Swift and Kelce’s Superbowl update
Anti-Swift sentiment won’t stop NFL diehards from watching this year’s Superbowl.

It’s official. The NFL’s biggest star is headed to the Superbowl. But I’m not talking about Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, or even any of the 12 other Pro Bowl selections on the Chiefs and 49ers rosters. I’m talking about Taylor Swift.

The NFL averaged 17.9 million viewers per game this regular season – the second-highest total since averages were first tracked in 1995. This increase in viewership has largely been attributed to “Swifties” who have been flocking to watch their idol and her future Hall-of-Fame boyfriend, Travis Kelce.

According to an October report by NBC News, teen girl viewership for Sunday Night Football climbed a whopping 53 per cent throughout the first three weeks of the season. Viewership from women aged 18-24 increased 24 per cent, while the audience of women over 35 grew by 34 per cent. This combined spike in viewership accounted for an additional two million weekly watchers.

Swift’s audience seems to follow her everywhere she goes. Another report from Forbes magazine predicted that her Eras Tour could produce US$4.6 billion for the local economies of the cities she performs in. Kelce’s podcast has more than quadrupled in weekly listeners, and his jersey sales catapulted into the top five most sold in the entire league. 

The NFL is about as popular as ever, Travis Kelce is on the way to another Superbowl, and Swift just dominated another year of the Grammys. Everyone seems to be winning. Everyone except for NFL purists.

In this year’s AFC Championship broadcast, Swift was shown on-screen a total of seven times, once again throwing social media into a frenzy between diehard Swift fans and seasoned football viewers.

“Now I can hate Taylor Swift and Brittaney Mahomes at the same time,” said one X user after a clip showing Swift celebrating with Brittany Mahomes, the unpopular wife of Patrick Mahomes. “NOBODY CARES ABOUT TAYLOR SWIFT STOP SHOWING HER AFTER EVERYTHING TRAVIS KELCE DOES,” ranted another.

But are the concerns of football fans really warranted? According to Sports Illustrated, Swift’s seven appearances combined for a grand total of 44 seconds of screen time. Considering that the game lasted three hours and nine minutes, Swift only appeared for 0.39 per cent of the broadcast. The backlash begins to sound even more ridiculous when you realize a recording of arena staff cooking, serving, and munching on crab cakes lasted 27 seconds. But nobody seems to complain about that.

NBA legend turned sports commentator Charles Barkley publicly stepped in to defend Swift amid growing animosity, saying in a recent CNN feature that anyone who taunts her is “just a loser or a jackass.”

Regardless of their distaste for Swift, NFL fans inevitably tuned in this past Sunday to watch the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVII. Though Swift was on tour in Japan, it’d be hard to imagine America’s biggest star failing to appear at America’s biggest event of the year.


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