Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs might be the greatest NFL tight end of all time ... but not even his excellence can last forever.
Kelce, a pivotal player in tonight's "Monday Night Football'' showdown against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles, is now revealing that he is beginning to contemplate his football mortality and is giving thought to retirement.
In fact, he confessed in an exclusive interview, he increasingly thinks about retirement nonstop, “more than anyone could ever imagine.”
“That’s the only thing I’ve never really been open about,” he said in the interview with The Wall Street Journal. “The discomfort. The pain. The lingering injuries - the 10 surgeries I’ve had that I still feel every single surgery to this day.”
For a normal player, a normal person, logging 11 years in the NFL and being age 34 would make this sort of thinking ... well, normal.
But Kelce has always taken great pride in both his durability and some level of privacy - though that latter effort is now blown out of the water now that he's won a second Super Bowl, embraced his theatrical side by hosting Saturday Night Live and starring in what seems like about half of the TV commercials we see every Sunday, and forged a romantic relationship with pop superstar Taylor Swift.
In addition to being a household name, it would make him "normal'' to consider life beyond football if he's being influenced by his relationship with Swift. It's a big world out there ... and it's a world where there are no more knee surgeries and shoulder operations and sore backs and ankles and the rest.
In April, Kelce granted an interview in which he offered a contrary thought, insisting that he hadn't "put much thought into" retirement and didn't "even want to think about putting a time limit on this."
And maybe that was true then, as it came on the heels of him experiencing the afterglow of winning ... and came before his budding romance with Swift.
Are we witnessing a change of heart, driven by an affair of the heart? Time will tell. But for tonight, anyway, with the Chiefs' Travis vs. his brother, the Eagles' Jason, as part of the festivities, in a cold and rainy night at Arrowhead Stadium?
Fans of both teams should take in the brilliance while we still can.