Taylor Swift is going to the Superbowl plus She Gives a Lesson on Appreciating the Offensive Line
Life and football happens in the trenches
This is a boon for the NFL. People who’s teams are not in it are going to watch it. So too are a few others But we’ll get to that in a minute.
After my team, the Rams, lost in Detroit, I figured that would be it for me as well.
And I LOVE football. Or, I should say, I love compelling competition. My favorite sports to watch are tennis, football, soccer, and hockey! But, in reality, I probably watch 6 to 8 total sporting events a year. I’m too busy with other things - playing music, writing, hiking, hanging out with Deb, etc. Life… I’m busy with life!
In short, if given the chance to do something fun or watch something fun, I lean toward the doing.
I was disappointed that the Rams lost. But that disappointment lasted about 6 minutes, maybe 4, maybe less. Then I took the dogs out and walked my son, who came over to watch the game, to his car and said goodbye. He’s two years clean after nearly dying due to his fentanyl addiction and the infection it caused.
Disappointment about my team losing is throwing good money after bad, as it were. Perspective!
What is a Pulling Guard and Why It Matters
In high school, my friend Mike taught me how to better appreciate football. Specifically, he taught me to watch the offensive and defensive lines. Magic happens there.
I’m not checking this quote but I think Mike told me that John Madden once said, “There is nothing more beautiful than a pulling guard.” It sounds Madden-esque.
If you don’t know what a pulling guard is, the video below demonstrates it. In short, a guard, in football, is one of the gargantuan blockers on the offensive line.
“Pulling” is when he leaves his position on the right or left side and crosses behind the line to the other side. In short, he does not block the man in front of him, instead, he suddenly appears on the other side of the the play. Often, a defensive player, who believes he has a clear opportunity to tackle the running back (for instance) will suddenly find he is being clobbered by a 300 pound guard who appeared out of nowhere.
This video is 13 seconds. Pay attention to number 69. If you are not careful, you will naturally watch the running back get the ball… but focus, keep your eye on number 69. That is a pulling guard.
It truly is interesting. And when you see a running back break a big play, it is very likely that something like that happened. It is no accident.
But, it is often missed. We are too busy watching the quarterback, the running back, or the receivers - those with the ball. We tend to watch for glitz and, in doing so, can miss what’s really going on. Pulling guards, stunting defensive players are super interesting to me.
I tend to focus on the line. I’ll see the running back or receiver on the replay.
Watching the Glitz and Missing What’s Going On… hmm
Which brings us back to Taylor Swift and her next breakup song, Travis Kelce. Note: I don’t say that cynically or with any derision. I’ve been divorced twice. I’m just saying, she writes a lot of compelling breakup songs. Good for her. I have a few of my own.
If, as a couple, they have a good thing, I hope it continues - for them, not for me. I’m not that invested in their relationship. Or other relationships that do not effect me. Why would I be? That’s focusing on the glitz. I need to make sure I’m taking care of life in the trenches - what’s going on in my home.
Life has pulling guards that come out of nowhere and disrupt things, so I need to keep my head about me.
Travis and Taylor are both accomplished individuals, with some celebrity. Their relationship has all the pressures that any couple under public scrutiny face. Add to that, they are, like most accomplished people, hyper-focused on their craft. They need to be if they wish to remain at the top of their game.
That can be challenging to any relationship. Time and attention is necessarily NOT on the other person or the relationship, much of the time. In fact, I read that Travis will not be attending the Grammy’s on February 4th to support Taylor. That is 100% understandable. He has a job and the biggest day of work for him, the Super Bowl, is one week later. He has to focus on his job!
Add to the normal relationship strains, the myopic and, apparently, deranged freakshow that is Maga politics, plus high-profile and dishonest pundits, like Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro1, and others on Fox (and elsewhere), casting aspersions… or should I say, revealing their frailty. They are grotesque caricatures of bad humanity.
Although, this is the sad truth…Those pundits… they are capitalizing on Taylor Swift. They LOVE IT! THEY LOVE HER! Don’t miss this fact.
