Tony Romo Calling Taylor Swift Travis Kelce's Wife is Weird, Not Funny

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

Taylor Swift's new presence at NFL games in 2023 was handled in different ways by announcers from every network. Mike Tirico was happy to lean into it and poke fun at NBC's focus on the international sensation during games. Al Michaels promised viewers they wouldn't see too much of her at the cost of football. Most just acted like middle-aged dads, commenting on how crazy the attention was and how much their daughter/wife/whoever loved Swift's work and then moved on.

Tony Romo, though, stood out in comparison to his peers in this regard. He mostly stayed out of the discourse until December. Then he made headlines for accidentally saying Swift was Travis Kelce's wife. His immediate correction and self-deprecating laughter in the moment suggested it was, indeed, a slip of the tongue. Which isn't particularly noteworthy. Color commentators have a whole lot of information rattling around their brains. The only reason anybody noticed Romo misidentifying a player's girlfriend for his wife is because it was Swift.

Most people saw this clip, maybe had a chuckle at the silliness of Romo, and forgot about it. It would have stayed buried in memories if Romo didn't do it again literally two weeks later. And this one felt a little... different. Almost premeditated. Like Romo was trying to make a joke about the previous time he called Swift a wife, but he didn't laugh or give any other indication that he was joking.

It is kind of tough to argue that Romo is trying to make this a running bit when the other aspects of running bits (like the part where we laugh) is missing. But, on the other hand, it wouldn't be out of character for Romo to lean too far into what people like and make it unenjoyable. That is sort of what happened with his broadcasting, after all.

Joke or not, what happened during the AFC Divisional Round matchup between the Chiefs and Buffalo Bills eliminated all doubt that Romo was doing this by accident. After Kelce scored his second touchdown of the day to put Kansas City up for good, the CBS cameras panned to Swift's booth, which was also occupied by Jason Kelce (the real star of yesterday's show). Romo said excitedly "There's your brother-in-law!"

You cannot accidentally call Jason Kelce Taylor Swift's brother-in-law unless you are completely delusional. And Romo is not. So he's doing the whole "Kelce and Swift are married" bit on purpose. And it's just weird! It's not funny!

Maybe Romo is trying to make a meta joke about Swift being treated like a Kelce even though Travis hasn't put a ring on it. Perhaps this is all just one long gag featuring Romo constantly making fun of himself. Neither scenario seems super likely. This just seems like a thing Romo himself thinks is funny and keeps repeating on air, but it's just weird, man. Repeatedly misidentifying the most famous musical artist in the world as Travis Kelce's wife comes across as disrespectful on top of that. It's also, you know, the job of an announcer to correctly identify the people on-screen for viewers. So at a base level Romo is doing an audience a disservice.

Even if you don't think it's all that deep, I ask you: where is the joke? What is funny about calling her his wife when she is merely his girlfriend? Is it just funny because he got it wrong six weeks ago?

Just a really strange thing for Romo to latch onto.