The Thursday Night Football production team called a meeting to discuss Taylor Swift coverage ahead of Travis Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs game against the Denver Broncos.
“Our crew talked about it this morning,” sports broadcaster Al Michaels said to Sports Illustrated on Thursday, October 12, about Swift, 33, attending the game at Arrowhead stadium later that night. “You can’t make a sideshow the show. The vast majority of the audience are tuning in to watch a football game. There are people, I don’t know how many, it could be a sizable number, but it’s certainly not a majority, that if you trained the camera on her all night long, they’d be satisfied with that. This is not what we’re doing to do.”
Michaels, 78, who works with Prime Video and NBC Sports for Thursday Night Football, shared that the network planned on doing “everything in moderation” when it came to showing glimpses of Swift. In the last few games Swift attended, the pop star was the star of the show as cameras constantly panned to her cheering Kelce, 34, on from the stands.
“There might be an appropriate shot or a couple. I don’t know what the number is going to be,” he told the outlet. “If Kelce scores six touchdowns, who the hell knows what we’re going to do. But for the most part, just in moderation. The game is still the important element here, by far. That’s our thought. After that, you sort of make it, one of my favorite words, ‘farcical.’”
Swift arrived at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on Thursday evening ahead of kickoff. As she walked into the venue, the singer rocked a black ensemble with a Chiefs bomber jacket. This is Swift’s third time coming to support Kelce since the 2023 football season kicked off in August.
While she made appearances at the Chiefs’ games against the Chicago Bears and the New York Jets, Swift was not in attendance at the game against the Minnesota Vikings last week. NFL announcers confirmed her absence shortly after kickoff.
“In case you’re wondering, seven words I thought would never leave my lips in my career, what are they? Taylor Swift is not at the game,” commentator Jim Nantz told viewers on Sunday, October 8. “There are some brokenhearted people I just saw in the stands. She was questionable all week, but it looks like it’s officially inactive for today.”
As Swift made headlines for her appearance at Travis’ games, the tight end and his brother, Jason Kelce, discussed on an October episode of their “New Heights” podcast whether or not the NFL was “overdoing” their coverage of the singer.
“I think it’s fun when they show who all’s at the game. I think it brings a little bit more to the atmosphere, brings a little bit more to what you’re watching,” Travis confessed. “But at the same time, I think … they’re overdoing it a little bit, for sure, especially in my situation.”
As the NFL received backlash for their focus on Swift and Kelce’s budding romance, the organization denied they were doing anything out of the ordinary.
“We frequently change our bios and profile imagery based on what’s happening in and around our games, as well as culturally,” the NFL said in a statement to People in October. “The Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce news has been a pop cultural moment we’ve leaned into in real time, as it’s an intersection of sport and entertainment, and we’ve seen an incredible amount of positivity around the sport.”