FEW NAMES ACROSS INDUSTRIES FROM SPORTS TO THE STAGE TO THE SILVER SCREEN HAVE ENJOYED THE LIMELIGHT RECENTLY QUITE LIKE TRAVIS KELCE, FROM HIS RECENT THIRD SUPER BOWL WIN TO HIS ROMANCE WITH THE BIGGEST POPSTAR ON THE PLANET

BY DAN SALAMONE

Travis Kelce is having one heck of a year. In just over 12 months, he’s won two Super Bowl rings, hosted Saturday Night Live (an episode that A.V. Club celebrated as one of the best of the season), and, oh yeah, became the (very public) paramour of the most famous woman on earth. Kelce’s accomplishments on the field are meaty: the three-time First-Team All-Pro Bowler has three Super Bowl rings and was named to the NFL 2010’s All-Decade Team. He has eight straight 80-catch seasons (an NFL record) and ranks number one in both receptions (907) and receiving yards (11,328) of any tight end in league history.

Outside the game, Kelce also co-hosts a wildly successful podcast/ videocast, New Heights with Jason & Travis Kelce, with his brother, Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jason Kelce. On the show, the Kelces are both delightful in their unfiltered, frequently silly, brothers goofing-around kind of way. In 2016, Kelce starred in his own E! Entertainment dating show, Catching Kelce. While he did not end up staying with the winner (Maya Benberry), it did launch a series of other entertainment ventures. He’ll be an executive producer for two upcoming films, the war-dramedy My Dead Friend Zoe and a doc, King Pleasure, about the extraordinary artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Kelce is an active philanthropist, as well. In 2015, around the time his name was seeping into the main stream, Kelce announced the launch of the 87 and Running Foundation, a non-profit that, per its mission statement, helps “empower disadvan taged youth to achieve success by providing resources and support to their communities and cultivating their talent in the areas of education, business, athletics, STEM, and the arts.” He’s also an avid high-profile partner with the Make-A-Wish Foundation (just last year, he and teammate Patrick Mahomes tossed the ball around with a teen football fan and open-heart surgery survivor).

But much of the recent Kelce buzz doesn’t involve catches or charity; it’s his courtship with the 12-time Grammy winner and reigning queen of pop, Miss Taylor Swift herself, which even caused the “Swift bump” phenomenon, a massive surge in football fandom in women across all age groups (among teenage girls in particular, NFL viewership has increased by 53%). For Swifties who have long followed the artist’s very public love life, Kelce feels different, with a kind of amiable sincerity and genuine care for “Tay Tay” (a nickname that now adorns the back of the custom Chiefs jersey she wears during games) that it makes sense so many fans are in thrall to even the smallest details of their relationship.

 

Travis Kelce

A&G SPREAD

@killatrav