Travis Kelce’s hometown, a streetcar suburb of Cleveland with a population of about 46000, rooting for Taylor swift

Travis Kelce's hometown, a streetcar suburb of Cleveland with a population of about 46000, rooting for Taylor swift


Mark Sack pulled out a weathered folder, barely held together at the seams, containing the moment he realized NFL star Travis Kelce was actually paying attention in his social psychology class.


Travis Kelce's hometown, a streetcar suburb of Cleveland with a population of about 46000, rooting for Taylor  swift

When Kelce submitted a statement for his hall of fame induction at Cleveland Heights High School in 2018, he singled out Sack as the teacher who most inspired him. And that was a surprise to Sack, who said he and Kelce often butted heads “on the days Kelce would show up” to his class. Sack printed copies of the statement, and has held onto them ever since.

Now, as Kelce skyrockets into the pop culture world with his new connection to Taylor Swift, Sack is relishing the moment for his former student.

“You talk about power couples: I think they’ve jumped up to the top,” Sack said in his classroom this week. “You’ve got Travis and Taylor, or Taylor and Travis – I don’t know which they’ll choose – but I wish them all the best.”

The Kelce-Swift fling has taken the NFL and music world by storm, and there’s no shortage of attention they have received in the national spotlight. But in Kelce’s hometown, a historical streetcar suburb of Cleveland with a population of about 46,000 people, he has been larger-than-life long before Swifties took notice.

Gary Wroblewski, affectionately known as Coach Wrobo, beamed with pride as he showed photos of Kelce he had propped on the ledge of his dry erase board and in albums on his phone.

Wroblewski, who stands about 5 feet 10 inches, has fond memories of 6-foot-5 Kelce picking him up “like a puppy” whenever he visits the school. And he reminds students that Kelce sat in the same chairs they are in now.

“He’s just a wonderful individual that we’re so proud of,” Wroblewski said.

Sack can’t help but think about how far Kelce has come, and how successful he is. He said he hopes Kelce and Swift find happiness and continue to do right by others.

“I’m getting a kick out of it. I smile,” Sack said of Kelce’s relationship. “But I know behind that image is a good heart doing great things for young people. And that’s what makes me feel good.

“I’m not counting how many followers he has. I’m not counting how many commercials he’s in. I’m not counting how many zeros are at the end of his checks. I’m thinking about how he’s giving back in Kansas City, other places, the youth here in Cleveland Heights. That’s what’s important to me.”

Cleveland Heights is a quaint suburb where beautiful trees surround colonial-style homes and local businesses maintain the heartbeat of the community. It may feel out of place when you arrive after driving through downtown Cleveland, but the diversity of a big city remains prominent and a source of pride.

Nearly 60% of the student body at Heights High is Black. And community services, like picking up trash or counseling nearby elementary school students, were instrumental learning experiences for Kelce, just like 5:30 a.m. football workouts and after school study-hall sessions were.

The Kelce family keeps Cleveland Heights with them wherever they go. The Kelce brothers’ hit podcast, which gained a million new listeners after Swift attended a Kansas City Chiefs game, is called “New Heights.” And mom, Donna, sat next to Jake from State Farm wearing a hat with the podcast’s name on it to support Jason Kelce during a Philadelphia Eagles game.

And Cleveland Heights remembers where the Kelces came from, too.

The heartwarming and endearing hugs Donna Kelce gave Swift during Chiefs games have gone viral, and remind Kelce’s high school football coach, Mike Jones, of the love she shared in meetings with other parents and while preparing pregame meals for the team.

Well, Mrs. Kelce is a super person so she’s going to be warm, and she’s going to be inviting. So, she definitely has made her feel welcome. But Mrs. Kelce is probably rooting for Taylor,” Jones said.

“Travis has been out there a little bit as a single guy, so she’s probably rooting for someone to be able to slow him down a little bit and think about that.”

Jones added Kelce is “going to be a good husband and a good father.”

But hey, no pressure.

“Taylor is a big superstar and Travis is, too,” Jones said. “They’ve having a little fun right now, and we’ll see where it goes.”

‘We all want that love story’
Some residents in Kelce’s hometown hope his relationship with Swift is real and can last.

But they know Kelce could very well end up like many of Swift’s exes, the subject of a chart-topping hit if things don’t go so well.

“He might end up on a song one day — and not in a good way,” Damien Rasile, 24, said with a laugh behind the counter of Phoenix Coffee in Cleveland Heights.

“I would be terrified if I was him. If he breaks her heart, you’re done.”

Brittany Thompson, 32, has been a “Swiftie” since she was 14 years old. And she agrees Swift’s relationship with Kelce could be the “kickoff” for her next album.

“If it’s real, good for her. Nobody really knows. But we’re all really rooting that she finds true love,” said Thompson, a Cleveland native. “We all want that love story, and hopefully, that comes for her.”

Erica Chaffin, 43, thinks the new relationship is “lovely,” while her daughter Bimah Mitchell, 17, believes Kelce and Swift deserve some privacy.

“I hope the relationship is real, but so much of our culture is performative,” said Chaffin, a Cleveland Heights resident for nine years. “I hope they’re having fun. It seems genuine to me.”

Mitchell says “you can’t go online without seeing” Kelce and Swift posts, leaving them open for criticism.

“I like Taylor Swift, but she’s another person who’s constantly dissected, and I don’t think that’s cool for her or anyone. It gets really gross how she’s dissected,” Mitchell said.


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