Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce: Meet the uber-fandom created when Taylor Swift enters her Travis Kelce era

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In 2007, singer and now fashion mogul jessica simpson The Cowboys’ star quarterback appeared at a Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles football game wearing a pink Cowboys jersey to support her then-boyfriend Tony Romo.

The Cowboys lost that game after Romo played what is widely considered to be the worst game of his career, statistically speaking, Somehow, despite the fact that Romo was the actual person playing the game, many of the team’s more superstitious fans blamed Simpson for the loss – a reaction widely criticized for its misogynistic overtones.

Kansas City Chiefs supporter Todd Chance was inspired to give the welcome, remembering the “incredible, ugly reaction” Simpson received during the Romo era. Taylor SwiftLoyal fans, known as Swifties, came to Chiefs Kingdom with open arms in September, when The team’s superstar tight end Travis Kelce started dating a superstar singer,

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For Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift’s appearances at NFL games are reminiscent of Jessica Simpson’s relationship with Tony Romo. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
jessica simpson
Simpson, pictured in 2007, was wrongly blamed for Romo’s performance on the field. (LM Otero/AP)

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“I knew that the fan culture that they were coming into with the NFL was going to have toxic elements,” Chance, 48, told CNN in an interview. “I wanted to let them know that there are a lot of people in the Chiefs Kingdom who are welcoming.”

To Chance’s delight, he was also warmly welcomed by Swift’s fans. On his TikTok page, Chance imparted his knowledge of the Chiefs’ history to the Internet’s Swifties and, in turn, Swifties who took notice gave him guidance on which of Swift’s many albums they should listen to first .

In a world that is often driven by division, Chance and football lovers like him represent a refreshing taste of fandom – one that is open to not only a crash course in Swift Music 101, but crashing into a corner of music culture. The power that gets is at once admirable, intimidating for its learning curve and rooted in the core belief that we trust in Swift.

He is the chief.

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a quick understanding

Intense first appeared The couple confirmed their romance at a Chiefs game in September. There have been a variety of opinions regarding his presence in the various Chiefs games that have followed, but there is a group of people who have found joy in both.

The amalgamation of the two has brought Swifties into the exciting world of football and football fans into the complex world of Swift’s music and puzzles. As Swift once sang, call it what you want. But who exactly are the “Sardars”?

When the Kansas City Chiefs first came to the bustling Missouri city in the 1960s, Chance’s father Harold was an avid supporter of the team. He became part of a group of fans who called themselves the “Wolfpack”, representative of the team’s wolf mascot.

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Taylor Swift
Swift’s appearances at NFL games have brought many new fans to the game. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Harold watched and rejoiced as the Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 1970 and, always a passionate fan, passed his knowledge and love for the team to his son, who was born shortly after that Super Bowl victory.

Chance, now a resident of rural Kansas, was a big Chiefs fan, like his father Harold, but they never had the chance to watch a Super Bowl win together before Harold passed away. Now, as the Chiefs head into Sunday’s Super Bowl as defending champions, on the verge of solidifying themselves as a dynasty team, Todd is thinking about his father.

“I think about him and the impact he had on me being a Chiefs fan and being so patient with me as he explained the rules of the game, and why he loved the game so much,” Chance said.

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Chance took the same approach on social media when he posted his videos tiktok page Swifties are welcomed into the Chiefs Kingdom after Swift attends the first game. He was only a casual listener of her radio hits. But her interactions with Swifties on social media made her Swift-curious.

“The thing that changed it for me was when all the Swiftites – who were incredibly welcoming, kind and helpful – pushed me forward folk literature,” he said of the singer’s 2020 album. As he studied the lyrics and understood Swift’s imaginative storytelling through her music, Chance was spellbound.

“I understand now,” he said, recalling his thoughts at the time.

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Taylor Swift
Swift has attended 13 games, including the Super Bowl. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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fan entertainment

The journey between football and folk literature According to Megan Jennings, it’s not just about discovering music, but about embracing happiness.

Jennings, a Kansas City resident and lifelong Chiefs supporter, started dating when the singer attended her first Chiefs game. She said, “Suddenly, I was crazy about Taylor Swift and I needed to know everything about her.”

when he heard …ready for itA song from Swift’s 2017 Prestige On the album, for the first time, Jennings had what she calls a “game-changer” moment. She turned from a listener to a lover.

From there, the album was played over and over again and she eventually moved on to Swift’s own Spotify shuffle of her music, which exposed her to the full breadth of Swift’s work.

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Taylor Swift and Blake Lively
Swift sat in a VIP suite for the game with Ice Spice and Blake Lively. (Getty)

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Amidst the chaos of everyday life – she has four children – Swift’s music provides salvation.

“It’s really fun for me to listen to their music and dance with my kids and enjoy that moment,” she said.

Jennings is also attending a Swift-themed Super Bowl party at her brother-in-law’s house in Kansas City on Sunday (Monday in Australia). She plans to bring supplies to make friendship bracelets. For the children, she claims.

However, as much fun as the dance parties and beaded jewelry are, Jennings and Chance say their appreciation for Swift runs just as deep.

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Jennings said, “I personally feel connected to the fact that she is a strong independent woman. She stands up for what she believes in.” “I think she’s an amazing role model.”

Chance found himself surprised by how much he connected with songs written by an artist pioneering a genre that is not typically included in his playlists.

He added, “She’s able to write a song and somehow make it feel incredibly personal to you, even if it’s not related to anything going on in your life.”

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taylor swift and travis kelsey
Kelce and Swift went public with their romance in September 2023. (Instagram)

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game over

Of course, the road from Chiefs Kingdom to Swifty-ville goes both ways.

Danielle Griffith, who runs an activist organization swift fan account A fan of football on TikTok and independently, she asks questions about the rules of the game when interacting with her followers.

“I think a lot of Swifties want to be a part of any kind of thing that Taylor immerses herself in,” Griffith told CNN in an interview. “The beauty of Taylor Swift is that she has such a loyal following and she’s so revered and respected that I think Swifties would probably follow her anywhere.”

There is truth in his statement which is reflected in the facts.

For example, one is that the Chiefs’ Facebook page had about 2.1 million followers in early September 2023 — before Swift attended his first game later that month — according to social media tracking provided to CNN by Meta. Representatives according to data from the platform CrowdTangle. The page has since gained 400,000 followers.

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Another fact: Female viewership for the NFL’s 2023 regular season was up nine percent from last year, according to Nielsen-measured data provided to CNN by the NFL. It’s hard to say how much Swift’s attendance at Chiefs games has influenced the increase in female viewership since the first game in September, which is their key demographic, but there were, at least, new fans at the game in the stands. His influence in bringing about is certainly felt. Just ask Donna Kelce, mother of Travis and Philadelphia Eagles center Jason.

“When I was at the airport I got letters, messages and comments about how dads are so happy that their daughters are finally coming to them to try to understand the game,” Donna Kelsey told CNN’s Lisa Respers France. “And they couldn’t imagine that this would ever happen before now.”

Kelsey said she appreciates the family feeling.

“I really believe it’s bringing families closer. Sports do that,” she said.

As for Chance, he appreciates the community aspect that both sports and music have brought to his world. His new found community is at the top among the chieftains.

“I’m just a normal guy trying to get on in life,” he said. “And find some things to be happy about along the way.”

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