Taylor Swift was just named Time magazine’s Person Of The Year and there is probably no bigger name in pop culture than Swift. Her Era Tour will rake in over $2 billion, shattering all records and Forbes says the impact on local economies will be $4.6 billion. Just when you think her media exposure is at an all time high, Swift hooks up with Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Kansas City Chiefs and the media has simply lost their mind. During Chiefs games with Swift in attendance the NFL is continually switching to camera shots of Swift cheering on Kelce and the Chiefs. Simultaneously, social media is ablaze with speculation and conversation about their relationship and whether it was heading for a crash like all of Swift’s previous ones.
While all this is going on, Kelce and the Chiefs have lost 4 of their last 6 games— and there is no one to blame but Taylor Swift. Just kidding. But seriously, no celebrity/athlete relationship has been more publicly displayed or attracted more media coverage than Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. Is it just a coincidence, or could Chiefs slide be as a result of the Taylor Swift celebrity relationship curse?
This is not the first time the celebrity relationship curse has been visited upon a pro athlete. It may have started with David Beckham and Posh Spice which turned Beckham’s career into a media circus full of distractions and public outrage at Beckham. Or perhaps you recall Serena Williams struggles in tennis that were reportedly linked to her relationship with Drake. Then there is Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson, where both the fortunes of Romo and the Dallas Cowboys seemed to plummet following the relationship.
NEW YORK, NY: Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift in New York, New York. (Photo by MEGA/GC Images)
However, probably the biggest athlete career buster is Kim Kardashian and her serial athlete train wreck relationship. Kim has become extraordinarily successful as a fashion icon, a business mogul, and undoubtedly a kryptonite to athletic careers. Just ask Reggie Bush, following the loss of his Heisman trophy, his NFL stats magically dipped after he started dating the reality star . Or Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys, whose hands suddenly turned to butterfingers after being written into episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s as Kim’s love interest. And who could forget Kris Humphries? Poor guy went from NBA journeyman to tabloid fodder after a whirlwind 72-day marriage to the queen of reality TV.
Now for Travis Kelce and the Chiefs. From now till the end of the season we will be peppered with images of Swift cheering on Kelce or consoling him after a loss. They are being hounded by paparazzi. Is this the added pressure that Kelce or the Chiefs need? Just ask David Beckman about his string of career woes linked to his relationship with Posh Spice which are revealed unvarnished in a recent documentary.
But all of this is what plays well in today’s world where live sports and reality programming reign supreme. Here we have both and the added interest in Chiefs games will push ratings through the roof. The reason is that we now we have even more reason to watch how Kelce and the Chiefs fare the rest of the way. Will they pull it off last year with the help of their most famous cheerleader or will they fall prey to the celebrity relationship curse? The grand finale will be whether the relationship survives all this, because if not, Swift will soon be writing songs about Kelce and what went wrong.