Raleigh native jokes Taylor Swift won Super Bowl while supporting Travis Kelce :: WRALSportsFan.com

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— Taylor Swift’s wide-reaching stardom extended into the NFL last season, where she was a common sight at Kansas City Chiefs’ games and on television screens during most Sundays.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive backs coach and Raleigh native Dave Merritt was on the sideline, giving him an up-close look at Swift’s boyfriend, Travis Kelce. Merritt didn’t see the frequent cutaways to Swift’s reactions like the public, but said he noticed Kelce was a changed man on the sideline and in the locker room during an interview on The Sports Shop last Friday.

Merritt said Swift’s trademark high energy and infectious charisma “helped” the Chiefs during another championship campaign.

“Everybody was excited that Travis was happy. So when my player, my brother, is happy beside me, that helps me and that encourages me,” said Merritt, who played at NC State after graduating from Millbrook High.

Merritt said that Kelce “came in there a different man,” adding, “So [Swift] helped us.”

The comments gained traction online Thursday with multiple entertainment-based outlets picking up the remarks.

Swift’s relationship with the star tight end was a preferred storyline in the entertainment and sports worlds most weeks during the season and all the way through the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory against the San Francisco 49ers.

Kelce shot his shot with Swift on the “New Heights” podcast with brother Jason Kelce last summer, adding that he made Swift a bracelet for when she performed at Arrowhead Stadium in July. Travis didn’t get to meet her at the concert, but the news launched rumors about a relationship between the two, later solidified when Swift showed up for the Sept. 24 Bears-Chiefs game at the same venue.

Swift, who grew up in Pennsylvania as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, is no stranger to football. She played most NFL stadiums during The Eras Tour last summer and has slipped in references about her fandom in songs.

Merritt said Swift’s presence was a boost for morale and didn’t serve as any sort of distraction. Some media personalities suggested the relationship could have been interfering in Kelce’s preparation as the Chiefs dropped four of six games in November and December. After a discouraging home loss to Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas, Kansas City clinched the AFC West and pulled out tough road playoff wins in Buffalo and Baltimore before the thrilling overtime Super Bowl victory to end the season.

“She won a Super Bowl in her first year in the NFL,” Merritt joked. “How about that?”

Swift is currently performing in Singapore as her tour continues. The Chiefs, Kelce and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes are looking to resume a run where they’ve won three Super Bowls in five seasons.

“She actually affected the team in a positive way,’ Merritt said. “Everybody was excited and Travis was happy.”



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