Their entire existence - their economic fortunes - are built on finding a false pretense and using that to whip their public into a frenzy about nothing. They are the culture and political equivalent of snake-oil salesmen, grifting their viewers with mock-outrage. Make no mistake, they live for Taylor Swift! She should be making a commission off how they monetize her.
Worse than frail, they are opportunist who are playing to the frailty of their audience. They know what their doing! Sadly, they too are accomplished at their craft. There is money to be had and people to try and hurt… so, away they go.
I even saw a “pastor” I know post something about it. This is a person who, minus his fanatical tribalism, claims to build people up. He’s a sham and is just unaware of how he’s lost all perspective. Dogma doesn’t allow for nuance or thoughtfulness.
Colin Cowherd, a sportscaster on Fox, does a great job of breaking this down.
“There’s a lot of weird, lonely, insecure men out there. The fact that a pop-star, the world’s biggest pop-star, is dating a star tight-end - who had one of his greatest games ever and the network puts them on the air briefly… That it bothers you, what does that say about your life?”
Nailed it! And it gets better. Good job Colin!
So, on Superbowl Sunday, I’ll be watching.
I’m hoping it is a good contest. But more so, I hope, that Travis Kelce has a great game, like he did against the Ravens. For his, and his team’s, sake. He doesn’t seem distracted by the side show - in fact, maybe they’re just giving him a bit of a chip - a little more reason for the focus.
But also, I would be lying if I didn’t take some satisfaction knowing that if he does well, the network is likely to show Taylor Swift celebrating. The knowledge that that few seconds will send some small-minded, frail-ego’d men into a tailspin has appeal.
Maybe it is not the best me but maybe the critics and cynics have brought this on themselves.
Here is the other truth:
Taylor Swift has not only proven her talent - which she has a LOT of - but, by all accounts, she’s also been intelligent, taken on the music industry grifters, and taken care of the people in the trenches that take care of her.
I always appreciate when I hear of a quarterback or running back who buys gifts for the offensive line. While quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers get the bulk of the spotlight (and money), I appreciate when they demonstrate awareness of what the guys in the trenches do for them. Kudos.
During her Eras tour, Swift gave out $55 million dollars in bonuses to staff. Imagine you are a truck driver and you are unexpectedly handed a $100,000 check. It is life-changing!
Of course, the small-minded naysayers - who’ve done nothing like this - will say, “But she could give more.” Please, for your own sake - shut the fuck up - you don’t need to sound more stupid.
By all accounts, and according to those who get to know her, she attempts to be a kind and thoughtful person. I can’t say personally but she hasn’t invited drama by poor behavior. Breakups are not poor behavior… that’s two people going different directions. Having gone through it, I know that people rarely know the inside story.
A few weeks ago I dreamt that Taylor told me she liked one of my songs… I got choked up in my dream. Deb laughed when I told her about it - because it’s funny! I think it was after I watched this video of Post Malone talking about her.
It makes you wonder why so many people are afraid of an intelligent, kind, thoughtful, and talented young woman.
Oh… wait… she’s encouraging her Swifties to vote. There seem to be a lot of them! You can add this guy to that list.
I don’t think they’re going to vote for those who deny women healthcare or deny science, stem-cells. This, along with a bevy of unfounded, anti-scientific, dogma and conspiracy should inform all of us… it certainly informs me.
Remember… don’t get caught up in the glitz, there’s shit going on in the trenches.
And Taylor Swift, she’s Trouble, Trouble, Trouble!
Talk to you all soon.
With Love and Gratitude!
February 1, 2024
Jeanine Pirro commented that Taylor should NOT get involved in politics. Let’s be clear… she’s telling an American Citizen NOT to exercise their right to free speech under the false pretense of not alienating people. Jeanine, stay out of politics, you are outwitted and outgunned by Swift.
Like Tucker Carlson, Hannity, and most of the Fox goons, it is hard to know whether they are intentionally ironic or whether it is standard ignorance.
Note: For a hilarious example of Tucker’s brand of irony, watch this.. (Fallopium Films) His, “We’re grateful not to be them” comment is mmm… delicious irony.