Tragic Details About Travis Kelce

If you didn't know who Travis Kelce was pre-Taylor Swift era, you do now. Thanks to millions of Swifties, the ongoing relationship between the Kansas City Chiefs tight end and the pop star has dominated the news cycle ever since the two were first sparked dating rumors in September 2023. It all started when Kelce famously dropped a line about wanting Swift's number on his "New Heights" podcast in July of that year. Though it took a valiant effort or two out of Kelce's playbook (pun intended), the two eventually started getting serious when the "Red" singer showed up at the NFL star's luxury suite to cheer him on when the Chiefs played the Bears. It's a love story, baby, just say, "yes."

A lot has been said about the Ohio native since he snagged Swift's heart. His journey to the NFL was far from linear, and the tight end often recounts his past regrets and mishaps alongside his brother on their joint podcast. Now that he's been plastered on the front page of every news article and magazine, more and more people are interested in the intimate details of Kelce's personal life — whether he likes it or not. 

The football star knows a thing or two about tackling more than just players on the field. He's had his fair share of ups and downs in life, and while he shies away from speaking on his dating life, not all topics are off-limits when it comes to the Chiefs player. Here's a look at the tragic details about Travis Kelce. 

Travis Kelce took his parent's divorce hard

Travis Kelce's childhood was far from perfect. The NFL star opened up about growing up with his parents' relationship on shakey ground in the Amazon Prime Video documentary "Kelce," which follows his brother Jason (who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles) and his journey during the 2022 NFL season. 

"I knew my mom and dad's situation was different than other parents," he explained in the documentary (via New York Post). "I would go and have sleepovers at other houses and the other parents are staying in the same room, and my parents didn't stay in the same room." Travis added that he realized something was off with his mother Donna's relationship with his father Ed in middle school, but believes they tried to make it work for his and his brother's sake.

After raising their kids, Ed and Donna eventually split after spending over two decades together. But despite their rocky relationship, the pair made every effort to support their sons' dreams. "If we had split as we probably both would have preferred, that would have been a nightmare with the logistics, getting kids where they had to be and providing all the support," Ed recalled in the documentary. Donna admitted it took a toll on their family, however. "Just trying to keep it all together when you're being a parent," she said. "It's tough." While Ed and Donna are no longer together, Jason and Travis maintain a great relationship with both of their parents, and they are often seen attending their sons' respective games.

Travis Kelce's truck was stolen

Travis Kelce is no stranger to car troubles. The Chiefs player admitted on his "New Heights" podcast that he was given a memorable gift in the form of a new truck from his brother Jason after a car accident left him without a vehicle. Kelce was studying at the University of Cincinnati at the time when his brother, who had already started playing for the Eagles, decided to hand him the keys to a new F-150 after partnering with a dealership.

Travis was thrilled with the upgrade, which was personally delivered to him by his older brother. "I wasn't traveling because I had this kind of hooptie that was just getting me to campus and back," he said of his previous set of wheels. The NFL star's happiness was short-lived, however, when he accidentally left the truck unlocked after he had driven to a Cleveland strip club joint not long after. "[When I] came back out of the strip club, that car was gone," he recalled. "He didn't tell me there was a spare key in the glove compartment," Travis added. 

The police eventually relocated the car months later. "They found the car two months ago in a random mall parking lot with no gas in it," said Kelce, adding that nothing had been broken. While the Chiefs player got his car back, it didn't exactly go the distance. "You also ran it into the ground and it broke down within a couple of years of getting it back to you," Jason recalled.

Travis Kelce got violent with a preschool teacher

Travis Kelce wasn't exactly a star student growing up. The NFL player admitted he was a troublemaker growing up, and his teachers often received the brunt of his bad behavior. On an episode of his "New Heights" podcast, Kelce admitted he and his brother Jason both got kicked out of their preschool classes. Travis admitted his expulsion had to do with his inability to share. "We were playing checkers, and I was winning ... I kept winning and the teacher told me 'You know Travis, you have to share,' and I'm like 'That's not how it rolls.'" After refusing to give up his winning streak for his classmates, the Chiefs player threw the chair he was sitting in at his teacher.

Travis's troubles didn't end on the preschool playground, either. The NFL star ran into more problems in middle school, revealing during another "New Heights" episode that he and his brother were both suspended from school for fighting other classmates. Aside from physical fights, Travis had an upward battle with academics as well. According to The Kansas City Star, he wasn't able to play high school football during his sophomore year due to his grades. "It's an early lesson to be learned," recalled Mark Jones, who was Kelce's varsity football coach during his sophomore and junior years. "A little slice of humble pie there." Travis was also notorious for on-field outbursts, whether it be helmet slams or expletives. He ultimately got his behavior in check, however, and went on to have a stellar season his senior year.

Travis Kelce was ousted from playing college football

Travis Kelce fulfilled his college football dreams when he followed his brother to the University of Cincinnati in 2009. The "Catching Kelce" star only played alongside his brother for one season, however, as he was later suspended after failing a marijuana test. At the time, Kelce was mostly sitting on the sidelines and switching between tight end and quarterback. 

