In the capital of Rhode Island, there is a fierce campaign underway.
(And, no, late great Mayor Buddy Cianci isn’t somehow running for mayor again.)
The students at Providence College and citizens from the greater Renaissance City area are lobbying for Taylor Swift to attend the men’s basketball team’s last home game Saturday night, when the Friars take on Creighton at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
A billboard was erected on both the north and southbound sides of Route 95 near the city reading “@TaylorSwift13. Dunk, Saturday, You in?”
And many students, along with the social media accounts of the college and the 12,400-seat arena affectionately known as “The Dunk,” have taken to Twitter to lure the “Shake It Off” singer to the Big East matchup.
It’s unclear if Swift, 32, who has a house in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, can even hit a layup or knows the first thing about hoops, but she is something of a totem for the 11th ranked Friars.
As the team — led by veteran players and Coach Ed Cooley, who is so awesome that when he split his pants during the 2018 Big East tournament final he tucked a Gatorade towel in his trousers and kept coaching — have battled their way to a 23-3 record, Swift’s music has put some extra wind in their sails.
Her 2009 hit “You Belong With Me” has become the anthem for the squad and the raucous student section, as they’ve gone viral for belting it out in unison. The floor-shaking interlude has helped create an electric atmosphere at the arena this season.
Sure, on a scale of one to “Jump Around,” this song has pretty low natural pump-up currency, but all that changed in December when three female “Swifties,” who are juniors at the school, asked the Dunk’s DJ to play “You Belong With Me,” according to the Boston Globe.
Mason Santos, aka DJ Finesse, reluctantly played the tune, which little by little gathered steam in the building. It came to a crescendo during the Feb. 12 matchup against DePaul, when more students began requesting it. He played it late in the game, sending the entire section into a tizzy, and it garnered comparisons to the Red Sox’s “Sweet Caroline” tradition.
Since then, the upbeat tune has become a highlight on the game day playlist.
Swift’s rep has not returned an e-mail for comment on her part in the Friars’ season nor on the invitation. But if she did accept, Swift, Cooley and Friar Dom would make for an insanely powerful holy trinity of hoops.
And if the artist isn’t getting the message, perhaps PC alum Doris Burke, can tap Drake, who has publicly crushed on the ESPN analyst to ask his friend Taylor to perform at the school when they win the national championship. (Hey, I’m a biased alum.) And those three girls should be front row.