Taylor Swift conspiracy theory emerges after Al Michaels left out of NBC’s NFL playoff coverage

It’s nearly impossible to dodge the social media buzz about Al Michaels and Taylor Swift after The Post’s Andrew Marchand reported that he will not be part of NBC’s NFL playoff coverage team.

A baseless conspiracy theory is making waves online and suggests the 79-year-old Michaels lost his playoff gig with NBC due in part to his recent comments about the attention on Swift at NFL games.

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The 12-time Grammy winner is dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and the couple’s whirlwind romance has become a sports and pop culture phenomenon — with more Swifties tuning in to NFL games and boosting jersey sales.

As noted by Barstool Sports, some viewers claim NBC wasn’t pleased with Michaels when he referred to Swift as a “sideshow” in an October interview with Sports Illustrated, while discussing how much camera time Prime Video would give the singer during the Chiefs-Denver Broncos game on Oct. 12.

“What we’re gonna do tonight, everything in moderation,” Michaels told SI’s Jimmy Traina. “Our crew talked about it this morning. You can’t make a sideshow the show.

“The vast majority of the audience are tuning in to watch a football game. There are people, I don’t know how many, it could be a sizeable number, but it’s certainly not a majority, that if you trained the camera on her all night long, they’d be satisfied with that. This is not what we’re doing to do.

“There might be an appropriate shot or a couple. I don’t know what the number is going to be. If Kelce scores six touchdowns, who the hell knows what we’re going to do. But for the most part, just in moderation. The game is still the important element here, by far. That’s our thought. After that, you sort of make it, one of my favourite words, farcical.”

Michaels went on to emphasise the word “moderation,” regarding Amazon’s coverage of Swift.

“Moderation. That’s our word,” said Michaels. “Everything in moderation. What do you do at a certain point? ‘There she is.’ O.K. Got it.”

Swifties weren’t happy with Michaels at the time, with some now backing the playoff theory on social media.

“I really wish 99% of those real football fans could understand showing a human on screen for 15 seconds at a time isn’t taking away anything from the football game being played, plus Al Michaels is boring now so if u gotta blame Taylor Swift so he’s gone, so be it,” one X user wrote, including a breakdown of the conspiracy theory.

“Really hope this isn’t true. Because 99 [per cent] of real football fans agree!” another X user added.

A second part of that theory, as noted by Barstool Sports, claims Michaels’ refusal to buy into the Swift obsession didn’t go over well with NBC, whose broadcast and streaming partners want to cater to the singer’s audience.

The veteran broadcaster ruffled the feathers of Swifties when he seemingly implied that Swift is only popular among teenage girls while on the call for the Cardinals-Saints game in October 2022.

In reality, and as Marchand reported, the biggest issue is the veteran broadcaster’s relationship with NBC has been strained for some time.

“I think that’s what’s lost in all of this, is at the end with NBC, there weren’t good relations,” Marchand said on the latest instalment of “The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast,” adding that NBC has promised” Mike Tirico the job.

“Tirico kept patiently waiting for the job, and Al kept trying to keep the job for a long time. And so, they gave him the emeritus title, but they never really were able to explain what that meant. They did that with Bob Costas and Tom Brokaw, who are kind of more associated with NBC.

“They were going to be able to explain how they were going to be used. With Al, it was alright, well, they’re still paying him, apparently, but what is he going to do? He did the one playoff game. This year, he’s not doing the playoff game.”

Michaels has also faced criticism over his lack of enthusiasm while calling games, most notably during the Jaguars’ epic wildcard game comeback against the Chargers last season.

Tirico and Cris Collinsworth will call two of the three NFL Playoff games on NBC, while Noah Eagle, 26, and broadcast partner Todd Blackledge will cover the third game.

This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.

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