Roger Goodell calls NFL-Taylor Swift conspiracy theory ‘nonsense’


LAS VEGAS — The first time Roger Goodell addressed it, he chuckled.

The second time, the NFL commissioner called it nonsense.

Is there something fishy about the Kansas City Chiefs advancing to the Super Bowl the year that ratings-magnet Taylor Swift is dating Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce?

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“The idea that this was in a script and this was pre-planned — that’s just nonsense,” Goodell said Monday afternoon from his State of the League address. “It’s frankly not even worth talking about. We see two people who are really happy together, having fun together. I think that’s wonderful.

“The fact that they both are involved with football in some fashion through their relationship, that’s great. We welcome that.”

News emerged earlier this season that the mega popstar and four-time All-Pro were involved in some fashion. In recent months, their public comfort with that relationship has only grown. Swift attended many regular-season Chiefs games with Kelce’s parents and all three postseason games with his family. Kelce flew to Buenos Aires during the Chiefs’ bye week to support Swift at one of her concert stops.

Goodell didn’t deny the polarization and politicization their involvement has brought upon the league. He also didn’t express concern.

“I think anybody in this society, when they’re in a public position, [is] going to be subject to criticism,” Goodell said. “Taylor is obviously a dynamo. Everything she touches, there are people following. So we count ourselves fortunate and we welcome it.”

Swift is expected to attend the Super Bowl a day after her “Eras” tour stops in Tokyo. Even the Embassy of Japan issued a comment on Swift’s ability to make the event 12 flight hours away, thanks in large part to a 17-hour time difference.

At the Chiefs’ last game, an AFC championship victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 26, Swift embraced the most public spotlight yet of her NFL involvement. She not only enjoyed ample air time from her suite during the game, she also spent an extended period of time on the field postgame as the Chiefs received their conference championship trophies, hats and swag.

The team has embraced Swift, including head coach Andy Reid pointing at her from the trophy stage in Baltimore. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, the color analyst for the Chiefs’ last game and for the Super Bowl, came over to introduce himself to Swift on the field.

She and Kelce embraced and shared a long kiss before the ceremony, which she watched enthusiastically alongside Travis’ mother Donna. After the ceremony’s conclusion, Travis asked where he could find his brother Jason, the longtime Philadelphia Eagles center. Swift helped the brothers reunite, stepping out of the way to give them their ultimate teary moment.

“She knows great entertainment, and I think that’s why she loves NFL football,” Goodell said. “Obviously it creates a buzz. It creates another group of young fans, particularly young women, who are interested and saying: ‘Why is she going to this game? Why is she interested in this game?’

“Besides Travis, she’s a football fan. And I think that’s great for us.”

Goodell said he’s attended two Swift concerts with his now-22-year-old twin daughters and his wife, Jane. The commissioner added that “all of our family are Swifties” dating back to the first concert, which he estimated was in 2009 in New Orleans.

In short: The confluence of two good things is good, the commissioner believes.

“We hear the stories, we see the data: People are talking about the game that weren’t talking about the game yesterday,” Goodell said. “And whatever that reason is, I’m good with it — as long as they get exposure to our game.

“[Swift] is the best of the best. So having her come to NFL games, having her a part of it, is nothing but a positive.”





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