Chris Russo blasts CBS's use of Taylor Swift during Super Bowl Photo credit: ESPN

CBS showed Taylor Swift for 54 seconds during Super Bowl LVIII, which was a nonissue for most fans. But Chris “Mad Dog” Russo isn’t most fans.

Wednesday morning on First Take, Russo devoted 110 seconds of his “What Are You Mad About?” segment to blasting CBS for devoting 54 seconds to Swift during the Super Bowl. Russo began his rant, noting that he spoke to Sean McManus ahead of the Super Bowl and the CBS Sports chair downplayed the network’s focus on Swift.

“Like an idiot, I bought it,” Russo said of McManus’s defense of CBS putting a camera on Swift during NFL broadcasts. “In the AFC Championship game, she was on for 38 seconds. Alright, that sounds like not that big a deal. This past week…she was on for 55 seconds. Alright, doesn’t sound that bad. THEY WENT TO THAT BOX 12 TIMES. 12 TIMES! He only caught one ball in the first half. I’m not interested! They couldn’t pick out Len Dawson out of a lineup, for crying out loud!”

Swift was on camera for 44 seconds during the AFC Championship game and 54 seconds in the Super Bowl, but those details are unlikely to change any part of Russo’s 110-second tirade.

“It’s a football game! That’s what it is,” Russo continued. “And now you know why fans get annoyed in Buffalo and Baltimore, they think there’s a conspiracy. ‘Well, they want the Chiefs to win so they get all the calls because they want to capitalize on Taylor Swift.’ Now that’s a nonsensical thought, but fans think that way!”

Fans like Russo, perhaps. Maybe Russo doesn’t believe there was a conspiracy by the NFL or the Pentagon to see Taylor Swift and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. But equally nonsensical to those conspiracies is railing on CBS for devoting 54 seconds of its more than four-hour long Super Bowl broadcast to arguably the biggest music star in the world.

Yes, the Super Bowl has a football game, but that’s not what it is. For a lot of its audience, the Super Bowl is as much about entertainment as it is the football game, drawing tens of millions of viewers who care more about the halftime show, commercials, and Taylor Swift than they do the score.

[First Take]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to