I won't spend much time reminding you of the Kansas City Chiefs 24-9 loss on Sunday to the Denver Broncos, but I do feel the need to compel some of you in the opposite direction you've been heading on the team's franchise tight end Travis Kelce.
Kelce did not propel the Chiefs to victory on Sunday with a Herculean individual performance while teammate Patrick Mahomes battled the flu in 20-degree game-time temps at 5,280 feet altitude. He did not score multiple touchdowns, but he did turn in a solid 6 receptions for 58 yards leading pass catchers from both squads in the process.
Kelce did not fumble the ball away like teammates Mahomes, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman. He didn't blow anyone away with his statistical performance, either, but he certainly did not look like activities from 48 hours prior were impacting his performance. To put it bluntly: he looked cold, and he looked like he was getting mugged at the line of scrimmage, which has been Denver and much of the AFC West's gameplan with the best tight end since Tony Gonzalez for the past few seasons.
Kelce's performance, though not his best, was far from the reason that the Chiefs crumpled at Mile High. Ultimately turnovers and a poor offensive gameplan—running back Isiah Pacheco got just 8 carries while averaging 5 yards/carry in a game where the Broncos dominated time of possession—were what damned Kansas City. So what is all the fuss about Kelce going to a World Series game on Friday night and then hitting the town briefly with friends afterward?
Looks like a good time to me. But it begs the question, would all the fans who are harping against this on social media be up in arms if the Royals were hosting the Diamondbacks in the World Series and the game was at Kauffman Stadium? What if Kelce lived, say, 45 minutes from the stadium, a very feasible distance in Kansas City when you consider stadium traffic on game days? Would the drive have been a massive nuisance for the tight end's performance on Sunday? Would a couple of drinks at Power and Light afterward stir a sense that "this is the problem" or would we be saying "he's such a man of the people"?
Let me introduce to you the concept of the private jet. Kelce is a pretty rich man with very rich connections. His girlfriend (Taylor Swift, ever heard of her?) is a billionaire with a B, and his quarterback is worth over half a billion himself. Both, one would gather and could surmise based on previous social media posts, have access to private planes. For those who have never flown to Dallas, it's a little over an hour from wheels up to wheels down. We're not talking about an excessive amount of travel on a world-class athlete's body.
To double down on the point, Kelce was seen out at Texas Live. This is a venue that's literally across the parking lot from the Rangers home ballpark. We've seen video evidence that he was drinking a (1) Miller Lite, and took a couple of swigs off of a bottle of champagne. Let me remind you that Marshawn Lynch is on record stating that he took shot(s) of Hennessy in the locker room before games. To think that a potentially minimal amount of alcohol consumed 48 hours prior to the game impacted Kelce, again a guy who wasn't even close to the problem with the Chiefs' offense on Sunday, is insane.
Look, I get it, optics are everything. But do you think there is a single player in the Chiefs locker room who would tell you with a straight face that Travis Kelce isn't dedicated to winning football games? Do you think anyone has doubts about Travis Kelce's commitment to the team? Hell. No.
Would this be as big of a deal if Kelce wasn't dating Taylor Swift and the whole internet wasn't watching him? Maybe. But good for him, he looks happy, he's having a great time in life, and he's still the best tight end in the game. Don't forget how we were all foaming at the mouth just over a week ago after he and Mahomes torched a Chargers team that is lightyears ahead of Denver from a talent perspective.
Perspective is an important word. Let the man live, he is not the issue that plagued the Chiefs in either of their two losses this season. Perspective is very important. The Chiefs still only have two losses and are atop the AFC, even with a couple of concerning hiccups along the way. Right the ship, get the crew back in line, and we'll be laughing about all of this come February.