When Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s relationship exploded at the Kansas City Chiefs game in Week 3, die-hard fans were worried that the fanfare surrounding the pop star’s presence would be a distraction to their star tight end and the team. The opposite has proven true.
Kansas City has been at the epicenter of the attention circus surrounding the new A-list couple, with the focus more on Swift than football, but after a cold, hard night in Denver, the Chiefs will give it their all to become the Kansas City Swifts again be .
The NFL was gripped by Swift Mania and the Kansas City Chiefs were at its peak as the Pop Princess appeared in four of their last five games, giving them a six-game winning streak.
But as she prepared to return to Argentina on Nov. 9 for her Eras tour, the last thing the singer wanted to do was be in a freezing city in Mile High. And no Swift meant no victory — for both the Chiefs and the NFL.
After it was reported on Friday that the Anti-Hero hitmaker would not be showing her face at Empower Field to cheer on her tight end boyfriend for the fifth time, Sunday’s divisional game seemed to be of no interest to the Swifties.
Travis Kelce wasn’t his usual strength when the Chiefs lost to the Broncos
Despite the superstar’s absence, the Taylor Swift mania was still palpable at Mile High
Taylor attended four of Kelce’s last five games but decided against traveling to snowy Denver
There were no costumes, despite the new A-list couple being one of Halloween’s most popular choices, no Swift-related signs, and absolutely no eyes glued to the stadium suite windows.
The most fans saw Swift at Empower Field was during the halftime costume corgi race, when one of the pooches was in his Fearless era.
Whether it was the 23°F temperatures and the prospect of a snow game or the lack of music royalty in attendance, there were over 12,000 no-shows for the AFC West clash.
Maybe a relief for football fans. But a blow to the NFL.
Swift’s newfound love for football – and one of its best players – was a catalyst for the growth of a new fan base for the league. And one that the NFL has taken great advantage of.
Broadcasters have covered Swift more at games than the players on the field, even peppering commercial breaks with promos for her film “Eras Tour.” Meanwhile, the league’s own social media pages are littered with the global superstar.
A Denver Broncos fan had an eerily accurate prediction before the game (left)
Kelce now expects a series of games without the presence of his girlfriend Taylor Swift
Russell Wilson (right) and Garett Bolles celebrate their upset win over the Super Bowl champions
More than 2 million more female viewers than average tuned in to the Chiefs’ game against the New York Jets in Week 3, when Swift appeared at MetLife Stadium with her celebrity squad of Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman.
But without their presence, there was no content to serve to the Swifties on a plate.
With the artist ready to say goodbye to the NFL for a month, will the Swift Effect prove that this is a long-term phase or a short-term phase that will fizzle out?
Kelce and Co.’s trip to Germany next week and the Kelce brothers’ clash at the Chiefs-Eagles on Nov. 21 – Kansas City’s first game since Swift’s return to her international tour – will be the true test.
And just as the NFL’s top ratings may be plummeting, so too have the Chiefs plummeted. The reigning Super Bowl champions bounced back from a season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions to go on a run of six straight wins, mostly in the presence of Swift Midnight in Denver and, in hopes of retaining their title the spell was broken.
It wouldn’t be a fairytale ending without the Queen of Chiefs Kingdom Sunday. In fact, their reign came crashing down when their 16-game winning streak came to a devastating end against the Denver Broncos.
The tumultuous romance between Taylor and Travis significantly increased the popularity of the NFL
The NFL rode the wave, but now has to do without the pop princess for a month
A Swift-less Kelce suffered the worst game he’s played since Week 2. Left to his own devices this week, he completed six of nine passes for 58 yards and no touchdowns.
A stark contrast to the 108 yards he averaged in the four games she cheered him on from the stands.
Last week at Arrowhead he completed 12 of 13 passes thrown for 179 yards, while the last time the Chiefs faced the Broncos just two weeks ago he finished with 124 yards – both with Swift in the crowd.
But it wasn’t just Kelce, the Chiefs as a whole seemed out of style. Sunday marked the first game with more than four turnovers for Kansas City since October 2021 against the Buffalo Bills, with Denver forcing five turnovers.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was reportedly battling an illness, completed 24 of his 38 passes for just 241 yards and also threw two costly interceptions.
There were 12,000 empty seats at Mile High, possibly due to Colorado’s cold weather
Patrick Mahomes went into the game due to illness and was unable to lead his team to victory
Taylor will not play in any games next month as her world tour heads to South America
When Wil Lutz’s 28-yard field goal ripped through the uprights to seal the 24-9 victory, a streak that had lasted eight seasons ended.
And then Swift finally appeared. Well, at least her singing. To rub salt in the wound, the Broncos’ speakers blared the 12-time Grammy winner’s “Shake It Off.”
The Denver fans followed instructions, shaking and swaying in their triumph, while the Chiefs fans had long since evacuated the humiliating scene.
But it’s Kelce and the Chiefs who are hoping they can actually get it done, otherwise it will be a long road to the postseason with Swift on the move.