It’s Wednesday, which means it’s a new episode of the New Heights pod, with so many more listeners over the last three months, all of them tuning into for rom-com crumbs. Which both Jason and Travis Kelce are no doubt aware of – and it’s so interesting how judicious they are about when they do and when they don’t decide to satisfy our thirst. We’ll come back to that in a minute. Right now, let’s get to the goods.


This is the clip that gossips are specifically here for: 

Doesn’t take much, right? A minute and a half of Travis fangirling his girl and we’re good, exactly the right amount of romantic sustenance required to keep us not full satisfied but not too desperate. Giving us just what we need and not necessarily what we want. This is what I mean about pacing! TNT, as a show, is really well paced. We don’t need to scream through all the stages in an episode and a half! 


But also, what Travis was able to accomplish in 95 seconds is pretty impressive. New Heights is supposed to be about American football and somehow, when Jason and Travis introduce the subject of Travis’s girlfriend, they still manage to keep it football-adjacent. So it’s not a dramatic detour out of the conversation. Instead it feels like an organic mention that checks off the boxes for the gossips who are tuning in (and fast-forwarding to the good parts, LOL) without making it too obvious that they were checking off the boxes for the gossips tuning in. 


So the first box he checks off is the update: yep, Taylor’s coming to all the games now and we’re in good with her dad, and this is all still super fun times, everyone is happy.

The next box is the squeals. This man is a PROUD boyfriend. Like good, wholesome pride. Because sometimes when someone is proud of you, they can actually make it more about themselves. The pride reads more like bragging. Travis isn’t bragging here – at least not for himself; he just genuinely sounds like he admires what Taylor has achieved and what she means to her fans and the effect she has wherever she goes. 


But also, in expressing his pride… he’s doing it as an insider, the way a family member might share their pride. This is the “shout out to” part of it. Where he’s, like, thanking New England Patriots fans for the way they cheered his girl. You don’t get to thank the fans on behalf of Taylor Swift unless, you know, you hold an official position to be able to thank the fans on behalf of Taylor Swift. It’s a soft and subtle flex, but it’s there. And it is done without ego, which is why it’s so swoony. 

Because he’s smart. He is strategic. Taylor is smart and strategic, and she needs someone in her life in this capacity who isn’t a total moron but who also isn’t so smart and strategic that he walks around thinking he’s a genius. What Travis reveals (in short and succinct soundbites) is emotional intelligence, at least where celebrity performance is concerned. 


It's an invaluable asset in this game, and an asset that so many more famous and tenured celebrities surprisingly haven’t quite figured out, at least not to the level that Travis has shown us so far. As we have seen, since he’s become the male lead in this rom-com, he has never asked for too much attention, he hasn’t run from he attention, and he hasn’t taken away from her attention. And when the attention is on him, he knows exactly how long to hold it before voluntarily letting it go. In 95 seconds, after doing just enough and not too much. But not at the wrong time.

You will note, there wasn’t much if any of this last week after his team dropped two in a row. Because you don’t want to be indulging in romance and gossip (publicly) when the football fanbase is pissy and looking to point fingers. After a win though? Sure, let’s sprinkle some sugar on it and savour the sweetness… but just for a minute and a half. Seriously well played, Travis Kelce. Like in this moment, where Taylor Swift is at in her celebrity, this is the kind of partner that the script called for. 

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