Keegan-Michael Key Compares Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift to Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson in NFL Honors Opening

The comedian hosted the Thursday awards ceremony ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl

<p>Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty; Patrick Smith/Getty</p> Keegan-Michael Key; Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift

Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty; Patrick Smith/Getty

Keegan-Michael Key; Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift

Keegan-Michael Key says Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce aren't the first superstar couple to grace the football stadium.

At Thursday’s NFL Honors, which recognizes the season’s best players and performances, the comedian, 52, arrived at his hosting gig with jokes aplenty. In his opening monologue, Key spotlighted the league’s breakout story of the season: the Kansas City Chiefs tight end’s high-profile relationship with the pop superstar.

"Of course, we're going to talk about Travis and Taylor. I think they're both great, and I'm happy for them," began the comedian. "But Travis Kelce, you know this isn't the first time a player has dated a singer. There's Russell [Wilson] and Ciara. There was Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson. And, of course, there was Peyton Manning and Brad Paisley."

The Wonka star pointed out that the singer is currently in Japan on her Eras Tour — and used the opportunity to make fun of the NFL's worst team last season. "It's my understanding that Taylor Swift is in Tokyo right now. But the only person further from the Super Bowl is the Carolina Panthers," joked Key.

"Who would've thought that Taylor Swift would've gone to more playoff games than Bill Belichick?," he added of famed former Patriots coach, who stepped down last month after an extremely disappointing 4-13 season.

Swift and Kelce, both 34, sparked dating rumors in September 2023 after the singer attended a few Chiefs games. In October 2023, they went public with their relationship, stepping out hand-in-hand at a Saturday Night Live afterparty.

Related: Travis Kelce Says Taylor Swift Is 'All in' and 'Part of Chiefs Kingdom' Ahead of Super Bowl

<p>Patrick Smith/Getty </p>

Patrick Smith/Getty

Throughout the 2023-24 season, Swift’s attendance at Chiefs matches has received large amounts of media attention. In her interview as Time’s 2023 Person of the Year, she addressed how her presence attracts the NFL’s cameras. “I’m just there to support Travis,” she said. “I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads and Chads.”

During media week leading up to the Super Bowl, Kelce has been outspoken about his admiration for Swift. “She’s unbelievable,” he said of her fourth album of the year win at the 2024 Grammy Awards.

He added, “I told her I’ll have to hold up my end of the bargain and come home with hardware, too.”

Related: Taylor Swift Appears Onstage at Tokyo Dome Ahead of Travis Kelce’s Super Bowl Appearance

The Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers in a rematch of Super Bowl LIV in 2020, where the Chiefs defeated the 49ers to claim their second championship. They are also bidding to defend last year’s title and win their fourth overall in Sunday’s game.

Super Bowl LVIII airs on CBS at 6:30 p.m. ET Feb. 11.

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