Travis Kelce: ‘Seeing how smart Taylor is, has been f—ing mind-blowing’

Travis Kelce is profiled in WSJ. Magazine’s current issue and the interview is SO GOOD. It’s thoughtful, not too football-heavy, but also not entirely about Taylor Swift. It hit the sweet spot – I learned a lot about Travis’s life beyond Tay, I learned his version of how he ended up manifesting his relationship with Tay, and he polished his “golden retriever boyfriend” credentials. There’s always debate about whether Travis is a himbo – I don’t think he is, but he’s himbo-adjacent. Like, a sweet jock with a heart of gold? Some highlights from this WSJ. Magazine piece:

Retirement talk & pain management: He thinks about retirement“more than anyone could ever imagine… That’s the only thing I’ve never really been open about – the discomfort. The pain. The lingering injuries—the 10 surgeries I’ve had that I still feel every single surgery to this day.”

How he met Taylor: It all started when he tried to meet Swift at her Arrowhead concert in July and got blocked, presumably by security. He then recounted the experience in a charming way on the podcast he does with Jason. Soon after, he says, he received an unbidden assist from inside Team Swift. “There were definitely people she knew that knew who I was, in her corner [who said]: Yo! Did you know he was coming? I had somebody playing Cupid.” He wasn’t aware at the time, however; the revelation only came later, after he looked down at his phone and got the shock of a lifetime. “She told me exactly what was going on and how I got lucky enough to get her to reach out.” He lets slip that some of his early helpers were part of the Swift family tree. “She’ll probably hate me for saying this, but…when she came to Arrowhead, they gave her the big locker room as a dressing room, and her little cousins were taking pictures…in front of my locker.”

First date: “When I met her in New York, we had already kind of been talking, so I knew we could have a nice dinner and, like, a conversation, and what goes from there will go from there.” If anyone was nervous, he adds, it was his core group. “Everybody around me telling me: Don’t f— this up! And me sitting here saying: Yeah—got it.”

He was guarded about what he said about her at first: “That was the biggest thing to me: make sure I don’t say anything that would push Taylor away.”

Nowadays, he talks about Taylor openly: He doesn’t need to be asked about Taylor; he mentions her unreservedly, lavishes praise on her, calls her “hilarious,” “a genius,” notes that they share compatible worldviews, especially when it comes to family and work. “Everybody knows I’m a family guy. Her team is her family. Her family does a lot of stuff in terms of the tour, the marketing, being around, so I think she has a lot of those values as well, which is right up my alley.”

He’s a long-time Swiftie: “‘Blank Space’ was one I wanted to hear live for sure. I could make a bad guy good for the weekend. That’s a helluva line!” More often than not, he says, it was a Swiftian beat, a melody that captivated him. (“She writes catchy jingles.”) But lately he’s all about those lyrics; he’s scrutinized the breakup stuff. What a miracle, he says, the way Swift can turn life into poetry. “I’ve never been a man of words. Being around her, seeing how smart Taylor is, has been f—ing mind-blowing. I’m learning every day.”

Dealing with her level of fame: “Obviously I’ve never dated anyone with that kind of aura about them…. I’ve never dealt with it. But at the same time, I’m not running away from any of it…. The scrutiny she gets, how much she has a magnifying glass on her, every single day, paparazzi outside her house, outside every restaurant she goes to, after every flight she gets off, and she’s just living, enjoying life. When she acts like that I better not be the one acting all strange.”

He loves comedy films with Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Will Ferrell: “I told Taylor that I have that world, I’ve got to introduce it to her. I let her know: This is my jam right here.”

On Aaron Rodgers mocking his Pfizer endorsement: “Aaron’s always been cool to me. I knew he was trying to have some fun. He’s in a situation where Tuesdays are his game days…. So I get it, man, I’ve been injured too…. Who knows what the guy is going through?”

[From WSJ. Magazine]

The fact that Travis is probably telling Taylor that she needs to watch Tommy Boy, Happy Gilmore, Old School and Anchorman is… a lot. Taylor is a woman who wants to be accepted as a director and recognized as someone with a literary persona. He wanted to watch Billy Madison/I sighed and downloaded Aftersun. The rest of it is great though – I think “I’m not running away from any of it” is a great start. Is there a little part of me which thinks that Travis is also using this relationship to expand his sponsorship portfolio and make even more money with lucrative side-gigs? For sure. I think that’s part of it, but he genuinely adores her and he wants to be with her. He also wants to make even more money too.

