Super Bowl 2023 Has Already Made History By Beating A Nearly Impossible Statistic

On January 29, 2023, as USA Today reports, the teams of Super Bowl LVII were set. Following the Kansas City Chiefs' victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, preceded a few hours earlier by the Philadelphia Eagles' victory over the San Francisco 49ers, the Chiefs and Eagles will play each other on February 12 in Glendale, Arizona.

As far as Super Bowls go, this one isn't poised to be particularly groundbreaking. Both teams have made the postseason pretty consistently over the past decade; the Eagles won the Super Bowl most recently following the 2017 season, while the Chiefs won it following the 2019 season. However, there is one aspect of this upcoming game that is one for the record books. For the first time in Super Bowl history, two brothers will be on the field at the same time, playing for competing teams. Travis Kelce will suit up for the Chiefs, while his brother, Jason, will play for the Eagles. And while brothers have played in the NFL on the same field at the same time before, this will be the first time they've been on opposing sides of the same Super Bowl. And the odds of this type of thing happening border on incalculable.

The Kelce Brothers

Donna Kelce is, depending on how you look at it, either the luckiest or the unluckiest mother in America right now. Two of her sons, Travis and Jason, are both playing in the Super Bowl. However, they're competing against each other, which means that after the dust has settled on Super Bowl LVII, one of her boys is going to be riding high, the other sorely disappointed. "It's your hopes and dreams coming true, but it's your worst fears. Somebody is going to go home a loser, and neither one of them lose very well," she said (via WPVI).

Travis, born in 1989, has spent his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs as a tight end (per Pro Football Reference). In fact, his name has come up in conversations about the best tight ends in history, as CBS Sports reports. Older brother Jason Kelce, born in 1987, has also spent his entire career with the same team as the Eagles' center (per Pro Football Reference). Whether or not Jason is bound for the Hall of Fame remains to be seen, but a list of the NFL's greatest centers does not include his name.

Since both men compete in offensive positions, they won't compete against each other directly and, in fact, one will be on the sidelines while the other is on the playing field.

What Are The Odds?

So what are the odds of two brothers facing off against each other in the Super Bowl? As it turns out, there's no straightforward answer because there are an incalculable number of variables to consider.

The Houston Chronicle consulted with a professor of statistics to get to the bottom of this back in 2013 when two brothers faced each other in the Super Bowl — as coaches, not as players. Back when brothers Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh coached competing teams in Super Bowl XLVII, Rice University statistician Kathy Ensor tried to get to the bottom of the odds. In the Harbaugh case, both coaches were already in the NFL and in different leagues. Ensor crunched the numbers and came up with odds of 1 in 255, but that's not the end of the story. Had Ensor just considered the fact that they were NFL coaches — regardless of conference — those odds would have been 1 in 495.

However, her calculations were based on NFL coaches, not players. There are considerably more players on a roster than coaches, muddling the math. We're also only looking at players in the NFL and not all football players on every level, and we're certainly not looking at all men everywhere. Long story short, the wider the net we cast when calculating these odds, the bigger they get. "Astronomical would be a good way of putting it," she said.