NFL fans should hope the Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce connection misfires | Whitley

Just when you thought it was safe to venture back into the sporting waters, Taylor Swift has splashed into the pool.

I thought the circus would shut down after Oregon demolished Deion Sanders and Colorado on Saturday. Coach Prime’s been great for college football, but the hype had gotten tiresome.

Then a day later, the NFL dropped the nuclear bomb of buzz. Travis Kelce came out as Swift’s new boy toy.

Please, Cupid, steer this romance onto the rocks.

I like paparazzi-driven news as much as the next TMZ subscriber, but this would blot out the football sun. You saw it Sunday, when Patrick Mahomes got more questions about his tight end’s new gal than his gimpy ankle.

Bill Belichick, who hasn’t cracked a joke since 1964, quipped on a radio show “Travis Kelce has had a lot of big catches in his career. This would be the biggest.”

The big topic of conversation wasn’t Miami scoring 70 points or the mighty Cowboys collapsing at Arizona. It was Tay-Tay’s appearance in Kelce’s skybox during the Chiefs-Bears game, and the look on Kelce’s mother’s face as Swift screamed “Let’s (bleeping) go!” as her new beau caught a TD pass.

We’re pretty sure that’s what she yelled, since it was recorded by approximately 759 cameras and analyzed by lip readers who’d been quickly hired by every network and website in the Western Hemisphere.

The cynic in me thinks this is all a marketing ploy. The NFL made $18.6 billion last year, which is only slightly less than Swift makes a week. Why not marry the two biggest brands in America and take over our celebrity-obsessed world?

Or maybe those two crazy kids really have goo-goo eyes for one another.

If so, God love ‘em. I wish them nothing but happiness. I just hope that after Kansas City wins its second straight Super Bowl on a last-second TD pass, somebody asks Mahomes about the actual game…

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Stud of the Week: Oregon, for chilling Deion Fever

If Coach Prime had won that one, I fear that success might have gone to his head.

Stud II: Haley Van Voorhis, a 145-pound safety for Division III Shenandoah University

She became the first female non-kicker to play in an NCAA football game. She also had as many tackles (zero) as the entire Denver defense had Sunday.

Dud of the Week: Stephen A. Smith

For throwing a 55-foot grounder as the ceremonial first pitch before a Yankees' game. The Mets immediately signed him to a three-year, $173 million contract...

Stud of Year, Literal Version: Miami’s Xavien Howard

According to, Howard is currently expecting four children with four different women.

In other NFL news, TMSPN reported that ex-Kentucky QB Will Levis’s ex-girlfriend has been “hanging out” with Anthony Richardson. Hey, the way the UF-UK series has gone lately, the Gators will take a win anywhere they can find one…

Michigan State had throwback “MAC” helmets last week, honoring the school’s Michigan Agriculture College name from 1909-1925. After getting outscored 82-16 the past two weeks, surviving MAC alumni are suing the team for defamation of character…

This Just In: Vanderbilt has scheduled the Denver Broncos as their Homecoming opponent…

Dewey Defeats Northwestern: The Chicago Tribune reported in its Sunday print edition that “Northwestern’s furious rally falls just short in 31-24 loss to Minnesota in Evanston.” The Wildcats actually won 37-34.

In related news, the Tribune reported that a vote recount has revealed Thomas Dewey really did defeat Harry Truman in the 1948 presidential election, and that Dewey will be sworn into office this Thursday…

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin “Sportwash” Salman told Fox News last week he will continue pumping billions of dollars into sports in order to spiff up Saudi Arabia’s image. The prince added that he might buy NCAA football, but that Haley Van Voorhis would not be allowed to enter the transfer portal without permission of her male guardian…

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - SEPTEMBER 24: Taylor Swift reacts during the first half of a game between the Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775920234 ORIG FILE ID: 1699256276
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - SEPTEMBER 24: Taylor Swift reacts during the first half of a game between the Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775920234 ORIG FILE ID: 1699256276

Coach Prime Redux: In his fiery pregame speech Saturday, Oregon coach Dan Lanning said, “They’re fighting for clicks. We’re fighting for wins.”

Given recent Will Levis/Anthony Richardson developments, I wonder if Kentucky coach Mark Stoops will yell, “They’re fighting for our chicks, we’re fighting for wins!” before Saturday’s game against Florida?...

Jerry Jones had Chris Christie in his owner’s box Sunday. Advantage: Travis Kelce…

Laugh of the Week: During the Virginia-Maryland game, ESPN framed a shot showing an elderly male wearing a Virginia sweatshirt. Problem was, the bottom line of block lettering was cut off, and the shirt just read “VIRGIN” on TV.

The Chicago Tribune promptly reported the fan borrowed the sweatshirt from Xavien Howard…

Helmet Redux: Florida has proposed using throwback helmets for this year’s game against FSU. The Seminoles would wear “FSCW” helmets for Florida State College for Women and start Jordan Travis’s mother at QB…

That’s about all the space we have for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. Till next time, if the Chicago Tribune reports that Taylor Swift has dumped Travis Kelce and run off with me to a deserted island, I regret to inform you that it's probably not true.

David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at Follow him on Twitter @DavidEWhitley

This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce would be bigger than football