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‘Taylor Swift Effect’ leaves profound impact on the Chiefs, new fans

‘taylor-swift-effect’-leaves-profound-impact-on-the-chiefs,-new-fans
‘Taylor Swift Effect’ leaves profound impact on the Chiefs, new fans

The Taylor Swift Effect on the Chiefs has been profound.

As this power-couple love story unfolds and “Sparks Fly” between her and fearless star tight end Travis Kelce, as the world waits breathlessly for her to fly in for Super Bowl LVIII Sunday night, the Chiefs embrace her, and the impact she has already made in their lives, and for the NFL.

Their message for the anti-Swifties?

Let the haters hate.

“It seems that the more success we have, the more haters seem to come up,” assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. “We talk about how we’re like the new Patriots, they want to see a different team in there sometimes. But that’s OK. We like where we’re at right now.”

LB Willie Gay Jr.: “They know they love Taylor Swift, they just hate she’s on our side.”

Perfect pairing

If any of the Chiefs have been distracted by The Taylor Swift Effect, they “Shake It Off” seamlessly.

“It’s not a distraction,” Gay said. “It’s only a distraction to people who don’t like us. They don’t like the fact that we got it poppin’ over here, man.”

Taylor swift and Brittany Mahomes celebrate a Travis Kelce touchdown with people in the background.

Taylor Swift and Brittany Mahomes celebrate a Travis Kelce touchdown during the first half of a regular season game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 22, 2023. AP

LG Nick Allegtetti: “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. She’s not going to the games asking or hoping to be shown 15 times. I think she is shown plenty in public, so she’s not going there looking for that, she just happens to be a very important figure in this world in entertainment. Travis is also a very prominent figure in football. I have no problem with it.”

Allegretti, 27-year-old LG from the Chicago area, has twin daughters Olivia Grave and Elyse Joy who will turn 1 on Monday:

“I recently became a dad of two daughters, so it’ll be cool down the road whether she’s still making music or not, her music will absolutely be around, and I’m sure they’ll listen to it. So it’ll be cool to be able to talk about how football and Taylor Swift overlapped for however long a period of time it is. Could be a long time.”

Justin Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs in a football jersey speaking to the media during Super Bowl LVIII media availability.

Justin Reid speaks to the media on Feb. 8. The safety has said Swift is “great for the NFL.” Getty Images

Long-snapping Oklahoman James Winchester, 34, has a 4-year-old daughter:

“I will happily allow my daughter to be a Taylor Swift fan. I think she’s a great role model for a lot of kids and people. You can see how great her impact is. I’m all for it. I’m a fan.”

LB Willie Gay Jr. of Mississippi turns 26 on Thursday:

“My niece actually likes her. My niece actually listens to her. The crazy thing is, growing up you listen to a lot of Taylor Swift and not even know it. Then you get older, ‘Oh that’s her that sings that song.’ I’m actually a fan now myself. I’m a Swifty, dawg.”

Chiefs' long snapper James Winchester, called Swift a great role model for his daughter.

Chiefs’ long snapper James Winchester, called Swift a great role model for his daughter. AP

Toub of Mahopac, NY, is 61. He has a 22-year-old daughter:

“People are excited about it, we’re excited about it, it brings a lot of people to the games. My mom talks about it. She goes, ‘I saw Taylor!’ she’ll tell me. She sees her on TV. It’s a cool thing.”

Defensive line coach Joe Cullen of Massachusetts is 46. He has daughters ages 8, 6 and 4:

“My daughters all get invited to a birthday party and I guess there was a Taylor Swift movie. I’m dropping them off and . . . my 6-year-old in the car said, ‘Daddy, do you have Travis Kelce’s cell number?’ I said, ‘Yeah, why?’ She said, ‘Can you call and ask Travis if him and Taylor can come to the movie theater because I heard she was in town?’ I just died laughing. I love her music, too. I’m a big fan.”

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift kissing after Kansas City Chiefs' victory against Baltimore Ravens in AFC Championship game.

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce share a kiss following the Chiefs’ AFC Championship win in Baltimore on Jan. 28, 2024. Getty Images

RG Trey Smith is 24:

“My sister was like ‘Can I meet her?’ blah, blah. And my friends back home — I’m near Nashville so . . . some of my buddies’ girlfriends are so jealous of me being able to be around her.”

‘Great for the NFL’

A number of Chiefs players have been introduced to Taylor by Kelce.

“A genuinely sweet person, very nice, very kind, took the time to talk to people, was not stuck up or pompous in any way at all,” LT Donovan Smith said. “Big fan of Taylor Swift.”

Taylor Swift and Donna Kelce celebrate on the field as the Kansas City Chiefs receive the Lamar Hunt trophy after winning against Baltimore Ravens.

Taylor Swift raises her arms in the air while celebrating the Chiefs’ victory on the field, as Travis Kelce’s mother, Donna, stands nearby. AP

Allegretti chatted one night with Kelce while his wife chopped it up with Ms. Swift.

“Super genuine,” he said. “Really down to earth in general, but for me, potentially, the most famous person in the world, one of them — I don’t really know that realm. The first time I met her, I felt like she had a compliment for everyone. She told my wife that . . . she compared her to an actress.”

If Kelce is happy, they tell you they are happy. “We love to shine a light on others, shine a light around the people that help and support us,” Kelce said, “and on top of that, I feel like we both have just a love for life.”

Donovan Smith, Chiefs' offensive tackle, warms up wearing red jersey and helmet during practice ahead of Super Bowl LVIII.

Chiefs left tackle Donovan Smith has called Swift a “genuinely sweet person,” and claimed to be a big fan of the artist. Getty Images

Front Office Sports reported that the pop icon has already generated an equivalent brand value of about $330 million for the Chiefs and the NFL, according to Apex Marketing Group.

“I think it’s been great for the NFL,” safety Justin Reid said. “I think that in some way, it’s brought some families together — guys talk about their daughters who are asking questions about football and now they get to get them involved. I think it’s been great for the game.”

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