Travis Kelce routinely draws a crowd of reporters and cameras on the so-called opening night of the Super Bowl.
But this year is next level for the Kansas City Chiefs tight end.
Kelce’s relationship with pop superstar Taylor Swift is arguably the dominant storyline as the Chiefs prepare for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium.
On Monday night, as Kelce took his place behind a podium microphone in the stadium, the media crush rivaled that of the one for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Could Kelce ever have imagined the attention that his relationship with Swift has brought?
“It’s a roller coaster that I did not expect,” Kelce said with a smile. “But I’m enjoying every single ride, baby.”
On Sunday night, Swift won a record fourth album of the year award at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. She is scheduled to perform a concert on Saturday in Japan and then fly to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl.
“She’s unbelievable, she’s rewriting the history books herself,” Kelce said of Swift’s Grammys win. “I told her I’ll have to hold up my end of the bargain and bring home some hardware, too.”
Kelce had high praise for Swift — “She’s part of Chiefs Kingdom right now” — her fan base and the effect it has had on the NFL.
“Taylor’s fan base is absolutely unbelievable,” Kelce said. “The support they give her, the support that they give what she supports and what she loves in this world or wants to support, it’s just been awesome to see the NFL expand in that regard, and hear just how many young girls are getting into the game of football, are enjoying those moments with their fathers and their loved ones.
“It’s been awesome.”
During a news conference on Monday afternoon, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said “the Taylor Swift effect” is a positive and that there is “no way I could have scripted,” the romance or its effect on television ratings.
“Both Travis and Taylor are wonderful young people — they seem very happy,” Goodell said. “She knows great entertainment, and I think that’s why she loves NFL football.
“But I think it’s great to have her a part of it. Obviously, it creates a buzz. It creates another group of young fans, particularly young women, that are interested in seeing why is she going to this game? Why is she interested in this game?
“Besides Travis, she’s a football fan and I think that’s great for us.”