If the Chiefs triumph Sunday, it won’t just be a victory for Kansas City. It will be a win for every woman unfairly blamed for a sports failure.
Taylor Swift isn’t the first pop star to date an NFL star – and get blamed for his team’s struggles. This year, when the Chiefs lost to the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Day, their third loss in four games, pundits were eager to blame Swift – and vaccines – on Kansas City’s struggles.
Kansas City is 5-0 since those men declared that Swift was ruining the Chiefs’ season. Shockingly, his girlfriend watching from a luxury box during games has not derailed Travis Kelce, who has 23 receptions for 262 yards and three touchdowns in his three playoff games.
Back in 2007, media members in Dallas – including Skip Bayless – blamed Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s then-girlfriend Jessica Simpson for being a distraction. The Dallas Observer called her “Yoko Romo,” a reference to Yoko Ono, who was unfairly blamed for breaking up The Beatles.
The biggest controversy in Dallas came when Romo and Simpson vacationed in Cabo during the Cowboys bye week. Then the team lost in the playoffs to the New York Giants and fans and media blamed Simpson, despite the fact that Romo brought teammates Jason Witten and Bobby Carpenter along with him.
Famous women get a lot of flak when their athlete boyfriends lose, but little credit when they win. Justin Verlander won two World Series rings while dating Kate Upton. Alex Rodriguez won his first championship while in a relationship with Kate Hudson. Perhaps people credited former minor league star Kurt Russell’s positive influence?
But if Kansas City wins on Sunday, it’s going to be because of Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and Chris Jones – not because the world’s most famous pop star is in Allegiant Stadium. If the 49ers win, it’s going to be because the Chiefs can’t stop Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, not because Kansas City is thinking about the Eras Tour.