Being Taylor Swift’s boyfriend in no way guarantees that the world will love you as much as she does. Just ask The 1975 frontman and Swift ex Matty Healy, whose edgelord comments about future Swift collaborator Ice Spice, made on a dirtbag leftist podcast, sent him running for the hills when hordes of incensed Swifties canceled him earlier this year.
However, Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs tight end and current Swift paramour, has managed to ride out a few minor misconceptions–namely, that he might be dumb, or that his old tweets reveal him to be a “problematic” jock at heart–in order to become, not just Swift’s, but seemingly everyone’s, Dream Supportive Athlete Boyfriend in a remarkably short span of time.
Kelce has become just as much America’s Sweetheart as Swift is, and that’s saying something. Just check out his crowning profile in the Wall Street Journal this week—accompanied by a lust-worthy photoshoot, naturally—in which the nattily groomed 6’5” Pro Bowler gushes over Swift from the comfort of his tricked-out Rolls Royce.
Usually, such an audacious car would trigger class rage eye rolls, but Kelce somehow seems to belong in the vehicle, like a man filling out a perfectly tailored suit.
He’s aware that he’s living the kind of proximity to Swift that most fans could only dream of, and so, unlike press-shy boyfriends past, he lets eager readers know exactly what that’s like: “I’ve never been a man of words…Being around her, seeing how smart Taylor is, has been fucking mind-blowing. I’m learning every day.”
To become a widely popular man in America in the year 2023 is a rare phenomenon in and of itself, given our post-#MeToo cultural climate. Already you can hear the sounds of NFL fans roaring in protest: “Travis Kelce was famous way before Swifties bothered to Google first downs!” Yes, but not to this degree; and Kelce would agree.
The stats speak for themselves: since beginning to date Swift, sales for Kelce jerseys spiked nearly 400%, and have continued to roil as more and more devoted pop culture hounds pick up the thread.
How did this happen? Who is this guy, and what character traits, filaments of DNA and twists of fate led him to cinch one of the most coveted Top Jobs in pop culture: Taylor Swift’s love interest?
To understand Travis Kelce, it’s crucial to dig into what people seem to be consistently getting wrong about him, and detractors and fans alike are laboring under the same misapprehension: that he’s a himbo. Put another way, for those over 40 who don’t understand millennial slang, the general consensus is that this dude isn’t very smart.
But Travis Kelce, like all distinctly media-savvy people in the public eye, is almost certainly practiced at using common misconceptions to his advantage. You’d be forgiven for mistaking him, a warm-eyed, goofy-grinned person with the demeanor of a goofy labrador retriever and the wardrobe of a rapper with an affinity for Spongebob Squarepants who also got dressed in the dark, for a dim bulb.
Another piece of evidence that could be counted towards the “Travis Kelce is dumb” column, but that shouldn’t be–emerged in the form of dozens of early 2010s tweets from the NFL star’s account, which were recently dug up by, you guessed it, curious Swifties. Seriously, Taylor superfans need to be hired en masse by the UN or something so their skills can be weaponized to their full potential.
Some of these tweets, as pointed out by The Daily Beast, were uniquely, stupidly cruel in the way only 21-year-old men can be (which was how old Kelce was when he wrote them). He was popping off shit like, “As a man, You have something wrong with you if your going for girls that weigh more then you!!” But the actually bad tweets were few and far between.
The vast majority of Kelce’s old posts reveal, not the musings of a misogynistic bro, but a winsome free spirit with not a care troubling his heart or mind other than dreams for a successful future and errant frustrations with long Chipotle lines—albeit with some major spelling issues.
Kelce in 2011: “I just gave a squirle a peice of bread and it straight smashed all of it!!!! I had no idea they ate bread like that!! Haha #crazy.” Another classic: “The moon looks crazy tonight… Imma chill out here for a little and just visualize my success n vibe to the scenary.”
Are these hilariously sophomoric? Sure, but a few misspelled, goofy tweets do not make a moron.
In the interim years, before Travis Kelce became “Travis Kelce,” the tight end tried his hand at helming his very own reality dating show, 2016’s Catching Kelce, a program he’s since tried very hard to erase from everyone’s memory. Watching clips, it’s easy to see why. For one, the cringe-worthy novelty pop group LMFAO makes a guest appearance, for some reason.
