Taylor Swift’s boyfriend Travis Kelce hailed as inspiration behind Super Bowl comeback victory

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift embrace after the Kansas City Chiefs sealed back-to-back Super Bowl wins

Travis Kelce, the Super Bowl-winning boyfriend of Taylor Swift, redeemed himself after his meltdown on the sidelines by rallying Kansas City Chiefs with a “heartfelt” half-time speech, his teammates have revealed.

Wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes in overtime, described how Kelce’s stirring words “got the fire going.

Kelce earlier had to be restrained by a teammate after shoving 65-year-old coach Andy Reid, but the star player’s speech at half-time helped the team launch a memorable fightback in Las Vegas.

”(Kelce) really said something in there, just to get us focused and just let them know that we’re being ourselves, because obviously we didn’t play our best half,” he told NBC’s Today programme. “The defence was doing everything they needed to do, but the offence wasn’t producing. So Trav gave a little heartfelt speech at halftime that kind of got the fire going.”

Kelce had an incredibly quiet first half by his lofty standards, with just one catch for one yard, as his team trailed the San Francisco 49ers 10-3 at the break.

With Swift watching on, he had taken issue with being on the sideline after a key offensive play in which Mahomes found Hardman with just over 13 minutes remaining before the half.

Kelce was then pulled from the game on the next play when Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco fumbled.

As he headed back to the bench, Kelce confronted Reid, screaming in his face and pushing him, which saw his coach lose his footing before the player was dragged away by Jerrod McKinnon as he slammed his helmet to the ground.

Viewers criticised Kelce’s conduct, saying it was a “bad look” for arguably the most famous current NFL player.

Kelce, 34, later played down the rift after the Chiefs achieved an overtime victory to make it back-to-back Super Bowl wins. “I got the greatest coach this game has ever seen, he’s unbelievable,” he said.

“He’s one of the best leaders of men I’ve ever seen in my life, he’s helped me a lot in the past, with channelling that emotion, channelling that passion. And I owe my entire career to that guy and being able to control and being able to control how emotional I get, and I just love the guy.”

Reid also played down the incident. The veteran NFL coach joked to CBS: “He keeps me young. He tested that hip. He caught me off balance - normally I’d give him a little bit but you know what, I didn’t have any feet under me.”

Travis Kelce and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid/Taylor Swift’s boyfriend Travis Kelce shoves coach, 65, in Super Bowl meltdown
Travis Kelce makes his feelings clear to Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid - Getty Images/Jamie Squire

Hardman, meanwhile, said he “blacked out for a second” amid the delirium of catching the game-winning touchdown pass from Mahomes.

“I don’t remember none of it, like literally when I caught the pass, I blacked out for a second,” Hardman told Today. “I guess the magnitude of the moment just got to me.

“But all I can remember is, after I caught it, I just see (Mahomes) running to me like, ‘You’re a champion!’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, we won! OK, bet.’ And then I started celebrating. But I definitely don’t remember nothing after I caught a ball.”

Hardman hinted at wild celebrations for the team in Las Vegas, adding: “Well you guys know what they say — what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right? But it’s been a little party, we went out to the party with the team after the game,” he said. “I kind of ventured off and did a little something here and there. But I’m here though, talking to y’all!”

It is not the first time Kelce has suffered a meltdown with Reid. On Christmas Day, Kelce had another run-in with the coach, and was spotted slamming his helmet to the floor during a 20-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Swift, the world’s biggest pop star, flew in to Las Vegas from her ‘Eras’ tour in Tokyo to watch her boyfriend in action in the Super Bowl. While Usher, the multi-Grammy R&B act, provided the half-time show, attention throughout the game largely focused on Swift, who was captured on the big screen downing a beer and slamming her cup down.

Swift was filmed hugging and kissing Kelce on the pitch after the Chiefs became the first back-to-back Super Bowl winners for 19 years with a 25-22 victory in overtime.

The Chiefs have already turned their attentions to the next campaign, with Mahomes targeting history with a third successive victory. “It would be legendary,’’ he said. “No one’s ever done it and we knew it’s legendary to win back-to-back. I think eight other teams have done it. We had heard it all week.

“We had talked to the guys [who had gone back-to-back] about it and we felt like we had the best opportunity that we had ever had to go out there and do that. We’ve got to continue to play our best football. We’ll celebrate these next few weeks and then we’ll get right back at it.’‘

This was Mahomes’s third Super Bowl ring and although he has four more to catch Tom Brady, he has his own record to celebrate. The 28-year-old is the youngest ever to collect a trio of rings.