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Behind the Meaning of Taylor Swift’s Sports-Themed “End Game”

I wanna be your endgame / I wanna be your first string, Taylor Swift sings in her Reputation cut “End Game.” Swift has never shied away from a cleverly coded metaphor and this track is no different. Given her recent uptick in football associations, this song hits even harder. Uncover the meaning behind this sports-themed anthem, below.

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Behind the Meaning

Big reputation, big reputationOoh, you and me, we got big reputations, ah

When Swift released “End Game” back in 2017, she couldn’t have known that it would later become the theme song for her relationship with Travis Kelce. Many fan edits have cropped up of the pair in their respective natural habitats (i.e. a concert stage and a football game) with this song as the backing track. Indeed, both of them have big reputations, making this song a swooning ode to their power couple status. Moreover, the sports allusions (i.e. endgame, first string, A-team) seem almost prescient.

Not looking at this song through the Kelce lens, it seems Swift is singing about her general fear that her public persona will become an issue in her relationships. I know what they all say / But I ain’t tryna play, the lyrics read. Swift has long been called a “serial dater.” While she’s pushed back at that notion a number of times, it still follows her around no matter how unwarranted it may be.

Reputation precedes me, they told you I’m crazyI swear I don’t love the drama, it loves me

Despite any potential setbacks, Swift wants the relationship to last-like, forever. The line I wanna be your endgame is a pretty clear-cut idea. Swift wants the partner she is singing about in this song to be her last. I can’t let you go, your handprint’s on my soul, she sings.

The song also features verses from Future and Ed Sheeran. Their contributions help to further flush out the story. I got a reputation, girl, that don’t precede me / I’m one call away whenever you need me, Future raps in the first verse. Similarly, Sheeran sings about an enduring love: This end game is the one.

Revisit the track, below.

Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

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