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Taylor Swift, Jason Kelce, and Endicott: Meet the Gull Whose Daughter Went Viral at the Bills-Chiefs Game

Endicott employee and alumna Jessica Piazza D’20 and daughter Ella went viral for saying hi to Taylor Swift at the Buffalo/Chiefs game on January 21, 2024.
Jessica Piazza D’21 and her daughter Ella, 8, became media sensations overnight when Ella was picked up by Jason Kelce at the Bills-Chiefs game on January 21 so Ella could say hi to her idol—Taylor Swift.
By: Sarah Sweeney

Lead Advisor for Endicott’s Institute for Applied Behavioral Science Jessica Piazza D’21 didn’t have any expectations going into the Buffalo Bills-Kansas City Chiefs game on January 21. She just wanted her beloved Bills to win. 

Instead, it was her daughter Ella, 8, who had big plans in mind. She wanted to meet Taylor Swift. 

And she did—well, sort of. 

In what’s now become a viral sensation, Ella was swept up in the arms of a shirtless Jason Kelce—Philadelphia Eagles center and brother of Travis Kelce, Swift’s boyfriend and Chiefs tight end—who lifted Ella, carrying a sign that read BUFFALO BILLS + TAYLOR SWIFT — BEST FIRST GAME EVER!!, into the eyeline of Swift in the Chiefs’ VIP box.  

“We’re going to show this to Taylor real quick, alright?” Kelce reportedly told Ella.

Fresh from a media appearance on TODAY with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, we recently chatted with Piazza about getting close to Swift, TV appearances with Ella, and what’s next for this duo. 

You’ve been on multiple talk shows with Ella—how has the media storm been so far? What does Ella think about all this? And, more importantly, what are her friends saying? 
The media storm was a whirlwind! Everyone was so wonderful and welcoming to us. It was a great experience for Ella to be able to share her reactions to the game and I have been so proud watching her shine! Ella loves the interviews and thinks it is cool that she can see herself on television! She went back to school and dance yesterday. She was met with cheers and requests for autographs. She told me one little boy was asking if he could have her pencil so he could sell it for a million dollars.

What was your reaction when shirtless Jason Kelce picked Ella up during the game? 
I thought he was going to take a photo with her, but when he told her, ‘We are going to show this sign to Taylor,’ I knew her dream was about to come true. He was so kind to her and it was evident that he was a girl dad who recognized how much that moment would mean to her. Ella came down and burst into tears because she was so happy, which brought me to tears—there is no better moment as a mother than to see your child have the happiest moment of their life. It was such an incredible experience. 

Endicott employee and alumna Jessica Piazza D’20 and daughter Ella went viral for saying hi to Taylor Swift at the Buffalo/Chiefs game on January 21, 2024.

How long has Ella been a Taylor fan and what does she love about her and her music? Are you a Taylor fan as well? 
Ella grew up listening to Taylor since I am Swiftie myself! She loves how kind Taylor is and looks up to how Taylor worked so hard from the time she was Ella’s age to become the icon she is today. Ella changes her favorite songs frequently because she loves them all! She says they are inspiring. Currently, she is loving “My Tears Ricochet” and “New Romantics.” 

I have loved sharing my love of Taylor with Ella! “The Best Day” is our mother-daughter song. It was one of the surprise songs when we attended the Eras tour on Mother’s Day and Ella will often play it when we are driving for us both to sing along to.

You earned a Ph.D. in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Endicott, work as a Lead Advisor and Adjunct Professor at Endicott, and also work for the Autism Partnership Foundation. Describe your work and why it’s important to you. 
I have been passionate about working with individuals with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder since I was a teenager and have seen how the implementation of quality behavior analytic services can lead to amazing outcomes for individuals and their families. Both Endicott and Autism Partnership Foundation emphasize the importance of dissemination and training in implementing quality behavior analytic interventions, so I am always proud to share where I work. 

The Ph.D. program at Endicott allowed me to receive incredible mentorship from Mary Jane Weiss and Justin Leaf, who are both leaders in the field of applied behavior analysis. I am grateful every day to be surrounded by other professionals who are just as passionate about improving the lives of others through the implementation of behavior analysis.

As an alum, what Taylor Swift song would you say describes Endicott? 
That is a cool question! I would say “Long Live” because it captures all the magic and memories that the College provides. 

What’s next on the list of concerts and games for you and Ella? 
Ella is hoping to go to the Eras tour in Toronto in November and then we will be trying to go to training camp for the Bills again in August!