Before Travis Kelce made the catch of his career with Taylor Swift, he was a man on a quest for love.
While Travis Kelce is renowned for his exceptional performances on the football field, you can also catch him on TV in a different capacity!
The Kansas City Chiefs’ star tight end had a dual role as both a football player and a reality television personality when he headlined “Catching Kelce,” a dating show that premiered on E! back in 2016.
Although the show had a short run, Kelce vividly reminisced about his experience as the host when he graced the stage as the host of “Saturday Night Live” in March 2023. He humorously quipped, “It was kind of like ‘The Bachelor,’ but instead of handing out roses, I handed out footballs,” as he began his monologue.
“And instead of watching, people did not,” Kelce continued to joke. “It was a little embarrassing, but I got really good at reality TV.”
The official synopsis of “Catching Kelce” reads: “In his quest for a soulmate, NFL player Travis Kelce goes on dates with one woman from each state.” The show featured 50 women from across the country, all competing for the affections of the football star as he sought his lifelong “teammate.”
As Kelce humorously mentioned on “Saturday Night Live,” the format of “Catching Kelce” closely resembled that of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” and true to his word, the tight end indeed handed out footballs instead of roses to his potential suitors.
The first season of “Catching Kelce” comprised seven episodes, each lasting approximately an hour. In each episode, the women participated in various dates, ranging from concerts to red carpet events with Kelce.
“Catching Kelce” made its debut on the E! network in 2016. The first episode aired on October 5, with the season concluding on November 16 of the same year.
In the years that have passed since the show, Kelce has spoken about his time on “Catching Kelce.” Interestingly, he revealed that he initially had reservations about participating when first approached by his manager at the time.
“I turned down the show about a hundred times, is what it felt like,” Kelce told Shots Podcast Network in February 2023. Despite the “intriguing” thought of “50 women, one from each state,” the athlete was skeptical about participating in reality TV.
“I told him no probably for about a good three months,” Kelce said, before explaining “the real reason” he agreed to the show. “They came to me with an offer financially that I was just like, ‘Alright man, I gotta do this.'”
“I was so bad financially my first couple of years,” Kelce recalled of his early career in the NFL. “I literally went through my first couple of [season] checks like it was nothing.” He continued, “I was having so much fun buying whatever the hell I wanted to, going wherever the hell I wanted to.”
“I wasn’t financially looking at this as, ‘I need to have money down the line,'” he said. “There were times in the off-season that I was avoiding the rent lady. It was that bad, it was that bad.”
“Catching Kelce” did not receive a renewal for a second season. NBC did not provide a specific reason for its cancellation. Nevertheless, Travis Kelce has been open and candid about his experience on the show since its conclusion.
“It was extremely awkward because I really didn’t have much to say about what we were doing on the show,” Kelce said on Shots Podcast Network. “At the end of the day, I don’t think I got portrayed as myself.”
He continued, “There were a lot of things that just made me uncomfortable about the show that I don’t necessarily really want to talk about because I don’t want to say anything about the ladies… but I was asked to do more than I wanted to and that doesn’t always work out great.”
With Travis Kelce now deeply immersed in the most high-profile romance of his life, “Catching Kelce” may have unknowingly paved the way for what lay ahead.
All seven episodes of “Catching Kelce” Season 1 are now accessible for streaming on Peacock. Additionally, it is available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video.