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This Is So Stupid

We Are Now Forced To Consider Whether Travis Kelce Is, In Fact, Too Turnt Up

Travis Kelce #52 of the Kansas City Chiefs samples pizza at a Papa Johns food stand during Kelce Jam at Azura Amphitheater on April 28, 2023 in Bonner Springs, Kansas.
Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Because it is summer and the NFL void must be filled with whatever frothing inanity can be wrestled from the wires, we must now consider the state of Travis Kelce.

The Kansas City tight end caused a stir this weekend with not one, but two fights at Chief's training camp at Missouri Western State University. On Friday he got to jawing with cornerback DiCaprio Bootle after a play; on Saturday he took a swing at Jack Cochrane after the linebacker grabbed Kelce at the end of a touchdown pass from Chief's quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Kelce took to the X app (ugh) shortly after the dust up and apologized in the way many male athletes tend to in these situations, giving a statement that feels rote and gravely serious on the matter of leadership for someone who is not leading men to certain death while attempting a coup on foreign soil. It's giving "sign this varsity squad pledge sheet if you want to play senior year."

We could brush this off as another dispatch from the tales of masculine toxicity in the world of sport, or, we could look to the much deeper question. So I ask you this: is it entirely possible that Travis Kelce is too pumped, and, dare I say, preposterously jacked, for all the little things that life may throw at you?

Does this man leave a Kelce-sized hole at the fixin' station in Chipotle if his order is incorrect? Would he pick up and send your Jack Russell Terrier hurtling across the horizon in a tight spiral, simply because you failed to pick up its poop? I am simply asking questions.

But a picture does emerge if you spend a few moments reading some passages from the recent Vanity Fair splash on Kelce, filled with complimentary quotes and the requisite amount of photos with knitwear and dogs. In it Kelce reveals thoughts on overcoming adversity, his successes with the Chiefs, his love of fashion and what his future may hold—would you believe he's interested in making the leap into TV and movies? There is also this:

Kelce is given to raw emotion, a fount of “Let’s fucking go” and pro wrestling bravado. After his most recent Super Bowl triumph, he commandeered the postgame interview on Fox, first emitting a primal scream and then, while jabbing his finger at the camera, calling out anyone who doubted the Chiefs along the way. That night, he embraced his brother Jason at midfield, voice quivering and eyes misty. A month later, while hosting SNL, Kelce got choked up at the end of his opening monologue after mentioning that he grew up watching the show with his mom.

Vanity Fair

Thought provoking. And yet it's just the tip of the iceberg when you scan the headlines. "Travis Kelce Douses Clubgoers With 6-Liter Bottle Of Champagne," proclaims TMZ. "Travis Kelce chugs beer, spikes Lombardi Trophy in wild scene," reports the New York Post. And then there's this: "Travis Kelce Says He Tried to Give Taylor Swift His Number at Eras Tour — But Ended Up 'Disappointed.'"

A troubling pattern, one might conclude, to say nothing of the fact the only phrase Kelce could sum up to describe his emotions after getting curved by Swifty was "butthurt," the mot juste for the terminally aggro bro.

Still, to write off Kelce would be to deny the very human ability to learn or grow. What if we're looking at this the wrong way? Perhaps our understanding of Kelce may not grasp that he could be more tuned in to the rich tapestry of humanity than the rest of us could ever dream, that he is overcome by a synesthesia so tuned to the frequency our universe vibrates at that he is prone to spontaneous spasms of awe. Rob Riggle conceded as much about his golfing buddy to Vanity Fair: “Wherever he is, it’s the best day ever. Wherever he is, it’s the most fun ever. Whatever he’s doing is the coolest thing ever.” Riggle continued: “It’s a mindset. He’s not worried about the future, he’s not regretting the past. He’s so present. You can feel that.”


Editor's Note: A previous version of this story misidentified Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Dicaprio Bootle as Dicaprio Bootie. We regret the error, even though it was funny.

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