A couple bigger than the Super Bowl (and Trump)


A couple bigger than the Super Bowl (and Trump)

LOUIS DE VILLIERS enjoys football in all its forms and the 49ers have been his American team for decades. But a certain singer and her boyfriend overshadowed their defeat in the Super Bowl.


MY exes and creditors will all testify that I never know what the date is and unfortunately February 14 is a date.

So please excuse my delayed Valentine's Day effort on the 16th, but I'm suffering from a combination of déjà vu and shock after the Kansas City Chiefs clinched their third Super Bowl in five years against the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday in Las Vegas.

I enjoy football in all its forms — rugby, gridiron, soccer, Aussie rules, you name it — and the 49ers have been my American team for decades. It's a huge occasion when your team makes it to the Super Bowl; after all, there are 32 teams and tight systems in place to ensure that none of them ever gets too big for its boots.

So, if your team loses at the last gasp and it's 6.30am on the first working day of the week, it's a bloody blue Monday.


Relief came from an unexpected quarter.

The latest target of Donald Trump's MAGA cult is the fairly new and bitterly famous couple: the world's biggest pop star, Taylor Swift, and the world's best tight end, Travis Kelce of the Chiefs.

According to the Trump sect, this pairing as well as the Chiefs' victory were planned months ago; probably from the Washington, DC pizza place where the establishment apparently operates a global pederast network. 

Swift encouraged people to register to vote four years ago, earning her the distrust of the Mango Mussolini and all his disciples. Kelce encouraged supporters to get a Covid vaccination and agreed with the quite reasonable statement that Black Lives Matter.

There were probably only a few clean undergarments in Mississippi afterwards.

Anything that can trigger this carries my approval and makes me giggle all by myself.

When the princess and the football star kiss each other, you can imagine the pink-purple fury it unleashes among a selection of the world's Biggest Current Arseholes (the BCA index belongs on newspaper front pages this decade, because every day brings new ones).

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Their fairly new romance received more attention in the run-up to the Super Bowl than the game itself.

Swift enjoys an almost maniacal following but her fans are young women and girls, and unlike Trump's cohort of incels and otherwise embittered supporters they seldom threaten to go on a shooting spree to sort things out.

And it's an old joke that most of her albums are about her broken relationships; Kelce may yet become the subject of a masterpiece.

Her music doesn't really speak to me. It sounds great and you can play it when I come to visit, but I'm almost 62 and Captain Beefheart and Ornette Coleman are more my kind of thing these days.

Bad news: nobody gets less crazy as they get older.


Nevertheless, the MAGA team obviously lost its cool when a big story developed over the question of whether Swift would get back from her Eras tour in Japan in time for her boyfriend's big moment.

But her aeroplane made it and, contrary to their deepest fears, the TV cameras only filmed her in the dressing room six times in the four hours it takes the Super Bowl to complete an hour of play, with all the dozens of interruptions that make this sport unbearable for some and often give others a chance to pour a drink, snack or talk a little nonsense.

Many threatened not to watch the Super Bowl and they were probably telling the truth.

But the American viewing figures skyrocketed this time and the world's Swifties will eventually increase this statistic significantly. If you require numbers, Time provided some. Swift is bigger news than the Super Bowl and clearly big enough news to upset Trump.

When I went to bed disappointed on Monday morning, Swift and Kelce were kissing. Afterwards he sang and rapped Elvis and the Beastie Boys.

As a 49er supporter, I had to console myself with the fact that the combination of that and Trump's hamburger diet must have constipated the man terribly.


But I promised you a late Valentine's Day special and here we go — I prefer music to sports and love sports a lot, so I thought about couples that made the world buzz in the past.

First, the Beckhams and the quasi-Beckhams:

(1) The Beckhams, David and Victoria. He, grossly overrated but brilliant when the soccer ball was lying still. She, widely acknowledged as the worst Spice Girl singer. Both beautiful people — therefore, this is how it looked like when they first landed in Tokyo 21 years ago:

(2) The Coles, Ashley and Cheryl. At the time he was the best left-back in the world and her Girls Aloud were way better than the Spice Girls.

(3) The Van der Westhuizens, Joost and Amor: He was one of the best rugby players ever, far more talented than either Cole or Beckham. She … well, in the spirit of Valentine's Day I'm not going to say anything more, except that when I come over you should rather play the Spice Girls for me if you don't want to clean up puke on the carpet.


The prettiest?

Anna Kournikova and Enrique Iglesias are probably the most attractive sports/music couple yet and are still happily married — perhaps because his mediocre music and her mediocre tennis were more or less on the same level. No one watched them play but millions watched what they looked like.


Swift, who once again made it big at the Grammys, and her three-time Super Bowl boyfriend are clearly in a different league from all of the above. They now rank with these famous couples (in historical order):

(1) Edith Piaf and Marcel Cerdan (1950s). The tough yet fragile chanteuse and the middleweight world boxing champion, one of boxing's greatest. She gave him a watch as a present but he already had one. Then he wore one on each wrist and that's how he was identified when his plane crashed near the Azores while he was getting ready for a world title fight against the Raging Bull, Jake LaMotta.


(2) Garrincha and Elza Soares (1950s and ’60s). The queen of samba and the outstanding player of Brazil's World Cup victories in 1958 and 1962. She made a name for herself in an Idols-like competition. When she arrived from her squatter camp, she was laughed at and, because of her tattered clothes, mockingly asked what planet she was from. “I come from planet hunger," she replied and immediately became the country's darling with her performance.

His background was equally dire. He was born into an alcoholic family,  had an almost lame leg and admitted that his first sex was with a nanny goat. Hopefully not on Valentine's Day. When they got hitched as superstars, Brazil didn't like it at all.

But forgiveness came soon.

Because here he is:

And here she is as an unstoppable old lady, years after his liver finally gave way:

(3) Gerard Piqué and Shakira (2010s). He's nowhere near Garrincha and she's nowhere near Soares, but being a serious Barcelona supporter, I think Piqué and Shakira's romance was almost in the same class. And they were hotter than the Beckhams.

So, if any MAGA sympathisers are still reading, one for your pain:

(4) Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce (2020s).

♦ VWB ♦

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