Inside Travis Kelce's Relationship With His Dad, Ed - Nicki Swift (2024)

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ByCassie Daigle/

It's hard to ignore the amount of media attention Travis Kelce has attracted ever since he started dating Taylor Swift. The Kansas Chiefs tight end generated some buzz before courting the singerby starring in his reality dating showin 2016 and (most notably) by scoring touchdowns for the NFL. However, little was known about the football star on a global scale until his friendship bracelet fiasco went viral and landed him a date with T-Swift.

Kelce and Swift made their romance official in the fall of 2023 in a move that was only fitting, given the singer already being a big fan of the color red ('Loving You Was Red,' anyone?). Their relationship moved swiftly (who could resist that pun), with the "Bad Blood" singer meeting the NFL star's parents shortly after the two started dating.

Now that Swift has posted up in box office seats at several of the Kansas City Chiefs games, the Swifties are keen on knowing the ins and outs of Kelce's life and his upbringing.Good thing for fans, Kelce's father Ed doesn't mind a bit of spotlight of his own. The retired sales representative has been known to speak out on his love for both Travis and his brother Jason, who plays for the Philidelphia Eagles. Raising two football stars could not have been an easy feat, but the Kelce patriarch is more than happy to see his efforts pay off in real-time — and on NFL Sundays. We're breaking downall the details of Travis Kelce's relationship with his dad, Ed.

Ed Kelce showed Travis the value of hard work

It takes a certain kind of work ethic to have a successful NFL career, as well as an attitude that can withstand the toughest competitors and most grueling of physical ailments. Travis seems to be doing a fine job managing the pressure after playing 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and taking home two Super Bowl wins with the team. Although he has not confirmed this, it's possible Travis' intense work ethic comes from Ed, who grew up in a long line of military family members. "Everybody in my family prior to me was in the service," Ed admitted on an episode of "New Heights"with his sons."We're also talking about family [that] lived through World War II, so that's what everybody did because that was the background."

Ed was turned away from the Army and the Coast Guard due to his knee injuries and bouts with Crohn's disease, but went on to work in the steel industry, often bringing his sons to work. It was a much different reality from his wife Donna's at the time, who previously worked in banking. "I'd take them there — hard hat, safety glasses, boots, the whole nine yards," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I'd tell them, "You can have a job like your mother's, or you can have a job like mine.'" In the end, the two went on to stay from their pack after Jason was drafted by the Eagles in 2011 and Travis was picked up by the Chiefs in 2013.

But even if it wasn't the military service that influenced Travis, he clearly still looks up to his father. If you need further proof, look to his father's day tweets, including one from 2020 that read "[...] Papa Kelce has always been my hero!! Love you big guy!!"

Ed divides his support between Travis and his brother, Jason

Inside Travis Kelce's Relationship With His Dad, Ed - Nicki Swift (3)

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It's not an easy feat to support two sons who play for opposing NFL teams, especially when they face off during the Super Bowl. Travis and Jason Kelce made history in 2023 when they became the first brothers in NFL history to face off against each other on the biggest day of the year in football. And while that's enough to cause a media frenzy on its own, in the weeks leading up to the event, all eyes were on the football stars' parents as to how they would handle the ordeal — specifically when it came to rooting for a winner.

Although they split up over a decade ago, Ed Kelce and his ex-wife, Donna, manage to give their children as much support as they can — whether it be in the form of the Eagles or the Chiefs. "We each try to be at one of the games," Ed told the Los Angeles Times. "Divide and conquer." In the end, the father of two chose to sit in the stands to watch the big game, declining NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's offer to sit in his private box suite, as per an interview with the NFL Network.

Leading up to the big game, Ed told the Los Angeles Times that he was prepared for some tears by the end of that year's Super Bowl Sunday. "We'll try to enjoy it," he admitted, adding, "But by 10 o'clock Sunday night, somebody's brokenhearted and somebody's celebrating. We'll deal with that the best we can when it happens." In the end, it was Jason who left the field in low spirits, after a close game had the Chiefs pulling out a 38-35 win over the Eagles.

Travis Kelce took his father's divorce hard

Inside Travis Kelce's Relationship With His Dad, Ed - Nicki Swift (4)

Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Travis Kelce noticed something was off with his parents' marriage at a young age. In the Amazon Prime Video documentary "Kelce" which highlights his brother Jason's 2022 NFL season, the "Catching Kelce" star opened up about grappling with the news of his parents' divorce. "I knew my mom and dad's situation was different than other parents," he explained in the documentary (via People). "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."

Kelce recalled noticing things were off about his parents' relationship in middle school, but believes Ed and Donna chose tried to make it work by keeping the family unit together. Parenting the two boys and shuffling them off to their multiple sports practices was another motivation for the two to stick it out. "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 explained.

