I’ve had little to no problem with the coverage of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.
Who wins the Super Bowl next year?
Besides the worst that the tabloids have had to offer, the burgeoning situationship between Kelce and Swift has amused me. That was until NBC’s introduction for the Swifties, just prior to the start of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 4 matchup against the New York Jets.
The game was at MetLife Stadium so Swift’s “Welcome to New York,” was a fine song choice. But to have a 50-year-old Carson Daly explain the Jets and Chiefs to the Swifites from the set of The Voice nearly caused the entire storyline to jump the shark.
Rumors about Kelce and Swift have been in the gossip blogs and social media handles for weeks. Her millennial/Gen Z fanbase is known for their rapid research abilities. They have subreddits, Xwitter threads, TikToks, literally the entire internet at their disposal. Pandering to them with the former host of a Y2K-era music video countdown show blurting out the names of Swift’s most well-known songs is corny.
Ever since Swift took her place in Kelce’s luxury box next to Mama Donna Kelce during the Chiefs’ Week 4 domination of the Chicago Bears, middle-aged NFL broadcasters have been finding ways to fit “Blank Space,” into their sentences. NBC should not have doubled down on an already-used technique.
The network’s parent company owns E! — whose entire purpose is to stay current on all things pop culture. A crossover audience is more likely to be found with a face from the channel that aired Keeping up with the Kardashians than Tara Reid’s former boyfriend, and a show whose primary audience is people who watch network television, commercials and all, regularly on weeknights.
Swift’s involvement with Kelce should be a moment that allows the NFL to attach itself to the younger audience that does not watch the league as regularly as previous generations. This Week 4 Sunday Night Football game was not the same stage as Swift mixing ketchup and ranch in the midwest next to Kelce’s mom in Chiefs colors. She was wearing her social attire and hanging with her crew, not far from her swanky New York pad. Her interest in Kelce brought anticipation to a game in which the team not quarterbacked by Patrick Mahomes has Zach Wilson behind center.
The NFL and NBC decided to capitalize on this moment by using a joke that Scott Hanson delivered last week. It worked for RedZone. That channel is for an audience of football fans, and Hanson is the sherpa to our Sundays. Seven days later, the jokes were as cold as an actual mountain climb.
Kelce and Swift is a great story for however long it is with us, but let’s put the “Blank Space” jokes to bed.