5 Reasons Bruce Jenner Is More Important to 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' Than You Think

When there are so many loud characters constantly competing for screen time, at first blush it might seem that Keeping Up With the Kardashians patriarch Bruce Jenner is a little boring. Sure the "just Bruce" edit of the Kardashians is a little slow (even if it is fun to think of the whole reality clan as a figment of an aging millionaire's imagination, like a Twilight Zone episode set entirely inside of a reality show.)

Since Jenner is rumored to be leaving the show, KUWTK might be woefully lacking in the dad department next season, though I bet the change would signal increased plotlines for his son Brody, who has the perfect cool-and-collected vibe to act and react in contrast to Lord Disick (who is just pure reality magic)

While you think all you'll be missing is a ton of scenes of Jenner on the golf course, his departure may in fact be a case of "don't know what you got when it's gone."

Here are just a few reasons why Jenner is the necessary glue to keep the Kardashian-Jenner clan together, even when the world is tumbling around them.

He Was One Hell of An Athlete

In a profile in Esquire, Jenner is called “the greatest athlete of his time.” People seem to forget that before he was father to celebrity daughters, he was a decathlon gold medalist in the 1976 Olympics. That might be why Jenner is a bit more calm and collected of the bunch, and if anyone is inclined to stop and listen to him, he actually has some good insights from time to time.

Isaac Brekken/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

He Wants To Instill Independence In His Kids

That was obvious when he went head to head with the overbearing Kris, who wasn’t ready to let 18-year-old Kendall move out just yet, despite the fact that she was already making big bucks modeling. While Kris’ side was “she’s only 18,” Bruce’s was more “she’s already 18.” He wasn’t being harsh; in a fight that reached its climax while strapped into a roller coaster at Six Flags, Bruce brought up that he left the house at 18, too. It’s never wrong to be realistic, or suggest your young daughter actually break off on her own and learn to manage her home and finances, especially if those finances could purchase a small island.

Rod Rolle/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

He's A Secret Support Shoulder

Jenner isn’t one to cruelly abandon a person in need of a helping hand. During his drug abuse recovery and divorce from Khloe, Jenner offered advice to Lamar Odom. Jenner reportedly told Odom to not think too much about how the show will portray him, and to forget the past because it will “eat you alive and ruin your progress.” If there is anyone who should be giving pep talks, it’s probably the world class athlete.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

He's A Pretty Great Stepdad

It’s not a short order marrying a woman with four young children, or filling in for said children’s beloved yet deceased father. That’s why Jenner’s close relationship with Khloe is especially sweet. Viewers of the show know that Khloe is usually prone to putting up defensive walls and hiding her vulnerability, but Jenner seemed to be the one who could soothe her and the love they share is apparent. During Bruce’s 64th Birthday dinner, Khloe instagrammed with the caption “I am so lucky!!! I was blessed with TWO phenomenal fathers!!!” You know he must be a pretty great dad if she holds him in as high esteem as her birth father.

John Sciulli/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

He Gave Kris Her "Second Life"

Even though the two are too different to continue being together, they were able to balance each other for sometime (though maybe both will be better on their own). In the Esquire piece, Kris is quoted as saying that they lived their “second lives” together, post kids and divorce. She was once a housewife, and now, through Bruce, who wanted to be a better father this time around, she had the luxury to pursue work and her ‘momager’ status. Kris wanted a life outside the home, and Bruce wanted to be there for Kylie and Kendall and watch them grow up. Win-win

Vince Bucci/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images