Taylor Swift needs Fox to calm down.
When the network heard rumors that Swift, 33, would be in attendance at Arrowhead Stadium for the Sunday, September 24, Kansas City Chiefs game to support Travis Kelce, they “sought permission” to play some of her songs during the broadcast — but were allegedly turned down by her record label and publishing company due to speculation about her and Kelce’s blossoming romance.
“Earlier in the week, amid the avalanche of rumors, our bulldog associate producer Rich Gross had sought permission to use some of Swift’s music,” Richie Zyons, NFL on Fox’s lead producer, wrote via a FoxSports.com blog post on Thursday, September 28. “Not a chance.”
Zyons added: “Per the FOX music department, Swift’s record label and publishing company denied our request ‘in conjunction with speculations on or about her private/personal/dating life.’”
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Swift caused a fan flurry when she showed up — clad in a Chiefs windbreaker and her signature red lip — to support Kelce, 33, on Sunday in his family’s stadium box alongside mom Donna Kelce. The singer could be seen cheering, even doing a chest bump with her pal after Travis scored a touchdown during the game. (The Chiefs ultimately defeated the Bears 41-10.)
While unable to use her discography to hype the event up even more, Zyons explained how Fox Sports still managed to showcase Swift’s appearance at Arrowhead in their live coverage.
“The first time we peeked in on Kelce’s suite was during player introductions, minutes before the start of the broadcast,” he wrote in his blog. “Swift was there, seated next to Kelce’s mother Donna, and they both erupted in cheers as the tight end ran out of the tunnel. We played that back on tape early in the telecast.”
Zyons noted that coverage then became “a matter of balance” between highlighting the game and Swift’s reactions. “Russo showed restraint not taking gratuitous live shots, saving the opportunities for when she reacted to action in the game,” he continued. “Her joyful expression after Kelce scored a touchdown was the image of the day, captured beautifully by our low-end-zone cameraman Andy Mitchell.”
After the Chiefs secured their win, Swift was spotted leaving the stadium with Travis in a purple convertible before heading over to a private afterparty to celebrate with his teammates. In post-game celebration pics obtained by TMZ, Swift could be seen wrapping her arm around the tight end as the twosome conversed with other attendees.
While everyone from Swifties to the NFL is invested in Swift and Travis’ relationship, the duo have only met up a couple of times, a source exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this week.
“Taylor and Travis met shortly after he tried giving her his phone number at her show earlier this summer,” the insider said. “They’ve only hung out twice.”
Over the summer, Kelce attended Swift’s Eras Tour in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium and wanted to give her a DIY friendship bracelet that included his phone number. However, he shared his disappointment that he didn’t have the chance to talk the pop star before or after the concert. Kelce then invited the singer to come watch him take the field earlier this month — and she attended a game three days later.
“Shout-out to Taylor for pulling up. That was pretty ballsy,” Travis said on the Wednesday, September 27, episode of his “New Heights” podcast, adding that it was “hilarious” to see the reaction from players and fans alike.
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“I just thought it was awesome that everybody in the suite had nothing but great things to say about her. The friends and family. She looked amazing … and on top of that, the day went perfect for Chiefs fans. We script it all, ladies and gentleman,” he teased. “It was absolutely electric.”
He continued: “To see the slow motion chest bumps, to see the high fives with mom, to see how Chiefs kingdom was all excited that she was there … it was definitely a game I’ll remember, that’s for damn sure.”