Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce overcame a nightmare start to help his side to a dramatic 25-22 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Kelce received as much attention as anyone in the lead-up to the Super Bowl on Sunday (Monday AEDT), largely due to his relationship with pop star Taylor Swift.
Swift made a mad dash from Tokyo to Las Vegas to cheer on Kelce, who splashed out a reported $1 million for a private suite for the pop star and some of her entourage to watch the game, including rapper Ice Spice and actress Blake Lively. After a slow start, where he registered just one reception in the first half for just a single yard, Kelce stepped up with his side down 10-3 at halftime.
Kelce finished the match with 92 yards from nine receptions, which included multiple crucial catches to help keep his side in the hunt. The match finished all-square and headed to overtime where the 49ers were first to score, nailing a field goal to lead by three.
But the Chiefs weren't going to be denied as Mahomes rushed on the fourth down twice to grant the Chiefs an opportunity to steal the Super Bowl. In a legacy-defining final drive up the field in overtime, Chiefs quarterback Mahomes made an all-or-nothing play in the dying seconds, throwing the ball to Mecole Hardman who waltzed over the line for a game-winning touchdown in the corner with just three seconds left on the clock. The win means Mahomes and Kelce have now claimed three Super Bowl rings, following triumphs in the 2019 and 2022 seasons as the Chiefs went back-to-back.
Travis Kelce slammed for Andy Reid clash
While Kelce had plenty to celebrate, one moment has not done his image any favours. As the Chiefs were held to just three points in the first half, Kelce took exception to a play called by Chiefs coach Andy Reid and rammed into him after the call went belly up. The Chiefs star was seen grabbing Reid on the sideline and screaming in his face, upset that he wasn't part of a pivotal red-zone play Reid called.
The Chiefs had driven close to the 49ers' goal line on a 52-yard pass from Mahomes to Mecole Hardman in the second quarter but on the very next play, Kelce wasn't in the game. Noah Gray was instead on the field to block as the Chiefs called for a run play for Isaiah Pacheco. But Pacheco fumbled the ball for a Chiefs turnover, and Kansas City's first major chance to score was squandered. Social media was furious at the Chiefs star's conduct, saying he was showing his true colours.
Travis Kelce pushes a old man but since he’s taylor’s boyfriend it’s ok
What a loser.
— Ducky🐥 (@RoutesByMetcalf) February 12, 2024
No one has tarnished their reputation this season quite like Travis Kelce. Dude is a certified egomaniac. pic.twitter.com/Cg2vOWOImu
— Lamar Translator (@LJTranslator) February 12, 2024
When you paid 1 million dollars for your billion dollar girlfriend to fly in and watch you behave like a 🤡. Travis Kelce is 💩 tonight regardless of the outcome of this game. NEVER TREAT YOUR COACH LIKE THAT. #AndyReid should bench him. The #nfl should. pic.twitter.com/LoqQ1cLB4y
— KimberlyDewayn (@KimDSummons) February 12, 2024
— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) February 12, 2024
It was the second sideline incident involving Kelce and Reid this season. In a game against the Raiders on Christmas Day, a furious Kelce spiked his helmet on the sideline in frustration. A staff member then tried to hand it back to him so he could go back onto the field but Reid grabbed the helmet and refused to give it back to the Chiefs star so he could cool off on the sideline.
Taylor Swift's mad dash to attend Super Bowl
The 14-time Grammy winner has been dating Kelce since the first few weeks of the 2023 NFL season. She flew across nine time zones from her 'Eras Tour' stop in Tokyo to arrive in Vegas just in time for the Super Bowl.
"She's unbelievable. She’s rewriting the history books herself," Kelce said after the Grammys last Sunday. "I told her I’ll have to hold up my end of the bargain and come home with hardware, too."
Swift has been a regular at Chiefs games this season - both home and away. She has frequently sat with Brittany Mahomes, the wife of the Kansas City quarterback.
"Having Taylor as a new Chiefs fan is very unique," Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said previously. "I don't ever do an interview without someone asking me about it. I think a lot of players and coaches on the team are in the same boat. The most important thing is we're happy for the two of them that they have found each other and have such a special relationship."
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