It was good to be Aaron Rodgers up until the recent bit of drama sweeping the news — not the play that tore his left achilles tendon in the Bills-Jets game in Week 1, but rather this Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce relationship. Because as much as Aaron Rodgers likes to bash the “woke mob” media when they point out his Covid-19 “immunized” lie or reference his troublesome friendship with misinformation spreader Joe Rogan, he also seems to really relish that media spotlight when the glare is on him. When it turns to someone else? Not so much.
Jets fans had been swooning over Rodgers ever since he was traded to New York, especially all summer at training camp. Then, the entire Hard Knocks season on HBO was one long Aaron Rodgers love fest. This was followed by Aaron Rodgers being the top storyline of the NFL season for the first two weeks of play following his season-ending injury.
And then a new pesky NFL/entertainment storyline started sweeping the nation — the Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce romance. Suddenly, all those cameras previously focused on Rodgers in his recuperation bed turned their attention to the biggest pop star on the planet showing up at the Chiefs-Bears game in Week 3 to cheer on her guy, Travis Kelce.
This had to irk Rodgers as he stewed in bed, scrolling through his phone and seeing Kelce and Swift's names pop up all over social media while he and the Jets slowly faded out of relevancy. Then, as news began spreading this week that Taylor Swift would be in attendance for the Chiefs-Jets game again this Sunday night in New York, Rodgers undoubtedly had had enough. It was time to take action.
He knew what he had to do. First things first, Rodgers had to grow a mustache, to remind Travis Kelce that he was the original Tom Selleck mustache man before Kelce took it to new heights this season. So he shaved the stubbled beard he flaunted last week on The Pat McAfee show to reveal nothing but the ‘stache, until it was nearly identical to Kelce's.
He also told Pat McAfee during his most recent appearance on the show when asked if he might attend the Chiefs-Jets game, “You never know who you’re going to see at the game.” It felt like a tongue-in-cheek winking reference to Swift, with him incorrectly assuming his appearance would garner the same sort of excitement.
Regardless, in Rodgers' mind, undoubtedly the only thing that could upstage Taylor Swift's appearance at the game would be if he showed up too — and show up he did.
After reportedly getting medical clearance to travel and attend the game (because apparently now he takes doctors' advice?), Rodgers appeared before the game on the Jets' sideline, keeping it casual in a long-sleeved white t-shirt, black shorts and sunglasses.
He was interviewed before the game by NBC's Mike Tirico, and then Travis Kelce himself came over to chat with Rodgers, and the two shared a few laughs. Probably a “who wore it better?” type convo about the matching ‘staches.
Sure, Rodgers' surprise appearance generated a bit of pre-game buzz at the stadium, but you got the feeling that everyone was still waiting for the main show to arrive.
When Taylor Swift finally came through security in her own casual ensemble of a black turtleneck and denim shorts — the shorts immediately sold out online. Meanwhile, Rodgers' dad-wear collection sunglasses remain readily available from Costcos everywhere.
Taylor Swift brought an impressive celebrity entourage that included Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman. Aaron Rodgers brought… his crutches.
I don't have a breakdown of how many camera cutaways Taylor Swift and Aaron Rodgers each got during the game, but it certainly felt heavily weighted in Taylor's favor.
In short, the whole scene felt as if Aaron Rodgers was a little thirsty for that Taylor Swift spotlight, yet he failed at reclaiming it for himself. It was a bit of a “Hey guys, I'm here too!” moment. And MetLife Stadium collectively responded, “Oh, neat Aaron! Glad you could make it. But we're all kinda here to see Taylor though so… byyye.”
Rodgers even found his own sad, poorly lit box to sit in at the stadium while Taylor Swift's suite looked like the hottest party on the planet.
We know Aaron Rodgers is a Swiftie — he admitted as much after attending two of her concerts at MetLife Stadium earlier this summer and was captured dancing to the jams by TMZ — but there's no sense in trying to top Taylor Swift (or Travis Kelce), Aaron. Leave the spotlight for them until you're fully healed, which if you really want to happen this season (like Rodgers told NBC's Melissa Stark), it's probably best to recuperate at home in Malibu instead of flying across the country for a few minutes of runner-up media attention.