The NFL season is in full swing, and four full weeks in, the league has been full of surprises. There have been great rookies like the Rams’ Puka Nacua, star holdouts like the Colts’ Johnathon Taylor, surprising disappointments like the entire Cincinnati Bengal team, and disappointing injuries like the one suffered by Jet quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Then there is Taylor Swift. Since Swift showed up to the Kansas City Chiefs’ week three game versus the Chicago Bears, the internet has been abuzz with rumors about Swift and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Of course, the rumors have been confirmed, and Swift and Kelce are indeed dating, and the budding relationship has blown up the internet and, in turn, the NFL.
Never being a league to pass up on an opportunity to cash in, the NFL has seized on Swift and Kelce like a hungry dog onto a soup bone, and fans seemingly can’t get enough. Even the leftist media has joined in the fray, albeit to criticize Kelce for his toxic masculinity, but either way, Swift and Kelce seem to be all America and the sports world can focus on.
While most of the country and the sports media see it as a harmless distraction, the league’s relentless coverage of the relationship has put some on the defensive. Barstool CEO Dave Portnoy had some surprising opinions on the entire storyline.
While Kelce and the league are raking in the cash because of the enormous increase in jersey sales, Portnoy reminded the league not to forget why they exist. He accused the league of “simping,” and said: “Simping means letting [someone] walk all over you, basically doing whatever you can to appease somebody, basically having a crush. And when you have a crush, you don’t think logically.”
It’s not as if Portnoy is dissing Taylor Swift. In fact, he is a “Swifty” himself. However, he doesn’t see the value in allowing a side story to eclipse the actual action on the field. He continued: “I should clarify, I am a ‘Swiftie,’ so let’s not paint me as anti-Swift. I’m wearing the friendship bracelets right now. I love Taylor Swift, but the NFL was simping for her.”
Portnoy is referring to the relentless coverage during the Chiefs-Jets game on Sunday Night Football. Despite the game being a lackluster matchup, it was the highest-rated game since last year’s Super Bowl, largely on the backs of Swift and Kelce.
Portnoy weighed in on Sunday night’s tilt: “Listen, nobody is going to watch the New York Jets if you don’t put Taylor Swift on there. That’s a poverty franchise that nobody cares about. But the common NFL fan, you’re going to have to walk a fine line between them being like, ‘Hey, I want to watch football. This is my time away, maybe from my wife and my daughters to enjoy some me time.’ And you’re turning it into a Taylor Swift concert. It’s not my concern because I love both things, but you do have to walk that fine line. You don’t want to alienate your normal crowd.”
It remains to be seen, and certainly, the league and public will tire of the storyline, but in the meantime, be prepared for the Swift-Kelce show every Sunday until further notice.