"What [the suspension] did was it really kicked me into the tight end room, Kelce said during an episode of the "Bussin' With The Boys" podcast. "I was still playing QB then. It was like, 'Alright, you can come walk on the team, but we don't need a quarterback. You can just be an athlete on scout team for a year. We'll figure it out.'" Kelce racked up impressive stats his junior and senior years after the pause and was picked up by the Chiefs in the third round of the NFL draft.

Despite the suspension kicking Kelce into gear, it caused a rift between him and Jason. The brothers' former teammate Derek Wolfe admitted he witnessed Jason punching a hole in the locker room drywall upon hearing the news. Jason made his brother move in with him, forcing him to run football drills and get his act together. "Sometimes guys just need that big brother to wake you up," Wolfe told the Washington Post. "You could tell he saw his true potential. He was like, 'Oh, wait, I really am wasting an opportunity here.'"

Travis and Jason Kelce weren't always as close

Travis and Jason Kelce were as thick as thieves growing up, from getting suspended together to being teammates at the University of Cincinnati. However, their close bond was put to the test after Jason graduated college and was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles. On top of his NFL career putting distance between the pair, Travis was later drafted by the Chiefs, the Eagles' rival team. 

The two went on to face off against each other in the 2023 Super Bowl, where the Chiefs pulled out the victory. The match-up did end up putting the brothers in a better place, however, after reconnecting while playing for opposing teams. "I talked to my brother more this year than I've talked to him since college, probably," Jason said in a post-game presser. "It's been truly a joy, probably one of my most enjoyable seasons both as an Eagle and a brother."

Jason and Travis also started their "New Heights" podcast together in 2022, which gave them an avenue to vent to each other. "I feel like it's made my brother and I closer, talking every single week," Jason told NBC Sports Philadelphia. "Normally in the course of a season, you go months without talking to each other at times." The Chiefs player seconded that notion, saying, "It's almost been like therapy, man. It's been cool to hear what he's going through and just to have some fun with my brother like we did back in the day."

Travis Kelce has a long list of serious football injuries

Professional football isn't for the faint of heart, and Travis Kelce has racked up a history of serious injuries since he joined the NFL. The tight end has endured several blows during his career, with the majority being head trauma. In the Chiefs' game against the Texans in 2017, he suffered a concussion, which temporarily pulled him out of the game. While he was later cleared by the examiner and returned for a few plays, the effects of the injury took him out for the second half of the game. 

"He came in at halftime, and he couldn't quite remember [anything],” said coach Andy Reid. "He was remembering on the field, but he couldn't quite remember things, and so we just held him out from there.” Kelce admitted he places full trust in his doctors and coaches to make the best decision for his health. "We all know that it is a part of our job and you have to be able to trust the NFL and the people that are in place to make sure that you're protected in your state going out there, they're following the protocols and they're doing everything they can for your safety and for your benefit as a person," he told Fox News

Kelce had surgery on his knee in 2013 and again on his shoulder in 2017, and the NFL star ended up hyperextending his knee during practice in 2023. The injury ended up costing him the season opener, which was the first game he missed in a decade.

Travis Kelce regrets not playing on the same football team as his brother

Being on opposing teams isn't always easy, especially when it comes to Travis and Jason's parents splitting time supporting both the Eagles and the Chiefs. Travis blames his past transgressions during college on losing an opportunity to play professional football with his brother. On an episode of their "New Heights" podcast, the tight end told his brother: "I screwed up a few years of my life not being able to play on the field with you, and I always hated Philadelphia for not giving me that opportunity knowing that I had f***ed it up so many times." Despite ending up on opposite teams, Travis believes everything happens for a reason. "It was cool to break the barrier of two brothers going against each other, I don't think the story would have been the same," he said. 

Tensions came to a head in 2023 when the two faced off in the Super Bowl. While Donna didn't exactly reveal who she was rooting for, but she did have a witty response when asked during an interview for Today. "I think that Jason would say that I am going to root for the baby of the family, which is Travis. I keep trying to tell him, 'No, you've given me grandchildren.' So we'll leave it at that." While the Chiefs took home the win, Travis says the win was bittersweet. "You joke around all the time and say you want to beat your brother on the biggest stage, but it's a weird feeling," he told People

A Travis Kelce superfan died during The Chiefs' training camp

A Travis Kelce superfan tragically passed away while cheering on her favorite team. Jessica Tangen, a huge Chiefs supporter, passed away from a cardiac-related issue while watching the NFL team during a training camp in July of 2023. As per KCTV5, Tangen was an even bigger Kelce fan. "Travis Kelce. No doubt," said her daughter Kyla when asked about Jessica's number one player. "She would always watch New Heights. New episode, she would watch it. She would also always watch the Chiefs interview and look for Travis Kelce's part of the interview," she revealed.

Just four months after Jessica's death, Kelce offered condolences to his girlfriend Taylor Swift when she experienced a similar situation during her Eras tour stop in Rio de Janeiro. As per the Daily Mail, Ana Clara Benevides went into cardiac arrest when temperatures rose above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the stadium where Swift was performing. Benevides fainted after waiting in line for hours to get a spot in the front row. She was given CPR on-site and was later transferred to the hospital, where she passed.

"Travis will not let Taylor get herself down as it is the nature of the beast," a source told the Daily Mail. "When you are performing for 70,000 people per show, sadly, such things can happen." Swift posted a photo to Instagram of a handwritten note after the tragedy, writing, "I want to say now I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends."