Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner is a very good NFL player. Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner is not a very accountable NFL player.
Over the weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs took care of the New York Jets in a game that was much closer than anyone expected from the outset. Most of this was due to two things: the unexpected production of Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and the Chiefs' offensive ineptitude. Gardner would like to add one more idea to the mix.
Gardner apparently believes, and was willing to offer up the notion in a brief window on social media, that Taylor Swift is the one responsible for the Chiefs' success. Not that the global superstar performer is any good luck charm, but rather that as long as she is part and parcel of the Chiefs' viewing experience, then the National Football League has decided that it's good for the bottom line. And money rules all.
To be fair to Gardner, he's right on that last count. Follow the money is usually the straightest path to the truth, but Gardner is having a hard time with the truth of losing the team's third contest through Week 4. The Chiefs-Jets game was filled with several questionable calls from the officials, definitely affecting both sides at times, but Gardner was called for a late-game penalty that he refuses to take any blame for. And instead, he's now saying things like this:
Note here that we cannot link to Gardner's official social account because he has since deleted the tweet, which shows what he either really thinks or that someone in public relations somewhere told him to take it down. Then again, we could follow his money trail and realize he might want to avoid a fine in the process here. Who know?
We've no doubt that Taylor Swift is affecting the game by bringing all kinds of new viewers to the table. We've also no doubt that the league is thrilled to add "Swifties" to any money-making branch of the league, be it in new merch sales or a greater television audience or even a larger part of the pop cultural conversation. But advising referees to take it easy on the Chiefs was not at work on Sunday night. Sorry, Sauce.
In case you need help, here's NFL rules legend Dean Blandino to break it down:
Gardner is very good at shutting down one side of the field, but he's equally good at shutting down one half of his brain (the logical side here). Okay that was lame, but nothing's worse than the tin foil on the top of Gardner's head these days.
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