An Awful Announcing rendering of Chris "Mad Dog" Russo and Taylor Swift via USA Today. An Awful Announcing rendering of Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and Taylor Swift via USA Today.

Sports media has seen numerous discussions advocating for tolerance of Taylor Swift’s appearances in football broadcasts. Notable personalities like Colin Cowherd and Pat McAfee are surprisingly among the most prominent voices of reason, imploring viewers not to watch if they don’t want to see these television networks pan to one of the most famous people on the planet for just a mere couple of seconds.

But Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who isn’t a fan of anything distracting from his viewing experience — which includes but is not limited to being anti-Super Bowl parties – is among those who have since complained about how CBS handled Swift’s appearance during Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.

Russo mentioned during his SiriusXM radio show on Monday how a caller had mentioned that CBS showed Swift for less than half of a percent of the AFC Championship Game, which was barely more than crab cakes. Needless to say, Russo thought CBS overdid it during its production of Sunday’s big game.

“They overdid it yesterday,” he said. “I mean, I don’t care if it’s only a split-second. They must’ve gone to that suite for Taylor Swift 9,000 times—way over the top. And I’m not one of those…Listen, I think it’s too much. I’m not that into it. I do think that’s a caring relationship, which I don’t think it’s fake; that I like. I’ve seen it again on the field; I think there’s a future there, but they went to her way, way too many times. I didn’t count the amount of shots to that suite — it had to be 10 or 12 in the course of the game.

“It’s way over the top…It’s not so much the length; it’s just going to (her suite). All they have to do is go there for a second. And if you only go there for 38 seconds, that means you can still go there 25 times — each time is a second and a half. ‘Hey, there she is! Oh, there she is! (Travis) Kelce caught a ball; there she is. Chiefs are driving; there she is. Got her fingers crossed; there she is! I mean, it was just way too much.

“Listen, I know she’s a huge superstar. The New York Post put here on…the frontpage, ‘Welcome to Sin City,’ with Taylor Swift on the cover, all amongst the over participants in Super Bowl 58. So, you can make an argument they’re guilty, too. But this is CBS, and I understand you gotta show a little Taylor Swift, but they want way over the top. That’s my take. Now, you guys might feel differently, and if you’re a 13-year-old girl out there, or my daughter, for that matter, who cares; you can’t get enough of this. 13-year-old girls, 14-year-old and 17-year-old girls, and 23-year-old girls like Kiera Russo, they’re not football fans — they’re Taylor Swift fans. This is supposed to be a football audience, and it was way, way over the top.”

Reddit user JP Analyst observed in the Taylor Swift subreddit that Swift appeared on the screen 12 times during the recent broadcast, aligning with prior claims made by Russo. However, the total airtime for these appearances amounted to 54 seconds, representing roughly 0.36% of the entire 4-hour and 8-minute broadcast.

As Traina mentioned, there’s a benefit to the doggie not being on Twitter because there’s no way his takes on Swift would go over well, especially when considering the above data. But we should remember that this is the same Russo, who previously announced his retirement and then continued his career without retiring, successfully navigating the backlash.

So, perhaps, he’d be able to withstand a little bit of the backlash from the Swifties.

[Jimmy Traina on Twitter/X, r/TaylorSwift on Reddit]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.