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Put the beer down, Travis – it’s not IF Taylor dumps you… but WHEN: After the coach bashing, drunken disorder and tone-deaf post-shooting selfies, MAUREEN CALLAHAN says image-obsessed Swift will now shake off brand Kelce

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Put the beer down, Travis - it's not IF Taylor dumps you... but WHEN: After the coach bashing, drunken disorder and tone-deaf post-shooting selfies, MAUREEN CALLAHAN says image-obsessed Swift will now shake off brand Kelce

 

Did she know he was trouble?

 

 

America, brace for impact: It looks like the romance of the century (wink wink) may already be over.

The once-sparkling future of our prom king and queen, the football star and the head cheerleader, has almost certainly been dashed by one very public rage explosion, drunken disorder, and a spectacularly insensitive decision to party hard after a mass shooting at his Super Bowl parade.

Mere hours after 22 fans were shot — nine children among them, a young mother dead — Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce thought it was a great idea to hit ‘Granfalloon Restaurant and Bar’ and take selfies with cops while carrying an open beer bottle on the street, having earlier taken to the parade stage looking far too drunk to speak.

‘Caveman’ and ‘douchebag’ were two descriptors used by outraged fans on social media.

Warning to Travis Kelce: look no further than Taylor Swift’s songbook to glimpse your imminent future.

To quote ‘Bad Blood’: ‘Did you have to do this? I was thinking that you could be trusted. Did you have to ruin what was shiny? Now it’s all rusted’.

As we well know, Team Taylor will allow no one or nothing to smear her assiduously crafted image.

Bodies are strewn all over her lyrics, ex-boyfriends accused of terrible behavior, her canon built on broken romances, victimization, and the reclaiming of her ‘power’.

This narrative arc has made her a billionaire. Who thinks that Swift is going to jeopardize her image for some trashy football player she leveled up to global fame?

The first red flag emerged at Sunday’s Super Bowl itself, when Kelce pushed his 65-year-old coach, Andy Reid, and roared his outrage in front of 125 million viewers – fury all over his reddened face.

Tom Brady would never.

What kind of message does this send to Swift’s impressionable, overwhelmingly female fan base? That this kind of abuse is okay?

And if this is how Kelce behaves in public, what does he do behind locker-room doors?

Count me among those not buying Reid’s excuses for this most terrible treatment.

‘I love that intensity!’ Reid told NBC Sports after the game. ‘It radiates’.

Doubtless Kelce’s sweat and spittle radiated too.

And remember, this isn’t an isolated incident.

‘He had a temper’, Reid said of Kelce in an interview before the Super Bowl. ‘So, on the field he would go off and do some crazy things. He was a challenge early… But he’s grown up right before our eyes.’

Has he?

Clearly slamming into other men the size of brick houses isn’t enough of an outlet.

Couple that with Kelce’s embarrassing performance post-victory on Sunday, sing-shouting ‘Viva Las Vegas’ and ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)’ with zero self-awareness, quarterback Patrick Mahomes holding his toddler daughter right behind him.

Mahomes gets the memo. He understands the assignment. He wasn’t out partying after Wednesday’s horrific mass shooting.

In fact, he put out a statement within minutes, posting that he was ‘praying for Kansas City’.

Kelce, 34 years old to Mahomes’s 28, took hours to do the same. And, most notably, his post went up some time after he first arrived at that sports bar.

Do we think Kelce was sober enough to write that post himself?

These are catastrophes of his own making.

It’s not a question of if Tay-Tay and Travis break up, but when.

This was always as much of a brand merger as a romance. Who could forget the way Swift described their love story in a rare interview she gave to Time magazine, which named her ‘Person of the Year’ last December — in no small part due to her wholesome, unblemished image?

‘We actually had a significant amount of time [together] that no one knew’, she said of their origin story. ‘I think some people think that they saw our first date at that game? We would never be psychotic enough to hard launch a first date’.

Hard launch! Let’s look to the Cambridge dictionary for a proper definition: ‘An occasion when a new product or service is made available to the public, not just a limited number of people, in a way that is intended to attract a lot of attention’.

Mission accomplished.

Taylor and Travis are (were?) a marketing scheme, and it has served its purpose well. Taylor got a guy who wants to be as famous as she is — see the recent Wall Street Journal magazine cover story, written by Prince Harry’s ghostwriter, in which the footballer talks about using The Rock as his template — and Travis got fast-tracked into the celebrity stratosphere.

Hope he enjoyed the ride, because he’s about to crash land on Earth. A hard launch downward, if you will.

Swift, meanwhile, is back on her Eras tour, far away in Australia.

One can imagine the crisis management talks she’s having with her team, the gold-standard in public relations.

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