OT: A Swiftie’s guide to ‘The Man’ Travis Kelce and Chiefs football

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are making fanbases collide. Photo courtesy of businessinsider.com


Overtime, or “OT”, is an opinion column series where the Collegian takes national sports headlines or polarizing topics and gives them a Butler-centric angle

Over the past two weeks nobody has been talked about more in the headlines than Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. The rumors between the two originally started back in late July when Kelce attended her show in Kansas City and attempted to give Swift a friendship bracelet with his number on it. 

Although Swift and Kelce did not end up meeting that night, it set the stage for weeks of speculation that the two had been in contact and led people to believe that they were potentially dating. Swift and Kelce have not done much to shake off these rumors, as Swift was seen at Arrowhead Stadium sitting beside Donna Kelce, Travis’ mother, on Sept. 24 to watch Kelce and the Chiefs defeat the Chicago Bears 41-10

Swift’s fanbase, known as the Swifties, have already made their presence felt in the NFL community. The Bears-Chiefs game drew in 24.3 million viewers, making it the highest viewed game of the week. According to FOX, the game was also the highest viewed game amongst female demographics ages 12-17 and 18-49

Additionally, in just 24 hours after the game Travis Kelce gained over 300,000 social media followers, he saw a 400% increase in merchandise sales, and he now has a top five selling jersey in the NFL

Gabbie Mock, a sophomore dance performance major and self-proclaimed Swiftie, is excited about Swift’s suspected relationship. 

“As a Taylor Swift fan, I’m happy to see her in a relationship everyone seems so supportive of,” Mock said. “Given Taylor’s celebrity status, all eyes are constantly on her and who she is with which leads to a lot of judgment toward her lifestyle. However, her relationship with Kelce has resulted in positive reactions instead of the usual backlash. Additionally, I love how Kelce has been so forthcoming and genuine about Taylor since many of her previous men have not done the same.” 

It’s clear that the Swifties are here to stay in the NFL community. However, many may not be too familiar with Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs. Here’s everything Swifties need to know to be able to properly bandwagon Kelce and the Chiefs. 

Who is Travis Kelce 

Travis Kelce is from Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He played his college football at the University of Cincinnati from 2008-2012 and was selected in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Kelce has spent his entire 11-year career with the team that drafted him, and he has built a reputation as one of the best players at his position. Kelce has amassed eight Pro Bowl selections and four first team All-Pro selections, and he is a two-time Super Bowl champion. He also holds the record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season in NFL history. 

What position does Travis Kelce play 

Travis Kelce plays tight end (TE), which is on the offensive side of the ball. It is a hybrid position that combines the characteristics of both offensive linemen and wide receivers. Similar to an offensive lineman, tight ends typically line up near the line of scrimmage and are usually big enough to be effective blockers, but unlike offensive linemen they are eligible receivers that are able to catch the ball. 

The role of the tight end varies depending on the offensive scheme. Some tight ends are used primarily as blockers, while others are used primarily as pass catchers, and occasionally there are some that do both effectively. 

In Kelce’s case, he is not a great blocker, but he makes up for it with his pass catching ability, as he is widely considered to be the best pass catching tight end in the league. He has great spatial awareness which allows him to consistently find the blank space in the defense. 

Kelce is not very fast compared to other pass catchers, so he does not catch very many deep passes. Instead, he does most of his work in the intermediate level of the defense, using his height and frame to his advantage. Standing at 6 feet 5 inches tall and 256 pounds, he is taller than most linebackers while also being bigger than most cornerbacks, which makes him a difficult matchup for just about any defense. 

Who are the Kansas City Chiefs 

The most recent Super Bowl winners, the Kansas City Chiefs are perhaps the easiest team in the league to be a fan of, as they have consistently been among the best teams in the league as of recent. Since 2018, the Chiefs have made the Super Bowl three times, and won two of them. In the two seasons they didn’t make the Super Bowl, they lost in overtime in the AFC championship game, which is the game before the Super Bowl. It’s safe to say the Chiefs and their fanbase know the feeling of success all too well. 

The main ingredient to the Chiefs’ success is their quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes was drafted 10th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2017 draft, and has taken the league by storm since he became the starter in the 2018 season. In just five full seasons he has already amassed two regular season most valuable player (MVP) awards, two Super Bowl MVPs, five pro bowl selections and two first team All-Pro selections. 

First-year sports media major Geno DeFrank believes that Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league. 

“I think what makes Mahomes so good is he can make every throw possible on the field,” DeFrank said. “He’s great under pressure and can make the tough throws and pull it back and run with it if needed. He keeps plays alive with his legs and his accuracy is truly one of a kind.” 

In simpler terms, Patrick Mahomes is to the NFL what Taylor Swift is to the music industry. 

Outside of Mahomes, the Chiefs are led by head coach Andy Reid who has been with the team since 2013. Under Reid, the Chiefs have never had a losing record and have only missed the playoffs once. Known for being one of the better offensive minds in the league, the Chiefs have been top 10 in offensive points per game all but two years with Reid as their play caller. 

The Chiefs fanbase, known by most as Chiefs Kingdom, is one of the most passionate fan bases in the league. Although they aren’t selling out every single game in the way Swift fans were selling out the Eras Tour, Arrowhead Stadium has consistently had some of the highest attendance rates in the league for the past decade. Chiefs fans are known for rocking their iconic red jerseys, a color all Swifties are very familiar with. 

Sophomore marketing major Max Andes will be among the many people watching more Chiefs games as a result of Taylor Swift. 

“I typically don’t watch a lot of NFL football,” Andes said. “However, the relationship between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce has made me more interested in watching Chiefs games. I think the attention she is getting during the game broadcasts is really interesting and entertaining, and it gives people like myself who aren’t too invested in football a reason to watch.” 

Swifties and football fans represent two of the most powerful forces in American entertainment. The fact that we get to see this unexpected crossover between the two is something to be appreciative of, and hopefully it will help the two distanced fanbases mingle with each other more than ever before. 

Whether the relationship between Kelce and Swift will be long lived or something that will turn into a bestselling heartbreak album is yet to be determined, but there is no doubt that this is an exciting time for American entertainment. 


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