Covers courtesy of WSJ. Magazine’s Instagram, photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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76 Responses to “Travis Kelce: ‘Seeing how smart Taylor is, has been f—ing mind-blowing’”

  1. Southern Fried says:

    The more I know of him the more handsome he seems to me. Football guys have never been attractive before and even before Taylor while I thoroughly enjoyed his spontaneous happy outbursts I never thought of him as hot.

    • MF says:

      Yeah, he’s not my type (physically or even personality wise), but I find his confidence very sexy. And it’s pretty hot how much he respects and adores her.

    • AnneL says:

      I honestly didn’t think he was very attractive at first. He’s just not my type physically or in terms of sartorial style, as I’m a little more traditional. But I really like his personality and the way he treats her. Also, those pictures show what nice eyes he has. That’s so important.

  2. Teddy says:

    No, not a himbo. He seems like a genuinely good guy with the rare gift of emotional intelligence. (And the bde doesn’t hurt.) Totally get her falling for him. I hope they work out.

    • Truthiness says:

      Yeah, he has a lot of emotional intelligence, gets along with everyone. He’s gotta be feeling bad today though, he fumbled the ball in close scoring range and the Chief’s offense had a real bad game last night against his brother.

      • AnneL says:

        Yes, I’m sure he is. Though he did score a touchdown. It seems like wide receivers were the ones really falling short, for the most part. Pro sports is a brutal world in so many ways. Their biggest fans are their harshest critics.

    • Melody Calder says:

      I thought it was discovered that his team scrubbed his twitter? Lots of comments reg overweight and ugly women in his past…..?

      • Normades says:

        He is a himbo but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s a sports dude but seems like an ok guy with like you said an emotional intelligence which I thought was rare for sports dudes

      • Arizona says:

        he does seem to have a lot of emotional intelligence.

        also – he’s not scared of the fame part, he praises her work, speaks openly about her while still keeping things private, says she’s hilarious, is very much a family man, and she can wear high heels and still be shorter than him. anyone whose listened to her songs knows that’s checking a lot of boxes that previous partners didn’t lol.

        they seem well matched and I wish them both well.

      • Megan says:

        Taylor is a lot more than smart. Her business sense is absolutely brilliant. I’m not a fan of her music, but I’m blown away by how great her instincts are and by how confident she is in them.

        I think she is having a great time with Travis, but I see her ultimate partner as some kind of billionaire industry insider who really appreciates the empire she has built.

    • Sophia says:

      I don’t think this is end game for her. While I’m sure she’s thoroughly enjoying being with a man who treats her like a princess and likes to be public with her, she needs a more complex type of guy, someone’s who’s more like her: actually intelligent and not a “golden retriever”.

      • LOL @Sophia. You’ve obviously have not listened to Travis pre Taylor. Travis isn’t a golden retriever. Which are very great dogs. Travis is a combination of a German Shepherd, a Belgian Malinois, Bernese Mountain Dog and St. Bernard.

        Travis isn’t a golden retriever. That is instinctively not the position of a tight end. The position of a TE is about protection to the QB, You catch the ball or protect the play as best as you can.

      • I’m dying at the idea of things. Thank you!

  3. girl_ninja says:

    I appreciate the grace he extends towards Rodgers because Aaron does not deserve it. I still find it interesting that this is the first white woman he’s dated in some time.

    • FancyPants says:

      I came here to say the same thing. That could have turned into some kind of long-term social media/ football field feud, but he’s not too proud to be the better person (and that’s so hot!). I have to wonder though if Taylor sanctioned this publicity piece or if this will make her skittish.

      • Noo says:

        “Tuesdays are his game days” could be Superbowl level shade though?! Although the message does seem to have been delivered earnestly…

      • Dutch says:

        That’s full solar eclipse level shade

      • Iris says:

        @fancypants oh i definitely think Taylor sanctioned this. Weirdly, it reminded me of the Vanity Fair interview with Meghan Markle where they ‘introduced’ her to the world as Harry’s girlfriend, and a serious one at that. This feature has the same energy to it.

    • Seraphina says:

      Yes, his grace to Rogers (who I think is a complete douche) is what made me like him.

    • MF says:

      Yep, I noticed this too. He doesn’t need to punch back. That is a sign of good character, in my opinion.

