Since Taylor Swift started dating Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce, the colour red has come to symbolise their relationship. Her trademark red lipstick smile flushed with love at the 13 games she's cheered him on at. His red No 87 jersey. Her red designer Chief’s puffer jacket sporting his name. Now, you can add a gigantic red flag to the mix: his seemingly uncontrollable, fiery, red-hot temper.
While my Super Bowl Bingo card might have contained 'Killa' Trav proposing as he held the Super Bowl aloft, I certainly didn't think it would include him bodychecking his coach in the second quarter in front of a global audience of 100,000 million people as his world-famous girlfriend chugged back beers with her glamorous celebrity gal pals, including Blake Lively, Lana Del Ray and Ice Spice.
So what the hell happened? Kelce, who was benched at times in the first half of the Super Bowl, decided there was only one person to blame when his team blew a play that he obviously thought would have been a cinch for him: His 65-year-old coach, Andy Reid.
The now-viral footage shows a fired-up, red-faced Kelce aggressively losing his proverbial you-know-what as he unleashed a foul-mouthed torrent inches from his coach's face before instigating enough bodily contact that Reid struggled to maintain his footing. It got so abusive that Kelce's teammates had to drag him away to sulk on the bench that he wasn’t allowed the opportunity to be the hero on the pitch.
Now he’s the anti-hero, and the actual viral Super Bowl moment doesn't belong to Taylor and Travis's "Come here girl" moment as they kissed after his team won. It is Coach Reid's downcast eyes, stoic body posture, and absolute calm in the face of 1.96m Kelce's adult baby temper tantrum that has been seared into our brain banks.
Fans take to social media to warn Swift
Swifties, friends, and enemies alike have taken to social media to condemn Kelce's behaviour and implore their girl Tay to run for the hills. One fan wrote: "Mrs Lively, Queen of healthy relationships, please talk some sense into Tay that Travis's little stunt earlier is a red flag." Another wrote that Taylor needs to be careful. While a third said: "I hope Taylor Swift breaks up with Travis Kelce after the game."
They have a point; it was pretty mortifying to watch, and I'm embarrassed for Taylor that it's her boyfriend doing the belittling. It's the same kind of second-hand embarrassment and inner fury you experience when you witness someone talking down to the waitstaff or checkout operator.
It is almost unfathomable, considering, only just a few hours ago, Kelce was seemingly the answer to the problem of toxic masculinity. After last year's Super Bowl, when Travis played against his brother Jason, the guys were in actual tears on their New Heights podcast, talking about how much it meant to them to have their mum share their experience.
Swifties the world over rejoiced that Taylor had fallen in love with a tall, good-looking and good-humoured man from a good family who could equal her in terms of selling out stadiums, at least.
Incident may reveal Kelce's true character
Yet, this episode demonstrates a colossal lack of self-awareness and a level of entitlement that is far from attractive. It was on par with witnessing Will Smith smack comedian Chris Rock across the face at the Osars - the kind of behavioural leakage that tells us more of a person’s true nature in a second than a million column inches ever could.
However, even without their massive public profiles, how well do we ever know our partners when we start dating them? We get their life’s highlights and the person they want to be. Then, over time, they reveal more of the negative parts of ourselves as they let our guard down. Eventually, the mask drops completely. Hopefully, they're not the kind of person who suddenly yells at an old man in front of a crowd at the supermarket or the world at the Super Bowl.
Good luck with this one, Taylor.