People: Jason & Travis Kelce aren’t finished, even if Jason is retiring from the NFL

Now that I know more about the Kelce family, I understand why Jason and Travis Kelce are such a big deal in the sports/football world. Two nice-looking white guys from a middle-class family in a sport which rewards whiteness, attractiveness and talent. Jason, Travis and their mom Donna are an advertiser’s dream, which probably explains why Travis is in a million commercials and they have big-name advertisers for their podcast New Heights, plus they make pocket money by doing Instagram advertising. Well, Jason Kelce – the older brother – is now retiring from the NFL. But not before People Magazine put the Kelces on this week’s cover!

On Monday night, as Philadelphia Eagles fans watched the seconds tick down on their team’s season — and tears welling in star center Jason Kelce’s eyes, signaling an apparent decision to hang up his cleats — it was hard not to sense the end of an era.

“Thirteen seasons. Seven-time Pro Bowler. Six-time All-Pro. One Super Bowl. One No. 1 podcast. And one Sexiest Man Alive title,” ESPN analyst Pat McAfee said the following day on his show, ticking off Jason’s career accomplishments. “Hell of a run….” But for the Brothers Kelce, “the run” seems nowhere near done, even if Jason has played his last down in the NFL.

If last February’s Super Bowl LVII, in which Travis’ Kansas City Chiefs defeated Jason’s Eagles, touched off the dizzying hype of Kelce Mania, the ensuing months — crammed with their chart-topping New Heights podcast, the record-breaking Amazon Prime documentary Kelce, a slew of endorsements and Travis’ high-profile relationship with Taylor Swift (which helped boost the NFL’s female viewership by more than 2 million) — have only supercharged the fascination.

“It’s been really surreal and a fun ride to be on,” their mother Donna Kelce, 71, tells PEOPLE of her unique vantage of the phenomenon. “Being able to be with my kids — the experiences, the places, enjoying people I’ve never met before. And I’m very happy they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor, because it’s [been] a tough ride to get where they are now.”

As Travis told PEOPLE last April of what he learned from his parents, who remained together for the sake of their kids until Travis left to join Jason at the University of Cincinnati: “My entire upbringing [was about learning] to fuel people. . . . I was always taught to be a fountain, not a drain, [to] provide something instead of [taking].”

These days, both Jason and Travis find themselves with plenty to offer — and plenty to devote to second acts whenever the time comes, from their growing media empire to investments in everything from F1 Racing (Travis) to a Missouri cattle farm (Jason).

For now, Travis will continue to hone his charisma on the New Heights podcast, opposite Jason, his worthiest foil. “They’re just as competitive as adults today, always jabbing at each other [about] who’s the best,” says Donna, laughing. “It doesn’t stop. They’re each other’s biggest fan.”

[From People]

I saw a clip from New Heights where Travis was irritating the crap out of his big brother, to the point where Jason cut the podcast off and only returned the next day. Jason is 36, Trav is 34. They still have some childlike dynamics sometimes, but it’s cute – birth order really is everything for many families. Anyway, I’m sure Jason will have a lucrative post-NFL career. Some broadcaster will probably want him to do commentary, and I’m sure advertisers will still want to work with him, especially with the “Taylor Swift shine” on the whole Kelce fam.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty, cover courtesy of People.

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15 Responses to “People: Jason & Travis Kelce aren’t finished, even if Jason is retiring from the NFL”

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  1. I love these two. They are great brothers they have each others back but still will pick at one another just to get under each others skin lol.

  2. Callie says:

    The appeal goes much further that, IMO. They are good examples of non-toxic masculinity, which many in our country have been *craving* since the Trump era. They are not afraid to cry in public or show softness and emotion, extremely involved in charitable work and reported to be genuinely kind. Not to mention promoting vaccines when we have a dangerous anti-science movement, and Travis being one of the first prominent white players to kneel for BLM. And of course praising and uplifting the women in their lives. I personally would much rather boys and young men look up to them than the Andrew Tates of the world!!

    • Amanda says:

      @Callie – completely agree with everything you’ve said here!

