Taylor Swift and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Can somebody please help these poor reactionary men? In recent days, they’ve come to the startling realization that the NFL actually isn’t at the center of the cultural universe.

That honor belongs to Taylor Swift, who’s dating Travis Kelce and spent the last two weeks cheering him on. As a result, the “Never Back Down” singer has been a ubiquitous presence on game broadcasts and the NFL’s social media feeds.

In fact, the league even briefly changed its X profile to Swift reaction shots, and updated its Instagram profile to note the “Chiefs are 2-0 as Swifties.”

For some reason, that’s causing right-wingers to be very, very angry.

They need to calm down!

“Football as we know it is over,” blared OutKick.

One week prior, OutKick’s founder, Clay Travis, made a complete fool of himself when he declared Kelce should “just go ahead and cut his d*** off, become a chick, and endorse Joe Biden.”

Moments later, Kelce reeled in a touchdown grab … and the FOX cameras panned to Swift.

The horror!

There are a couple of possible reasons for the outlandish outrage being bestowed upon our nation’s biggest romance since “Brangelina.”

The obvious is about politics, like most things these days. The anti-transgender crowd abhors Kelce, due to his starring role in a Bud Light commercial over the summer (seven months later, they’re still incensed over Dylan Mulvaney’s inclusion in an Instagram ad).

Then to make matters worse, Kelce and his mom appeared in an online spot for Pfizer vaccines! That sent the anti-vax crowd after him, too.

“The question is what will break his heart first — his new relationship with Taylor Swift or the COVID shot?,” asked Charlie Kirk.

Though Swift used to present herself as apolitical, she experienced a political awakening in 2018, when she endorsed two Democratic candidates in Tennessee’s senate race. Since then, she’s aligned herself with liberal causes, and become a vocal critic of Donald Trump.

There’s also probably an LGBTQ component, too. Swift is a steadfast supporter of the LGBTQ community; and in return, has hoards of gay fans.

To Kelce’s critics, his romance with Swift is another strike against him.

“He’s super woke. He’s with Taylor, he endorsed Bud Light post-controversy, and he’s pushing the Pfizer vax,” said Megyn Kelly.

“I wish them the best of luck — not with their relationship, but with myocarditis,” joked Tomi Lahren.

As a two-time Super Bowl champ and budding entertainer, Kelce is one of the NFL’s biggest stars. And he’s running straight to the Hollywood elites, guest-hosting Saturday Night Live and signing with Creative Artists Agency.

While Kelce isn’t exactly Che Guevara, he’s more political than most football mega-stars. And it’s apparent his views are on the left side.

That must be hard for some people to accept, just like the fact that Swift makes the NFL look like a local rec league in terms of reach.

The numbers don’t lie: Her “Eras” tour is projected to generate nearly $5 billion in consumer spending alone — an output greater than 50 countries. On the tour’s opening night in Glendale, Ariz., the show brought in more revenue for local businesses than Super Bowl LVII.

Speaking of Super Bowls, Swift has been performing in front 70,000+ fans multiple nights per week for the last seven months. In other words, she’s putting on two or three Super Bowls every weekend.

The tour is slated to last through November 2024, by the way.

The ratings for recent Chiefs games reflect Swift’s mega-stardom. NBC averaged 27 million viewers for Chiefs-Jets, which was the most-watched Sunday game since Kansas City defeated the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. (Though it’s worth noting total female viewership was only up 40% from the previous week, despite huge jumps in younger demos.)

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just women who adore Swift. Male football fans love her, too. One of them, a Jets season-ticket holder, told The Washington Post he attended Sunday’s matchup so he could wear his favorite bright pink “I Heart Taylor” shirt.

Kelce may not own an “I Heart Taylor” shirt (yet), but he does have a friendship bracelet. He endeared himself to Swifties last summer when he said he wanted to give Taylor his number on the beloved accessory after attending the Eras Tour.

This week, Kelce joined the chorus of people saying the NFL is going overboard with Swift. But the data says otherwise, and the league is acting accordingly.

The NFL, which has traditionally avoided online trends, is dipping its toes into the viral waters. Over the last year, for example, the league’s TikTok account has leaned into the “Joe Burrow is Daddy” phenomenon, playing into the thirst.


The NFL’s foray into TikTok and Swiftie madness is unusual, considering the league rarely plays along. That’s because there’s seldom an incentive: NFL games accounted for 82 of the top 100 TV broadcasts last year.

Why take the risk?

But the landscape is changing now. Members of Gen Z aren’t watching sports like their predecessors, and leagues need to reach them.

The NFL has faced some criticism this week for going all-out on Swift, and appearing to favor the Chiefs on social media. But the league responded, saying the Swift and Kelce romance is a “pop cultural moment” they’ve “leaned into in real time.”

In other words, the NFL is riding the wave here, and not the other way around. The NFL is so into T-Swift, the league is even pushing its TV partners to promote her upcoming movie — for free.

That’s probably scary for people like the Barstool bros. The NFL is their cultural phenomenon. They know the jargon, they know the storylines.

And now, it’s being co-opted by Taylor Swift. Nothing is sacred anymore.

The ironic thing is, Swift really isn’t overtaking NFL broadcasts. Yes, NBC played up her presence Sunday night, complete with a cheesy Carson Daly segment.

But in total, Swift was shown 17 times during the telecast. That’s a lot for somebody in the stands, but it pales in comparison to the actual game.

OutKick’s Bobby Burack published a long column complaining about the coverage, and the biggest issue he raised was how the cameras panned to Swift after Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco scored the first touchdown of the game.

That seems like nitpicking.

For years, the NFL has been bludgeoned with bad headlines: head trauma, sexual assault, domestic abuse. Suddenly, they have a fun storyline to play with.

It also probably wouldn’t hurt if Swift agreed to perform the Super Bowl halftime show. The NFL may not be tipping the scales for the Chiefs, but they’re certainly trying to orchestrate that.