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Celebrity Slam - T-Swift's banned banner

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We’ve had a whole lot of fun at Taylor Swift’s expense in this space over the years. It comes with the territory when you’re as ultra-famous as she is – people are going to take swings. For the most part, our jabs at T-Swift have been gentle one; mostly, we just like to tease her about her choices of boyfriend. Anyone remember Hiddleswift? Because that was a thing for five minutes a few years back.

Yeah – you forgot. But it happened.

This week, we’ll be gently teasing Taylor once again. But it has nothing to do with her relationships. This time, it’s all about … hockey?

*checks notes*

Yep. Hockey.

Apparently, there’s a banner commemorating Swift’s run of sold-out shows at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It went up in 2015 to honor her after she sold out her 16th consecutive performance there. Kind of an odd thing, but whatever – when big deal things happen in sports arenas, they hang banners from the rafters. Not sure why they do that, but they do.

However, it turns out that the L.A. Kings, the NHL franchise that plays their home games at the Staples Center, aren’t that thrilled with the banner. In fact, fans have been making such a fuss about it that the team has agreed to cover it up when the Kings are playing.

Why, you ask? Well, sports fan bases tend to be subject to superstitions. And a certain very vocal subset of Kings fans has decided that the banner is somehow jinxing the Kings. As with most things of this nature, it’s a coincidence – the raising of the banner has coincided with a less-than-stellar run of playoff appearances for the team. And so, bowing to fan sentiment, the team has decided to cover up the banner when they’re playing.

In a statement from one of the team’s marketing reps, the following was said:

“The connection to our fans is our highest priority and through our engagement they have made it clear that the banner shouldn’t be part of their Kings game experience. We didn’t see an issue in covering it for our games and in fact see it as an opportunity to show our fans that we hear them.”

For what it’s worth, the two basketball teams that play in Staples – the Lakers and the Clippers – have dealt with the banner’s presence in very different ways. The Lakers have embraced it; heck, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was actually in the building when the banner first went to the rafters. And the Clippers have already been covering it – probably because the Lakers like it, if we’re honest.

Obviously, this is objectively hilarious. The notion that this eyesore of a goofy banner is somehow responsible for a hockey team’s inability to win in the playoffs is ridiculous, of course. But so too is the idea that team officials will accede to those ridiculous demands for its removal. It’s all very silly.

As you might have guessed, this isn’t really a Slam of Taylor Swift. In truth, this doesn’t seem to have much of anything to do with her. And yet … doesn’t it make a kind of sense that this is happening to her? Can you imagine any other famous musician inspiring this sort of superstition-driven idiocy? You can’t even drop Justin Bieber in here, because he’s Canadian and a noted hockey dude. T-Swift might legitimately be the only person to whom this could happen.

Again, it isn’t her fault. That said, there’s something really funny about the idea of a bunch of L.A. hockey fans – already a concept bordering on oxymoronic – getting it into their mulletted heads that the postseason failures of their beloved Kings isn’t due to poor play or even bad luck, but rather the presence of an admittedly-ugly banner celebrating the popularity of a pop singer-songwriter. It’s peak sports fan, a collection of knuckleheads looking for anything to explain their beloved team’s underperformance.

So no, this isn’t about anything that T-Swift did. But the truth is that it couldn’t possibly happen to anyone else. And that means it is fair game for us.

Heck, we’re just glad we’re not dealing with some new publicity-driven celebrity romance … although we ARE due another Swiftian portmanteau. Oh well – next time.

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 October 2019 16:18

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