Gridiron and Grammy: Patrick Mahomes’ High Praise for Taylor Swift’s Dedication

Taylor Swift is a full-fledged football fan now thanks to the global pop music sensation’s oft-publicized relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. But Swift’s intelligence and down-to-earth nature has impressed one of Kelce’s most famous teammates and close friends, star Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Swift became close with Mahomes’ wife, Brittany, with the two often sitting next to each other in suites as the Chiefs made their run to a second consecutive Super Bowl title and third in five years. But Swift also earned praise from Patrick himself during the latter’s recent interview with TIME Magazine.

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“I’ve met a lot of famous people now in my life,” Patrick Mahomes, now a three-time Super Bowl MVP, told the publication. “Taylor’s probably the most down-to-earth person [I’ve met] that’s been on that stage for that long. … She’s never not working. Even when she’s taking her downtime, she’s working on something. Shooting a music video or singing a song or writing a song. You can see it by how she talks.”

Swift’s work ethic, despite impressing one of the most high-profile athletes in sports, will come as no surprise to her legions of fans nor anyone who has followed the pop star’s recent moves. She is set to release her 12th studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” on Friday, marking her fifth such release.

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Swift is also once again spending a large chunk of the summer on the international leg of her “Eras Tour” concert series in which she plays over 40 songs from all eras of her nearly 20-year professional music career. She has played 152 such shows since the tour started in March 2023. The U.S. portion of Swift’s tour grew into a nationwide phenomenon in 2023 and led to her becoming the first music artist in history to gross over $1 billion on a single tour.

And when she was not touring or recording for her upcoming album, Swift spent much of that “downtime” Mahomes alluded to not only traveling to support and root for Kelce during his games but also impressing his quarterback with how quickly her football acumen has grown.

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“Even when she’s talking about football, when she’s learning it, you can see her business mind putting it together,” Patrick Mahomes told TIME. “It’s almost like she’s trying to become a coach. ‘Why can’t you try this, this and this?’ She’s asking the right questions.”

Mahomes said he had previously met Swift in passing nearly five years (and five studio albums) ago at the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville. But as he got to know Swift and the Chiefs adjusted to the added spotlight — and viewership — Swift brought, which Mahomes said moved the Chiefs from a “nationwide” team to a “full global worldwide team,” Mahomes told TIME the team “embraced” that added dynamic instead of shunning it as a distraction.

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“We like having that visibility,” Mahomes said. “At the end of the day, football has always been this bruising sport. We want to make it fun, where kids grow up and play football and show their personality and be who they are. This year really magnified that.”

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