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Kelce relishing Swift spotlight ahead of Super Bowl

By AFP - Feb 09,2024 - Last updated at Feb 09,2024

Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with Taylor Swift after defeating the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game last month (AFP photo)

LAS VEGAS — Travis Kelce says he is relishing the attention after being catapulted into the global spotlight via his romance with Taylor Swift.

The 34-year-old Kansas City Chiefs tight end has found himself in the eye of a pop culture hurricane this season due to his relationship with the Grammy-winning music superstar.

It has swept the two-time Super Bowl champion’s profile into a whole new dimension, meaning Kelce is just as likely to lead entertainment news headlines as much as sports bulletins.

Unsurprisingly, the larger-than-life Kelce is loving every second of it, not for a moment resenting the inevitable attention that comes with dating one of the highest profile entertainers on the planet.

“I think it’s fair,” Kelce said of the attention on Wednesday. “Everybody’s having fun with it, and it’s not like you guys are up here teeing off on me left and right.

“Everybody’s having a good time with it so how could I be upset about it?”

Kelce admits though that he is still adjusting to the attention.

“Being worldwide is way different than just being famous in Kansas City,” he quipped. “I got it all figured out, I think”.

And there is zero chance that Kelce will allow the hoop-la surrounding his personal life to deflect from the task in hand this weekend.

Beneath the affable, down-to-earth exterior is a ferocious competitor who is widely regarded as one of the best tight ends to ever pull on an NFL helmet.

Sunday’s test against the San Francisco 49ers will be Kelce’s fourth Super Bowl, and comes a year after he lined up against elder brother Jason in the Chiefs’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles to claim his second NFL championship. Kelce says that Super Bowl showdown remains his favourite memory shared with his brother.

“Probably isn’t his favorite memory, but it’s being on the mountain top and playing in the Super Bowl with him,” Kelce said on Wednesday.

 

Chasing a dynasty 

 

Growing up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, there was never much doubt the Kelce brothers would forge careers in sport.

The 6ft 5in, 250lb Kelce recalled WWE-style wrestling matches with his brother in the living room of the family’s home — with sometimes destructive consequences.

“I got power bombed through my living room floor as a kid and we broke the wooden floor and slid the couch over it,” Kelce said.

“My mom was vacuuming like two weeks later and figured it out and sure enough, we got in trouble for it. Growing up in the 90s I feel like you had no choice but to emulate wrestlers on the playground at recess, or in the living room and the backyard.”

Kelce says he is determined to help the Chiefs win back-to-back titles, an achievement he believes will elevate Kansas City into the dynasty ranks.

“Three is a lucky number,” Kelce said. “Three is when you solidify yourself as a dynasty.”

Winning this season would also mean more for Kelce. The Chiefs struggled during the regular season but built impressive momentum through the playoffs with back-to-back road wins against Buffalo and Baltimore.

“I think we’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs,” Kelce said. “A lot of guys have been challenged to step up in big moments, and they have. And you just love to see that.

“You want it that much more for a guy when people are counting them out and he finds a way to persevere through that.

“This team is as special as a team that I’ve ever been on. And it just makes you want it that much more for the rest of the world. We’re in the moment.”

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