We can now add the Super Bowl to the latest wacko conspiracy theories. Call it the Taylor Swift conspiracies.
There are more political conspiracy theories than I have the space to detail. One social media right-wing conspiracy theory says the NFL has rigged the game for Kansas City because Taylor Swift and the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce will endorse President Joe Biden after the Chiefs win, at midfield no less. A Fox News host has even suggested that Swift could be a Pentagon asset and is being used for psychological warfare.
The conspiracy theory promoted by some NFL fans says that the romance between Swift and Kelce is orchestrated by the NFL and that the NFL scripted the Chiefs to play in the Super Bowl so that Swift’s presence at the game will guarantee even more massive television ratings for a game that already gets massive television ratings.
If that is true, it would make NFL commissioner Roger Goodell the greatest puppet master or matchmaker of all time. Take your pick.
Of course, these conspiracy theories are nonsense. Yes, Taylor Swift is the biggest superstar in the world. She has 279 million Instagram followers, and “Swifties” (her fans) will boost ratings for the Super Bowl, but the idea that the NFL can predetermine a football game is even crazier than NASA faking the moon landing.
NFL players are the most competitive people in America, and some of the most egotistical as well. Can you imagine any of them putting up with even a hint that their game was “fixed?” Getting into the Super Bowl guarantees a $157,000 bonus to each player on the winning team. The losing players get an $82,000 bonus each. That $75,000 difference is real money to many of the players who are not making millions of dollars and have short careers.
But the conspiracy theorists will say the NFL referees are the ones making sure the “script” is carried out. Really? That would be too obvious to even the average football fan, not to mention the players. The integrity of professional sports is what makes it so compelling.
And there is something else all football fans know: On any given Sunday, even a team that is overwhelmingly favored to win can stumble, and the point spread for the Super Bowl doesn’t make either team an overwhelming favorite.
Taylor and Travis kissing on the field after the Chiefs winning the AFC championship game was a sweet moment, and I’m sure the NFL brass and television executives were elated, but so what? If you haven’t figured it out by now, we are living in the era of Taylor Swift. Get used to it.