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  • Writer's pictureTopher Enneking

Embracing Taylor Swift's Enthusiasm: A Chiefs Football Fan's Perspective

effect (noun): 

  1. Something that is produced by an agency or cause; result; consequence

  2. Power to produce results

affect (verb):

  1. To act on; produce an effect or change in

  2. To impress the mind or move the feelings of

What does it teach us when even in a stadium we’re told we’re making too much noise? Drawing too much attention with our enthusiasm. Daring to express our joy in public. Being too much while simply being. And why are we so upset that Taylor Swift is publicly enthusiastic about a sport we all claim to love?

Taylor Swift cheering for Chiefs football with text over the image and a KC arrowhead logo

Football was a place where I learned that I get to express myself. I’d been picked on as a child (being big doesn’t get to be an advantage when you’re taught you’re not allowed to use it), but then there was a place where disparate bodies were needed and the fact that I didn’t fit in among the normal kids could actually be my superpower. I hope that the people voicing their disdain for TSwift's joy learn a lesson that I've been trying to lessen for most of my life...

I spent a lot of my life trying to hide myself from the world, seeing that my uniqueness was difficult for those around me. Then there came the day I learned that there just was nothing I could do about it. I realized that all the energy fighting it was robbing me of the energy I needed to thrive. I guess in small measures when we write things like this and share we are helping to overwhelm the culture of judgment. That culture that insists that they should get to control how others interact with the life God granted them. But that’s not going to be the affect that Taylor Swift has had on this football fan. The affect that Taylor's had on me is to remind me that these games are Human Events. To remind me that every moment I was down there hyper focused on my footwork and hand placement, I had a community around me that cared. A community that lived those moments with me. People I had never, have never, and will never meet. People who share an emotional bond with me because of sport

In quantum physics there is a phenomenon called quantum entanglement. It is an event that occurs that binds two different things so they are the same. No matter how much distance you put between them when you do something to one of them the other experiences the exact same thing. From the moment of the quantum entanglement they are indistinguishable from one another. Sport has that affect on us as people and communities. Sometimes that can be difficult; going through an event that binds you to someone. Then you have to experience the things that they’re experiencing. Sometimes being aware of someone makes you feel the pain that injustice makes them feel. It’s easier to control when we’re not tethered to so many. Tethering to other people can be exhausting. But it also helps us find balance and buoyancy in a storm.

After writing that line I asked my 10 year old daughter Francesca these questions and wrote the rest of this article with her…

Topher: I wanted to talk to you about Taylor Swift being at the game and being shown at the games. What do you think about Taylor Swift?

Francesca: I like her a lot

What is it you like most about her? 

First off I have like 6 cats and she has like 3

What do you think about the fact that they keep showing her at football games? 

I feel like if somebody was not a Chiefs fan but they loved Taylor Swift they are a Chiefs fan now because she’s there and that’s good.

Why do you think it’s good that more people would be fans 

because then like if we have more support for them in the Super Bowl they would have more hope. You’re ready for it because there’s like more people. 

Yeah more people cheering them on gives them more hope! So I believe - and  we’ve never really talked about this, but I believe that sports teams aren’t just as strong as the people playing. I believe they’re as strong as the people supporting them also. So that’s really cool that you would have that thought, did you know that there are some people that don’t like that they show Taylor Swift at the football games? 

That’s weird 

It is weird. You know I just had a thought...

When I was playing football I'd be down on that field and felt so far removed because I didn't get to feel excited with the people cheering me on. That’s one of the cool things about sports, you can make a play and you can feel all the people watching get excited with you. And you know that you are why they’re excited. Seeing Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce‘s family and friends celebrating when he’s out there, there’s a part of me that  didn’t get to see that when my family came and supported me. I get to live through that and I get to experience what it must be like to get to see my family celebrate me. 

Houston Texans player DeAndre Hopkins is standing at the edge of the stadium during a football game and handing his mother the ball from his most recent touchdown
DeAndre Hopkins handing his mom the game ball. Photo courtesy Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Some players will have special members of their family closer to the field. DeAndre Hopkins has his mom close by and every time he scores a touchdown he runs and gives her the ball. She's blind, so she can hear everybody celebrating for him but she doesn’t get to see it. Every time he scores a touchdown and comes to her with the ball, she gets to be part of the play. 

And that’s what we at STATSdraft hope the Taylor Swift Affect will be, finding more ways to include those who aren’t. Showing more people that their joy and investment are wanted and need to be shared not hidden. Stimulating more people who are part of the sports world to speak up and tell the noobs in the room they’re welcome. As I write this I realize that in my sports life I have usually been the person who waits to be invited to play. I hope more people become the kinds of people who invite people to play. I want to be a person who invites people to play. Maybe that’s why I created STATSdraft? Or maybe someone who knows better than me knows I need practice inviting people to play. Wanna play with me?

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