Jump to content
ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Ravens Insider: Mount St. Mary’s students meet ‘extraordinary’ and ‘down-to-earth’ Taylor Swift in Baltimore


Recommended Posts

For Mount St. Mary’s University students spending a Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore as the Ravens take on an NFL opponent is all in a day’s work.

Those studying sport management can take advantage of a behind-the-scenes look at how events come together at the stadium by volunteering to take on jobs like ticket scanning, ushering or checking visitor credentials, said Professor Sarah Zipp, director for the sport management, undergraduate and master’s programs at Mount St. Mary’s.

The gig often starts in the morning — the college is in Emmitsburg, so students have to leave before 7 a.m. on a Sunday so they can make it to Baltimore before kick-off. Then they stand on their feet all day before returning home often hours after the game ends.

It’s not exactly glamorous. Well, not until Taylor Swift shows up and asks to take a picture with you. Then it’s an “extraordinary” and “once-in-a-lifetime” experience, according to four Mount St. Mary’s students who met the pop icon on Sunday.

“We were all just starstruck,’ said Patrick Rankin, 21, a rising senior and president of the sport management club at Mount St. Mary’s, who volunteered to help at the game along with about a dozen other students, including his friends Lyla Kline, Katie Farrell and Andrea Cabrera Vargas.

Rankin was working an NFL football game at the stadium for the third time this season, he said. And while he and his friends were aware it was likely that Swift would attend the AFC championship game pitting the Ravens against the Kansas City Chiefs, their expectations of actually seeing the superstar were pretty low.

“I thought that we would have a chance to possibly see Taylor on the big screen,” he said, referring to the jumbotrons at either end of the stadium.

Farrell, 21 and a longtime Swift fan, said she thought it would be cool to “be in the same vicinity as Taylor Swift.”

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the students had finished scanning tickets at Gate A and were waiting for instructions on their next task. One of the security managers came over and told them they would be escorting family members of the Kansas City Chiefs down onto the field so that if the Chiefs won, the loved ones could celebrate with the players.

The students checked family members’ credentials and then escorted them to an entrance to the field, where they all waited. Swift was not part of the group, at first. But a few minutes later, she came down on an elevator with her security team and the family of her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

“So the elevator opens and Taylor Swift is in the back,” said Cabrera Vargas, who was stationed with Kline near the elevators. “It felt like a movie scene. … She was very tall so we could see her directly. She had her red lipstick on and her bangs.”

“I’m not a die hard fan,” Cabrera Vargas, 22, said. “But at that moment I was.”

While Swift joined family and friends on the field for the celebration, the students stayed back in the basement area, waiting and watching.

‘We were all excited,” said Farrell, a senior majoring in human services. “I was tearing up because, you know, it’s like my dream to meet her. She’s the biggest pop star on the planet.”

The students said they were told not to take any pictures and they followed that rule strictly. That is until Swift, on her way back up to the suite, noticed the students standing there — barely hanging onto their composure and some making the universal Swift fan heart symbol.

Farrell said Swift “started waving to us! ‘Hi guys, how are you?'” before coming over to her group.

“I think she could also tell that, like, we were big fans,” said Kline, 22, a senior fine arts major who missed out on seeing the sold-out Eras Tour in the U.S. last year and instead is headed to Europe to see the show. “I got tickets to see Swift’s concert in France this summer. … and I got a chance to tell her that. She was extremely excited … she like couldn’t believe it when I told her.”

Swift then asked the four students if they wanted to take a picture with her.

With shaking hands, Cabrera Vargas grabbed her phone and snapped a single picture of the group.

“The angle of that picture — I always take pictures like that,” said Cabrera Vargas. “So my friends have told me that it was destined to happen since I was preparing for this moment. Because everyone said that the picture turned out great.”

Still, Cabrera Vargas wasn’t certain she actually got the shot. So she checked her phone.

“By the time I looked down and looked up she was already walking into the elevator,” said the senior business marketing major from Silver Spring. “It was very, very quick.”

Even so, Cabrera Vargas is grateful she and her friends got to meet Swift. “It made me think that things that seem impossible are definitely possible.”

While Zipp organizes the volunteer groups for game days and other events like the Preakness Stakes, she doesn’t always attend with her students. A lifelong Chiefs fan who hails from Kansas City, Zipp decided to watch Sunday’s game from home.

“I am, yes, indeed, kicking myself a little bit for that.”

View the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...