Taylor Swift’s Denver no-show had Travis Kelce out of style and coincided with 12,000 empty seats… their fling lit a flame under the NFL – but the real test starts now with her bye month underway
- Travis Kelce struggled as the Kansas City Chiefs suffered a shock loss vs Denver
- Taylor Swift’s presence has been a huge boost but now she’s heading on tour
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
When Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s relationship exploded onto the scene at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 3 game, the concern among the die-hards was that the fanfare around the pop star’s attendance would be a distraction for their star tight end and the team. The opposite has proven to be true.
Kansas City found itself at the epicenter of the circus of attention around the new A-list couple with more focus directed at Swift than football but after a cold hard night in Denver, the Chiefs will give anything to go back to being the Kansas City Swifts.
The NFL has been swept by Swift Mania and the Kansas City Chiefs had been riding the high with the pop princess’s presence at four of their previous five games boosting them to a six-game winning streak.
But preparing for the return of her Eras Tour in Argentina on November 9, the last place the songstress wanted to be was in a frigid cold Mile High city. And no Swift meant no win – for both the Chiefs and the NFL.
After it was reported Friday that the Anti-Hero hitmaker wasn’t going to be showing her face at Empower Field to cheer on her tight end boyfriend for a fifth time, Sunday’s divisional matchup seemingly no longer held any interest for the Swifties.
Travis Kelce wasn’t his usual force to be reckoned with as the Chiefs lost to the Broncos
Taylor Swift mania was still apparent at Mile High, despite the superstar’s high-profile absence
Taylor had been at four of Kelce’s last five games, but opted against a trip 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’s suite windows.
The closest fans got to a glimpse of Swift at Empower Field was during the halftime costume Corgi Race, when one of the pooches was in their Fearless era.
Whether it was the 23F temperatures and 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.
Relief for football fans perhaps. But a blow for the NFL.
Swift’s newfound love of football – and one its best players – has been a catalyst for the growth of a new fanbase for the league. And one the NFL has very much tapped into.
Broadcasters have been giving more coverage to Swift at games than the players on the field and have even blitzed adverts breaks with promos for her Eras Tour movie. Meanwhile, the league’s own social media pages have been plastered with the global superstar.
One Denver Broncos fan had a spookily accurate prediction ahead of the game (left)
Kelce is now looking ahead to a run of games without his girlfriend Taylor Swift in attendance
Russell Wilson (right) and Garett Bolles celebrate their shock win over the Super Bowl champs
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 turned up at MetLife Stadium with her celebrity posse of Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman.
But without her in attendance, there was no content ready to serve up on a plate to the Swifties.
With the artist ready to take her bye month from the NFL, will the Swift effect prove it be a long-term spell or a short-term spell set to fizzle out?
Kelce and Co.’s trip to Germany next week and the clash of the Kelce brothers in Chiefs-Eagles on November 21 – Kansas City’s first game after Swift returns to her international tour – will be the real test.
And as the NFL’s high may be crashing, so was the Chiefs. The reigning Super Bowl champions had bounced back from a season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions to go on a six-game winning rampage, most of which has occurred in the presence of Swift, in the hope of retaining their crown but the clock struck midnight in Denver and the spell was broken.
It was no fairytale ending without the queen of Chiefs Kingdom Sunday. In fact, they saw a reign crumble as their 16-game winning streak against the Denver Broncos came to a crushing end.
Taylor and Travis’ whirlwind romance has been a significant boost to the NFL’s popularity
The NFL have ridden the wave, but now they’ll have 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 hauled in six of nine passes, picking up 58 yards and no touchdowns.
A stark contrast to the 108 yards he has averaged across the four games she has cheered him on from the bleachers.
Last week at Arrowhead he reeled in 12 of 13 passes tossed his way 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 audience.
But it wasn’t just Kelce, the Chiefs as a whole looked out of style. Sunday marked the first four-plus-turnover game for Kansas City since October 2021 against the Buffalo Bills, with Denver forcing five.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, reported to have been battling illness, completed 24 of his 38 passes for just 241 yards and also tossed two costly interceptions.
There were 12,000 empty seats at Mile High – perhaps due to the cold weather in Colorado
Patrick Mahomes went into the game with an illness, and couldn’t lead his team to victory
Taylor won’t be at any games for the next month as her world tour heads to South America
As Wil Lutz’s 28-yard field goal soared through the posts to wrap up a 24-9 win, a streak that had lasted eight seasons was snapped.
And that’s when Swift finally appeared. Well, her vocals at least. To rub salt in the wound, the Broncos’ speakers blared the 12-time Grammy Award winner’s Shake It Off.
The Denver fans followed instruction and shook and shimmied in their triumph, while the Chiefs fans had long evacuated the humiliating scene.
But it’s Kelce and the Chiefs who are the ones hoping they really can shake it off, otherwise it’s going to be a long stretch towards the postseason with Swift on the road.
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