I first heard about Taylor's very special relationship with the Kansas City Chiefs from my nephew and niece-in-law. Their response was, "At least she's not dating Pete Davidson." My response was, "Oh. Okay. More football fans. Yay!"
Then the backlash started. Every image of her in the stands cheering on her boyfriend's team caused self-described true and honest fans to rage. Millions of bits and bytes of bandwidth gave their lives so grown men could throw fits about Marcia! Marcia! Ma- wait. Sorry. TAYLOR! TAYLOR! TAYLOR!
I don't have a dog in this fight. In a distant, abstracted sense, I am glad for them that they're happy. The upcoming game is far more interesting to me than who is in the stands.
Okay, there is a sense of shame that hits me when I think about this situation. Years ago, I was a credentialed sportswriter who covered the Nashville Predators for a Montreal-based website. That year, Mike Fisher was traded from the Senators to the Preds. There was speculation about when and where his wife, Carrie Underwood, would make an appearance.
Her first night at event level in Nashville, she walked through with an entourage that included some of the media people for the team. At the time, there were five writers/reporters waiting at the staff elevator to get to club level so we could take our places in the press box.
As Underwood and her entourage approached the elevators, one of the Predators spokeswonks barked at us to step aside. Ms. Underwood required an elevator and NO ONE ELSE was allowed to be on the elevator with her and her people.
One of the more seasoned veterans sighed and we all took a small step away from the elevator doors. The Predators Media Wonk barked again that the elevators were for MISS UNDERWOOD AND ONLY MISS UNDERWOOD.
Five heads swiveled in Carrie Underwood's direction as we took a couple more steps back. I looked up and saw a mix of game faces and some out and out disdain. At that point all I wanted to do was get upstairs, plug in my computer, assemble my camera, and get ready for the puck to drop. The whole thing was just annoying to me and it probably showed on my face. Worse, that was when I made eye-contact with Ms. Underwood.
"Well?" Said Big Older Reporter Guy. "Go ahead."
The media wonk stopped for a moment and turned to Underwood, who looked like she wanted to be anywhere but the bowels of Bridgestone Arena. She said nothing.
"We're, uh, we're not ready yet," stammered the media wonk.
The reporter snorted, turned, and got on the elevator. The four of us followed him. I figured if there was an armed response, he was big enough to hide behind.
That night, I realized I wasn't very nice. Worse, I took for granted that nothing I said or did would have made a difference. Thing is, I was the only other woman there at that moment. I should have made some gesture, even if it was just a smile, to welcome her. I didn't. You know? I still feel shame about that. I was old enough, smart enough, and talented enough to not feel a need to be one of the boys and yet that was the stance I took. Damn. I'm sorry.
Nobody is so successful, rich, famous, or beautiful that they are completely immune to scorn. This is especially true when they are the newcomers to a new-to-them milieu. I hope some of the current sports press corps are being nicer than we were.
If you're still upset about Taylor and Travis, keep in mind that you are trying to spoil the fun of complete strangers and you are letting complete strangers spoil your fun. Take some advice from the woman herself: Y'all need to calm down.