Taylor Swift Has Been Singing About Football For Years, Actually
Her recent NFL fascination is nothing new.
Ever since Taylor Swift started showing up at Kansas City Chiefs games, there’s been a lot of conversation about how the pop star fits into the world of the NFL. Some football fans have chosen blind hatred, loudly booing Swift at games and complaining that she’s pulled focus away from the field. On the other hand, there’s more interest in the sport than ever with Swifties learning to love football as they cheer alongside their fave. Both sides are operating on the assumption that Swift has only recently developed an interest in the sport — but the truth is, she’s been a football girlie for years.
Even before she started dating Travis Kelce, Swift has shown her love for football several times. The Pennsylvania native is a proud Philadelphia Eagles fan — although it’s safe to say the Chiefs have become her new fave team. She would also attend college games at the University of Notre Dame when her brother Austin was a student there.
But her football fandom is most clear in her song lyrics. Throughout her career, Swift has incorporated the sport as a central theme in many of her verses and music videos. Here are all the time Swift proved her affinity for football long before she was cheering on her boyfriend in an NFL box.
1. “She's cheer captain, and I'm on the bleachers.”
They say life imitates art, and there’s no better example of that than Swift’s “You Belong with Me” music video. The song tells the story of an artsy outcast who falls hopelessly in love with her high school’s star football player. A decade and a half later, Swift herself would jump off the bleachers and into the arms of her athlete boyfriend.
2. “I wanna be your first string. I wanna be your A-Team.”
In “End Game,” Swift used the language of football rosters to convince a lover to put her first. Actually, the whole song is surprisingly very Travis Kelce-coded.
3. “With my Eagles t-shirt hanging from the door.”
Swift shouted out her hometown NFL team in “Gold Rush,” specifying that she owns an Eagles shirt. And no, Swift clarified that she was not referring to the band The Eagles — she did mean the Philadelphia football team.
4. “The game was rigged, the ref got tricked.”
In her standalone single “Only the Young,” Swift compared the 2020 political climate to a rigged football game, where the referee failed to make the right calls.
5. “In your life you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team.”
Oh, how ironic it is to listen to this “Fifteen” lyric now. When Swift wrote the Fearless single, she was consoling her teenage self for putting football players on a romantic pedestal. Flash forward 15 years — turns out, dating the boy on the football team actually can be pretty great.
6. “That’s when you came in wearing a football helmet.”
Even the fictional men in Swift’s songs are football players. In the midst of the almost-breakup described in “Stay Stay Stay,” Swift mentions her partner is wearing a football helmet.
7. “Like you were a trophy or a champion ring.”
Just like how football players prize their championship rings or Super Bowl trophies, Swift holds romance equally dear in “Willow.”
8. “And I can see you years from now in a bar, talking over a football game.”
Football doesn’t always get a glowing treatment in Swift’s earlier works. In “Mean,” she imagines her bully washed up and ranting in a sports bar.
9. “The crowds in the stands went wild.”
A rousing favorite among Swifties, “Long Live” invokes tons of epic imagery from medieval royalty to slaying dragons. And of course, it also calls to mind a stadium full of football fans jumping to their feet to applaud a touchdown.
10. “The players gonna play, play, play, play, play.”
OK, yeah, Swift was referring to romantic players rather than football players in “Shake It Off,” but her cheerleader outfit in the music video is a huge sports reference.
11. “‘Cause you know I love the players, and you love the game.”
This “Blank Space” lyric took on a whole new meaning when Swift started dating Kelce. Now, in a very literal sense, she really does love the player, and the game.