When the Ravens beat the Texans last Saturday, the city was on an absolute high. Not only had Lamar and the boys advanced to the AFC Championship (aka: one game away from the Super Bowl, for any Swifties here), but it also meant that Baltimore would be hosting the game for the first time since 1971.
Then, the buzz ascended to a whole other level on Sunday, when it was determined that the matchup would be against the Kansas City Chiefs. Which could only mean one thing: Taylor Swift is (probably) coming to town.
For anyone who somehow doesn’t know, the pop music phenom is dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, and she’s been spotted at many of his games (both home and away) since they hard-launched their relationship in September. (At the Chiefs-Dolphins Wild Card game on Jan. 13, she even sported a custom puffer jacket designed by Towson University grad Kristin Juszczyk—whose husband, Kyle, was formerly a Raven, and one of Baltimore’s “Top Singles.”)
Needless to say, all eyes will be on M&T Bank Stadium this weekend, not only from football fans, but from Swifties—who might just be an even more devout breed. Arguably no one is tuned in to Swift’s current era more than ‘tweens and teens, so for commentary on the upcoming appearance, naturally, our editors went straight to the source: their kids.
Below, we chat with 15-year-old Willa Diamond (the daughter of Home Editor Janelle Erlichman Diamond), 11-year-old Abbie Bollinger (the daughter of Special Editions Editor Christianna McCausland), and 10-year-old Cadden McLain (McCausland’s nephew) as Taylor-mania ramps up in Charm City.
Read on to learn what they think about haters who say Swift is a distraction from the game, where she might hang out in Baltimore, what Swift songs might be on John Harbaugh’s playlist, and the heartbreaking song she will write when the Ravens defeat the Chiefs.
To begin, let’s talk about what you guys love about Taylor Swift.
Cadden: I just feel like she’s one of the best singers out there. Her singing is just better than most, and not a lot of people can get on her level. She just has so many songs to choose from, they apply to everyone.
Abbie: I think she’s very talented in multiple ways, like she’s actually a good singer—she doesn’t use autotune. But she’s also a good guitarist, a good pianist, and a good performer. She puts on a very good show and knows how to entertain an audience. I also think she’s very creative and has so many ideas, kind of like what Cadden said, there’s something in her music for everyone. She deserves all the fame that she has.
Willa: I love Taylor Swift because, overall, I think she’s a really good person. And because she experiments with her music. She has music for everyone. All ages. No matter who you are, Taylor Swift is for you. Everybody loves her.
Speaking of love, she is dating a football player, Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. What do we think about this relationship? Is it for keeps?
Cadden: Normally I wouldn’t really think this would work out, but for this specific relationship, I think it may stick longer than her previous relationships.
Abbie: I think that their relationship is genuine. But I heard rumors that Travis Kelce asked Taylor Swift’s dad about proposing to her? I don’t know if that’s real. I feel like that’s kind of rushing the relationship because they’ve barely been dating.
Willa: I love their relationship. But I think that she’s also just having fun right now. I don’t know if they’ll stick and get married, because I don’t think that’s what she wants right now. But she seems really happy.
So it’s very likely that Taylor Swift is going to show up in Baltimore for the AFC Championship this weekend. While she’s here, where do we think she should go to experience the best of our quirky/awesome city?
Cadden: There’s this very fancy French place close to my house called Petit Louis [Bistro]. I think she would love it there since the aesthetic is really nice. I think she’d also like the [National] Aquarium since it’s got this cool underwater vibe, and it’s one of the best in the country. You really get a good experience when you’re there.
Abbie: I definitely think she should go to a museum. Maybe the Baltimore Museum of Art. I feel like she would enjoy seeing local artists’ work and that would also give her an idea of Baltimore’s culture and community.
Willa: I love a lot of places in Baltimore, but places I would love for her to go would be The Sound Garden, the record store in Fells Point. A lot of famous musicians go there, so I think she’d love that. Plus, Good Neighbor for coffee, they have all these cool drinks; Brightside Boutique, because they have so many cool Baltimore things in there; Clavel—it’s so good; Cocina Luchadoras in Fells for Tacos; and then Toki Underground for ramen.
