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Chiefs Coach Says Taylor Swift Quietly Visited Travis Kelce at Stadiums Before Romance Went Public

Chiefs Coach Says Taylor Swift Would Privately Visit Travis Kelce at Stadiums Before Romance News 127
Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

A Kansas City Chiefs coach revealed Taylor Swift began showing her support for Travis Kelce’s football career before making her first NFL game appearance in September 2023.

“When she started to come around, it was privately,” Dave Merritt, the Chiefs defensive backs coach, revealed during a recent episode of “The Sports Shop With Reese and K-Mac” podcast. “She was coming into the stadiums without people really knowing until the camera put a big spotlight on it.”

Merritt’s comments about the couple’s relationship timeline align with those Swift, 34, shared in her December 2023 TIME Person of the Year profile. At the time, she explained that she and Kelce, 34, began hanging out not long after he publicly discussed trying to give her a friendship bracelet with his phone number on it at her July 2023 Eras Tour concert in Kansas City.

“We actually had a significant amount of time that no one knew, which I’m grateful for, because we got to get to know each other,” she told TIME. “By the time I went to that first game, we were a couple. I think some people think that they saw our first date at that game? We would never be psychotic enough to hard launch a first date.”

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift

Related: Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce's Relationship Timeline

On the “The Sports Shop with Reese and K-Mac” podcast, Merritt, 52, went on to defend Swift against critics complaining about her air time during NFL games this past season by calling her “a part of our [Chiefs] family.”

He continued: “She actually affected the team in a positive way. It wasn’t [in] a negative way. It was [like] everybody was excited that Travis was happy. So, when my player, my brother, is happy beside me, that helps me and that encourages me. And so, Travis came in there a different man, so she helped us.”

Chiefs Coach Says Taylor Swift Would Privately Visit Travis Kelce at Stadiums Before Romance News 128
Travis Kelce, Dave Merritt. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images ; The Sports Shop with Reese and K-Mac/YouTube

Swift has also earned Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s stamp of approval. “It hasn’t been a distraction, so there haven’t been any distractions,” Reid, 65, said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio ahead of Super Bowl LVIII earlier this month. “She’s a good girl, and she loves the game and obviously loves Kelce, so I’m happy for them both.”

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Swift and Kelce have continuously supported each others’ careers since launching their romance last year. The “Anti-Hero” singer cheered on Kelce at Super Bowl LVIII with her parents, Andrea and Scott Swift, and several members of the tight end’s family, including mom Donna Kelce, dad Ed Kelce, brother Jason Kelce and sister-in-law Kylie Kelce. Also sitting in Swift’s stadium suite were her celebrity friends Blake Lively, Ice Spice, Lana Del Rey, Miles Teller and Keleigh Teller.

Chiefs Coach Says Taylor Swift Would Privately Visit Travis Kelce at Stadiums Before Romance News 126
Michael Owens/Getty Images
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Travis, for his part, traveled to Sydney for Swift’s second leg of Eras Tour Australia shows after the football season ended. During the February 23 concert, Travis was spotted wearing several friendship bracelets and handing out guitar picks to fans. Swift gave her boyfriend several nods during the show, including once again changing the lyrics to her finale song, “Karma,” from “guy on the screen” to “guy on the Chiefs.” After the show, Swift greeted Travis backstage with a sweet hug and kiss.

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