Taylor Swift was in the suite for the second weekend in a row to watch Travis Kelce and Kansas City’s Chiefs win over the New York Jets on Sunday Night Football. It was the first time I’ve tuned into SNF, or whatever they’re calling it now, in a decade – not for the actual sport, but for the gossip. Because while, naturally, the broadcast tried to focus primarily on the game, Taylor was in the atmosphere, Taylor was always on the tips of their tongues. Taylor was mentioned constantly. And it wasn’t just the cameras cutting to her whenever they could, it was also Carson Daly doing a whole ass feature before kickoff, like a 101 for all the Swifties tuning in who weren’t familiar with football.
NBC used Carson Daly and â€˜The Voiceâ€™ to provide a Taylor Swift-themed explanation for tonightâ€™s game:pic.twitter.com/Ig6XGYEymL— Front Office Sports (@FOS) October 2, 2023
How many of her song titles did he namecheck in that piece? I’m too lazy to go back to watch it again but, like, six or seven, right? And that’s on top of “Welcome to New York” which is playing under the edit.
“Welcome to New York” of course is the first track off of Taylor’s album, 1989. And we all know by now that 1989 (Taylor’s Version) will be released in just a matter of weeks. It’s also fitting for the game that was just played which happened to be a New York Jets home game. And NBC didn’t just use the song for Carson Daly’s piece. On Friday they were already advertising the game with “Welcome to New York” in their TV spots:
Welcome to New York, Guys! pic.twitter.com/q0wfmOysJX— The Eras Tour (@TSTheErasTour) September 29, 2023
A major television broadcaster cannot use a song, any song, but especially a Taylor Swift song, without her permission. And by permission I mean PAYING her. So let me just break this down… because this, to me, is getting me harder than whatever is going on between her and Travis Kelce.
You want to know what’s in it for Taylor Swift? Please. Why would Taylor be in it if there wasn’t SO MUCH in it for Taylor Swift?
The NFL is licencing her music. That’s money. The NFL and its broadcasters, in the process, are giving her all kinds of free marketing. That’s money too. Because the airtime that any other brand would have to pay for, she’s getting at no charge. In fact, it’s almost as though the NFL and NBC are asking her for the privilege to advertise FOR HER …gratis.
This is the biggest professional sports league in North America. The NFL is an American institution, football is a religion. But they’re the ones doing the most right now. Look at their Twitter header:
And their Instagram bio:
The guardian association of America’s most derivatively masculine sport, basically the dude bro head office, is basically holding up a boombox outside her window, begging her to love them. They’re in the arena, looking up at her on the emperor’s platform, anxiously awaiting her thumbs up or thumbs down.
So maybe the question shouldn’t be whether or not Taylor and Travis are trolling us. Maybe, in the end, it’ll be about whether or not Taylor is trolling the NFL. If she’s not trolling them, she’s certainly owning them.
And now back to the rom-com, because we’re two weeks in and it’s been a great show. In another flex of her influence, Taylor stacked her suite yesterday with all kinds of celebrities. Here she is arriving with Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, and Sabrina Carpenter.
Taylor Swift is here. pic.twitter.com/Kx2JhtdauF— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) October 1, 2023
Sophie Turner and Antoni Porowski were also seen in the suite with Taylor during the game and left with Taylor afterwards:
ðŸ“¹ | Taylor Swift leaving the Chiefs game tonight with friends including Sophie Turner, Sabrina Carpenter, Antoni, Melanie, Ashley and more— Taylor Swift News ðŸ©µ (@TSwiftNZ) October 2, 2023
Taylor, Sophie, and Blake were together the night before, on Saturday, out for dinner. And on that note, I really love that Sophie isn’t hiding or performing the conventional and basic AF role of devoted mother and staying at home with her children and denying herself a social life after Joe Jonas filed for divorce and his people tried to leak that she was an absent parent. Giving into those expectations only reinforces the restrictions placed on mothers on how they should be expected to behave. Going out for dinner with her girlfriends doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about her kids. Going to the football game with her girlfriends doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about her kids. And not succumbing to that pressure to model a certain kind of motherhood might actually be great for her two daughters considering that misogyny, unfortunately, will still be a reality in their futures.
So Taylor’s with the girls on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, however, Page Six is reporting that Travis was seen leaving her place around 11am. If that’s true, there was a sleepover. And if there was a sleepover, it would mean that Travis broke curfew. Other sources are insisting that there was no curfew violation – which results in a fine (he can afford the fine) – but this probably isn’t even a thing anymore since his team won and nobody’s going to be complaining that his alleged sleepover with Taylor affected his play.
The more interesting takeaway of course is whether or not Travis was willing to break curfew for Taylor. And if so, if it is true that he was at her place until Sunday morning, well then it only adds to the impression that he’s been putting out there that he’s down bad for her. And that he’s taking every chance he gets to spend time with her, considering his team schedule and commitments. After all, we’re in the thick of NFL regular season – he doesn’t have many opportunities to date right now.
Kansas City plays Minnesota next Sunday. And then it’s a short week because they’re back in KC for their next game on Thursday, October 12. Interestingly enough, the big Hollywood premiere of Taylor’s The Eras Tour movie is happening the night before on October 11. He’ll need special permission from the team to be in LA and then fly back in time for the game the next day. Unlikely but not impossible…right? Can we bet on this instead of football?
PS. We’ve been chatting about Taylor and Travis over at The Squawk the last few days. Let’s keep it going there!