Oct 22, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Recording artist Taylor Swift and Brittany Mahomes cheer during the second half between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most tiresome tropes in all of sports is the much feared “distraction.” As if professional athletes payed millions of dollars are completely incapable of balancing what happens on the field and what happens off the field. As soon as a player or team starts to not perform at their absolute best, it must be because there’s some kind of distraction that is causing them to lose focus and begin to fall apart.

As you could predict coming from a mile away, as soon as the Kansas City Chiefs started to not look like Super Bowl champion material, the sharks in the sports media would sense a drop of blood and come for the “Taylor Swift is a distraction” theme. After the Chiefs laid an egg on Christmas and lost to the Las Vegas Raiders 20-14 in Kansas City, it was only a matter of time. And who else but the Great White Shark of lazy, stereotypical, tedious takes but Skip Bayless to be the first to go there.

The wide majority of NFL fans love what Swift’s relationship with Kelce and fandom have brought to the league. Swift and Kelce have been dating for some time now, but it’s funny that it wasn’t a distraction when they beat the Dolphins in another high profile matchup last month. Nor was it a distraction when they were piling up wins earlier in the season.

Suddenly the Chiefs are losing and it must be… Taylor Swift’s fault? For cheering from the press box? It’s just an impossibly lazy take. Are Chiefs receivers reciting Taylor Swift lyrics in their head while they’re dropping passes? Was Patrick Mahomes thinking about a double date after the game when he threw a pick six yesterday? Was Kadarius Toney thinking about future collaborations with the pop star when he couldn’t line up onside?

It’s ridiculous, but this is what Bayless does. And pointing it out isn’t meant to give his take attention, rather to draw attention to how desperate he must be with Undisputed’s ratings in the tank and falling further behind First Take with each passing day. If this is the best he has to offer at this point, it’s no wonder sports fans are finally tuning him out.