    • lucy2 says:

      I thought the same thing, he offered Aaron more grace than he deserves.
      He seems like a decent guy. For his sake I hope it works out with Taylor, but I could go a while before hearing about either of them for a minute (I say as I willingly read an article about it).

    • Macky says:

      I think Rodgers is just scared of being forgotten.

      So he chose kelce to drag in so he can be connected to the season. Rodgers is even saying he will play again this month. Chad Ocho Cinco left him a message saying, PLEASE DONT let the injury heal all the way.

      • Normades says:

        Yea I think Rogers wanted to get into some beef with someone very public but Travis totally out played him. He appears like the better guy taking the high road but there have been multiple levels of SHADE in his comments and I’m sure Aaron knows it.

  4. Rainbow Kitty says:

    He definitely has a heart of gold. I can’t imagine him ever having a negative word to say about anyone. And he really took the high road with Aaron Rodgers because I don’t think Aaron was being playful; I think he was purposefully being a dick.

  5. AmyB says:

    I really adore these two together – my daughter has been a long-time Swiftie since she was younger (just turned 23 yesterday!), and we were chatting about them lol. They just seem to be a good match.

    Travis and his brother Jason are sibling goals – I just started listening to their podcast – OMG, they are hysterical and endearing simultaneously!

  6. Jais says:

    I saw screenshots of this article yesterday and it was such a fun read. It was written by Harry’s ghost writer, j r moehringer! For me, my favorite part though was the fact that’s he’s had stars placed like a galaxy on the ceiling of his rolls Royce. Idk why but that made me really want stars in my car😂😂⭐️

  7. Daisy says:

    The profile was written by JR Moehringer, Harry’s ghostwriter for Spare. He does such a great job capturing his subjects.

  8. Nubia says:

    Oh Lord why am i not suprised by his actors/movie choices.

    • MaryContrary says:

      My brilliant husband, phD in chemistry, super up on world events, history, loves those movies. I think they’re so dumb but I’m not a guy. They always just seem like “guy movies” to me. Lol.

      • ecsmom says:

        same!! My highly intelligent and well read husband also loves those movies along with Monty Python (which I think is an intelligent humor), Pineapple Express & The Big Lebowski type movies.

    • clarabelle says:

      I have intellectual interests and consider myself more intellectually inclined than most (not that that says a lot), and I LOVE funny-dumb movies! Especially the ones starring the actors mentioned. But I don’t care for the really gross-out poop-filled ones. Though I do make an exception for Dumb and Dumber, which just thrilled me with its confident stupidity.

      I’ve described my media consumption like this: I read books for my intellectual curiosity, and I watch TV for cheap and funny thrills.

      • KLaw says:

        Clarabelle, I am exactly the same. I have a Masters and I’m working on a Phd, and I love the funny and slightly dumb comedies the most. And some reality TV programs. I just need to rest my brain!

    • @Nubia, maybe you should explain why. I love Ken Follet, Nelson Demille, John MacDonald, John Grisham…..and yet, I enjoy Big Daddy, My Cousin Vinny, Happy Gilmore and morel. I graduated from college with a 3.75l

  9. Angie says:

    He teared up when asked about his close framily circle, plus his mom said this is the happiest she’s seen him in some time. He strikes me as not book smart or intellectual (obvs! Tommy Boy!) but he gets people and as comment above, emotional intelligence – that matters so much more than anything else. He lives in the moment, she’s strategic. He likes those kinds of movies, she doesn’t. He was asked what he could teach her after raving about her & he ‘looked shy’ and didn’t answer. These are not mismatches but differences that can work just fine.

  10. Brassy Rebel says:

    I just hope he retires from football before he does too much damage to his body and brain and that hasn’t happened already. 🙏

    • MaryContrary says:

      Same with his brother. His wife and little girls are adorable and should have him around for a long time.

      • QuiteContrary says:

        I couldn’t agree with this more! I admit to enjoying football, but it’s a brutal game. And both Kelce brothers are treasures, though as I’ve said before, Jason is my fave.

        Their relationship is just lovely — last night, after the Eagles won (THANK GOODNESS), the two brothers hugged on the field and were joking around.

      • lucy2 says:

        Jason’s apparently been talking about retirement so much the announcers last night (Buck annoys the crap outta me) were joking if he was even going to play next week. He’s so good, I’d hate to lose him on the Eagles, but I totally get bowing out before there’s irreparable damage.
        Go Birds! That was a tense but fun win.