Kelce's mom, Donna, admitted that it wasn't an easy time for their family, and emphasized that it was even harder when two young, very active children needed their parents' support. "Just trying to keep it all together when you're being a parent," she said. "It's tough." Donna and Ed were married for over 25 years before ultimately calling it quits and filing for divorce. They remain on good terms, however, and are frequently seen together supporting their sons at various NFL games.

Ed Kelce says he sees himself in Travis

Like father, like son, right? The popular saying seems to apply in the case of Travis Kelce and his father Ed, at least if the latter has any say in the matter. Travis and his older brother Jason are 23 months apart, and there's no question the two share striking similarities given their NFL backgrounds and the decision to host their "New Heights" podcast together. But fans want to know, which brother takes after Ed the most?

On an episode of "New Heights," the Kelce patriarch admitted that while many people think Jason is his father's mini-me, he isn't quite counting out Travis. "There are mannerisms, tones, speech things, the way we talk and address people that are very similar between me and Jason," he explained, adding,"But, as far as, do I see more of myself in Jason than [Travis]? No, in some ways it might be the other way."

Ed declined to comment on which ways specifically he feels he relates to his youngest son, but Travis had a few ideas. "He's saying he can't read [and] he's very poor with money," the NFL star joked.

Ed Kelce broke up several fights between his sons

Travis and Jason Kelce may be close nowadays, but growing up, their relationship was far from perfect. In aFebruary 2023interview for the Los Angeles Times, theirfather Ed recalled breaking up several fights between the brothers during their childhood, at times, even putting himself in the middle of the two. He told the outlet that in addition to football, the pair grew up loving several sports, including hockey, basketball, and baseball, which gave way to them developing a competitive nature. But sometimes their court disputes carried over into the household.

Ed remembered one particular fight in which Travis stood up to Jason over a basketball dispute, which ended in the Chiefs player punching his older brother. "We're in the kitchen and I'm looking around and all I see are 90-degree corners to crack your head on, the countertops and everything," Ed recalled. "I'm yelling at them to stop. They get tangled up and this is all going to go down. There's potential here for ER visits, which I didn't want." The Kelce patriarch admitted the only way to get them to stop fighting was to grab them both and drag them to the floor, which resulted in a toppled dinner casserole and a broken oven door.

"We hit the floor and I screamed out, 'Oh, my back!'" Ed recalled. "Changed the whole dynamic. All of a sudden they weren't mad at each other; they were worried about dad. There wasn't a damn thing wrong with me, but it ended the fight."

Travis Kelce got his father's stamp of approval on his relationship with TSwift

Ed Kelce is team Taylor Swift. The father of two first met the "Bad Blood" singer in the fall of 2023 when she stopped by Travis' Kansas City home before she attended the Chiefs' game against the Chicago Bears. According to the Daily Mail, the singer spent some time meeting the NFL player's family and closest friends before she watching the game from the VIP suite.

In an interview for People, Ed admitted he was impressed with the Grammy award-winning artist, describing her as "a very, very sweet, very charming, down-to-earth young woman." He also revealed that the singer was happy to do some extra cleaning in the VIP section despite her celebrity status. "I'll tell you something very special that I noticed about Taylor the first time I met her," he said, adding, "We're sitting in the suite, she gets up and in the front room, she gets up to go get a drink or something and she starts picking up empty bottles, cans, plates that are scattered around. Because in the suites everybody gets stuff and you empty it down wherever you can."

The move earned the star bonus points with Ed, who shared, "And I'm just thinking, I don't think she got the diva memo. She didn't get the spoiled musician. She doesn't know how to pull that off. And that really to me said a whole lot." Aside from her humility, the father of two also mentioned Swift's intelligence, revealing he picked up on it immediately.

Ed Kelce made an appearance on Travis' 'New Heights' podcast

Ed Kelce is more than happy to support his sons' endeavors, including their successful podcast, "New Heights," which he's appeared on several times since Travis and Jason began streaming itin 2022. But even when he's not a featured guest, Ed is still a big fan of the pod — During oneepisode in 2023 that aired ahead of the Super Bowl, he shared that he tunes in to every show. Still, despite the fact that the father of two enjoys the show, which has climbed to the top of the charts and boasts nearly two million subscribers, he's quick to point out that his sons aren't exactly trained in communication.

"You're not media professionals," he joked during the segment, adding, "I don't have to watch your podcast to figure that out." Ed also admitted he had to get accustomed to the spotlight after a media frenzy ensued following the news that Jason and Travis would be facing off in the 2023 Super Bowl. "I have had a little taste of how your phones get blown up," he said, adding, "I now understand why you do not answer your phones ... I don't answer my phone now."

Ed is taking his newfound fame in stride, however, admitting that he "heard from cousins that I thought had died." He also revealed he has plenty of stories he wrote but never finished about his sons, and hopes to someday write a book about his experiences parenting two NFL stars.

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Inside Travis Kelce's Relationship With His Dad, Ed - Nicki Swift (2024)
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