Another NFL postseason has come and gone, and what do you know? The Kansas City Chiefs are right back in the Super Bowl for their fourth appearance in five seasons, and they are gearing up to take on the NFC-winning San Francisco 49ers in a Super Bowl 56 rematch.
All eyes are on the most dynamic duo in football. And no, I’m not talking about Travis Kelce and MVP-quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but rather Kelce and Grammy award-winning pop superstar Taylor Swift, Kelce’s girlfriend.
Swift has made her mark on the NFL in just one season, appearing at nearly every Chiefs home game as well as a few away games, including Kansas City’s postseason run. Throughout the season, Swift has drawn in media attention from every top sports publication, including ESPN, Bleacher Report and many others.
Social media drama always attracts the duality of negative and positive comments, but these publications have been bombarded with football diehards demanding that Swift is removed from attention. There has been a “coalition” of sorts among these fans separate from other superfans, where they attempt to undermine the singer’s contribution to the sport.
I never really understood the hate that Swift is receiving from football fans. In a game dominated by statistics and on-the-field actions, this storyline has breathed new life into the 2023-24 season.
Having watched nearly every Chiefs game this season, I can assure you Swift has never been a distraction from the game. The same way cutaways and wipes from the action to commercials and sideline interviews, she is mostly shown as a reminder to fans that she’s present.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and company have always tried to push hard for non-sports fans to become familiar with the NFL. It’s the reason Nickelodeon introduced their own football analysis show every Sunday for children, and why Super Bowl halftime shows branch out into a variety of different genres.
This doesn’t include philanthropic ventures that players and coaches have collaborated on with the league, including weeks dedicated to Breast Cancer awareness and players’ charities.
The NFL is now welcoming blossoming a demographic that wouldn’t even have been attainable before the season’s beginning. In a Forbes-endorsed survey conducted by Morning Consult, 66% of avid Taylor Swift fans are either millennials or Gen-Xers and, when including the female-majority audience, this is uncharted territory for the NFL.
NFL fans should be grateful that their beloved sport is receiving even more attention than it had before. Football already trumped other sports leagues like the NBA and MLB on viewership, and it appears that it’s only up from here.
Newly legal betting websites are benefiting from Swift’s publicity as well. Sportsbooks like BetUS have already begun releasing props on Swift instead of the actual game action, which is sure to draw bettors into placing more bets because of her.
Just as a reminder, Swift is receiving these swarms of hate merely from cheering for Kelce and the Chiefs. I’m a Packers fan who is starting to get sick of this Chiefs dynasty, of course, but my thoughts about the Kansas City team don’t impact my feelings about Swift and Kelce. If this action is deterring fans from continuing to watch the sport that they love, the problem is deeper than football.
If anything, watch the Super Bowl between Kansas City and San Francisco on Feb. 11. Who knows, you may just find yourself enjoying the camera jumping between Kelce and Swift.
Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce after the AFC Championship Game. Photo by Patrick Smith (Getty Images).