Taylor Swift and Brittany Mahomes celebrate a touchdown during a game between the Chiefs and Chargers on Oct. 22 in Kansas City, Mo.
David Eulitt/Getty Images
When Taylor Swift kisses you, I’m guessing you end up with a fire-engine-red oval on your cheek. Or wherever.
I would never, ever in a thousand years be thinking about such a thing if I hadn’t read this panting headline in People magazine online: ‘‘TAYLOR SWIFT RUNS INTO TRAVIS KELCE’S ARMS, PLANTS KISS AFTER ARGENTINA SHOW.’’
Well. This is bodice-ripper, pulp-fiction stuff. Much to unpack.
First off, Argentina?
Yes, pop super-goddess Swift is on her South American tour, beginning with Argentina, where she sold 200,000 tickets to three shows, leaving a waiting list of 2.8 million. Argentina’s population is 46 million, so the 3 million who saw her or tried to is, yup, a lot.
A tidbit: According to the market research firm Morningstar, 53% of all American adults are Taylor Swift fans, including 48% of all men. Who knew?
Second, whom did she kiss?
That would be Kelce, the Chiefs’ 6-5, 250-pound All-Pro tight end who has won two Super Bowls and is having another great year with 57 receptions for 597 yards and four touchdowns. What was Kelce doing in Argentina on a Friday night? It was the Chiefs’ bye week, and Argentina is just an 11,000-mile round-trip flight from Kansas City.
And, you see, Kelce, 34, and Swift, 33, are in love.
Which means the player soon will be part of her recording catalog, maybe as a hero, maybe as yet another heartbreaking cad, just a ‘‘new notch in your belt.’’ (That’s from ‘‘I Knew You Were Trouble.’’)
Third, this whole topic is insane. But let me remind you that the world of sports has become increasingly deranged and money-mad.
For instance, ex-coach Jimbo Fisher will receive $76 million from Texas A&M just for going away. And while he receives that money, Fisher is free to make millions more if he gets hired by another school, which surely will happen.
Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh gets suspended by the Big Ten for sign-stealing. The school doesn’t agree with the punishment and files a request for a restraining order to get Harbaugh back on the sideline for — oh, right — the gigantic regular-season finale against Ohio State.
And that’s just college ‘‘amateur’’ football.
Kelce and Swift are pros all the way, and their romance is blending two massive, revenue-producing, global entertainment engines — the NFL and pop music — in a way that never has been done before. There have been plenty of football player-singer/actress romances before. And, of course, there was Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen melding elite football and global modeling. (Who was prettier? A debate, perhaps.)
But we’re talking billions of fans when Kelce and Swift combine. She changed the lyrics to a song while on the stage in Argentina from ‘‘Karma is the guy on the screen, coming straight home to me,’’ to ‘‘Karma is the guy on the Chiefs, coming straight home to me,” and the place went wild. And Kelce, in attendance, covered his face with both hands in seeming sweetness, then danced along.
These two have power that politicians only wished they had. Swift has well over 500 million social-media followers. Kelce has 40 million followers on Instagram. The NFL now has started using Swift’s music in promos. The romance quickly added a half-million online followers to the Chiefs.
If the pair wanted to get a politician elected or a bill passed, their followers are a mighty force. And Swift has hinted at certain issues needing to be taken on and has urged her followers to vote.
If the Chiefs make it to the Super Bowl, the scrutiny during the lead-in week on Kelce and Swift, who has been to Chiefs games, would be over-the-top nutso. And the revenue from ads and viewership and the like would accrue massively.
That kiss. Symbolically, it was bigger than the heart sign Taylor and her Swifties make with their cupped hands. It was fantasy — and power — come true.
One envisions the cover of the accompanying bodice-ripper book featuring a Fabio-like model holding a swooning Swift lookalike, she with a microphone in one nearly limp hand and dressed in a sequined, one-piece bathing suit and silver boots, the dude with a big, red gob from a kiss on his face.
Yes, there is a best-selling book titled ‘‘Taylor Swift: And the Clothes She Wears’’ by Terry Newman — just $30 — so I’m not out of my mind. Yet.
But if I get in too deep, I’ll just try to, you know, shake it off.