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Going to the chapel? Swift, Kelce featured on Vegas-themed SI cover

Updated February 2, 2024 - 12:45 pm

What would be more probable in Las Vegas? Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift being married at a downtown Las Vegas chapel? Or a Cincinnati Bengal performing an act with a white tiger?

We’ll go with the Kelce-Swift at the quickie nuptials. Exotic animals are no longer part the Strip entertainment landscape. But the latest Sports Illustrated cover depicts that scene, the image of Kelce and Swift as newlyweds and many other pieces of Vegas iconography.

Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Sam Joffray forecast Swift’s visit, musing as he attended the NFC Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium,“Maybe keep all eyes on the wedding chapels?”

The title of the story written by renowned sports journalist Steve Rushin: “Jackpot! Why the Super Bowl and Las Vegas are the perfect couple.”

A look at our favorite half-dozen nuggets from the SI cover:

— Kelce-Swift tie it: The couple are striding out of what looks like Graceland Wedding Chapel. That chapel looks like the reference on the cover art. Kelce is dressed in No. 87 Chiefs sweats (not as Elvis, sadly). Swift is wearing a what looks a lot like a tennis outfit of a skirt, long-sleeved shirt and sneakers. Smiles, all the whiles.

— Ja’Marr Chase’s big cat: The Bengals’ star wideout is shown feeding a huge white tiger, which is leaning on his shoulder. Not today. This would have been more appropriate in the 1980s, with Cris Collinsworth as the Bengal and a cat borrowed from Siegfried & Roy.

— Legendary QB poolside action: Tom Brady is shown reclining on a raft in what looks like Caesars Palace’s Garden of the Gods pool. He’s wearing a Buccaneers’ No. 12 jersey, not the Patriots’ (though he won six Super Bowls with the Pats and one with Tampa Bay). Joe Namath, the guarantee forecaster of Super Bowl III, dons his iconic fur coat with shorts and slippers, at the soon-to-be-demolished Tropicana.

— Usher grooves w/ slime: The superstar halftime headliner is shown covered in green slime, a likely reference to Nickelodeon’s’s “NFL Slimetime” alternative telecast on Nickelodeon. It could also conceivably be a reference to a Super Bowl halftime collab with Drake. The hip-hop icon created controversy by using — without permission — a shot of actress Halle Berry being “slimed out” as cover art for his single “Slime You Out,” released this past September (and props to my gal and Vegas entertainer Steph Payne for sorting out that possibility).

— Lion on the lion: Detroit coach Dan Campbell is shown shouting, probably after coming up short on fourth-and-3, while riding the gold MGM Grand lion.

— Brock Purdy, the one-armed bandit: The 49ers’ QB is presented downtown, playing a “FORTUNE” slot machine, with Vegas Vic and Vegas Vickie nearby.

— Adele and Tyreek at the wheel: Colosseum at Caesars Palace headliner Adele is shown singing in front of the Linq Promenade’s High Roller, as Miami receiver Tyreek Hill (seems him) does a Dolphin-like backflip.

— And a historic bonus track: That “Jackpot!” call-out is familiar to longtime UNLV Runnin’ Rebels fans (and longtime hoops fans). “UNLV Hits The Jackpot” described the 103-73 drubbing of Duke on the April 9, 1990 SI cover.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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