Taylor Swift, firmly in her WAG era, ended weeks of speculation over her Super Bowl attendance on Sunday night. She successfully managed to jet from a Tokyo arena show to Las Vegas to watch her boyfriend, the Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, play in the Super Bowl.
In typical Swift style, the appearance was a tightly choreographed affair that reportedly involved two private jets (one on standby, just in case) to ensure that she arrived in Sin City in time. When Swift hit Allegiant Stadium, the entourage included Blake Lively, Ice Spice and Kelce’s sister-in-law Kylie.
Kelce, an already popular and decorated football player in his own right, has enjoyed an unprecedented PR boost from dating one of America’s biggest pop stars. He, too, showed up in style ahead of the game, wearing a custom bedazzled Amri combination of a bouclé shirt and matching shimmering trousers. Kelce also toted a Louis Vuitton bag for good measure. The New York Post estimated that this ensemble cost more than $3,000.
It was a look no doubt coordinated to complement Swift’s outfit: $695 crystal jeans from Area, cropped corset and a bomber jacket blazed with the Chiefs’ logo. Lest we forget the reason why she was there, Swift also wore a custom necklace and a football-shaped clutch sporting 87 – Kelce’s jersey number.
Since Swift and Kelce debuted their relationship early in the season, certain (curmudgeonly) NFL fans grumbled over the numerous camera shots of the singer’s private box. But during the Super Bowl, there were few cutaways, maybe surprisingly so for the fans hoping for more. Eras Tour: Part II this was not.
Those watching the game for Swift alone had to hit up social media for an endless stream of content. During a pregame performance by Post Malone, Swift and Lively cuddled each other while swaying to the music.
Later, Swift greeted her fellow pop star Lana Del Rey, leaning down from her elevated perch to hug the star, not unlike the way a princess might greet a peasant. (Lana later joined her in the box.)
Another highlight: Swift chugging beers with her longtime friend Nashville stylist Ashley Avignone, as caught on the stadium jumbotron. Well, something has to lift your spirit when your boyfriend’s team is down 10-3 at half-time.
A photo of Swift introducing Ice Spice to Kelce’s brother Jason also made the rounds online, highlighting the improbability of their odd coupling. While Swift may have had all the attention, Ice’s presence was particularly delightful.
Like many viewers watching for everything but the game, she seemed to have no clue what was going on, presumably requiring a full explanation of how football works from Avignone at one point.
Cameras caught Kelce yelling at the Chiefs’ head coach, Andy Reid, in an undeniably uncomfortable moment. But some online commentators bizarrely took it one very weird step further, latching on to the scene as evidence of the player’s anger issues.
“These are very disturbing images from Travis Kelce. Are we sure Taylor is safe around this man?” asked one sports account. “If Travis Kelce is this violent with the cameras on him, what about when Taylor Swift is alone with him?” echoed another X (formerly Twitter) user.
Kelce’s visible frustration during the moment might have been incongruous with his desired reputation as a golden retriever boyfriend. But it’s still quite a stretch to call him an abuser just for getting in a ref’s face. The clip gives ammunition to hard-right conservatives who have repeatedly come after the famous couple for what they perceive as liberal leanings.
Kelce advocated for Covid vaccines and supported Black Lives Matter. While Swift typically stays diplomatic and apolitical, she endorsed Biden in 2020, and many – including a livid Donald Trump – believe another endorsement in 2024 is in the works. Apparently, the lovers couldn’t become the hottest pop culture crossover couple without igniting a few uncomfortable conspiracy theories.
After a relatively boring game – at least for Swift fans expecting more from a relatively sleepy Kansas City performance – things perked up near the end of the third quarter. When the Chiefs earned a touchdown, taking over the scoreboard and winning a lead over the San Francisco 49ers, a jubilant Swift and Co jumped around in the private box.
With Swift, Spice, Lively and Avignone hugging each other, it was a picture-perfect visual summery of Swift’s brand: manufactured empowerment, a celebration of pop feminist girl power.
The drama of the game continued well into the fourth quarter, when Kansas City caught up with the 49ers to tie the game right toward the end, leading to overtime. Though the Chiefs eventually took the title, it was a close call the entire way through – as photographs of Swift’s box show, the singer chewed on her nails during the closest calls. If the Swift/Kelce pairing is a government psyop, as conservatives want to believe, the CIA sure knows how to stage damn good football.
The hours-long extravaganza ended the way many fans hoped it would – Swift and Kelce, winners, sharing a kiss on the field. (We do not speak of that Viva Las Vegas performance.) A real-life romcom played out on screen.