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Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes credits Taylor Swift for making the NFL more popular

By Ben Church, CNN

(CNN) — Even though the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl LVIII, arguably the biggest star of the game won’t be on the field at all.

Taylor Swift has been as big a part of the buildup to Sunday’s spectacle as the players themselves, with the pop superstar’s relationship with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce captivating the US.

Swift has attended 12 games this season in support of her boyfriend, in the process creating legions of new NFL fans.

The Chiefs’ victory over the Baltimore Ravens on January 28 drew over 55 million viewers, the most ever for an AFC Championship Game, according to CBS Sports.

Prior to that, the playoff game between the Chiefs and the Bills was the most-watched divisional playoff game in history with over 50 million viewers, CBS said.

Kelce’s teammate and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes has certainly bought into the Swift-mania sweeping over the sport and credits the pop star for making the NFL more popular.

“I think it’s extremely cool for her to just be at the games and, obviously, she’s just here to support Travis [Kelce] in the best way possible,” Mahomes told reporters Tuesday, when asked about Swift bringing a new, more female, audience to the sport.

“It has done a great job of bringing more people to football and how great the sport is. Knowing that I’m a father to a daughter as well, I love that she watches the games and loves football as well.”

Mahomes’ legacy

But while Swift is the main star of the show in the buildup, attention will swing back to Mahomes when play begins in Las Vegas.

Since being drafted by the Chiefs in 2017, the 28-year-old has already made three Super Bowl appearances, winning twice and losing once.

He is now set to play in his fourth and has the chance to lead his team to back-to-back Vince Lombardi Trophies. If he manages to do so, Mahomes will be one step closer to legendary quarterback Tom Brady’s record haul.

Brady won six of his seven rings with the New England Patriots, creating a dynasty alongside famed coach Bill Belichick which started in the early 2000s.

Many have now drawn comparisons between that era and what Mahomes has started doing with the Chiefs, but the quarterback is not getting carried away with the hype.

“I don’t think you can really say that you’re a dynasty until it’s over and people will look back at your career and how you did it,” he said.

“So for me, it’s just trying to be great every single year. When I look back at my career, I’ll know that I gave everything I had.”

Tom Brady comparisons

If Mahomes does manage to inspire Kansas City to consecutive Super Bowl titles, there is a real possibility that he’ll come close to breaking Brady’s record by the end of his career.

If he manages to stay healthy, Mahomes could play for another decade and has the undoubted quality to add more trophies to his glittering trophy cabinet.

In the buildup to Sunday’s spectacle, Brady heaped praise on Mahomes amid claims the Chiefs star could one day be a rival to his ‘Greatest Of All Time’ tag.

For Mahomes, though, he’s just focused on the short-term goals.

“I’ve only won two Super Bowls, so there’s a couple other guys in front of me before I even get close to chasing Tom [Brady],” he said.

“All you can do is just try to be your best, every single game, every single day. I try to go out there and play my best football and, hopefully, my best football is good enough to win this third Super Bowl.”

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