Why bad blood between football fans and Swift?
Last updated 2/7/2024 at 3:37pm | View PDF
I wouldn’t describe myself as a huge Taylor Swift fan — although I do know all the words to most of the songs on “1989,” as it was the only music we listened to driving through Colorado on a family vacation in 2015.
Of course, you don’t have to be a huge fan to know something about her. Sunday night she claimed her fourth Album of the Year Grammy, making history by surpassing the likes of three-time winners Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder. She’s won a total of 14 Grammys, which is pretty impressive.
The Time Magazine 2023 Person of the Year and 2019 Billboard Woman of the Decade has broken a number of records, from highest grossing tour of all time, highest grossing concert film and Spotify’s most-streamed artist globally. As of November 2023, she is the female musician with the most charted songs (231), most top-40 songs (137), most top-20 songs (85), most top-10 songs (49) and most top-10 debuts (38).
I could go on, but I would run out of space.
I’ve been thinking about Swift with all the controversy surrounding her appearances at Kansas City Chiefs games to cheer on her boyfriend, Travis Kelce. I like what Colin Cowherd had to say about it on his show, “The Herd.”
“I think if you’re getting upset about 25 seconds of video over 3.5 hours, you need to get over it. We put guys on sports all the time,” he said, offering a list of male celebrities seen at NFL or NBA games.
Cowherd shared that his mom, wife, sister and daughter are all strong women and noted they would be horrified if he had a bad reaction to Swift.
Is that what all this backlash is about? Swift is too strong a woman for some fans’ taste?
Think about it. I haven’t heard any men complain when they cut to the team’s cheerleaders during a broadcast. Have you? (Interestingly, I saw a Today Show piece about the Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders on Monday. One was a professor and neuroscientist, one a financial analyst and one a vet pathologist and Ph.D. student.)
And while it is completely unrelated, I can’t help but share a tweet a friend of mine posted on her Facebook page about the “Barbie” Oscar snub.
“You have to be a leading lady but you can’t be nominated for best actress. You have to be a strong female director but you can’t be nominated for best director. You have to have a wildly popular dance song but you can’t be nominated for best original song.”
You have to be a loyal girlfriend but you can’t be caught attending your boyfriend’s games. Doesn’t make any sense, does it?
I don’t think this issue really is about Taylor Swift. If it were, true fans would be thrilled at the brand value of $310 million to $330 million she is estimated to have brought to the NFL since she started going to games.
And it’s not about politics, either. (I refuse to entertain any conspiracy theories about how she is going to keep Joe Biden in office. It’s ridiculous.)
The issue just might be that in all her success, Taylor Swift is a threat to some. And that’s really a shame.
There’s an opportunity here to celebrate — not only what appears to be a sweet relationship between two very famous people — but a singer/songwriter who also is an amazing businesswoman. And all the young girls who have developed an interest in football thanks to her.
I love what former University of Montana football player Kevin Van Valkenburg posted on social media (despite the oddly used question marks):
“I actually feel bad for the Brads, Chads and Angry Dads who spent the year complaining about Taylor Swift interrupting their football because I spent the season trading Swift/Kelce memes with my 14-year-old daughter (who previously didn’t care about football) and now it’s like a fun thing we share? Which is freaking awesome?”
Girlfriends going to their boyfriends’ football games is nothing new. What’s new is now the girlfriend has more money and more power than her pro-football boyfriend. But that’s something to celebrate, not hate.
— Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].