  11. SH says:

    The movie choices aren’t that far out of Taylor’s wheel house. Her tastes are broad whether it is music or other types of entertainment. She can watch and discuss art movies, but she formed her famous high school friendship with Abigail in part because they could quote movies like Napoleon Dynamite back to each other. When I read an earlier profile of Travis that talked about how deeply he cared about SNL and comedy movies my thought was that he probably got the shock of the lifetime when Taylor could movies back at him. She loved SNL too and knew enough to write her own monologue when she hosted SNL many years ago. So I felt validated when they went to SNL for date night. She loves doing a comedy bit.

    • Smalltowngirl says:

      Yeah, I see nothing wrong with his taste in movies (and I hate comedies as a rule) and I think that it was cute they did SNL as a date night, it is obviously something they both enjoy.

    • Shawna says:

      Sharing SNL videos is my love language!

    • Arizona says:

      she’s actually the only person who wrote her monologue (at least at the time she performed)! she assumed the hosts wrote their monologues, so she showed up with the song she wrote. Seth Meyers has talked about how it was much better than what they’d written for her haha.

    • AnneL says:

      Same with me. My favorite book ever is “Jane Eyre,” I went to see “Killers Of The Flower Moon” the day it opened and I’m obsessed with Robert Caro’s Lyndon Johnson biographies. But I also love SNL and Monty Python movies and think “Talladega Nights” and “Wedding Crashers” are hilarious.

      People can have wide-ranging taste in all sorts of things. Including, it appears, men…..

  12. Normades says:

    He’s totally a himbo and can carve out an acting career in the John cena, jason momoa vain (no shade). Dudes who are hunky but are smart and secure enough not to be insecure by “wokeness”. He has massive appeal and good for him.

  13. MY3CENTS says:

    This is such a Hallmark movie-inertnational superstar, sophisticated singer falls for the down to earth, grounded, humble football hero, all in time for Thanksgiving/Christmas, with lots of plaid and cardigans.

  14. wordnerd says:

    “The fact that Travis is probably telling Taylor that she needs to watch Tommy Boy, Happy Gilmore, Old School and Anchorman is… a lot. Taylor is a woman who wants to be accepted as a director and recognized as someone with a literary persona.”

    Girl…lighten up. Taylor Swift is not Martin Scorsese. This is textbook new boyfriend stuff – they want to cuddle up, put on a funny movie and laugh with their new girlfriend. It’s a lighthearted way to bond.

  15. Emily says:

    A man who isn’t intimidated by Taylor’s success, who isn’t above being photographed … it’s refreshing and she deserves it. Taylor has been with too many “serious artist” types who look down on her music or resent her spotlight. An athlete who is famous but not in competition with her, who is rightfully awed by her success, is perfect.

  16. olliesmom says:

    Here is my prediction. They will get engaged over the holidays. She will finish her tour early next December and then a Christmas wedding.

    • Smalltowngirl says:

      Unless he retires after this season (unlikely), they can’t get married over the holidays (and even if he didn’t, he provably wouldn’t schedule it then because of all of his buddies). I do think they will get engaged between her birthday and Christmas this year and I actually think they will get married in April, before she goes back on tour. Otherwise, it will be like next February.

      • QuiteContrary says:

        I hope they marry. Because Jason Kelce as the best man at Taylor Swift’s wedding would be EPIC.

      • Shawna says:

        Can you imagine the amount of jockeying and envy there will/would be around getting an invite to the wedding? Would be the social event of the decade, likely.

      • AnneL says:

        I honestly wouldn’t be that surprised if they got engaged between her birthday and Christmas. If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said no way, it’s too soon. But they have both been so public and demonstrative about this, and not backed down even with all the attention. It feels like not only are the stars aligned, but they’ve kind of…..activated the launch sequence?

        I mean I wouldn’t bet money on it but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she’s wearing an engagement ring when she goes back on tour.

  17. VilleRose says:

    Even if they don’t stay together, I’m going to keep following Travis Kelce. She’s introduced the world to a gem and I genuinely want Travis to be happy in whatever he does. The whole Kelce family is great. I do think Jason is my favorite out of the brothers.

    • Smalltowngirl says:

      I have been saying this, wherever this relationship goes, I have been introduced to the joy that is Jason Kelce. I adore him.

