The honeymoon might already be over between Taylor Swift and her new boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs superstar Travis Kelce.
Not the lovey-dovey honeymoon period that new couples typically enjoy.
No, we’re referring to the enjoyment of football fans being bombarded with Swift references during NFL games.
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There was understandable interest in Swift’s appearance at the Chiefs’ clash with the Chicago Bears last week, shortly after news of her supposed romance with Kelce broke.
But never doubt a television network’s ability to grab an opportunity and wrench the living daylights out of it.
Virtually from the start of the NBC broadcast of the game, which was aired via ESPN in Australia, Swift was an instrumental part of the show, excuse the pun.
Actually we’ll warn you in advance, there are many more puns to come.
During host Mike Tirico’s introduction, he first referenced Jets defensive standout Sauce Gardner and Kansas City’s star duo, Patrick Mahomes and Kelce.
Right after that, before he mentioned either side’s high-profile coach, any other players or anything else football-related, he stated: “Oh and yeah, she’s here. Taylor is in the house.
“Hi Swifties, we’ll be with you all night.”
Tirico’s co-commentator, 64-year-old former NFL player Cris Collinsworth, could only manage an awkward laugh at the reference and had nothing to add to the “Swifties”, the name for the enormous fanbase of the American superstar.
“Let’s get to the game here,” Tirico then said and a noticeably relieved Collinsworth started talking about some actual football.
But they were far from done.
After the first commercial break, rather than seeing players out on the field ahead of kick-off, we were now watching the opening to the American version of singing contest The Voice.
“Hello America, football is coming right up, I promise you,” host Carson Daly said to surely millions of confused viewers.
“We all know this is not just any Sunday Night Football game.”
It then cuts to a series of snippets of people talking about the new couple.
“We got a call from our friends at NBC Sports asking us to put tonight’s story in language that the legion of “Swifties” would understand,” Daly then continues.
“You think we can help them out audience?”
Cheers follow from the studio audience before Daly rattled through a series of awful puns about Swift songs, having explained who Kelce is, who he plays for and who they were facing.
“Sure, tonight they’re going to try to ‘Shake It Off’,” Daly says about the season-ending injury to star Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
He then mentions being “left with a Blank Space”, that a Jets win was “not likely to happen, maybe only in their Wildest Dreams” and a reference to being “Enchanted”.
There were likely other songs referenced, but those are already beyond the limit of this writer’s knowledge.
The broadcast finally returns to the game and, of course, another shot of Swift.
Over the course of the game, a number of media outlets reported Swift was shown 17 times in total, along with repeated references to an upcoming Swift movie.
Attempting to capitalise on the publicity surrounding probably the world’s biggest and most recognisable singing star right now is understandable.
But this over-saturation for an important football game was way over the top and the response from a whole range of people, including non-football fans, was brutal.
At one stage, the official NFL Twitter account even jumped on board, changing its bio to a Swift reference and tweeting that the Chiefs “are now 2-0 with Taylor Swift in attendance” after Kansas City won the game.
A fan of New York Sports, Andrew Natalizio, also vented his feelings, which we’ll quote here so we can tone down the language.
“Jersey kid Isaiah Pacheco scores a touchdown at MetLife with all of his family in attendance,” Natalizio wrote.
“NBC: cuts to Taylor Swift for some f**king reason. I’m so sick of this already.”
With the Chiefs heading to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in week five, if she turns up for a third game in a row, get ready for speculation over Swift’s outfit in the notoriously fickle Minnesota weather in this developing “Love Story”.
Sorry, don’t blame me.