How good at football is Taylor Swift’s boyfriend? Pretty damn awesome actually – Sydney Morning Herald

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Victory in the Super Bowl would put Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce in touching distance of one of the last great American dynasties. And that’s before we get to his superstar partner.
The 34-year-old is about to make his fourth Super Bowl appearance in five years and is considered one of the greatest tight ends in history, but to the non-NFL fan he’s become better known as Taylor Swift’s boyfriend.
It turns out Kelce is actually pretty good at this football thing. With two Super Bowl titles already, a victory on Monday week would put him one Super Bowl win away from Rob Gronkowski – one of the most successful tight ends with four wins, achieved alongside Tom Brady at both New England and Tampa Bay.
Kelce was drafted into the NFL in 2013, where he was the Chiefs’ third-round pick and the 63rd pick overall. Originally from Ohio, he played quarterback for his high school team before accepting a scholarship to the University of Cincinnati where his brother Jason – now also a Super Bowl winner with the Philadelphia Eagles – was already playing.
There, Kelce transitioned from quarterback to tight end – a position which receives rather than throws the ball.
When he first signed with the Chiefs, he was on a four-year rookie deal worth about $3 million. Now, he earns more than $14 million a season.
His partnership with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is unrivalled, and the duo equalled and then surpassed Brady and Gronkowski’s record of 15 post-season touchdowns.
Mahomes, who was voted the NFL’s best player in 2023 by his peers, said there isn’t a player like Kelce in the competition.
“He’s a special player, man. I always say it, but when the lights get brighter, he plays better, and that’s the true mark of a champion, and that’s what he is,” Mahomes said after their AFC championship victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday.
What makes Kelce unique, and baffles most teams’ defences, is how he can shed and escape defenders with such ease. He knows how to evade his opponents, and he’s not afraid to throw the playbook out the window in doing so. His football IQ is incredibly high, and he understands the game within the game just as much as he knows how to catch a ball.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.Credit: Graphic: Aresna Villanueva
“It’s non-stop playing chess with the guys across from you,” Kelce said last year.
“You’ve just got to make sure you’re on the same page, and you’re not putting the team in a tough spot or putting Pat [Mahomes] in a tough spot.”
After a game last year, Chargers rookie Scott Matlock asked Kelce if he had any advice for a player just starting their career.
“Understand the other side of the ball just as well as you know your side of the ball,” Kelce said.
Travis Kelce celebrates a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC championship game. Credit: AP
His connection with Mahomes is almost telepathic.
“I just kind of understand when he’s going to do some stuff that he’s not really supposed to do,” Mahomes told The Athletic.
The statistics back up what fellow players say about Kelce. He holds the record for most consecutive and most overall seasons with 1000-plus receiving yards for a tight end (2016-2022), a streak which is set to continue if he gets another 16 yards in the Super Bowl game.
In 2022, he became the fastest tight end in NFL history to reach 10,000 career receiving yards, and in 2023 he cracked 11,000 yards, making him the first Chiefs player to reach the milestone and the tight end with the fourth-most overall yards in NFL history. Ahead of him is Antonio Gates with 11,841, Jason Witten on 13,036 and Tony Gonzalez with 15,127.
To top it all off, during the Chiefs’ AFC Championship victory over the Ravens, he surpassed 49ers legend Jerry Rice’s record for the most post-season receptions (catches) with 151: Kelce has 156.
After their AFC victory, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Kelce was one of the franchise’s most reliable players.
“Travis is always fired up, he’s always fired up, but with the play-offs, he’s even more so. And so, I never worry about him being ready to go,” he said.
“He’s always right there and just brings that emotion to the guys, just a secure feeling that ‘we’re going to go get this thing no matter what, and don’t think of anything opposite that’.”
Now, the Chiefs travel to Las Vegas in an attempt to become back-to-back Super Bowl champions. They face the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in a rematch of the 2020 match, when the Chiefs walked away a with 31-20 victory and Kelce and Mahomes both scored touchdowns.
Kelce probably wouldn’t mind being known as Mr Swift to the singer’s hundreds of millions of fans. When someone shouted, “let’s go Taylor’s boyfriend” after a game, he reacted with a fist pump.
Yes, his relationship with Swift catapulted him into the stratosphere – sales for his No.87 jersey surged 400 per cent after Swift attended a game in September – but when he calls time on his career, he’ll enter the record books and most likely the NFL Hall of Fame for his receiving, rather than his relationship.
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