THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
The Travis Kelce/Taylor Swift romance garnered plenty of headlines this weekend when the 12-time Grammy winner showed up in Kansas City to watch the Chiefs tight end and his teammates dismantle the Chicago Bears 41-10.
If you are wondering how big of a star Swift is and the influence that she has maybe the following numbers can help you. According to Fanatics – a licensed NFL merchandising partner – Kelce’s jersey’s saw a 400% spike in sales over the weekend. Despite the game itself being a dog, the Chiefs-Bears contest was the most-watched NFL game of the weekend with 24.3 million viewers tuning into FOX. Kelce also saw his Instagram account gain over 300,000 followers during the course of the weekend.
It seems that a lot of ‘Swifties’ have suddenly become Chiefs fans. To top it all off, Kelce bought out a Kansas City restaurant after the game so he, Swift and friends could enjoy a private party. It’s not like the Chiefs and the NFL need more fans but you know they still have to be loving this.
KARMA IS A YOU-KNOW-WHAT
Remember this past summer when Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton took a run at his predecessor in Denver by making some not-so-flattering comments about Nathaniel Hackett’s time in the Mile High City? In case you forgot, Payton said that Hackett’s time in Denver last season was “one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL” and threw some other grenades as well saying there were “20 dirty hands” around Russell Wilson’s disappointing first season in Denver.
Payton later apologized but those comments were brought up by many when the Miami Dolphins obliterated the Broncos 70-20 this past Sunday. The Broncos’ defense was porous – giving up 10 touchdowns and 726 yards of total offense to the Dolphins, and in the process, setting franchise records for defensive futility.
“Obviously that was embarrassing. I’m at a loss for words. Every once in a while, in the NFL you get your butt kicked, but this was different,” Payton told the media after the game.
Somewhere you know that Hackett – now the offensive coordinator of the New York Jets – was smiling.
LIONS LINEUP CHANGES
A week after going into Edmonton with the same roster that beat Ottawa, the B.C. Lions are looking at some major changes heading into their matchup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders Friday at B.C. Place Stadium.
Fullback David Mackie (knee) could be replaced by Keenan LaFrance while guard Sukh Chung (ankle) will probably be sidelined this game with Andrew Peirson sliding into his spot. Quarterback Dane Evans (back spasms) hasn’t participated in practice this week while linebacker Manny Rugamba (ribs) is expected to play after being knocked out of the game in Edmonton.
On the positive side, receiver Dominique Rhymes (knee/ankle) and linebacker Bo Lokombo (ribs) will return to the active roster against the Roughriders. Rugamba’s injury forced the Lions to move safety Quincy Mauger into Rugamba’s spot with Adrian Green getting more reps at safety. The club liked what they saw out of Mauger in terms of run support as he gives the Leos some more size in the box than Rugamba, so expect the latter to be used more in passing downs moving forward.
When the Vancouver Canucks named Quinn Hughes the 15th team captain in the organization’s history, it was met with a lot of fanfare. The irony of it all is that it’s more symbolic than anything for Hughes.
Sure, he’ll be the go-to guy for the media after each and every game but in reality, not much will change within the dressing room. In having talked to players over the years, almost all of them will tell you that getting that letter is an honor but it’s more of an affirmation than anything else. You are what you are and the ‘C’ really doesn’t change things that much. Hughes has been showing leadership skills since the day he arrived in Vancouver five years ago.
As one NHL player once told me, leadership comes in many forms and he used ‘Saving Private Ryan’ as an example. He said every team has their Captain John Miller (played by Tom Hanks) but they also have their ‘enforcer’ in Sergeant Horvath (played by Tom Sizemore) as well as others who contribute to the leadership group.
IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
September and October are a great time of year for sports fans. Baseball pennant races are winding down with the post-season on tap, the CFL season is ‘officially’ under way seeing how Labor Day has passed while the NFL is just getting cranked up. Meanwhile, NHL and NBA fans are full of optimism with training camps under way.
The only other time of year that can compare with this smorgasbord of sports is the spring when the months of March-April have a ton activity. Baseball is starting up, you have The Masters for golf aficionados and March Madness is taking place. Throw in the NBA and NHL playoffs plus the NHL Draft and there is a lot to choose from.
If you are a sports fan, enjoy the ride for the next few months!
Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media. And check out his weekly podcast every Monday at Today in B.C. or your local Black Press Media website.