It’s Week 2 of the NFL season and, as a non-Chiefs fan, I am already tired of Travis Kelce. He doesn’t come off as a bad person, necessarily, just a loud one, and one who likes to yell “We gotta fight…for the right…to paaaarrrrrty!!” every time he’s anywhere near a microphone. Here he is saying it after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl. Here he is doing it during karaoke with Jimmy Fallon. Here it is again at the Chiefs’ Super Bowl rally.
Lost on Kelce, probably, who refers to the Beastie Boys’ classic as his “pump-up song” is that the band itself wrote the song as a parody of the “dumb” rock songs prevalent in music at the time. “The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different,” Mike D once said. “There were tons of guys singing along to [Fight for Your Right] who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them. Irony is often missed.”
A lot of guys are probably like Travis Kelce. A recent poll of Millennial and Gen Z women revealed that many of them view men listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast as a “red flag” for dating. I humbly suggest that a 33-year old man who keeps screaming “Fight for Your Right to Party” into a live mic is, at the very least, a beige flag. Don’t say I didn’t, say I didn’t warn you, Taylor.
But I digress.
Travis Kelce has what the kids refer to today as “main character energy.” He may or may not have kick-started rumors that he’s dating Taylor Swift, then became indignant when people wanted to ask him about it. He tried to take over the podium when the Chiefs’ were at the White House and had to be stopped by Patrick Mahomes. He’s hosted Saturday Night Live. He’s taken over for Aaron Rodgers by being the person I see most during Sunday commercials. His podcast with brother Jason is definitely promoted into my Xitter timeline constantly in some nefarious plot to keep me off the platform.
All of this, as I have said, is fine. We have no indication that Travis Kelce is problematic in any meaningful way like, say Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers. But for everyone outside of Kansas City….Travis Kelce is a lot. And he’s a lot everywhere, especially on the field against your favorite team. Which made at least the first half of his Week Two season debut bewildering.
In the first half, it was hard to believe Kelce was even on the field. He was only targeted once by QB Patrick Mahomes, resulting in an incomplete pass and begging the question of what, exactly, Andy Reid, and company were doing. (Believe me, as a Bears fan, I understand the feeling of having Matt Nagy calling your plays, and not understanding the thought process behind any of it). On the sidelines, Kelce was clearly frustrated, and the KC offense was moving like, well, a typical Matt Nagy offense.
But Mahomes managed to find Kelce more frequently in the third quarter, leading to this gem of a call by Ian Eagle:
By the time the Chiefs pulled out the 17-9 win over Jacksonville, Kelce had 4 receptions on 9 targets and was averaging six, and a half yards per carry, including a drop on what would have been his second TD of the game. It was clear that Kelce was still rusty after being sidelined Week 1 with a knee injury, but seeing anything happen between him, and Mahomes was good news after the first half.
With the defending Super Bowl champs still licking their wounds after a Week One loss to the Lions on Thursday night, getting Kelce back, and healthy in Week 2 is good news in Kansas City, but it’s hard not to notice that the Chiefs don’t look quite so dominant thus far in the young season. The team, which put up, on average, 28 and 29 PPG in 2021 and 2022 respectively, still need to get their 2023 offense going, having put up only 20 points in Week One, and 17 in Week 2. That’s a rough way to start the season, and Andy Reid et al are going to have to figure out how to resurrect the Mahomes-Kelce connection to stay atop the AFC West.