      • VilleRose says:

        Jason’s summary of the Twilight movies to an unwilling Travis on his podcast has forever made it into my top 5 comedy moments.

      • NotClaudia says:

        Yes. And his wife too – Kylie is so cool!

      • CommentingBunny says:

        It’s the argument about how many holes in a straw that did me in. Combined with how great a dad and husband he seems to be … I have a serious crush on Jason.

    • Serene says:

      Me too! Although Travis is my fave. He seems a combination of sexy, endearing, confident, funny and genuine. I love his and Jason’s dynamic. Jason is a hero big brother and I love how much Travis looks up to him. One of my fave clips from their podcast is when Jason tried to blame Kylie for the jeans and Travis calling him out on it. All lightheartedness and funny as hell.

  18. C says:

    I have no doubt plenty of the core sentiments are his but from the way his responses are worded I think it’s clear her PR team is definitely giving him some coaching – which makes sense anyway.

  19. Michelle says:

    Kansas City adores Travis, not just for football. I hope I don’t get in trouble for link jacking, but a news story on one of Kelce’s charities in KC lets you see why we’ve loved #87 for years. His heart is huge.

    • Serene says:

      Thank you for sharing this. I love that he genuinely cares about people and wants to help make things better for others. He is such a good person with a big heart.

    • windyriver says:

      He’s set up an amazing program and is clearly sincere and very involved. Thanks for the link.

  20. AnneL says:

    I was chuckling when he talked about how smart she is and how he’s been delving into her lyrics more now that they’re together. I think Travis has emotional intelligence and he’s no dummy, but he’s not wrong when he says he’s never been a “man of words.”

    People on Twitter were jokingly putting out some of Taylor’s lyrics and imagining how Travis would respond to them….

    Taylor: “From where your Brooklyn broke my skin and bones, I’m a soldier who’s returning half her weight, and did the twin flame bruise paint you blue?”

    Travis: “Wow, that’s crazy.”

  21. Aidee Kay says:

    I can’t believe I’m this invested in TSwift’s future marriage but I’m hoping for an engagement in 1-6 months and a wedding in a year. There will be so much hype and I think they should draw all that out so we can enjoy it lol.

  22. Kirk says:

    Himbo? What a horribly demeaning term. There are all kinds of intelligence, including athletic/ kinesthetic, physical awareness and ability to ‘read’ other people. Like Michael Oher says in “I Beat the Odds” – “Some people think after watching the movie [Blind Side] that I’m a dumb kid who just blocks well, but I’d like to see any of them stand in as left tackle for even one play and see how effective they are at reading the defensive line. This isn’t a position for dummies. I could tell that right away…It was a workout for my mind, and I hit the showers feeling like I’d just finished reading some huge book…a great feeling.” Fairly obvious from reading the entire WSJ article that Travis Kelce also exhibits interpersonal and intrapersonal skills (i.e. emotional intelligence).

    • phlyfiremama says:

      Right?! It’s such belittling term, particularly for a country that is gearing up to…vote the mango Mussolini in for a 2nd term. Clearly, our intellectual arrogance is NOT something to throw stones about.

  23. J.Ferber says:

    Aidee Kay, I’m worse than you: I’m looking forward to their first child already!

  24. NaTalia says:

    Kaiser it is so nice to read good guy stories after the last few years of evil men. It must be nice for you to write good stories.
    I am in Missouri so it is really nice to see such nice news about my state after all the horrible stories about my state. See, we are not all bad here.
    I am happy for these two and hope it works out.
    He was gracious about Aaron Rodgers. I had such a crush on him until vaccines. It was instant football divorce.

  25. A says:

    He really seems like a great dude

  26. Tee says:

    Sounds sweet, and we all know with an ironclad NDA in place— this was crafted. I think they definitely dig each other, And they may very well become engaged to marry… Taylor has been crafting her ability to “lock it down” since CH… I don’t know if she will go through with the marriage though, or at least not with this guy.

  27. phlyfiremama says:

    I think they are in it to win it. They seem to be perfect for each other.

    • phlyfiremama says:

      Whatever someone thinks about her talent or music, there is no denying her business GENIUS. She truly has shown boldness and innovation in her approach to the BUSINESS of music. Even my Husband (who is himself a genius), who doesn’t care about her AT ALL has said she is doing a great job handling everything related to her music business.

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