The NFL Belongs To Taylor Swift Now
10:57 AM EDT on October 2, 2023
Taylor Swift is dating Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. You probably missed that news, but it's true. Despite their best efforts to fly under the radar, the dastardly paparazzi—or as some people call it the "NFL media and television operators"—keep intruding on their love affair.
Maybe you noticed the way last night's Sunday Night Football telecast went into Taylor Cam mode every five minutes, or the way Cris Collinsworth kept mentioning her (when he wasn't patronizing Zach Wilson by pretending he's talented). I mean here's a young lady, just a normal international pop star, who wants to enjoy the ol' ball game with her famous and totally genuine pals Sophie Turner, Blake Lively, Hugh Jackman, and the cinema antichrist himself, Ryan Reynolds. Swift was there to support her beloved and spend time with his dear sweet exhausted mother, who had to trek all the way from watching Commanders-Eagles with Jake from State Farm to be there. Why won't the media leave these people alone?
Believe it or not, Taylor Swift has a bit of a "reputation" (non-Taylor's version). Some people (not me) feel that she uses fake high-profile relationships as both a form of marketing for herself and an easy way to get post-breakup material for a new album. And some people (not me) believe that her genuine love affair with Travis Kelce is not only in keeping with this tradition, but is actually a mutually beneficial partnership between her and him and maybe even the entire NFL; where she gets what she always gets, Kelce gets to build on his celebrity and maybe become the next The Rock, and the NFL finally improves its female viewership numbers. This relationship may also help the league appeal to a younger audience, a thing the NFL almost certainly doesn't care about. On a totally unrelated note: how about that Toy Story broadcast?
Some are very cynically buying into this "theory" that Swift and Kelce's relationship isn't genuine, and it doesn't help that we are one Chiefs game away from ESPN offering a Taylorcast, where you can watch her watch the game the whole time. Maybe during a Chiefs Monday Night Football game, they can have the Manningcast talk to Swifties. All over sports media, it's Taylor Swift talk: Will she be at the game? Do her and Travis Kelce smooch? Is she going to appear on the Kelce brothers' podcast? The entire sports media apparatus is now no better than TMZ, dishing on the hot goss between these two. It's all a bit much.
But love is love! Sure, it may be a little unnerving to watch this country's two cultural hegemones crash into each other and create a kind of fusion reaction that threatens to swallow the media industry and our attention spans whole, but how can you deny one fame-hungry lunkhead's feelings for a pop star who will not rest until every living being has purchased a ticket to one of her concerts?
There's no stopping this, so you might as well learn to love it. The Taylor Cam will continue to roll after every Chiefs touchdown, and one day you'll look up to see her high-fiving Lily-Rose Depp before turning to her left to plant a big kiss on the cheek of the Dalai Lama. Then it will be about time for her to start dating Austin Reaves.