Ellison brothers relish Monday night openers

Sep 11, 2009 - 7:19 PM ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.(AP) -- Don't bother trying to contact the Ellison family on Monday. They'll be busy.

The clan will have both coasts covered for Monday night football, as Buffalo Bills linebacker Keith Ellison will be playing at New England just a few hours before brother Kevin's San Diego Chargers take the field for a game at Oakland.

The family doubleheader may not be as eye-catching as an Eli and Peyton Manning double dip, but for the natives of Inglewood, Calif., it's a childhood dream come true.

"It's pretty cool," Keith Ellison said Friday. "It's pretty exciting. The family will have a big old viewing thing at my house in L.A., so everyone will be around watching it on TV."

Added Kevin Ellison: "It's Monday night football, so it's pretty special, especially for my family and my parents. You can't really ask for much more than that, for my mom to see both of her kids play on Monday night ... that's pretty cool."

Keith Ellison, 25, has been a fixture at linebacker for the Bills since they drafted him out of Oregon State in the sixth round of the 2006 draft.

Strong safety Kevin Ellison, 22, will be making his NFL debut against the Raiders after a successful college career at USC. Like his brother, Kevin also was a sixth-round selection, taken by the Chargers in April's draft.

The two brothers talk frequently during the week - except for last Saturday when Kevin was nervous about the NFL's final cutdown day.

"I didn't want to hear my phone ring," Kevin admitted. "I told him not to call me. But we talked after that."

The brothers both pointed to their older sibling, Chris, as a major influence in their development as football players. Chris Ellison played at BYU in the late '90s.

"The biggest thing he gave us was he showed us what it means to work hard," Keith said. "He always had a great work ethic when it came to football, and I think that's something he passed on to both of us."

Keith won't be able to catch his younger brother in action since the Bills play on the road Monday. But that doesn't mean he won't find out all about it later.

"I'm going to DVR it," he said.

Having two sons play in prime time on the same night will be something that their mother, Judy, will relish. She'll be in attendance in Oakland largely because it's in California, but Kevin thinks there's another reason.

"She likes me more," he joked.

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