Swifties may be fans of the romance budding between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, but Tony Dungy has different feelings.
Fox News anchor Raymond Arroyo interviewed the former Colts head coach ahead of the 2024 Hula Bowl in Orlando. While talking, Arroyo asked what he thought about a new poll that showed only 23% of Gen Z-ers are “avid sports fans.”
Retired Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback Rod Woodson speculated that a rise in sports betting is to blame for the lack of fans. He noted that betters chase stats and payouts instead of attaching themselves to a team.
Tony Dungy, however, offered a different theory.
“I think we’ll always have sports in some form or fashion. Some people are disenchanted with it,” he said.
Tony Dungy Believes Taylor Swift Brings the Wrong Kind of Attention to the Field
Arroyo followed up his point by asking about Taylor Swift’s effect on the game. Swift has been dating Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce since this summer. She regularly attends the games and grabs endless media attention.
“That’s the thing that’s disenchanting people with sports now,” Dungy continued. “There’s so much on the outside coming in. Entertainment value and different things that’s taking away from what really happens on the field.”
As USA Today reports, Taylor Swift’s presence has only had a positive effect on viewership. NFL matchups have continuously ruled in terms of ratings. In 2023, 82 games ranked in the top 100 telecasts for the year, and the sport also brought an average of 17.9 million more people to the screen.
Taylor Swift may have influenced some of those new viewers as well. When she was rooting for Kelce during his Christmas Day game, 29.2 million people tuned in, which made it the most-watched Christmas Day NFL game ever.
Before the holiday matchup, the Chiefs vs. Jets game in October grabbed the most views since Super Bowl LVII in February. It averaged 27 million viewers and peaked at 29.4 million, according to Variety. Swift was also in the crowd that day.