In an ocean of celebrity divorces, the story of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce is an island of calm and fun. Their relationship, as popular and public as it is absolutely private and with hardly any details shared, has taken the media spotlight in the American press, and not only in the celebrity magazines. The most serious media pour over the details of an autumn romance, not yet made official by them, filling hours of airtime on television and social media feeds. But perhaps it is taking up too much time. Or so thinks one of its protagonists. Because Kelce, star of the NFL and his team, the Kansas Chiefs, has said, very politely, that maybe it’s time to hit the brakes.
Rumors and comments about their relationship have been swirling for weeks, but it wasn’t until September 24 that it all took shape. It was then that Swift went to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where she watched Kelce’s game from a box with his mother and family. Afterward, they left the stadium together in his electric Chevrolet Chevelle. The singer became the star of the broadcast all night Sunday, and the NFL even changed its Twitter profile (now X) and posted a photo of the singer, as well as renaming itself “Taylor’s Version,” a tagline she adds to all the songs she recovers (after having lost the rights to them to her ex-manager) and re-records.
The pattern was repeated this past Sunday, when Swift went to the Jets’ stadium in New York to watch the game in which Kelce was playing. At the MetLife Stadium, the Pennsylvania native was accompanied by a good bunch of famous friends: Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, actor Hugh Jackman, actress Sophie Turner (recently separated from Joe Jonas, Swift’s ex-partner years ago, and to whom the singer is now lending a house in New York to live with her two daughters during the resolution of their divorce) and singer Sabrina Carpenter, among others. That Sunday, there were even announcements during the game that referenced Swift, and her song Welcome to New York was played on more than one occasion.
Once again, the cameras constantly focused on Swift, 33, who became one more star of the game. With every Kelce touchdown, the images kept coming back to her. According to NFL data, this was the most watched game of the year, with 27 million viewers, second only to the Super Bowl game in February (won by the Kansas Chiefs with Travis Kelce). And although both carry the alleged relationship naturally, without confirming, denying or even talking about it, Kelce (who turns 34 on Thursday) has raised his voice about it. The athlete has a podcast called New Heights with his older brother Jason (35), also a professional football player, in his case with the Philadelphia Eagles.
In this week’s episode, Jason asks Travis directly about the issue of Swift taking center stage on the broadcasts. “Let’s get to it, is the NFL overdoing it?” asks the older brother. “Take away your feelings for Taylor, he says, causing the younger brother to laugh, who then, more seriously, answers: “I think it’s fun when they show who was at the game. I think it brings a little bit more to the atmosphere, brings a little bit more to what you’re watching. But at the same time,” Travis stops, and it is Jason who completes the sentence: “They’re overdoing it.” And indeed, Travis agrees: “They’re overdoing it a little bit for sure, especially my situation. [But] I think they’re just trying to have fun with it.”
Later, the pair of brothers return to the topic, and Travis brings up that celebrities attending football games “aren’t there to be thrown on the TV.” “The NFL is not used to celebrities coming to the games,” Jason argued. “Basketball has it figured out… [celebrities are] court side, they show them once or twice and then they get back to the game. The NFL is like, ‘Look at all these A-list celebrities at the game! Show them! Show them!’ Dude, show them once and get a little clip, but you can’t be overboard with it.”
The high-profile romance between Swift, the absolute queen of the charts this summer, thanks in large part to her successful The Eras Tour — which along with Beyoncé's Renaissance Tour is helping to revitalize the U.S. economy — and the football star has not even been confirmed by its protagonists. According to the press, both are happy with this budding relationship, talk daily on the phone and are looking forward to seeing each other frequently, but without any pressure or rush. Something that is normal for two thirty-somethings who are just starting to date and have busy schedules and long-distance lives. After a very discreet six-year relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn that ended in April, Swift doesn’t want to hide. The TV cameras aren’t going to let her, either, especially if there’s a touchdown to celebrate.
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