Taylor Swift’s presence in the NFL gives a boost to the American right’s grievance machine

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You know, who doesn’t want to participate in the Taylor Swift Mania that threatens to engulf all sports media between now and the Super Bowl? The U.S.-based sportsbook, which announced Wednesday that they wouldn’t take bets on whether or not Swift will attend the match scheduled for next Sunday in Las Vegas.

The pop megastar’s romance with Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce has made headlines all NFL season, and she’s a regular fixture in a luxury box at Kansas City games , watching with Kelce’s family and friends. But the day before the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers, Swift is scheduled to perform in Tokyo.

Swift, we have learned, is extremely powerful. It can increase jersey sales, increase viewership for an already popular league, and create mainstream media. I think she invented Swag Surfin, all alone. But even Taylor Swift can’t close the distance between Tokyo Dome and Allegiant Stadiumtherefore his presence on match day is not guaranteed.

Normally, this mix of profile and uncertainty turns an event into gambling inventory, but this time the American bookmakers decided they didn’t want this action. Abject disparities benefit from this type of treatment, as do sporting events with predetermined outcomes, such as professional wrestling matches and fixed fights.

Among commentators who mix sports and politics within the American right, the public romance between Swift and Kelce is an example of the latter – yet another twisted competition set up by someone who seeks to dupe the unsuspecting public . To hear some tell it, Swift, Kelce and Kansas City at the Super Bowl are as scripted as John Cena defeats the Rock.

I won’t go into too much detail about the conspiracy theories here, because I’m hesitant to give them air, but since her emergence as an NFL fan, Swift has been described by American conservative commentators as a diversion, saboteur and undercover government agent sent to brainwash football fans.

A woman cheers at a football match.
Taylor Swift’s romance with Travis Kelce has given rise to various unfounded accusations from American conservative commentators. (Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press)

None of these accusations are true. All are sexist. But the right-wing media’s grievance machine needs fuel, and the specter of Taylor Swift around the biggest day on the sporting calendar is a high-octane stimulant. Between now and Super Bowl Sunday, expect this engine to be firing on all cylinders.

Messing with American conservatives isn’t part of my job description, but a column that includes sports media analysis necessarily involves dissecting undercooked, bad-faith, and clumsy sports stances. A critical mass of these types of comments come from Fox News and fakes, but I cannot control the source. I’m just exploring the issues.

Regarding Swift, some complaints come from politically agnostic football fans who think KC’s shows devote too much time to her.

Fact Check Part 1. 1:

We all watch the game on a second screen. When the camera switches to Swift, scroll through your phone until you can safely watch the TV again.

Fact Check Part 2:

Swift doesn’t cost you any play action. It’s gridiron football, where plays last six seconds, and much of the rest is what track and field coach Tony Holler calls “TV dawdling.” Add up all the Swift visuals from the AFC Championship game and it totals 44 seconds. It costs us nothing.

Unfounded media criticism

Correction. Swift appears to have cost some commentators their common sense and a lot of personal peace.

On December 25, Clay Travis, a notorious artist who had targeted Swift earlier in the season, said that Swift was the Delilah to Kelce’s Sampson.

“(Kansas City is) not a good football team and Travis Kelce looks like he might retire,” Travis posted on Twitter. “Pfizer’s worthless double shots may have caught up with him. Either that or Taylor Swift is (from Kansas City) Yoko Ono. Maybe both.”

Granted, Kelce only recorded 984 receiving yards this regular season, his lowest total since 2015. But last week, he torched the normally airtight Baltimore Ravens defense for 11 receptions and 116 yards, even though Swift encouraged him in person. And if she was a loss for the entire team, how did they manage to win twice on the road and make it to the Super Bowl?

Either she’s harmless or this whole competition is rigged.

Or the third option, theorized by social media personality and self-proclaimed “Alpha Male” Nick Adams – She wants Travis Kelce’s $70,000 Super Bowl bonus.

“For those wondering why Taylor Swift is dating Travis Kelce: are things starting to make sense now?”

Negative.

A woman among a large crowd in the stands at a football game holds up a sign saying Taylor is here.
Swift’s attendance at various Kansas City games has become a topic of conversation among fans and media. (Jason Hanna/Getty Images)

Swift, 34, is worth $1.1 billion. For the median Canadian in the 35 to 44 age group, the figure is $234,400. For the average Canadian, $70,000 is an impressive salary. For Swift, adjusted for net worth, that’s about $15. A pleasant surprise if you find it in the pocket of pants that you were going to wash, but not enough to make you fake a love affair. If you love someone for $15, you love that person, period.

The latest wave of anti-Swift criticism pivots on politics. She voted for Joe Biden in 2020 and urged her fans to do the same. And some experts want her to keep her political activities away from this sporting event, as if Donald Trump doesn’t appear on UFC cards. Or as if Ron DeSantis wasn’t hiding in baseball. And as if failed Republican primary candidate Vivek Ramaswamy hadn’t just crossed his hands for popularity as he followed Jake Paul to the ring to Paul’s most recent fight.

Swift has yet to endorse any presidential candidate, but conservative commentators looks terrified of using the Super Bowl spotlight to strengthen the campaign of current President Joe Biden. A Swift co-sign is powerful. Biden already knows this.

But so does the NFL. Nearly 25 million viewers watched Kansas City’s game against the Chicago Bears, with Swift in attendance. Subsequently, retailers reported a 400 percent increase in sales of Kelce jerseys.

Taylor Swift fuels business. You don’t have to be a Swiftie to admit it. You just need to know how to add and subtract. So if you’re actively opposed to its presence in the NFL’s orbit, you’re also against the league cultivating new fans and making more money.

It’s your prerogative and it’s fair. It could be argued that seemingly unrelated developments — from sportwashing to gambling addiction to the NFL’s racist concussion settlement payments — all stem from the sports industry’s relentless pursuit of margins. larger beneficiaries. It’s just a confusing position to take when, the rest of the time, you’re a pro-business cheerleader eager to see the rich get richer.

Yet some people attach themselves to ideological ties just so they can stay on Taylor Swift’s bad side. Confusing, but not a big surprise.

The sportsbooks tried to warn us.

Often when it comes to Taylor Swift, all bets are off.



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