Ahead of this weekend’s Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, Jason Kelce has a big ask of the Swifties tuning in to watch him and brother Travis Kelce do their podcast out of devotion to Taylor Swift: Just a touch of vote tampering, no big deal.
No, not that vote. Despite the recent Republican tizzy and accusations that Swift is a key player in a conspiracy to rig the 2024 election in Democrats’ favor (if a building could rub its temples in frustration, the Pentagon would certainly be doing so, as a rep issued the official statement last week that, “To set the record straight—Taylor Swift is not part of a DOD psychological operation. Period.”), the elder Kelce brother was actually discussing votes regarding podcasts and football team names. You know, the important stuff.
In the latest episode of New Heights, the podcast that Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce and his younger brother, the Super Bowl-bound Kansas City Chiefs tight end slash Swift beau Travis Kelce co-host, released Thursday, the siblings recorded together in Las Vegas ahead of the Big Game.
The brothers are running a bracket among their fan community to decide the best NFL team name, and the friendly competition has gotten a little, shall we say, heated. Jason, who seems to be spiritually aligned with the antics of the Buffalo Bills’ fanbase (never forget his unwavering commitment to getting his shirt off at that Chiefs-Bills game, not to mention the bowling ball shot in the parking lot), began riling up Bills fans with photos of an Amazon cart containing lighter fluid and a (wildly overpriced) plastic table on Twitter, taunting the world with the possibility that he will make his self-professed dream of jumping through a flaming table come true if the Bills win the bracket. It was, he said on the podcast, in the name of “voter turnout.” Naturally, this big push for the Bills was while they were up against baby bro’s Chiefs in the bracket.
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Unlike in political elections, there aren’t too many enforceable electioneering and voter coercion laws when it comes to fan-polled team name brackets, the prize for which is an enormous, 104 lb. cast bronze baby statue holding a solid gold Solo cup containing liquid of unknown provenance (Jason took a sip from it during the episode, and the baby’s haunting gaze stared out of the screen nearly the entire recording). Jason was just trying to give the Bills Mafia a chance against the Swifties, he said.
“The Swifties have this unrealistic infatuation with the Chiefs and Travis Kelce, and they’re only voting based on their love for you, not on their love for the team name,” Jason insisted, defending his social media-based canvassing. “So it wasn’t a realistic representation of what team name is better.”
“That’s ridiculous, you’re throwing everything on the Swifties,” Travis shot back. “You think Chiefs Kingdom doesn’t listen to this show?”
Alas and alack, the Swifties didn’t pull out the W in that round, with the Bills taking 53 percent of the vote to advance to the final four of the bracket. (It’s worth noting that Jason’s own Eagles remain in the running, surely a coincidence.)
Just minutes later, the name of the Swifties was once again evoked in a vote-fixing plot: New Heights is on the receiving end of three iHeartRadio Podcast Awards nominations, one of which is decided by fan vote, meaning it was time for Jason to eat at least a side portion of crow.
“For one special group of fans that have joined the show this year–” he said, before Travis, wide-eyed, interjected, “Bills fans?”
“Swifties, we’re talking to you right now,” Jason continued, “let’s rig this vote, please.”
And the kicker: “This is not for me, this is for Travis.”
Unrealistic infatuation, who? Baby, let the games begin.
The Super Bowl LVIII kicks off Sunday in Las Vegas, the Chiefs’ fourth appearance at the championship game in the past five years, and their second consecutive year.
“I want this one more than I wanted the first one, I feel like,” Travis said of the game, which is a rematch of his first Super Bowl appearance, a win over the 49ers.
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