“I can’t wait … at some point in the offseason I’ll probably have to grab a beer and talk to him about it,” Kittle, 30, said during a pre-Super Bowl press conference on Wednesday, February 7. “Can I say that? I think so, I’m 30.”
The tight ends will face off in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, February 11, when Kittle’s 49ers play Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs.
Throughout the NFL season leading up to the big game, Kelce has received an unprecedented level of media attention given his relationship with Swift, 34. (They started dating in summer 2023, going public two months later in September 2023 when she went to her first Chiefs game.)
“I can’t grasp my head around it,” Kittle quipped on Wednesday when asked if he could deal with the same level of attention. “While it might seem to all of us to be a distraction, it might not be to him.”
Kittle added, “I think Travis is a mature man, he knows how to handle his business and I think he puts football over everything. I think you can tell he’s playing in the Super Bowl, he obviously knows how to handle anything going on off the field.”
While Swift and Kelce have gotten plenty of love, they’ve also received criticism from several diehard football fans. Some “dads, Brads and Chads” — a term coined by Swift in her TIME Person of the Year profile in 2023 — have been irate with NFL coverage of the Grammy winner on the broadcasts. Others have lamented that Kelce’s athletic skills have suffered since he’s allegedly distracted by his relationship.
“You know what I would say? He’s playing in the Super Bowl and I think at one point in the season, he was like, ‘I’m not having a good season,’” Kittle noted. “Well, watch the tape: he’s having a good season.”
Overall, NFL athletes have disagreed with the claims that Swift is a major distraction to the game.
“I don’t think it feels any different. People see the whole Taylor Swift and Travis [thing] and they make it a huge deal because it is a huge deal,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Kelce’s teammate on the Chiefs, said during a November 2023 interview with ESPN. “I think it becomes a bigger deal to the fanbases than it does to the guys who are actually in the building. … I think you can understand why it’s not become a distraction or anything like that because everybody cares about being the best they can be every day.”
It is currently unknown whether Swift will attend the Super Bowl, held at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, as she plays an Eras Tour concert in Japan the night before. With access to a private jet and a 17-hour time difference, however, the odds are in Swift’s favor that she can make it to Sin City before kickoff.
If Swift does make it, Kittle’s 49ers teammates are ready for her to be “disappointed” by the final score if they win.
“Yes. I’ll leave it at that,” 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy succinctly responded during a pregame interview on Tuesday, February 6, when asked if he was “ready” to cause Swift’s game day disappointment.