At least that's what was suggested by a now-viral graphic shown by CBS during its broadcast of the Chargers-Chiefs game on Sunday, which was the fourth game at which Swift was on hand to watch her apparent beau play.
The graphic compared Kelce's stats this season in games attended by the "Don't Blame Me" singer versus the two games the star player was, according to the graphic, "left to his own devices" (a not-at-all forced reference to a line in Swift's hit "Anti-Hero").
Using Kelce's halftime stats from that game (143 yards), the graphic showed that the two-time Super Bowl champion is averaging 99 yards when Swift is at the stadium and just 46.5 yards when she is elsewhere (when his 36 second-half yards are added in, Kelce is averaging 108 yards in the singer's presence).
We can break down the numbers in a minute, but first here's the exchange between Kelce and older brother Jason Kelce, a six-time Pro Bowl center for the Philadelphia Eagles, when Jason brought up the graphic on Wednesday's edition of their "New Heights" podcast:
Jason: "Last thing from the Chiefs game, as we all saw on social media, Taylor was in attendance and it's turning out that it was good that she was in attendance because they put your stats up, when she's at the game and when she's not at the game. I don't know if you're aware of this and when T. Swift ..."
Travis: "How could I not be aware of this?"
Jason: "... is at the game you are averaging 99 yards and when you're left with only your friends and remaining family there, you are at 46.5 yards a game."
Travis: "As it says in the edit or whatever it is, 'Left to his own devices.' Well put, well put. It's hard for me to wrap my head around that sentence, but, yeah."
Jason: "Not only is social media noticing it, but it appears that Big Red [Chiefs coach Andy Reid] is noticing it, because he weighed in (big laugh from Travis), that's right, in his postgame press conference ..."
Travis: "Love Coach Reid, man, what a guy."
Jason: "... he was asked about your big game, and his response was, 'Kelce keeps getting better with time, Taylor can stay around all she wants." (Big laughs from both)
Travis: "What a guy. Listen, when you're getting Big Red's approval and blessings you know you're doing something right."
Jason: "That's right."
Travis Kelce then quickly shifted the conversation to the game, the fans, next week's game, divisional rivalry — and all pretty much in one breath. You'll also notice that even during the discussion about the graphic, Kelce opted not to focus on the notion that Swift needs to be around for him to have a good game.
And, obviously, it's a ridiculous notion. Maybe CBS was just having a little fun and trying to troll the NFL fans who have been triggered by the suggestion that Swift put Kelce "on the map." Sure, Swift was there the past two weeks when Kelce caught nine passes for 124 yards against the Denver Broncos and had 12 catches for 179 yards (his second-most ever) against the Chargers. But those were the 43rd and 44th times in the tight end's 11-year career (regular season and playoffs combined) that he's had 100 yards or more in a game.
It should also be noted that Swift was in the VIP suite when Kelce had 69 receiving yards against Chicago and 60 against the New York Jets — not at all bad numbers, but well below the average CBS highlighted. Also, one of the games Swift did not attend was a 26-yard effort against Jacksonville in Week 2, Kelce's first game of the year after missing the opener with a knee injury. That number brings Kelce's average yardage for the two Taylor-less games way down.
So it seems very unlikely that Swift is a living, breathing good luck charm for a player who already was considered to be a future Hall of Famer. But he seems happy, she seems happy and Kansas City fans are definitely happy — so everybody wins! Well, except the Chiefs' opponents lately.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.