Before Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce had his own version of The Bachelor where he dated 50 women.

There's been a lot of talk about Taylor Swift being in her athlete era. But, uh, what about her reality TV star era???

Travis Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs tight-end (that is a football team and allegedly also a football position), has been all over social media and homepages this week, after he publicly invited Swift to his football game... and she actually turned up.

Was it a first date? Are they dating? Will Swift be abandoned by fans of her home team, the Philadelphia Eagles, who Kelce defeated at this year's Super Bowl? Is this technically a Romeo-Juliet story, featuring rival... football teams?

Much to ponder!

But while this interest in his dating life is defiiiinitely more than he'd be used to, Kelce's love life HAS been in the spotlight before.

Via a reality dating show.

Where *he* was the catch.

Read more: Who is Travis Kelce? Everything we know about the NFL player reportedly dating Taylor Swift.

In 2016, Kelce starred in a short-lived E! dating show called Catching Kelce. I think that is also a football pun, but I've only ever tuned into a Super Bowl for Rihanna or Shakira, so I cannot say for sure.

The easiest way to think about it is as The Bachelor (With Sports). After an early mass elimination, the series looked pretty familiar, with group dates and weekly eliminations — except that the dates sometimes involved working out together. With each elimination, Kelce would banish the women back to their homes as if they would never ever be able to cross state lines again.


No, I'm not kidding.

"I'm going to have to ask you to go back to Wyoming," or wherever they were from was his kiss-off line.

Image: E!

I wonder if he still deploys this? How would he dismiss one Taylor Swift?


"I'm going to have to ask you to go back to New York, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Los Angeles, Pennsylvania or wherever else your private jet may take you."

Oddly (let's be honest, the bar for reality TV dudes is pretty low), Kelce comes across really well throughout the series. He's goofy and kind — and way less self-serious than we typically imagine the dudes handing out roses on that *other* dating show to be.

It helped that the series didn't promise an engagement or anything even near the usual reality TV stakes. Pretty sure there wasn't even a cheesy promise ring!

Basically, these women were competing for a pretty easy, breezy relationship with a hot, tall footballer who at that point had just signed an AU$71 million contract extension.

How could you NOT be down?

But — and I'm sure you'll be surprised to learn this — after featuring 50 women from 50 different American states, Kelce unfortunately did not find true love on the show, marking the one and only instance of a reality dating show ending unsatisfactory. 

He dated his chosen winner, Maya from Kentucky, for about eight months before they split.

Image: E!


Soon after, he began dating sports journalist and model Kayla Nicole after they met via Instagram. Their relationship was on-again, off-again for five years before they officially split in May 2022.

Which brings us to Kelce once again shooting his shot: this time with Swift.

In July, she brought her Eras Tour to Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, the home ground of Kelce's Kansas City Chiefs.

He attended and a few weeks later, said on his podcast that he'd hoped to drop her his number at some point during the night but he didn't get the chance.

"If you're up on Taylor Swift concerts, there are friendship bracelets. I received a bunch of them being there, but I wanted to give Taylor Swift one with my number on it," Travis said on his New Heights podcast, which he hosts with his brother Jason Kelce (who, just to make this web a little more tangled, plays for Swift's home team the Philadelphia Eagles).


"She doesn't meet anybody or at least she didn't want to meet me, so I took it personal," he joked.

Fast forward to mid-September, and rumours that the pair were chatting began to take flight — egged on by Kelce's brother Jason in coy press comments and then Kelce himself when he shared that he'd invited Swift back to Arrowhead, this time to watch one of his games.

"I told her, 'I've seen you rock the stage at Arrowhead, you might have to come see me rock the stage at Arrowhead and see which one's a little more lit,'" he told ESPN's Pat McAfee. "So we'll see what happens in the near future."

And well, we did.

Swift took up his invitation — because per her source at People, "she just thought it was a fantastic way to spend Sunday" — and caused a furore as she cheered on Kelce's team in his suite with his friends and even his mum.

Their mayyyybe budding relationship has seemed to delight most people, presumably except for the poor E! producer who has been hanging onto their Catching Kelce season two dream for seven years.

Tough break, buddy.

Feature image: E!

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