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Taylor Swift’s continued status as the ultimate distraction is discussed by the Chiefs.



Taylor Swift's continued status as the ultimate distraction is discussed by the Chiefs.


It’s Taylor, hi, she’s the problem it’s her. Actually, who am I kidding? Sorry to deceive any right-wing incels that clicked this article hoping for more fodder for their pathetic existences, but the Chiefs proved pretty definitively last year that Taylor Swift is not a distraction at all. In fact, she’s the opposite, and for every perpetually aggrieved keyboard warrior who couldn’t handle seeing her face for 18 seconds every game, there were thousands of new NFL fans that came aboard thanks to the pop star’s

Given their recent string of near-constant success, Kansas City Chiefs fans may not realize that winning a Super Bowl is a really tough thing to do. It takes a total buy-in from the entire locker room. It takes having a transcendent talent like Patrick Mahomes, a unique weapon like Travis Kelce, and future Hall-of-Fame coaches like Andy Reid and Steve Spagnuolo. It takes avoiding the injury bug and getting a few lucky calls and bounces on the field.

Ask fans of any of the other 31 NFL teams and they’d readily agree—winning one Super Bowl, let alone three in a row, which the Chiefs are attempting to become the first team to do—is really, really difficult. It’s even tougher when seemingly half the team is acting a fool.

The Chiefs have mostly done a great job of avoiding the off-field pitfalls that afflict most teams, but this offseason is changing the narrative. Every other day, a new story comes out about a member of the Chiefs being a knucklehead at best, and a potential criminal at worst. Needless to say, it’s not what you want to be dealing with as you prepare to make a run at NFL history.

Not all distractions are created equal, so today we’ll attempt to rank them in order on a scale of “least worrisome” to “most likely to derail KC’s three-peat chances.” Let’s begin.

1. Rashee Rice and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad offseason

I have three kids nine and under, so I know what it’s like to be exasperated when they won’t behave. With that in mind, allow me to say this to Rashee Rice. Control yourself, dude! It’s pretty easy to not be a blight on society, but the Chiefs’ second-year receiver is making it seem much more difficult than it is.

Charges were recently dropped against Rice after he allegedly assaulted someone earlier this month at a Dallas nightclub. The victim, whom Rice allegedly lured into the club with an Instagram message before punching him, requested that the charges be dropped, calling the whole situation a misunderstanding. For my own legal reasons, I won’t comment any further on how this could have just been a misunderstanding. You’d really have to pay me off to get me to say anything more about it.

The assault case is actually the least of Rice’s issues this offseason. In March, Rice is alleged to have caused a six-car crash after reaching 119 mph on a Dallas highway, and he’s currently being sued for millions by people who were injured in the accident.

There’s a troubling epidemic in and around the football world of reckless driving. Andy Reid’s son Britt had his prison sentence commuted earlier this year after he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and severely injuring a five-year-old girl in the crash. Elsewhere in the AFC West, Henry Ruggs is currently serving a prison sentence for driving over 150 mph while impaired, causing a crash that resulted in a fatality. The University of Georgia football program has been awash in reckless driving charges in the past few years, a trend that has unfathomably continued this spring with the arrests of Bulldogs Trevor Etienne and Sacovie White.

Rice has taken part in OTAs while he awaits a resolution to his legal situation, but his continued presence on the team, while far from the most important ramification of his conduct, has been a serious impediment to the Chiefs’ quest for another title.

There’s no denying that Rice had a tremendous rookie season. He was the only consistently reliable pass-catcher besides Kelce that Mahomes had to throw to, but it’s fair to question whether the Chiefs should keep him on the team in light of what he’s done. General manager Brett Veach seriously upgraded Kansas City’s receiving corps this offseason by signing former Cardinal Hollywood Brown and drafting Texas speedster Xavier Worthy, so despite Rice’s talents, he’s become expendable, especially for a team that has had more than enough distractions for one offseason.

2. Harrison Butker gives an embarrassingly regressive commencement speech

Here’s a tip for all future commencement speakers: if the first thing your speech does is make people think of The Handmaid’s Tale, you’re doing it wrong. Butker brought a tidal wave of well-earned derision down on himself for his speech at Benedictine College earlier this month for, among other things, calling Pride Month a deadly sin and saying that women should become mothers and housewives rather than pursue a career.

Everyone is entitled to their own personal views, but when you make the choice to get in front of a microphone and share them, you have to be ready to face criticism. Butker has been lambasted for his outdated views, and rightly so, and his teammates and the NFL have now had to answer for them, too. That’s the very definition of a distraction, even if most rational people can agree that the calls for Butker to be cut or suspended for his speech constitute a bridge too far.

Kickers are an important part of any team, and Butker has been an outstanding one, especially in the playoffs. Still, it’s a position that should be seen and not heard. Butker’s situation calls to mind that of Mike Vanderjagt, the former Indianapolis Colts kicker who inspired the normally reserved Peyton Manning to say, “we’re talking about our idiot kicker who got liquored up and ran his mouth off” after Vanderjagt criticized Manning and Colts head coach Tony Dungy for not being more fiery leaders.

Patrick Mahomes was more diplomatic than Manning when he was asked recently about Butker’s speech, saying that while he “didn’t necessarily agree with” Butker’s views, he knows that Butker is “a great person.”

Andy Reid and the NFL office have also addressed the situation, and it seems that other than the slings and arrows from online commenters that will continue to rain down on him, Butker is otherwise in the clear. If people are still talking about it when the season starts, though, it could become a distraction once again. Butker would do well to lay low and stay quiet going forward.

3. Wanya Morris and Chukwuebuka Jason Godrick’s arrest for possession of marijuana

This one is fairly harmless, and it shouldn’t affect the Chiefs very much. The worst thing we can say about this is that it’s the most recent Chiefs distraction, and after dealing with the fallout from the distractions that are higher on our list, Chiefs fans had to meet the news of Morris and Godrick getting arrested with a, “Seriously guys?”

I don’t want to completely downplay the incident, because at the end of the day, possessing marijuana in Kansas, as Morris and Godwick did, is illegal, and they should have known better. But at the same time, marijuana is legal in 24 states, and the use of it has been less and less demonized in recent years.

It helps this situation that neither Morris nor Godrick are stars. Morris is expected to take over the starting job at left tackle after Donovan Smith was allowed to walk this offseason, but he hasn’t locked down the job yet, and he isn’t a household name. If Patrick Mahomes or Travis Kelce got pulled over, it would be a bigger, though still ultimately harmless, story, but the fact that these are second-year players who haven’t made a huge impact yet helps to render it more of a footnote than anything.

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