Jason and Travis Kelce cover the new issue of PEOPLE Magazine. This isn’t surprising. The NFL playoffs are underway, the Super Bowl is happening in less than a month, and both brothers were in the Super Bowl last year. And while they were relatively famous back then, in their respective corner of the pop culture ecosystem, their celebrity has grown exponentially over the last five months … which… I’m sure I don’t have to explain why.
What’s interesting about this cover story, however, at least according to what PEOPLE has posted online so far, is that neither Jason nor Travis have spoken to the magazine for this particular feature. Any quotes attributed to the brothers are old, and the “exclusive” comments come from their mother, Donna. But, really, nothing she says is all that newsworthy.
It's enough, however, to cobble together a cover, as PEOPLE clearly thinks this will appeal to their readership which, of course, is a lot of MiniVan Majority.
Unclear then whether or not Jason and Travis signed off on this but I can’t imagine they’d be complaining too much about it if they didn’t. Hit-piecing celebrities isn’t PEOPLE’s brand – rather it’s the opposite, so a fluff piece like this should only help Jason and Travis’s various enterprises, including the podcast New Heights which, as previously mentioned, is apparently sold out of advertising space through 2024.
Speaking of New Heights though, a new episode dropped today and the biggest revelation coming out of that, following the Philadelphia Eagles’ exit from the playoffs and the end of their season on Monday, is that Jason did NOT announce his retirement. Both ESPN and the NFL Network reported yesterday that Jason told his teammates in the locker room that he’d played his final game the night before… but he said on the pod that that’s not true.
ESPN and NFL Network aren’t janky sources. But if you’ve watched the Kelce documentary, you would have seen how long it took Jason to decide to keep playing after last season. He really took his time with it, so when he tells Travis that after a game, when you’re all high or low on emotion, you’re not in the best headspace to make a decision like that. And it’s quite obvious that he is really emotional right now, choking up at the end of that clip.
So it’s certainly leaning towards retirement, but it’s not quite official… yet. And that’s probably where the wires are crossed? If he’s this emotional a day later, when there are cameras on him, he must have been really deep in his feelings when he was addressing his teammates and some of them, whoever it was who ran to ESPN and the NFL Network to put Jason on blast, must have construed it to be a farewell speech.
What Jason has just clarified, without accusing anyone of wrongdoing, is that his retirement has been prematurely reported. Which means that if/when he does actually make the announcement, formally, there will be another round of headlines about his retirement and everyone will have to do this all over again. As if it isn’t busy enough with the 24-hour news cycle, in the media, we continue to make work for ourselves that is always necessary.
In other more uplifting Kelce-related gossip, Jason and Travis also talked about Travis’s People’s Choice Awards nomination for Athlete of the Year. Travis was joking when he asked, “How am I on this [list]?”, adding that he really shouldn’t be nominated because all he did was host Saturday Night Live.
Of course he knows what we all know – one of the biggest factors behind his nomination is who he’s dating. That’s probably also why Jason and Travis are on the cover of PEOPLE right now. She’s only mentioned once in the article that they posted online today but, I mean, her influence is undeniable. Taylor Swift is a kingmaker.
Read the online PEOPLE piece here.