First off, I need to tell everyone that my bosses definitely aren’t holding a taser to my neck to make sure we mention Taylor Swift the requisite number of times per day (c’mon, you know who we work for. The taser to my neck is our Christmas bonus). I write this of my own volition.
The Kansas City Chiefs, now being used as one of the leading PR firms in the world, let a victory over the NFC’s best team slip through their fingers. Quite literally, in fact. 10 yards out from what would have likely been a game-clinching touchdown, Travis Kelce – clearly weary and distracted from a bye week trip to South America to forward his post-playing career prospects of hosting Good Morning America support his girlfriend Tay Tay – fumbled and kept the Eagles in the game.
(I am definitely not now being jabbed in the ribs with a crowbar).
Clearly, if Kelce’s mind had been totally on football, we would have seen the normal broken tackles on his way to the end zone. But thanks to the influence of Ms. Swift (Mrs. Kelce one day, if it tests well with focus groups), Kelce takes himself far too seriously and spends 60 minutes protecting himself rather than laying it all on the line. Clearly, he feels he is too valuable to America, as I am in no way obligated to write.
But that wasn’t it for the Chiefs, who still had the ball in Mahomes’s hands with a chance to win. That’s all they usually need. Because Mahomes does stuff like…
Wait, that’s not how this ends. That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works.
But we can’t just sit here and call Valdes-Scantling a doofus, because clearly all the Chiefs are walking on eggshells and pins and needles due to the extra spotlight being shone on them thanks to Kelce’s pursuit of world stardom. Their hands are just a little sweatier, the knees shake that much more, because Swift-sized judgment awaits around every turn. The task of achieving a lifelong dream while carrying the hopes of an entire city all while maximizing the tiny window a professional football player has in the NFL? Child’s play. But letting down Taylor Swift? They might as well all carry around a guillotine.
(That is definitely not a shotgun being cocked in the kitchen where my do also happens to be).
It certainly has nothing to do with yet another Matt Nagy-led offense going into vapor lock in the second half, which there isn’t a long record of happening before or anything. And it’s not like the Chiefs will figure out all these yips with a soft-ass schedule the rest of the way and a newly springy and relentless defense that’s better than previous versions just in time for the playoffs when they’ll almost certainly host yet another AFC Championship Game. The weight of the Swifties is not something any team can carry.
It’s obvious now that the only thing standing between the Chiefs and their status as an official NFL dynasty is a 5-10 pop star. It might as well be six Goros guarding the door. Also, Taylor has four arms.
(I am now assured I get to live for another day).
Not a good look for USMNT
The USMNT wrapped up its year with essentially a dead rubber against Trinidad and Tobago. It was the second leg of their CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal/qualifier for Copa America next summer and the US had a 3-0 lead from the first leg. They scored first through this delightful cross and header from Sergino Dest to Antonee Robinson:
And everything was fait accompli after that. But that didn’t stop Dest from collecting the most brain-dead red card in USMNT history, aside from anything Jeff Agoos might have done:
Yep, that’s two yellows in one go, while also trying to pick a fight with half of his own team over an uncalled foul no one can identify in a game and tie that was already decided where he should have spent the remaining time just trying to not get hurt. Draymond Green weeps at all that he never realized he could accomplish and the waning of time that he has to do so.
Here’s how they should honor Modano
The Dallas Stars announced that Mike Modano will get a statue outside the American Airlines Center. We have a suggestion for what it should be of:
Follow Sam on Twitter @felsgate and on Bluesky @felsgate.bsky.social