Play-by-play man Al Michaels unintentionally created a bit of a storm when speaking about Taylor Swift’s new album during Thursday Night Football.
It happened after Swift promoted her new album “Midnights” during the Amazon broadcast of the game between the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals. Michaels did nothing beyond state facts — but sometimes, the facts get in the way of other people’s good (or otherwise) stories.
Michaels was speaking to TNF analyst Kirk Herbstreit when trying to help promote Swift.
“You have four sons. If you had a daughter, she’d be over the moon,” Michaels told Herbstreit. “I have a granddaughter who is completely over the moon right now … Nobody more popular among the teenage girl group than Taylor Swift.”
That was it. Girls love Taylor Swift. This is all true.
But apparently, some guys and gals took offense. After all, guys (supposedly) like Taylor Swift’s music, too.
Even so, Michaels added that Swift is a “fantastic performer.” He didn’t say that guys don’t like Taylor Swift. He merely stated that girls do. Particularly teenage girls.
These are all facts. But this is the Internet, and things tend to take on a life of their own here.
“All respect to Al Michaels, but dudes can be Taylor Swift fans, too,” wrote ESPN reporter Brooke Pryor, in unknowingly helping promote a rival streaming service. “(W)hew the toxic masculinity is STRONG #onhere tonight,” she added.
In a strange twist, negative responses to Pryor’s comments were likely stronger than even the ones reserved fort Michaels.
As for Taylor Swift, she has said nothing, perhaps it’s because it’s a non-issue and she’s laughing all the way to the bank. Girls like her music? Great. Keep buying it up.