Cadden: To add, I know she can’t go this time, but if she ever decides to move to Baltimore, I think Orioles games are a great way to sell the Baltimore aesthetic.
Willa: She should also go to The Senator!
Abbie: Or maybe the BSO. That’s a good music element of Baltimore that I think she would enjoy.
In an interview earlier this week, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he has some Taylor Swift songs downloaded as part of his music collection. What songs or albums do we think that he has on his phone?
Willa: I don’t think he listens to all the albums. I think he’s more of, like, an old-school album listener. I’m thinking he has “22,” “I Bet You Think About Me,” “Better Man,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Love Story,” “You Belong With Me,” “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” and “Dear John.”
Abbie: Maybe Speak Now because it’s purple? And maybe Fearless? I just feel like Fearless would be a good album for the Ravens.
Cadden: I think he would probably have some of the most popular ones, probably “Cruel Summer,” “22,” and possibly “Mean.”
So something that keeps coming up in the news is that people think Taylor Swift is a distraction to football and that she’s getting too much attention at the games. What are your thoughts?
Abbie: Having her there might be distracting to NFL fans, but I don’t think we should be blaming Taylor Swift for that. The fact that her fans are buying NFL tickets and not even watching the game isn’t her fault, she doesn’t want this to happen, she’s just trying to watch her boyfriend play. So maybe it is a distraction and the people who are saying that are correct, but they shouldn’t be blaming Taylor Swift. That’s not fair.
Cadden: I do not support this. If you are a hardcore NFL fan and you just want to watch the game—I mean, it’s not hard to see someone in the skybox and just turn your attention to them quickly. I get where they’re coming from, but the upside is that with Taylor Swift coming to these games, there are a bunch more fans supporting the NFL, and I believe that’s better for the NFL’s reputation.
Willa: (Laughs). Ha, Reputation! I think she’s just trying to support her boyfriend and have fun, and people are being dramatic about her going to the games. They are the ones who are making her being there a whole thing. If you’re at the game and you’re like “Oh my god, Taylor Swift’s here!” yeah, people are obviously going to take note because she’s one of the most famous people in the world, but I think that some people are just really sensitive about it. They need to chill.
They need to calm down.
Willa: Yes, “[You] Need to Calm Down!”
Our prediction is that Kansas City is going to lose to the Ravens this weekend, and obviously Travis Kelce will be very sad. We know that heartbreak and heartache inspires Taylor Swift. Do you think this could spark a new song? Maybe a whole Purple album, perhaps?
Cadden: I think she could create another album, or just add a song to an already existing album, more of a depressing one like Reputation.
Abbie: I’m not sure she would make a Purple album, because Speak Now is already purple. But I feel like she would maybe release an album about her whole relationship with Travis Kelce, and she could include a song on there about losing the game.
Willa: I think maybe it will inspire a vault track [a new song added to re-recorded “Taylor’s Version” albums] about being in Baltimore. If she made a song about Baltimore that would be the highlight of my life.
For local Swifties, Taylor Swift coming to Baltimore is like our Super Bowl. What are you most excited about the prospect of her being here?
Cadden: I think she’ll really enjoy the city and have a good time. Hopefully she’ll write a song about this—a happy song on the lighter side.
Abbie: First of all, it’s just crazy how close Taylor Swift is going to be. (Giggles.) I’ve never seen her in person before, I’ve never been to her Eras Tour or anything like that. I’m excited that she’s coming to Baltimore, especially because her tour didn’t come here. [Swift has never performed in Baltimore, and she hasn’t played a show in Maryland since the Reputation World Tour in 2018]. Hopefully she’ll be able to explore Baltimore, and maybe consider having her tour come here in the future.
Willa: I’m just excited for her to see how cool our city is. I’ve lived here my entire life, so it’s great for her to be here for the first time and see all the cool people and places. And, yeah, hopefully get inspired to maybe come here for her tour. Please, add us!