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Viral Taylor Swift clip leads to 'crazy 24 hours'

September 26, 2023
Taylor Swift seen with Travis Kelce as they exit the stadium
Taylor Swift seen with Travis Kelce as they exit the stadium

WASHINGTON — A US journalist who captured the moment Taylor Swift stepped out with her rumored new love interest has said it has been "the craziest 24 hours of my life".

Jarrett Payton recorded a video clip of Swift, who was spotted on Sunday for the first time with Travis Kelce, a star American football player with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Swift was at the Chiefs' home game against the Chicago Bears, sitting in a box with Kelce's mother, Donna.

As he watched the game, Jarrett Payton, who is also a former National Football League player, set an objective for himself.

"My goal is to find Taylor Swift before I leave Arrowhead", he wrote on Sunday on X, formerly known as Twitter, referring to the stadium that hosted the game.

A few hours later, Payton made good on that promise, catching a glimpse of the superstar with Kelce, a tight-end for the Chiefs.

Luckily for Swifties everywhere, he caught it on video. The four second clip, posted to his X account, has been viewed more than 14 million times.

"I was at the right place at the right time last night," Payton told the BBC. "This has been the craziest 24 hours of my life."

Footage of the night show clips of Swift inside Kelce's box — dancing, chatting to his mother and cheering for his touchdown — each moment devoured by Swifties online.

Some ardent fans of Swift, if not football, began exchanging tips online for how to understand the game, picking up a new interest in apparent solidarity with the singer.

"Do you throw the ball or run with it??" one person asked on X. "What is a down?" another inquired about a particularly unclear part of football terminology.

Back in Kansas City, the Chiefs finished off the Bears with a definitive victory — 41-10. Payton, who works for Chicago's WGN-TV, went down to the field to conduct some interviews.

When he was done, he spotted Kelce and Swift up in the stands — and saw his opening.

"This is the moment in your life when you can either go straight or turn right," he said.

Payton turned right, in the direction of the Chiefs locker room, when he was stopped by a security guard.

"Don't move, stay right here," he was told. Right away, he saw a group walk toward him, including a person Payton had seen pictured with Swift earlier in the night.

"I pulled out my iPhone, started recording, and they walked by a second and a half later," he said.

The video shows Swift greet Payton with a casual hello, leaving him speechless.

"I didn't know what to say! I was fanboying out," he said.

A security guard immediately asked him to delete the video, a request he politely declined.

Payton is no stranger to fame — American football stardom in particular.

His father, Walter Payton, was a running back for the Bears and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. The younger Payton has attended the Superbowl — football's biggest night — almost every year since his father died in 1999.

But even a run-of-the-mill regular season game felt like something special with Swift, the world's biggest pop star, in attendance on Sunday, he said.

"Her being there, felt just like a Superbowl. That's the energy that was in the building," he said.

"She was the talk of the game."

Though Payton said he isn't a certified Swiftie, he is a fan of this potential romance.

"They seem like they were really happy together," he said.

"She's a megastar, he's a superstar in football. I know how challenging it's probably going to be for them to make this work, but if it's true love they'll find a way."

And, at the very least, the Taylor Swift appearance at an NFL game may bring some extra attention to one of Payton's own loves: football.

A day after Swift was pictured at the game, NFL partner Fanatics told ABC News that they had seen a nearly 400% jump in sales of Travis Kelce merchandise, landing him a spot as one of the top five selling players in the league. — BBC


September 26, 2023
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