she said. “Jason played hockey all through high school and Travis switched from hockey to basketball when he became a freshman in high school.”
It was hockey at age 10 or 11 that would lead Jason to his schoolboy passion as a linebacker and eventually as the Eagles center.
“I remember the first time that Jason played hockey,” Donna said, “when you’re a squirt and you can actually start checking people, he just skated up to me with this beaming look on his face, said: ‘Mom. I finally found what I’m really, really good at!’ ”
Referring to Jason, she said: “He has many layers. He’s a very passionate person, and he doesn’t do well on a team with people that don’t try hard. So he really found his own when he got to the pros where everybody is busting their behind to be the best that they can be. He doesn’t like slackers, he just doesn’t. He never could deal with that very well. Because he was trying so hard and he was so emotional about playing and winning, Jason spent a lot of time in the penalty box when he was playing hockey. Also for lacrosse too. He always was the highest-penalized person.”
Referring to Travis, she said: “He just loves life. He loves everything about being out, being around people, doing things. He’s very driven, very similar to Jason, but more so than anything, the friends and the family that he has and the friends that he’s made that he’s kept over the years, he’s just a diehard good friend. He has helped people in many ways over the years, whether their bike was stolen, or anything like that, he’s like a community guy.”
Similar, but different.
“You know they’re very very similar, both high-energy, both funny,” she said. “Jason is more pensive, and he’s very calculating. And Travis is more in the moment. So that’s kind of the way they’re different, basically. Both love to be out and enjoy people … not a whole heckuva lot of difference.”
Donna, her brother and her ex-husband Ed were at Lincoln Financial Field for the NFC Championship game and then met up at Chickie and Pete’s — Ed left in the fourth quarter and walked 20 minutes to the bar while Donna and her brother took a police escort — to watch the Chiefs beat the Bengals.
“I have a jersey where each shoulder is different,” she said. “One’s an Eagles and the other one’s a Chiefs. And I have an Eagles jersey on the back, and I have a Chiefs jersey on the front with their numbers. There’s a 62 on the back and an 87 on the front. Travis had that one custom-made.”
She will arrive in Arizona on Monday and expects to wear it for the Kelce Bowl.
“People for some reason want to talk to the mom,” she said. “I don’t know why. They’re the ones that put in all the hard work and did everything. I just drove ’em places. ‘Want to play lacrosse? OK, let’s go.’ ”
She feels blessed to be the mother of two NFL players and two good people. The spotlight awaits her.
“I’m fine with it,” Donna said. “I’m just me. People either accept me for who I am … Not the most beautiful human being, I’m very average, but I’m a good mom, and I think everybody can relate to it.”
America’s First Mother on Super Bowl Sunday. One history-making mom.