KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Super Bowl LVII kicks off on Feb. 12 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, the Kelce brothers won’t be the only ones on opposite sides of the matchup.
Steve Tazumi and Tom Patterson are twins, born in Japan in November 1958. Soon after, they ended up at an orphanage where different American couples adopted the boys.
A fire years later destroyed the orphanage’s records, seemingly destroying any chance of a reunion later in life.
When the boys were 16, they found out they were adopted, but it took a special effort from people Tazumi was training to link the men up roughly four decades after they were born.
“So at the age of 40, I flew to Philadelphia to meet my twin brother for the first time,” Patterson said.
It sparked more than two decades of brotherly bonding, helped along by their passions for fitness.
“That is what blew me away the most is that he owned a body building gym in Liberal, Kansas, and I owned a body building gym in Runnemede and Belmar, New Jersey,” Tazumi said.
Plus with one brother in Chiefs Kingdom and another in Eagles territory, they’ve bonded over football.
Over the years, Tazumi has visited Kansas City to see his Eagles play at Arrowhead Stadium, as part of yearly trips to see the Eagles play at other stadiums.
The Kelce brothers might be more well-known across the NFL, but Patterson said he and Tazumi have that same rivalry between brothers.
“It just seems like [Travis and Jason Kelce] really enjoy each other’s company, and just like me and my brother, we enjoy our company, too,” Patterson said.
Patterson and Tazumi talk every day, often about football, giving them a chance to make up for the four decades they didn’t have together.
“I think that’s the thing I miss the most is that we didn’t have a childhood,” Tazumi said. “We met at the age of 40, so we didn’t do the bonding or playing football together or anything like that. We talk pretty much every day, and we talk about football every day. It’s been remarkable.”
Now their teams will face off in the biggest game of the year.
For most other fans, Super Bowl LVII will be the “Kelce Bowl” or Andy Reid’s chance for revenge against the team that fired him.
That’s all secondary for the brothers brought together by barbells and pigskins.
“To me, it’s the Steve and Tom Bowl,” Patterson said.