A Swiftie’s Guide to Talking About Football at Thanksgiving

huddle, n.: A “huddle” occurs when players gather in between plays to decide on strategy, similar to Swift gathering with her inner circle (which includes assistant Erica Worden and longtime tour manager Robert Allen) before a tour.

pass protection, n.: A “pass protection” by offensive players consists of blocking the quarterback from defenders in order to give him time to throw the football, perhaps most easily likened to Swift’s hot backup dancer taking the spotlight (and, thus, allowing Swift a quick moment to recharge).

It’s shaping up to be an exciting holiday season for sports fans and pop stans alike, as Taylor Swift and NFL star Travis Kelce have given us the kind of football-music alliance we haven’t really seen since the halcyon days of Jessica Simpson dating Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. In honor of these two crazy kids’ oh-so-American bond, we’ve put together a little guide to help the devoted Swifties out there decode—and even participate in—football-speak this Thanksgiving weekend, especially now that Kansas City Chiefs games have become appointment television. Peruse the full glossary below.

interception, n.: An “interception” refers to a defending player catching a forward pass by the offense, usually the quarterback, resulting in a change of possession—and is perhaps best compared to Kanye West’s famous interruption of Swift at the MTV VMAs in 2009.

touchdown, n.: A “touchdown” is a six-pointer that a player earns by carrying the ball over the goal line, a.k.a. what Swift scored with her $200-million-grossing Eras Tour film. Go, team!


fumble, v.: To “fumble” the ball means to lose hold of it, much like Swift’s exes have lost hold of the narrative after their respective breakups with the chanteuse. (Matty Healy, I’m talking to you.)

penalty, n.: A yardage or loss of down “penalty” is handed out to players who are deemed to have broken the laws of the game, much like that creepy DJ who groped Swift and was found guilty of assault and battery in 2017.

blitz, v.: To “blitz,” in football, is to attempt to disrupt pass attempts by the offense, which is exactly what Swift did (sort of) when she called out a Netflix show for taking shots at her dating life after playing host to her documentary Miss Americana.