Did Taylor Swift Put the NFL on the Map? Long story short, probably not.

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The crowd goes wild! People clothed in red, cheers and whoops and fists pumping the air. Everyone is smiling, laughing, dancing and enjoying the energy of the stadium. The stands are full of adoring fans, chanting words in unison. A lovely scene, one that every person in that crowd is sure to remember for a long time. But the question is this: are we at a Kansas City Chiefs game, or a Taylor Swift concert?

Unless you are one of those fortunate people without social media, or simply make a healthy practice of avoiding pop culture updates, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Swift-Kelce matchup. And I’m not talking about D’Andre and Jason (go Birds). I’m talking about Taylor and Travis. The saga has been ongoing since this past July, according to Billboard. Since then, Kelce has attended the Eras Tour twice, and Swift has been to numerous Chiefs games. They have had several other public appearances, but I am not here to chronicle their entire relationship history – that’s the unfortunate job of entertainment writers across America. However, there is plenty of controversy and conversation surrounding this couple, and I’m here to bring that to light. 

Most people I’ve asked have very little to say about the situation, but that’s because I actively choose to surround myself with people who care very little for scrutinizing the private lives of celebrities. Those who do have something to say, though, are usually pro-Swift. They have no problem with the star singer showing up on the TV when the Chiefs game is on. However, some have said that it is distracting from the actual game to have the cameras constantly on Swift. Sure, that could be a nuisance, but what self-respecting camera crew wouldn’t turn towards such a shining face? The ball will get to one end of the field or the other regardless, but we might only get this one chance to see Taylor’s all-red fit. But is that really what we’re watching the game for? Who’s the real star of the show here? Regardless of how you feel about football or Swift, it seems that the main problem to come out of this whole situation is the ongoing popularity contest between Swifties and NFL diehards.

My thoughts? Both Taylor Swift, the person, artist and brand that she is, and the NFL, encapsulating one of America’s favorite sports, are popular enough that they don’t really need each other to gain a following. On the contrary, I think it is brilliant that two different fan bases have this thread of connection between them. It is a testament to the coming together of different communities over a shared enjoyment. That is something that entertainment, sports and other industries are supposed to be doing anyway, aren’t they? Shall we then treat the Swift-Kelce alliance as a Romeo and Juliet scenario? Albeit preferably with less bloodshed? Two seemingly opposed parties are brought together by two lovebirds. I think this tie between the two worlds is a beautiful thing. It is also the closest thing we here in the good old “U.S. of A.” are going to get to a royal couple. 

Furthermore, this obsession with the couple screams of immaturity, which is sadly nothing new for American media outlets and is to be expected from the masses on TikTok. However, we might all take this moment as an opportunity to back up, examine ourselves and ask the all-important question: why are we so obsessed with who’s dating who? Especially when the “who” is a famous person? It is honestly none of our business, and obsessing over what Taylor’s next album will be like because of this relationship is, frankly, odd. Get a hold of yourselves. Get a hobby. Take up crochet. Or check out Mac Macolino’s article about arts opportunities at Eastern, and try something other than scrolling through gossip feeds. Just a thought!

But I digress. Please take these criticisms and callouts all in good fun, it was really never that deep. My point is that Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, at the end of the day, are two adults who are pursuing a relationship, and the fact that they have spotlight-heavy careers shouldn’t necessarily mean that they deserve constant scrutiny. I hope the two can simply “Shake It Off” and continue living their lives with no “Bad Blood” forming between them.

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