Pop music meets Super Bowl Sunday – The Echo News

Thursday, March 7, 2024 Print Edition
The Echo aims to represent the views of diverse voices on Taylor University’s campus fairly and without bias and to be a vehicle of accurate and pertinent information to the student body. The Echo also aims to be a forum that fosters healthy discussion about relevant issues, acting as a catalyst for change on our campus.
The spotlight illuminates many things, but this NFL season brought the most unlikely combination together: a popstar and a tight end. 
Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s relationship has become a hot topic of discussion. In a recent poll done by The Echo, people from the Taylor University community were quick to offer their feedback about this current phenomenon. 
Of those surveyed, 81.4% said that they watched football often or every now and then. While a quarter of the people said they were Swifties, the rest were split almost evenly between sometimes listening to her or not being a fan. Despite this, a glaring 97.8% of participants were aware that Swift was attending NFL games or dating Kelce. 
Contessa Hussong, a senior professional writing major, said that she hoped it would be an opportunity for more women to start paying attention to the game. 
“I think that there’s definitely an unfair stereotype that when a woman sits down to watch a football game, first of all, she doesn’t know what she’s looking at, which is not always true,” she said. 
Hussong’s boyfriend, junior David Wells, plays on the Trojan’s football team and offered a different perspective. While he finds Swift’s appearance at games a big distraction, Wells said there is also the problem of fans claiming that games are rigged. 
“I think it’s negatively affecting viewership,” Wells said. “Not so that people aren’t watching, but people don’t feel what they’re watching is real.” 
While he doesn’t believe that the NFL is necessarily scripted, Wells did say that there is a show the league wants to have because they are making money off it.  
How much money? 
Erica Elliott, an adjunct business professor, said the last estimates that she had seen of the value Swift has created within the NFL is about $330 million dollars. She observed that Swift has not only impacted the increasing participation of younger women watching the NFL, but has contributed to the general rise in viewership over most demographics. 
“Last time Dove had a commercial in the Super Bowl was 18 years ago,” Elliott said, after pointing out the one that was released on Sunday night.
Elliott commented that other brands may be now looking to support the effort and become involved in this movement from a female perspective. She said that normally ads during a game like this wouldn’t be targeting women as much. 
Josh Flannery, Trojans football offensive coordinator, said that it is typical for people to put things out of proportion to get a story from it. The media has done its part to elevate that, and the whole situation is made to boost viewers, whether that is good or bad. 
“They’re both at the top of their game and their industry, whether you like them or not,” Flannery said.
Todd Syswerda, Professor of Music Composition, Songwriting, and Music Technology follows Taylor Swift vicariously through car rides to school with his daughter in the mornings. He experienced her elation when Swift won her 13th Grammy and announced a brand-new album. 
As an artist himself, Syswerda said he believes that what goes the farthest with creatives writing and producing music is authenticity. 
“You can’t predict what people are gonna like or not like, so be you,” Syswerda said. “Be truly you instead of trying to be a copycat of someone else.” 
Syswerda noticed that his daughter and her friends, who are Swifties, are more invested in football than they were before. But even if the two weren’t dating, he said the Kansas City Chiefs would probably still have been going to the Super Bowl. This relationship may have elevated the fan base, but he believes the game stayed the same.  
“I can see why it’s called controversial; I don’t think it is controversial,” he said.
By Lilyana Moore
By Devin Smith
By Enoch Eicher
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