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Taylor Swift’s influence at the 2024 Super Bowl isn’t simply about red and yellow friendship bracelets and adorable “Taylor’s Version” NFL-inspired sweatshirts. The singer and songwriter’s recent run of game-day appearances in support of her tight-end boyfriend on the Chiefs, Travis Kelce, has also spurred an uptick in Swifties taking on an interest in football. This trend is so powerful it actually inspired a Super Bowl ad from skin care line Cetaphil showcasing a father and daughter bonding over watching the Chiefs and Swift together. This growth of this young and predominately female fanbase, that several media outlets have dubbed “the Chiefites,” is something Donna Kelce, mother to Travis and Jason Kelce (Philadelphia Eagles center) has also noticed. And the swell of new faces and voices is exciting to the Kelce matriarch.
A football icon all her own since Kelce stitched together her sons’ jerseys into one shirt when they were battling each other at the 2023 Super Bowl, the new Barefoot wine brand ambassador (who is fast to recommend the official NFL wine sponsor and exceptionally hesitant to even utter the name Taylor) got serious for a second when talking about the wave of newbies taking on an interest in both the NFL and her sons. “I’ve have gotten so many letters from fathers saying, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the first time that my daughter is actually interested in football'” Kelce told Variety. “So there are a lot of new fans that are trying to understand the game and love it and it really is very exciting.”
When pressed to answer why or where this sudden change came from, the mom’s media training kicked in. “There’s a lot of different reasons,” Kelce said with a laugh, “Let’s just say, it’s really a breath of fresh air. There’s so many new fans that are coming in and they’re enjoying football.” And although Kelce wouldn’t reveal if she and Swift have swapped friendship bracelets she did reveal that she’s shared several trades with fans at past games.
This mom has certainly navigated her share of viral moments, including watching (with the nation) as her oldest Jason ripped off his shirt on televisi -
on after his brother’s victory over the Ravens, solidifying the Chiefs slot in the Super Bowl. “You just have to understand, that’s Jason,” Kelce said with a smile. “Jason is bigger than life. He is very quiet most of the time during the season. He’s very focused, on point. But every once in a while he lets go and it’s larger than life.”
Plus, Kelce loves the “Big Yeti” meme, which originated from her sons’ now mega-viral podcast “New Heights.” She listens to the duo every week and has her own Yeti shirt stashed away for the Pro Bowl and the big Super Bowl weekend. When asked if the podcast will continue long into 2024, Kelce was hesitant, “You never know it’s been going on for a while. They enjoy it, they really do enjoy it.”
Even though it’s been two decades since Kelce threw a watch party of her own, the mother is well-known for racing across the U.S. to be physically present at as many games as her sons can muster, her goal is to make Super Bowl parties accessible to all and wanted to share her go-to recipes and tips for a succession watch party. Her favorite game day meal? An old fashioned hot dog paired with a barefoot, Pinot Grigio, naturally. She shared that when they’re not playing, Travis’ favorite dish is chicken wings (she recommends having Kansas City BBQ sauce on hand) while Jason’s is the “local classic” Philly cheese steak. “The best way to enjoy that is with a glass of barefoot cabernet sauvignon,” Kelce said, remaining on brand.
What did Kelce say to Travis before the big game? She usually sends a text the day before, becuase she won’t touch game day, “That’s a no-no,” she said. “They’re busy. They’re focused, they’re ready to go on the field. I wouldn’t do that.” But before the athletes go into lock down, “I just say good luck. Have a great time. Leave it all out on the field and. You don’t get there very often, well, Travis does but you know, when it comes, you better enjoy it.”
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