ESPN's Pat McAfee Shills for Taylor Swift, Says She Needs a Super Bowl Ring During Bizarre Segment


I get it. Taylor Swift has been good for the NFL.

She’s turned the Kansas City Chiefs, quite improbably, into a global brand. They’ll likely be the first Super Bowl dynasty to be the subject of a cryptic breakup song. She’s a large part of the reason that Super Bowl LVIII between the Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers this February was the most watched telecast ever, according to the NFL. Not the most watched Super Bowl, the most watched telecast, period.

That’s great for her and the NFL.

Taylor Swift still doesn’t deserve a Super Bowl ring for being the girlfriend of the second-best player on the Chiefs team.

Don’t tell that to Pat McAfee, however.

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McAfee, the controversial ESPN host, isn’t a deliberate hot-take contrarian, but he is a bit of a loose cannon and tends to speak his mind. Some of the things on his mind are better than others. This one was on the worse end of the scale.

During his Friday show, McAfee noted that Swift couldn’t attend the ring-presentation ceremony in Kansas City because the singer was playing in Liverpool, England, as part of her interminable Eras Tour.

However, she did join a livestream from England in the early morning hours to celebrate the Chiefs’ 25-22 victory over the 49ers in February.

“Taylor Swift joined [Chiefs wide receiver[ Mecole Hardman’s lady’s Instagram Live and was just commenting at like 4 a.m. in Liverpool after the show, wanted to be a part of it all,” McAfee said.

Does Taylor Swift need a Super Bowl ring?

Then, McAfee called his shot: “Because she was. Taylor: Congrats on your first Super Bowl.”

“They should have sent a ring to Liverpool because of the aura that she brought into the entire thing,” he added.

It’s often difficult to tell whether McAfee is being serious or not — but ESPN certainly thought he was legitimately shilling for TayTay to get a ring, giving this title to the YouTube clip of the monologue: “Pat McAfee says Taylor Swift deserves a Super Bowl ring for the championship aura.”

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Short of Vladimir Putin’s alleged theft of one of Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl rings when the Russian president visited the New England Patriots owner, I can think of no less deserving Super Bowl ring recipient than Taylor Swift.

Even Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, is arguably a more deserving recipient of a championship ring because he managed to rescue Dan Marino from the clutches of Ray Finkle and deliver him safely to a Super Bowl that never really happened because it was a Jim Carrey movie and Dan Marino could never win the big game, anyway. Still more deserving, though, in this writer’s book.

What did Taylor Swift do? She cheered on her boyfriend. A lot, as the not-infrequent camera pans to her whenever the Chiefs were playing proved. She provided a fun diversion. It gave the world an opportunity to see Swift without hearing her bland music, for once. That’s it.

But she ended up joining a livestream from Liverpool in the wee hours of the morning to celebrate her boyfriend’s team’s championship? Stop them presses! Make sure she has a ring!

Swift-mania may be good for the business of football, but — at best — it’s a net neutral for the game itself. She did nothing for the Kansas City Chiefs and arguably created a distraction for the players who had to take the field. That gets you a Super Bowl ring?

This is the kind of witless hot take we’re accustomed to seeing from Skip Bayless or Colin Cowherd. McAfee is an interesting, intelligent individual who is willing to say what others won’t and think outside the box — but this is may be the worst possible reaction to the synergistic relationship between Swift and the NFL we’ve heard in quite some time, and that’s saying something.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture