The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The media has taken the Kelce/Swift “romance” way too far

What better pair than a football player and a pop star?
Courtesy of Wikimedia

When images revealed Taylor Swift standing alongside Donna Kelce, mother of professional football player Travis Kelce, at the Sept. 24 Kansas City Chiefs’ game, fans and the media fell into a frenzy. Finally, after speculation over whether she and the 34-year-old tight end were dating, the public could at least tell that something was cooking between these idyllic, highly praised figures.

Several instances hinted at a possible connection––first in July, when Kelce attended Swift’s Eras Tour concert at the KC Arrowhead Stadium––then on multiple interview appearances on both podcasts and TV. For months, fans of both the football player and the pop star seemed to merge into one, and they played an integral role in fostering hype about a brewing relationship.

From here on, the media would capitalize on this publicity.

Following the Sept. 24 game, Swift would continue to show up at Chiefs matchups. Notably, before their Oct. 1 game against the New York Jets, NBC Sports used her song “Welcome to New York” in a commercial depicting Kelce and his teammates, who would be arriving at MetLife Stadium the upcoming weekend.

This was especially noteworthy to the corporation as Swift lived in New York. How could this combination of pop prowess and football not excite the fans watching both her and the game?

Several other posts and tweets continued to use similar tactics to bolster the Kelce-Swift relationship. From Barstool Sports’s Instagram showing Swift fans making their own Travis Kelce jerseys—one of which included a misspelled “Kelsey” on the back—to news on Kelce jerseys selling out in the wake of their revealed bond, media consumers couldn’t get enough of America’s couple.

But even as the portrayal of their relationship was going strong up to this point, certain moments that the NFL chose to pinpoint began to go overboard. Specifically, as they showed Swift at the Jets game with some of her celebrity friends, like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, reactions from this group at several points during the match illustrated the over-investment of the organization towards these famous people.

In a talk with his brother Jason, Travis discussed this hyper fixation, stating, “The NFL is not used to celebrities coming to games,” and they decide to “show them!” He added, “You can’t be overboard with it.”

But it was not merely the intense attention the NFL paid to Swift’s cheers in the stands that made the organization seem noticeably over-invested in the couple’s bond. Due to the increased attention that people were now giving to the sport, the NFL wanted to take advantage of the profit it would gain from the increased notice of the league.

And with the convergence of sports and entertainment, seeing the sales of Kelce jerseys and tickets to Chiefs games encouraged its extensive coverage of the relationship.

Today, the same media accounts still uphold Kelce and Swift’s bond, especially by portraying all the times they are together. When the NFL sees Swift in the crowd, it immediately directs the camera at her. Ultimately, for the corporation, this is mainly about the money it makes from its presentation of a megastar who has been the sole contributor this season to the increased popularity of the sport.

The question remains of how the organization may choose to present their relationship as it continues throughout the rest of the Chiefs’ regular season.

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