Men Seem To Be Getting Unreasonably Angry When Women Say Taylor Swift Put Travis Kelce On The Map

He's the star of an American sports league, she's one of the most famous singers in the entire world. Why is this upsetting so many football fans?

men shocked that women think Taylor Swift put travis Kelce on the 'map' kelleylorraine_, ohitisjessica, madalynbandura | TikTok, efks | Canva, Jeff Bukowski | Shutterstock

Now, be honest — unless you're a sports fan, had you ever heard of Travis Kelce before the news broke that he's dating Taylor Swift? 

That's no slight against Kelce's accomplishments, who's apparently one of the best football players out there. But men seem so vexed by the notion that he wasn't world-famous until a few days ago that it's become a deeply weird and kind of absurd TikTok trend.

Women on TikTok are sharing their male partners' angry reactions to the claim that Taylor Swift put Travis Kelce on the map.

Travis Kelce is considered one of the best tight-ends in the entire NFL and is less than a year removed from helping lead the Kansas City Chiefs to their big Super Bowl win in 2022 after a distinguished 11-year career with the team.


But here's the thing — many people, myself included, only know any of that because he's dating Taylor Swift.

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Prior to the news of their relationship breaking, I'd never heard of him in my life, because if you aren't interested in sports — and I'm not, particularly — you can simply ignore them. Professional sports has its own bespoke media ecosystem for precisely this reason.

The same is not true of Taylor Swift — whom I'm not particularly interested in either, for the record — because she's a fixture in the national and international news nearly every single day. She is ubiquitous, and unavoidable. These are just... facts.


But boy, does it seem to make a lot of men mad when you say so!



In tons of videos posted to TikTok, like the one by creator @taraalthaus above, male football fans look almost stricken by the suggestion that Taylor Swift put Travis Kelce on the map, their faces falling into something that appears almost like despair that one of their heroes would be disparaged in this way. 

"He doesn't need help being put on the map," Althaus' husband says in her video, astonished by the suggestion Swift has upped Kelce's profile (which is almost certainly the point of their relationship anyway, but that's a whole other discussion). "He's Travis Kelce, the guy's like the best tight end in football, maybe ever."


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Respectfully, sir, I don't know what those words even mean, and I'm so unfamiliar with this person I assumed his name was pronounced like "else" until I heard you say it out loud in this TikTok 10 minutes ago. Aaron Rodgers. Tom Brady. Those Manning guys who are brothers (I think?) and do a lot of commercials — them I know! 

Travis Kelce? I'm sorry who, now? Oh, the Taylor Swift guy! Sure, right, of course.

And, speaking of Mahomes, in another of these Travis Kelce prank videos, a woman's husband indignantly says Kelce is the most famous NFL player besides Patrick Mahomes — a man I, a person who literally works in the dang news! — had barely ever heard of until the Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year.


Taylor Swift is a global superstar. Travis Kelce is the star of an almost exclusively American sports league. The two are not the same.

The level of animus inspired by the suggestion that Taylor Swift has made Kelce vastly more famous overnight is absurd on its face. Taylor Swift is a global superstar who is presently wrapping up what is all but certain to be the highest-grossing concert tour of all time, the Eras Tour




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Travis Kelce, on the other hand, is one of the stars of an American sports league with only a small international following outside Super Bowl Sunday — and even that doesn't remotely compare to the international viewership of something like World Cup soccer.


All over these TikToks, people outside of the United Stated have commented to say they had never heard the words "Travis Kelce" until a few days ago. Which isn't surprising — even the NBA has a larger viewership overseas than the NFL!

But these mere facts, too, have many male sports fans hot under the collar. As seen in the video below, a commentator at Barstool Sports, for example, seemed outraged by what he saw as an attitude among Swifties that Taylor Swift is "above" Travis Kelce.



But as TikToker Vicky Sparks points out in the TikTok above, by pretty much every measure, there is no way to argue against the notion that Taylor Swift's profile is orders of magnitude higher than Kelce's, from net worth to social media follower counts to the number of awards and titles they've both won in their respective fields.


That doesn't mean Kelce isn't important — it's just different! And this humorless reaction to a simple fact is in stark contrast to even the NFL itself, which has such a sense of humor about how above-and-beyond Taylor Swift's fame is that it changed its handles to "NFL (Taylor's version)" after she attended the September 24, 2023 Chiefs game that started this uproar!

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And as for Kelce himself? Below you'll find the man himself laughing about Swift upping his profile on "New Heights," the podcast he does with his brother, Philadelphia Eagles player Jason Kelce.




I didn't even know Kelce had a brother, let alone that he's also an NFL player. By contrast, I could name you every man Taylor Swift has ever dated in her entire life, and I don't even know that I can name any of the woman's songs beyond "We Are Never Getting Back Together" and the one with the lyric everyone mishears as "Starbucks lovers."

By all accounts, Kelce is a legend. And good for him. You don't get to the NFL in the first place, let alone the top of it, without having some serious athletic ability on a level most of us can't even fathom.

But it's okay that most of us don't know who he is. Really, it's really okay. If anything, there's now going to be a whole new NFL fanbase of billions of international Swifties giving the best tight end in the NFL his props. Count it as a win!


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.