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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Super Bowl Sunday (Taylor’s Version): How Swifties are celebrating

Footballs bedazzled with glitter. Friendship bracelets that spell out Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s names. Drinks and snacks inspired by popular Swift songs.

Welcome to Super Bowl Sunday (Taylor’s Version) — a crossover celebration event that’s bringing people with a love for the NFL, Swift, or both together on football’s biggest day.

Swift’s public and viral love story with Kelce, who is a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, has captivated fans online who have long been rooting for the singer’s happiness. Now, many are cheering on Kelce too.

After the Chiefs won the AFC championship and earned a Super Bowl slot, Swifties went into preparation mode. While it’s uncertain whether Swift herself will make it to Las Vegas (she has a show in Tokyo the night before), many have still become invested in the game, where the Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers.

“Like many Swifties, I got interested [in football] because of Travis and Taylor,” said Gina Crosley-Corcoran, who had never watched a game until Swift made headlines while attending one in September. “But I think what Swifties have in common is that when we become a fan of something, we really go all in on it.”

Photo of Gina Crosley-Corcoran
Gina Crosley-Corcoran is ready to “Taygate.”Gina Crosley-Corcoran, Burning Red

Now, Crosley-Corcoran, who lives outside Chicago and is part of the Swift tribute band called Burning Red, is hosting her own huge “Taygate.”

She plans to have themed cocktails and mocktails, including a “Swelce (Swift + Kelce) Punch,” which will be orange with red accents, like the Chiefs’ colors.

She will also serve Super Bowl staples, including chicken wings and football cookies, alongside Swift-Kelce-themed cupcakes and a custom sheet cake that looks like a football stadium with an “Eras Tour” stage drawn on it.

On her band’s website, Crosley-Corcoran compiled photos of all the various themed items that will also be on display at her party, such as a graphic design that looks like the NFL logo with a football but says “TAYLOR’S VERSION.”

Super Bowl decoration that reads "Taylor's Version"
One of Crosley-Corcoran’s many party items.Gina Crosley-Corcoran, Burning Red

Crosley-Corcoran also created a suggested menu with food items that reference Swift songs, like “Now that We Don’t TACO DIP” (a play on her song “Now That We Don’t Talk”) and “This Sick BEEF” (a play on the line “this sick beat” from “Shake It Off”).

Meanwhile, in Bend, Oregon, mother-daughter duo Rhiannon and Emma Safford are also partaking in what they described as the “Swift Bowl.”

The two, who went to the “Eras Tour” together, created a bingo chart for Sunday’s game, where they will track things like a fan holding a sign with “22” on it, Swift songs playing during commercial breaks, or Kelce scoring a touchdown.

Taylor Swift-themed Bingo card
The Saffords prepared for Sunday with their own bingo cards.Courtesy Rhiannon and Emma Safford

“Neither one of us are particularly big football fans … [but we] just kind of thought it would be a fun way to incorporate people who aren’t traditionally big fans of football and help get them get involved in the game as well,” said Rhiannon Safford, who added that her husband and daughter have more to talk about now that their worlds have collided.

But there are also many people hosting Swift-themed parties who are not new to football.

Shannon Doherty, a TikTok creator based in Darien, Connecticut, was “born a football fan,” but she said Swift’s presence at Chiefs games throughout the season has made fans out of her kids.

“My boys will scream Taylor Swift music and my girls will be begging their dad to put on the game and teach them about first downs,” Doherty, who shares party planning hacks on TikTok, said.

Her kids told her the Super Bowl is now their “favorite holiday.” That’s why they are going all in this year.

In preparation for Sunday, Doherty made a glittery DIY “Kansas City” football, imbuing the classic decor with some “Eras Tour” shimmer.

She also set up a photo booth, where guests can take pictures wearing “Karma is the guy on the Chiefs” sunglasses against backdrops — stylized as friendship bracelets — with phrases like “In my Super Bowl era” and “End Game.”

Erica Phillips, a Swiftie since 2006 and a lifelong Carolina Panthers fan, has hosted a Super Bowl party before. But this year, she’s excited to combine her interests with a “Football and Friendship Bracelets” party in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she is based.

Phillips’ guests will be able to make friendship bracelets — a staple at Swift’s “Eras Tour” — while they watch the game and enjoy a pun-filled menu of Swift-inspired snacks like “Anti-Pasta” (a play on Swift’s “Anti-Hero”) and “Welcome to New York Pizza.”

Bracelet with beads that spell out "Swelce"
Some made friendship bracelets ahead of the big day. Others are setting up stations for party guests to make their own.Gina Crosley-Corcoran, Burning Red

Despite complaints from some about the “Swiftification” of the Super Bowl, Phillips said she is more eager than ever to wear Swift-inspired NFL merch and “enjoy the dichotomy of being able to have space in this traditionally man’s world.”

She compared the collision of her interests in Swift and football to the “invigorating” effect that fantasy football had on her husband’s engagement with the sport.

“He started to watch a lot more games because of fantasy football, and now it’s just the same thing for me,” she said. “Taylor Swift is my fantasy football.”



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