Drinking from a gold bottle of champagne, Travis Kelce led a rowdy rendition of ‘We Are The Champions’ in the Kansas City Chiefs locker room as he celebrated his fairytale ending to an NFL season like no other.
Moments earlier, Kelce told reporters he felt ‘on top of the world’ after winning a second straight Super Bowl and celebrating by kissing his girlfriend Taylor Swift on the field. The singer had raced back to Las Vegas from Japan and four straight Eras Tour shows, the last of which was Saturday night, to cheer him on.
She was joined in VIP suite – that Kelce apparently paid $1million for – by Blake Lively, rapper Ice Spice, parents Andrea and Scott and Kelce’s family. Together, they endured the tension of one of the most dramatic Super Bowls in history as the Chiefs recorded a gripping 25-22 overtime victory over San Francisco 49ers.
But as Kelce, 34, was pictured spearheading the celebrations in Sin City while his teammates passed round cigars, it could not be forgotten how he was nearly the villain of the piece when things were not going his team’s way in the first half at a thunderous Allegiant Stadium.
With the Chiefs offense spluttering, Kelce was called off the field for a play by head coach Andy Reid but with the end zone in sight, wide receiver Isiah Pacheco made a rare fumble and the 49ers reclaimed possession of the ball.
Travis Kelce was at the center of the Chiefs locker room party after winning the Super Bowl
The Chiefs star was even seen drinking from what looked to be a gold bottle of champagne
Kelce said he felt ‘on top of the world’ as he celebrated on the field in Vegas with Taylor Swift
And Kelce looked to be lapping up the celebrations with his team after the game
Kelce and Swift kissed on the field after she raced back from Japan to cheer him on
Kelce pictured making his way back to the Chiefs locker room after a gripping Super Bowl
Yet Kelce could have been the villain when he shoved his coach Andy Reid, 65, in the first half
It prompted a wild and angry response by Kelce, who stormed over to his coach Reid, 65, and shoved him while he screamed in his face. Reid, caught off guard, nearly stumbled over before Kelce was led away by teammate Jerick McKinnon.
It was a bad look for Kelce, who has form for this sort of thing. When the Chiefs collapsed to a Christmas Day loss to the las Vegas Radiers in Kansas City, Kelce appeared to shoulder barge Reid moments after slamming his helmet to the floor.
In the first half Kelce had, in his own words, played like ‘a jabroni’, taking one catch for one yard. His team went into the interval trailing by seven points.
But he returned to his electrifying best in the second and as the game spilled into overtime, Kelce finished with nine receptions for 93 yards. With 16 seconds left in the game and the Chiefs down by three, Kelce surged forward on a blistering 22-yard run to get his team in comfortable field goal range to ensure overtime.
His final catch set up the game-winning touchdown, with the imperious Patrick Mahomes finding Mecole Hardman to win the game. It made the Chiefs the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since Tom Brady’s New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004.
Afterwards, Kelce threw down the gauntlet for his team to challenge for a three-peat next year – a feat never managed before in the NFL.
Speaking on the podium as the Chiefs claimed the Super Bowl trophy, Kelce told the crowd: ‘We get a chance to do it three times in a row. I’ll see you all next year.’
As for the clash with Reid, Kelce was eager to downplay the incident.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leaves the field after an all-time great performance
After winning his third Super Bowl, Mahomes took a moment to reflect on his latest feat
Kelce (second left) and Reid celebrate after the Chiefs clinched victory in overtime
After the win, Kelce immediately spoke of returning and pursuing a ‘three-peat’
‘Ah, you guys saw that?’ Kelce said to CBS. ‘I’m a keep that between us. I was just telling him how much I love him.’
It was a sentiment Kelce reaffirmed in his post-game media conference when reporters asked him about Reid.
‘I got the greatest coach this game has ever seen,’ he said. ‘He’s unbelievable and not just in having everyone prepared. One of the best leaders of men I’ve ever seen in my life.
‘He has helped me a lot with channeling that emotion, with channeling that passion and I owe my entire career to that and how to control how emotional I get. I just love him.’
Reid was just as eager to bury the hatchet with Kelce, telling CBS: ‘He keeps me young. He tested that hip out. He caught me off-balance – normally I get him a little bit but I didn’t have any feet under me.’
Kelce and Mahomes were soon filmed making their way out of Allegiant Stadium, where they are expected to party into the night in Vegas.
‘On top of the world right now, baby,’ Kelce said to reporters. ‘It’s a good feeling.’
Jerick McKinnon (No 1) poses with a cigar next to Skyy Moore in the locker room
Kelce will return to Kansas City for the team’s victory parade while Swift’s schedule from here is unclear – she starts a tour of Australia next weekend in Melbourne.
But the scenes on the field in Vegas would have been scarcely believable when the season started back in September and Swift and Kelce’s relationship was still under wraps,
They went public at a Chiefs game on September 24 when Kelce led his team to a commanding 41-10 win over Chicago Bears at Arrowhead Stadium.
Back then, in the blazing Kansas City sunshine, the bold and fanciful talk was of Kelce winning the Super Bowl all over again with the world’s biggest star cheering him on.
And yet now, he’s done it. A three-peat next? With Mahomes alongside him, a coach who embraces his flaws and his prodigious talent and life off the field going from strength-to-strength with Swift, it’s brave to bet against Kelce.