Jessica Piazza, the mom of 8-year-old Ella, opens up to TODAY about the moment Jason Kelce helped her daughter say hi to Taylor Swift.
One Taylor Swift fan had the time of her life at the Buffalo Bills-Kansas City Chiefs matchup on Jan. 21 — and stopped by TODAY with her mother to talk about how Jason Kelce lifted her up to see the iconic pop star.
Ella Piazza, 8, told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on Jan. 23 about how the magic moment came to be — and how she was a mastermind herself and knew it would happen all along.
“I was thinking positive, but some of my friends weren’t that positive,” Ella explained of her hopes to meet Swift at the game.
It all started after Jason Kelce celebrated brother Travis Kelce’s touchdown by taking off his shirt. The Philadelphia Eagles center jumped out of the suite in a cheerful mood to interact with fans, and lifted up Ella and her homemade sign to wave to Swift.
“Then (he) came over here and then he picked me up and then I saw Taylor,” Ella said with a huge grin. “It was, like, amazing.”
Ella’s mom, Jessica Piazza, described the moment from her perspective.
“It was amazing,” she said. “She came down, and it was like the happiest I’ve ever seen her. She was crying, just of happiness. It was so cool.”
She added she knew her daughter was in good hands because Jason Kelce is the father of three daughters.
“He was so kind to her,” she said. “I was just so thankful that he gave her the chance to see Taylor because she was — she was standing up there at the top of the bleachers with her sign just waiting and hoping and so brave — she climbed all the way to the top.”
The Jan. 21 game was filled with Kelce family moments, including another Swift appearance to support her boyfriend, Travis Kelce. In addition to Swift, Travis Kelce’s brother and sister-in-law, Kylie Kelce, were also in attendance.
Jessica Piazza opened up to TODAY about the moment the Philadelphia Eagles center helped her daughter say hi to Swift in another interview on Jan. 22.
“I had no idea how viral it was until I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning to a thousand texts from friends who saw it first on Barstool Sports and then everywhere!” Piazza, who is a longtime Bills fan, told TODAY.
In video captured of the moment, Jason Kelce holds up Ella as she shows her sign, which reads, “Buffalo Bills + Taylor Swift — Best First Game Ever,” to Swift and waves hello.
Piazza, who grew up in Rochester, New York, and works for the Autism Partnership Foundation, told TODAY that this was Ella’s first game. The third grader, she said, isn’t “totally aware yet” of her newfound fame.
“She only knows what we tell her so far! A lot of her friends’ parents have been calling us because Ella’s friends are dying to talk to her,” Piazza said. “So we are going to FaceTime all her friends on the way to the airport.”
“Ella worked so hard on that sign. And the week prior she was telling all her friends at school that she was going to meet Taylor Swift at the game,” Piazza said. “I knew where we were sitting — and it was clear across the stadium from where the Kelces were probably sitting. But I didn’t want to say anything.”
However, a friend of Piazza was sitting in the section where Swift and the Kelces were and told them to switch seats with them at halftime so Ella could have a chance to see Swift.
They had no idea who else was in Swift’s box when they went over and even less that Jason Kelce had his shirt off.
“It was halftime and a lot of people had left their seats to go to the bathroom or get a drink or whatever, and so we just tried climbing up higher and higher. It was really Ella who was forging the path,” the mom recalled. “When people saw her sign, everyone started helping her. It was really cute.”
They finally got Jason Kelce’s attention after people in the crowd started yelling for him to help Ella and another little girl who was also nearby.
“I thought it was Ryan Fitzpatrick (former quarterback for Bills) because he has a beard and is always ripping his shirt off,” Piazza said. “And then everyone was saying it was Jason Kelce. It all happened so fast! And anyone who is a football fan knows that Jason Kelce is a girl dad, so I knew she was in good hands!”
As for the moment when Ella finally saw Swift?
“She waved back and smiled,” the proud mom said. “And Ella was in absolute heaven. She still probably doesn’t realize what a big star Jason Kelce also is. She just couldn’t believe she saw Taylor! The rest of the game she was on cloud nine.”
Piazza said that Ella is “the biggest” Swift fan, had a Swift-themed birthday party last year and they went to the “Eras Tour” on Mother’s Day. Meanwhile, Ella’s favorite Swift song used to be “You Belong With Me,” but now it’s “My Tears Ricochet,” Piazza said, adding, “She is a dancer, so she does all her dance recitals to all the Taylor Swift songs. She thought the concert was absolutely amazing.”
Piazza and Ella, who are based in California, headed to New York to chat with TODAY about the experience. The mom said Ella “understands” she’s going to be on TV “and is taking it all in stride.”
Adding, “She’s a little nervous, but very excited. She knows that a lot of people saw her meet Taylor Swift and she thinks that’s pretty cool.”