San Francisco Families Are Split: 49ers or Taylor Swift?

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Squabbles between parents and children are as old as time, but a new divide has sprung up among some families in San Francisco — and it’s a big one.

Longtime, die-hard 49ers fans are expecting their kids to root for the team in the Super Bowl this Sunday. But some children are adamant that geography and tradition matter far less than Taylor Swift.

And as you may have heard, she’s dating Travis Kelce, a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The resulting family feuds are fierce, and amusing.

I was interviewing Soledad McCarthy by phone when her 9-year-old daughter, Avyana, asked to speak to me directly.

“I don’t want my parents to hear this because they might get mad,” she whispered. “But the team I’m rooting for is the one with Taylor Swift’s boyfriend.”

“The Chiefs?” I asked her. Yes, she said.

As her mom chuckled in the background, Avyana explained the rules that her parents established in the lead-up to Sunday: She can’t watch the concert movie “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” until after the Super Bowl. No Swift songs on the car radio until after the game, either.

McCarthy said she had even stuck cutouts of the legendary 49ers quarterback Joe Montana over Swift’s face on her daughter’s bedroom posters.

A lot of other San Francisco mothers are facing the same issue, she said: How can they get their girls on the 49ers bandwagon when their beloved Taylor Swift has come to symbolize the other team?

“I’m a third-generation San Franciscan,” McCarthy explained. “My husband is fourth. My father-in-law had season tickets for 30 years. We’re definitely 49ers all the way.

“We don’t want to hear Taylor Swift,” she continued. “We don’t want the bad luck.”

Another San Francisco mother, Ursula Tumath, said she had supported her daughters’ intense love of Taylor Swift, even hosting a Swift-themed party for her older daughter’s 10th birthday. The partygoers sang her songs and made friendship bracelets.

But when her daughters said they would be rooting for Kansas City on Sunday, Tumath and her husband instated a no-Swift-song rule in the house — at least for a few days.

“It’s more of a joke than anything, because we really do love Taylor Swift,” she said. “But if you don’t root for the 49ers, gosh, what kind of San Franciscan are you?”

Jennifer Carr agrees. She and her husband are intense fans of San Francisco sports teams, even naming their 8-year-old daughter after Madison Bumgarner, the pitcher who helped lead the Giants to three World Series championships. (Her name is Madison, not Bumgarner.)

When a Swift song came on the car radio the other day, Carr said, she told Madison that since they were 49ers fans, they couldn’t listen to her music right now. Her daughter countered: “Well, I like Taylor Swift! I’m rooting for her!”

“We said, ‘Until the Super Bowl, Taylor Swift doesn’t exist in our house,’” Carr recalled with a laugh. “But it’s been a struggle!”

Carr says lots of middle-age San Francisco parents remember the 49ers’ glory days in the 1980s and want to relive that exhilaration with their children.

Her husband is particularly invested in San Francisco winning now, after losing to Kansas City in the 2020 Super Bowl. (For the record, no fathers agreed to be interviewed for this newsletter.)

Avyana McCarthy, the 9-year-old Swiftie, said she was not deterred by the no-Swift rule in her house. She said she had figured out a workaround: “I secretly sing her songs in the shower.”

Heather Knight is the San Francisco bureau chief of The New York Times.

L.A.’s new Sixth Street Bridge. The Sundial Bridge in Redding. The exceptionally long San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

Which California bridge is your favorite, and why?

Tell us at CAtoday@nytimes.com. Please include your name and the city in which you live.


Driving may be the primary form of transportation in Los Angeles, but the city has many scenic neighborhoods and beautiful views to offer those willing to set out on foot.

In case the pleasures of a walk are not incentive enough on their own, though, writers at The Los Angeles Times recently shared their recommendations for the best places in L.A. to take a “treat walk,” an excursion that combines scenery and snacks. The list, which features neighborhoods from the East Side to the West, pairs scenic walks in different sections of the city with the best nearby coffee shops, bakeries and cafes.

For example, they suggest a coffee drink at Bloom & Plume followed by a walk around Echo Park Lake, or a tour of the Venice Canals with a hot beverage from the surf-themed coffee shop Mañana Coffee.

Whether you’re staying local or venturing out to a new part of the city, the list has suggestions meant to delight your senses.


Thanks for reading. We’ll be back tomorrow.

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword.

Soumya Karlamangla, Maia Coleman and Briana Scalia contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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