Charlotte Wilder on GoJo and Golic Credit: GoJo & Golic

Some NFL fans feel fatigued around coverage of Taylor Swift’s appearances at Kansas City Chiefs games as she supports her boyfriend Travis Kelce. Heck, even Travis himself thinks it’s been a bit much. But there’s no denying that it’s had an impact on ratings and interest.

The entire saga has also kickstarted a conversation around NFL circles, chiefly around the way certain audiences are crossing paths in ways that many longtime football fans are struggling to appreciate. Some say it’s simply part of a larger reflection of the way women are an integral part of American professional sports audiences. Others don’t like the notion of “newbies” who don’t “get” football crowding in on their territory.

Meadowlark Media’s Charlotte Wilder stopped by the Gojo and Golic show on Wednesday and shared some insights on the way she feels some men in sports media want to gatekeep football and how that’s a fool’s errand.

“It’s men on sports shows being ‘Okay, we get it, welcome new Swifties, but we’ve had enough. We don’t need to keep panning to her. We don’t need to keep talking about her. We don’t need to keep doing this.’ I understand the feeling of ubiquity, of feeling like if you see too much of someone, you’re gonna get tired of it… that’s not Taylor’s fault. She’s going to football games. I saw a few different clips of people being ‘New Swifties, we are happy to have you, but we’ve gotta chill out on all of this.’ That to me is not about Taylor Swift. That is about ‘Stay in your lane.’ It’s very coded to women.

“To me, the thing about sports media that drives me absolutely insane is there are a lot of men in this space who like to think that it is rocket science and who like to use big words and make it seem much more complicated than it is to keep out people who were not traditionally socialized to need to know this stuff,” said Wilder. “Triple coverage just means it’s one guy guarded by three other guys.”

“A lot of Swifties already watch football. A lot of Swifties already knew what was going on. You don’t have to talk to every Taylor Swift fan as if she…cause it’s always a woman when they talk about this, is just discovering football.

“I think there is a gatekeeping aspect of sports media that when guys are saying this stuff, it’s really saying here is my construct of the world in which Taylor Swift and the NFL do not go hand-in-hand. Those are separate things. And it’s threatening to think that maybe her fans who weren’t traditionally football fans are gonna figure out that what we’ve been doing this whole time isn’t not actually some secret club. It’s actually something that is very open to everybody else if you are willing to talk about it in a way that invites people in.

“It is not about Taylor Swift, it is about men wanting to keep people out of this space and that drives me absolutely insane.”

Wilder would go on to say that there’s actually a lot in common with sports fans and fans of celebrity gossip.

“Sports is celebrity gossip,” said Wilder. “We are gossiping about celebrities who play a game. Sports I think for a lot of men is an emotional safe space to feel things and to gossip about stuff and feel connected to other people by talking about other people and that’s the same thing as Taylor Swift.”

Like it or not there’s probably going to be a lot more Taylor Swift/NFL crossover in the days ahead. Whether it’s because of some weird conspiracy theory, because she’s got a movie coming out soon, or because she just really wants to support her new squeeze, Swift seems primed to continue being part of Chiefs games for the foreseeable future. And so will her fans.

[GoJo & Golic]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.