Catching Kelce might be ancient history to America’s favorite football family now, but its existence proves that its star was at least reasonably comfortable, as far back as 2016, with offering up his dating life for public consumption.
“I turned down the show about 100 times…it felt like,” Kelce told The Pivot earlier this year. “I was having so much fun buying whatever the hell I wanted to, going wherever the hell I wanted to. I wasn’t financially looking at this as, you know, I need to have money down the line. There were times in the offseason, I was avoiding the rent lady. It was that bad.”
So he relented. “I heard about this situation where I could make six figures in two weeks, and I was like, Uhhh. And 50 ladies? I’m like, this is actually starting to sound a little better.”
So, you know…a little dumb, maybe, but not stupid. That’s a guy decision if I’ve ever heard one.
Kelce ended up dating a woman named Maya Benberry whom he met through the show, after which he dated a sports reporter named Kayla Nicole; the latter relationship lasted (on and off) for five years.
Many moons later, with two Super Bowl wins with the Chiefs under his belt and five million Instagram followers hanging on his every utterance, Kelce has traded in the Chipotle shoutouts for sponsored partnerships with Pfizer, and abandoned reality TV in favor of the more personalized, male-centric personal brand intimacy of the podcast, New Heights, that he shares with his brother, fellow NFL star Jason Kelce.
And sure, Kelce is still silly and goofy and irreverent—to you. But this is merely the public-facing mask that he wants you to see; the shield meant to disguise the part of his life consumed by boring things like memorizing complex football plays and, according to the WSJ profile, coping with debilitatingly painful injuries.
The “only thing” he’s “never really been open about,” Kelce said, is “the discomfort. The pain. The lingering injuries—the 10 surgeries I’ve had that I still feel every single surgery to this day.” He’s 34. In NFL years, that’s practically geriatric.
Also, not for nothing, the “athletes are dumb” trope seems to be as culturally pervasive as the “girls who write breakup songs are crazy” trope—just saying.
What people similarly don’t understand about Kelce is just how long many Swift fans have also been Kelce fans, and have been pushing for the two to get together with a kind of cosmic fanaticism.
This guy didn’t just come out of nowhere: Just like Kelce himself seemed to manifest Swift in his life by stating his desire to meet her by making her a friendship bracelet, some of Swift’s fans seem to have kind of… summoned him.
One such person is none other than Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews, who joked about setting up Swift and Kelce on the August 3rd episode of her Calm Down podcast.
“Taylor, I don’t know what you’re doing in your life right now besides rocking the world,” Andrews said at the time. “Please, try our friend Travis. He is fantastic. I know we’re not the best of friends, we’re not even friends, but I consider you one. Take us up on this. Go on a date with this guy.”
Another Swift-Kelce stan, @taylorstightend, tweets all day, every day about Swift and Kelce, breaking news about the lovers even before the speediest pop culture sites get to it.
In fact, there is a vast ecosystem of social media users for whom posting about the budding relationship between Swift and Kelce is not just a hobby, but a full-time vocation. It’s as though, with each new kiss, heartwarming shoutout and public display of affection, their collective faith in true love is being restored. In a world ravaged by shitty app dating and a parade of bad hookups, that’s no small feat.
Finally, some of Kelce’s strongest moments as a Swift Boyfriend have been those when he’s seemed, for lack of a better phrase, girlie-coded. Just this week, Travis lost in a match-up between the chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, his brother Jason’s team.
“I just have to play better,” Travis uttered in a post-game interview, clearly on the verge of tears. “It’s all fixable, we just gotta do it.”
I noticed the parallel instantly (and so did legions of fellow Swifties): This was just like when, back in 2018, Taylor Swift was informed by her loyal publicist, Tree Paine, that she hadn’t been nominated for any major Grammys for Reputation.
“I just have to make a better record,” Swift said in the Miss Americana documentary, her voice catching. “I’m making a better record.”
This is why so many people are convinced Kelce and Swift could be “End Game,” and why so many other people have got him all wrong. He’s not just some dumb jock: he’s a mastermind, just like Taylor Swift.
Post source: TDB