On joining the Taylor Swift army

by Gary Shelton on February 10, 2024

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

It happens slowly. One day, you’re an older-than-dirt guy, still at home listening to Dylan, to Springsteen, to Jagger.

Then you are up, and you find yourself in a red shirt, humming strange tunes.

My goodness, I’ve become a Swifty.



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There seem to be two sides in the Taylor Smith Wars. Some see her as the ruiner of football, as a foreign spy, as an enemy of America. Then there are those who see her as an accomplished, intelligent, talented, attractive woman who likes going to games to watch her boyfriend play.

Darn her.

Look, I know all of one Swift song, and it’s because my 3-year-old granddaughter can’t stop singing “Shake it Off.”

The reception to Taylor Swift, and the ensuing backlash, have both been stunning. There are conservatives out there who will tell you she is the natural enemy of the pigskin, the destroyer of all things football.

That, of course, is ridiculous. Television has worshipped celebrities for years now. That’s okay. The fewer close-ups we have of Jerry Jones or Dave Tepper the better. 

The ruin of football? Please. Lovie Smith couldn’t destroy football. Leeman Bennett couldn’t. Johnny Manziel and Ryan Leaf and Aaron Rodgers couldn’t destroy football.

Look, a celebrity in the stands — any celebrity — has no idea how often the cameras are on them. They also have no idea of how many insane stories are about them on the internet.

Look, it’s incredible that this celebrity hookup has captured everyone’s fancy. There have been other couplings since the days of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe. But no one has captured the publics imagination, not Russell Wilson and Ciara, not Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, not David Beckham and Posh Spice. Not Andy Roddick and Mandy Moore, A-Rod and Jennifer Lopes, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, Simone Biles and Jonathan Owens.

Maybe it’s the size of the celebrities. Swift rules the pop world. Travis Kielce is a talented tight end (and first-class commercial maker). They both have tons of fans.

But, near as I can tell, Swift has never been in trouble. She likes her parents. She just goes to games.

She’ll be watching Sunday.

Maybe you’ll watch, too. Along with the rest of us Swifts.

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