Donna Kelce even makes a surprise cameo in the trailer for ‘Falling for Football.’
Travis Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs are getting in the spirit of the post-season with a wink and a nod to Taylor Swift. The NFL team dropped a cheeky movie trailer on Wednesday spoofing a classic made-for-TV rom-com, featuring a Donna Kelce cameo and plenty of easter egg references to the “Karma” singer.
Hallmark Channel mainstays Tyler Hynes and Janel Parrish star in Falling for Football, which kicks off the team’s “‘Tis the Postseason” campaign. The title, which can also be seen on a movie theater marquee in the video, is a clear reference to Swift’s Evermore track, “‘Tis the Damn Season.”
The storyline follows a jaded woman (Parrish) who hates the NFL’s postseason after she was jilted at the alter by a former love who ditched their wedding in favor for playoff tickets. Cue the meet-cute with a handsome man (Hynes) who works in a Chiefs merch shop and has a romanticized notion for the “magic” of the postseason.
When his secret affiliation with the team is revealed to her, Parrish’s character seeks solace in a diner with a waitress played by Travis’ mom. Donna, of course, is also the mother of Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce.
“How can he love me and football?” Parrish laments.
“You know, the heart can be in two places at once,” Donna assures her. Just after, Chiefs offensive lineman Creed Humphrey appears as a short order cook to declare that “order number 13” is up — a shout-out to Swift’s famous lucky number.
The video includes cameos from a number of notable Chiefs fans, including a narration from Rob Riggle and an appearance by Melissa Etheridge. Chiefs mascot KC Wolf also makes a cameo, along with rapper Tech N9ne, singer-songwriter Kameron Marlowe, radio announcer Mitch Holthus, NFL media personality Kimmi Chex, and Chiefs players Trey Smith, Tommy Townsend and Dante Hall.
Among the other sly references to Swift is a scene in which Hynes organizes friendship bracelets in a shop display.
“Football and Taylor Swift are new things to me,” Hynes admits in an interview with Variety. “I grew up without the money to afford organized sports and was a skateboarder, but going to Kansas, the folks who were taking care of us there — the whole PR team, everyone — I was genuinely moved and touched by this whole experience and how sweet these people were. They gave us jerseys with our names on them. And it was really, really beautiful. I went home and started watching the Netflix documentary series [Quarterback], fast forwarding to all of Patrick Mahomes’ parts.”
The promo comes ahead of the Chiefs’ upcoming playoff game against the Miami Dolphins on Saturday, amid Travis’ ongoing romance with the pop star. Her appearances at a slew of his recent games has prompted a frenzy among fans and sports media alike.
ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith on Wednesday came to Swift’s defense against critics who say she’s a distraction.
“She’s going to support a dude to show up at a football game and the camera’s on her, that ain’t her fault,” Smith shouted in his trademark indoor shouting voice. “Taylor Swift is that girl. Let’s show some respect!”
And to anyone suggesting or merely inferring that she attended Kelce’s games to generate attention for her Eras Tour?
Again, Smith’s not buying it.
“It’s not like she used the games to bump up the concerts. Oh no! Those kids were going to her concerts whether the NFL was promoting her or not,” Smith exclaimed. “Taylor Swift is that girl. Let’s show some respect. She probably is gonna have a positive impact on Travis Kelce’s performance, OK? I’m not trying to disrespect Taylor Swift.”
Swift herself has said she’s aware of the criticism surrounding how the NFL has handled coverage of her appearances at a handful of recent games.
“I don’t know how they know what suite I’m in,” she told Time in her December Person of the Year interview. “There’s a camera, like, a half-mile away, and you don’t know where it is, and you have no idea when the camera is putting you in the broadcast, so I don’t know if I’m being shown 17 times or once.”
She added, “I’m just there to support Travis” and “I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads, and Chads.”
Still, Swift noted that she is thoroughly enjoying her time learning the sport.
“Football is awesome, it turns out,” she joked. “I’ve been missing out my whole life.”