    • Truthiness says:

      +1 Callie. These two crack jokes and clown around but are both unapologetic criers and comfortable with strong women. (Mama Kelce was the athletic parent, she snuck out to compete in junior olympics though her dad said no sports.) Jason is integrity personified, funnier and unfiltered. Example: they were looking online at Travis’ nom for People’s Choice athlete of the year. The field includes Lebron, Steph Curry, Simone Biles, Coco Gauff. Travis: “WHY am I even on this list???Jason *looking at whole list, reading them off* “Where’s Simone’s bf?” (Since he said he was ‘the catch’ between he and Simone).

  3. Rainbow Kitty says:

    People will want to work with Jason, with or without the “TS shine”. He’s a nice, humble, family man who loves the sport. TS has absolutely nothing to do with what JK will do outside of retirement. He’s been loved by the Philly fans and known as one of the best centers for a lot longer than his brother and TS have been together.

  4. GreenBunny says:

    As someone from Philly, we done knew how amazing Jason is for some time now. Glad everyone else is catching up.

    • Go Birds! says:

      Absolutely! An amazing center and leader for the team, but his humility and desire to lift others up really sets him apart. He doesn’t seek the spotlight (well, maybe when wearing a mummer’s costume), but the spotlight finds him because of who he is. Hopefully the fact that Kylie is from Delco keeps him in the area long after retirement!

      And Travis is a good guy too. Clearly gives of the “younger brother who was always messing up and trying to get out from his brother’s shadow” vibes, but he’s also amazing on and off the field.

  5. elizabeth says:

    I think Jason came out and said the reporting is wrong. He hasn’t made a decision on whether to retire. I imagine he was probably very emotional after the last game and made an emotional speech which someone in the locker room took as him retiring.

  6. JaneS says:

    I really hope Jason is retiring. Save your health.
    More NFL players need to be smart with their money and get out.
    Jason is financially set for life. 3 young kids. HoF career. He has nothing to prove.
    Like many NFL players, once retired the spotlight dims. That’s fine.

    • elizabeth says:

      I think it’s not just the spotlight. I think it’s a whole life re-adjustment, the fact that you’re part of something and that retiring would mean that it’s ending. Sports careers are the culmination of so much sacrifice and effort and identity, that I can totally understand why retirement is hard. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t (looking at you Tom Brady), but should happen with foresight, planning, and probably therapy.

  7. Anya says:

    The first clip I ever saw of their podcast was right after the Super Bowl: they were crying about how much they appreciate their mom and how glad they were that the ‘Kelce Bowl’ had highlighted her in the media; the second was Jason describing the plot of Twilight and refusing to stop even when Travis took off his headphones, quite a contrast! I started following them a bit because of it even though I don’t care about football and have been really impressed how well they’ve handled the wave of Swift-related attention.

    • VilleRose says:

      That Twilight clip from their podcast is one of the reasons I love the Kelce brothers hahaha. Even if Taylor and Travis break up, I’m excited to see what they do with their post-football careers. They can go into entertainment, stay in sports, be entrepreneurs… the sky is the limit for both of them!

  8. Truthiness says:

    I can understand how Taylor Swift inspired a new generation of girls to watch New Heights and become fans of Chiefs/Eagles football. Wasn’t expecting daddy-daughter bonding over this, inspiring tons of dads to post that football became something they could share & meme swap. My heart was not ready for the Swifties instantly making edit reels of Jason’s whole life set to really emotional music.

  9. Mcmmom says:

    “Be a fountain, not a drain” is going to be my matra for 2024.

  10. AgathaTatiana says:

    Jason is amazing. Hands down intelligent funny etc They are the new generation of sport. I’d echo everything everyone has said here but I just want to highlight one more thing the inclusivity. The segment No Dumb Questions is unlike any other sports reporting. They aren’t asking anyone to prove they “like football” they are actively educating people. In my experience that is the hardest part of getting involved is not knowing about the game and being afraid to ask. I’ve learned so much from their podcast. Jason is so great at being patient and explaining things and making it relatable.
    Donna once said that a marketing team told her they couldn’t have paid for the good pr her family has done. I think that you can sense when people are authentic and they are. I know people who have worked with Jason and everyone says the same thing. I mean he stopped by to give a jersey to his favorite McDonalds worker. And his wife…..I could write a book on my love for Kylie. I’ll admit I started watching the podcast because of the Taylor hype but I fell for the family and Travis isn’t even at the top of my list