Back in September when there was still reason to hope the Patriots wouldn’t miss out on the playoffs for the third time in four seasons following Tom Brady’s departure, longtime New England coach Bill Belichick weighed in on the budding romance between Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. Asked about the Kelce-Swift pairing, Belichick, made a funny (for him), football-related comment: “Well I would say that Travis Kelce’s had a lot of big catches in his career. This would be the biggest.”
Had Belichick done a better job with his team this season, he probably would’ve been asked about the Kelce-Swift dynamic in a few weeks as the Patriots were supposed to host the Chiefs on Monday Night Football on December 18. However, cooler heads have prevailed and that matchup has been moved out of primetime and the chances that Swift may have been in attendance have also evaporated in the process.
This week, the NFL and its broadcast partners moved the Eagles-Patriots game in Week 15 from MNF and replaced it with the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Seattle Seahawks. Flex scheduling for Monday night games was introduced this season, but this is the first time it has been used.
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The move is somewhat irrelevant for the Chiefs and may actually help them as it eliminates Kansas City having to play on a short week in Week 16, but it is somewhat of a slap in the face to the Patriots because it signals the NFL and its partners believe they are bad enough that a more competitive matchup was needed. And, it also signals that the schedule-makers believe that not even Patrick Mahomes, Kelce and possibly even Swift would have combined to be a big enough of a draw to offset the awfulness of New England’s football team.
The bump from MNF represents a new low, even for a team with only two wins this season. But it’s also hard to argue with. The reigning Super Bowl champs don’t belong on the same field with Belichick and his not-so-merry bunch and a national audience will eventually become disinterested with KC dismantling the Pats, whether Swift is in the building or not. Now at least, we know she won’t be.
The Patriots still have one primetime that cannot be moved and they will take on the Broncos on Christmas Eve. That could be New England’s final national television appearance with Bill Belichick coaching on the sidelines.