Travis Kelce is having a great season, on and off the field

Athlete of the Year is one of those nebulous awards that ticks all the boxes, usually honoring a do-gooder, an activist athlete, a stereotypical quarterback, a Finals MVP, Tiger Woods, the fastest man in the world, an American gymnast or some gold Medalist in the swimming pool during an Olympic year.

I’m rather superficial.

This year, Travis Kelce has made an unorthodox foray on and off the field.

Who is Kelce’s competition?

Lionel Messi? Inter Miami could miss the MLS Cup playoffs while missing time for international games. He’s kept his head down and focused on football and family, which is commendable, but he’s yet to do anything that would justify being named Sportsman of the Year. The World Cup was last year. We moved on.

Deion Sanders is the ideal recruiter for the NIL era. But we’ll see if his Colorado Buffaloes can maintain that level of national interest once football’s illusory impact subsides in September. That clamor in Oregon humiliated Sanders. Something tells me this Colorado squad will be at least a year away from making any noise in the New Big 12.

After recording just 11 catches for 95 yards in two appearances this season since missing Kansas City’s opening game, Kelce’s 12th catch was – as Bill Belichick so uncharacteristically put it — was the most clutch of all.

In 2023, Kelce has passed into a new dimension.

Anytime possible When Belichick takes off his stoic mask in front of the media, you have crossed a Rubicon. On the other hand, we know he has a fondness for TEs is stronger than any other coach in the league.

Months after giving his chance on a podcast with his brother, Travis hit the jackpot Babe Ruth in the ’32 World Series. I usually rolled my eyes at Taylor Fast-Kelce rumor mill because he constantly sounded like Kip Dynamite’s cousin in reference to his girlfriend LaFawnduh rather than a tangible possibility. On the other hand she was real, to. However, Kelce gets props for making this vision a reality. He did everything But borrow a page from Deion’s playbook in his postgame presser, watch as the Chiefs punch the writers right in the face and yell, “Do you believe now?!”

Kelce won a second Super Bowl as Patrick Mahomes’ first option after Tyreek Hill’s departure to Miami catapulted him into the Gronkowski stratosphere of commercial popularity. The one thing Kelce hasn’t done is advocate for his fellow tight ends to be used as pseudo-slot receivers demand more money. This may be due to recency bias, but Kelce venturing into that parasocial territory where sportswriters and Twitter have passionate takes on his dating life is what got him past Gronk.

The dolphins scored 70 against Denver, but Kelce’s Q score doubled in one afternoon. Either this was the biggest PR stunt of the season, or Kelce’s skillset is generational.

Whatever you think about Swift or Kelce, take a heat-The check shot on Swift and the subsequent firing of the shot inspired everyone to dream Chasers and DM shooters out there. Riding into the sunset with Swift with the top down was a TO caliber touchdown dance.

One of the underrated components of the Athlete of the Year award is considering what each candidate has done for themselves Brothers. Kelce’s 2023 calendar year was a victory for an underrepresented portion of the sports population. Tight ends were once the poor man’s wide receiver. Brock Bowers isn’t mentioned in the Heisman convo, but Kelce was drafted ahead of the NFL’s best wideouts in most fantasy leagues. In a few short years, the league has morphed into more than 12 formations to put more tight ends on the field.

Although Shannon Sharpe won three Super Bowls, he didn’t achieve that level of fame until after his retirement. And even then, his rant over Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife Nicole only evolved into one Photo session before a cycling class in a luxury gym. In a league where diva receivers are extinct, Kelce has always been one of the flashiest cats around. And yet he has somehow managed to maintain his top status on the field. Be Week 2 touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars gave the Chiefs’ struggling offense a permanent lead.

But with increasing visibility comes greater polarization. Hosting SNL in March was a bold move, but it ventured into advertising Fast is dangerous. Swift’s siren song has left her with bruised egos, indicative of the treacherous ground he treads. The Swifties clan and Haters Incorporated crowding towards Kelce, but it’s still him Soaring. For Now.

Activist and retired NBA player Ethan Thomas Perhaps it’s a stretch this weekend to compare Sportsman candidate Deion Sanders to Muhammad Ali. who was deprived of his title and livelihoodHood for refusing be put into service Vietnam Warbut love is a battlefield that Kelce is not afraid of.

(Okay, I’ll manage).

Follow DJ Dunson on X:@Brain sportsex Travis Kelce is having a great season, on and off the field

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