Think Drama with Taylor Swift And Travis Kelce Is New? Another Player-Singer Couple Irritated Fans Years Before

Think Drama with Taylor Swift And Travis Kelce Is New? Another Player-Singer Couple Irritated Fans Years Before


 By Allison Anton  February 12, 2024 at 11:26am

Welcome back to the department of the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Today’s example deals with a ludicrously overexposed celebrity couple, consisting of an NFL player and a pop star, whose constant media attention irritated NFL fans to no end.

We refer, of course, to the early 2000s’ pop princess and erstwhile reality TV star Jessica Simpson and then-quarterback Tony Romo.

Yes, for all you football fans who got thoroughly tired of seeing Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s faces plastered everywhere when trying to watch a game this season (very much including Sunday’s Super Bowl), this phenomenon is nothing new.

Back in the far-off year of 2007, Simpson’s highly publicized relationship with Romo, who at the time played for the Dallas Cowboys, annoyed fans to the point that they blamed her for Romo’s poor performance, and even “ruining” his career.

Simpson and Romo first got together in November of 2007, as the New York Post’s Page 6 recounted last week in a report about comedian Keegan Michael-Key’s monologue at the NFL Honors ceremony that compared the Romo-Simpson/Kelce-Swift couplings.

Keegan-Michael Key says Taylor Swift & Travis Kelce remind him of Jessica Simpson & Tony Romo. Do you agree with the comparison?

— TMZ Live (@TMZLive) February 9, 2024

Almost immediately the two of them were everywhere, as the U.K. Daily Mail noted in a 2016 report, with Simpson attending her first Cowboys game in support of Romo that December sporting a pink Cowboys jersey, a game which the Cowboys lost 10-6.

Should the NFL focus on football?

Reflecting on the relationship during his show Undisputed on Fox Sports 1, according to the Daily Mail, host Skip Bayless blamed Simpson for Romo’s poor performance during that time, claiming that, for Romo, “[it] was just tumultuous. It was always one thing after another off-the-field. He had to pay too much attention off-the-field and he was not dedicating himself to the process of playing NFL quarterback.”

A People magazine report from the time noted that fans were speculating that Simpson was “bad luck” for the Cowboys, with Cowboys’ fan site The Boy’s Blog saying, “if Romo plays like this next week, Jessica Simpson will become the most hated celebrity significant other since Yoko Ono” (despite the fact that Romo was playing with an injured, bandaged thumb in that game).

Was the fan criticism and backlash fair?

Perhaps not, and perhaps the Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce backlash is also unfair, but that’s not to say it isn’t understandable.

Whenever a celebrity in another field (especially music or film), hooks up with a popular football player, the NFL will milk that relationship for all it’s worth, hoping to draw in as much new viewers and money as possible.

This is in spite of the fact that the fan base of pop stars like Taylor Swift and Jessica Simpson rarely overlap with true NFL fans, meaning fans of the pop star will only tune in for games where she shows up, and NFL fans are forced to endure seeing her face every five minutes when they just want to watch their game.

Romo is now an occasionally controversial football analyst for CBS.

Last week, as reported by Page Six, he commented on the Kelce-Swife phenomenon, saying that “in a perfect world, they wouldn’t have all of the media attention around it, but the truth is, they’re just too dominant at what they do.”

And the NFL is perfectly aware of how much this irritates most of its fans, but, instead of learning their lesson from fiascos like the Simpson and Romo romance, it continues pushing the Swift-Kelce romance despite how tired their fans are of seeing those two.

Obviously, the NFL is only doing this in the hopes of increasing its already astronomical revenue (the league pulled $18.6 billion in 2022, according to the data website Statista).

But that revenue comes from the loyalty of diehard football fans who couldn’t care less who’s dating whom.

Maybe the NFL should start thinking of the long game instead of prioritizing these short-term bursts of relevance — beginning with actually respecting the desires of its fans.

A Note from Our Deputy Managing Editor:

I heard a chilling comment the other day: “We don’t even know if an election will be held in 2024.” 

That wasn’t said by a conspiracy theorist or a doomsday prophet. No, former U.S. national security advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said that to the founder of The Western Journal, Floyd Brown.

Gen. Flynn’s warning means that the 2024 election is the most important election for every single living American. If we lose this one to the wealthy elites who hate us, hate God, and hate what America stands for, we can only assume that 248 years of American history and the values we hold dear to our hearts may soon vanish.

The end game is here, and as Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

All of this means that without you, it’s over. We have the platform, the journalists, and the experience to fight back hard, but Big Tech is strangling us through advertising blacklists, shadow bans, and algorithms. Did you know that we’ve been blacklisted by 90% of advertisers? Without direct support from you, our readers, we can’t continue the fight.

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A monthly Western Journal Membership costs less than one coffee and breakfast sandwich each month, and it gets you access to ALL of our content — news, commentary, and premium articles. You’ll experience a radically reduced number of ads, and most importantly you will be vitally supporting the fight for America’s soul in 2024.

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Josh Manning

Deputy Managing Editor

The Western Journal

Allison Anton dabbles in fiction, as well as commenting on depressing modern trends and media. She calls the metro Atlanta area home, and when she’s not writing, she’s creating a loving home for her amazing husband.


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