Three weeks after Christmas, Team Toyota’s Matt Arey and his young family are still celebrating what will likely be one of the greatest gifts they’ll ever exchange.
Arey’s love of being a girl dad has been fairly well documented. In fact, when I called him, he was packing oldest daughter Reese’s lunch for school, complete with a healthy helping of fresh blueberries.
Comically, while his daughters are close buddies, they’re nearly complete opposites in terms of personalities. Reese always wants daddy to pack her lunch when he’s not on the road competing, while her younger sister Wren loves to eat the cafeteria’s meals each day.
But one thing both girls agree on is an obsessive love of Taylor Swift.
“Every day is filled with Taylor Swift in our home and car. My girls know every song, every lyric, every dance move, and while my youngest didn’t even know what NFL football was a year ago, ever since Taylor started dating Chiefs’ tight end, Travis Kelce, Wren’s now a Kansas City fan,” grins Arey.
So Arey made a heartfelt decision to pursue super-tough-to-get concert tickets for the girls and wife Emily as the ultimate surprise Christmas gift. “It was definitely heartfelt, because once I saw the price, my brain told me it was against every logical thought I’ve ever had,” he laughs.
With a limited number of concert dates, Arey chose the Miami, FL show for his girls in October, 2024.
Once the tickets were secured, they first gifted the girls custom “1989 Swifty” themed t-shirts on Christmas, and then seconds later came the ultimate surprise, the actual concert tickets inside a Snoopy card Arey modified by taping Taylor Swift’s image to the end of Snoopy’s mechanical arm.
Reese screamed and cried with excitement upon realizing what her daddy had gifted them, and Wren, only age 6, followed suit once she comprehended what her older sister was crying and screaming about.
“Whether or not you’re a Taylor Swift fan, as a dad, I feel like there’s way worse celebrities my young daughters could idolize,” reasons Arey. “I’m supportive of their love of her because she seems to have a really strong work ethic, keeps her lyrics morally clean, and projects a positive attitude, while seemingly treating people right,” he adds.
The goodness the 5-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier sees in Swift is apparently in sync with that of Time magazine, who named Swift their 2023 Person of the Year.
So, should we expect to hear Arey blaring “Shake it Off” from his Tundra’s speakers when he shows up for the first Elite Series event of the year at Toledo Bend?
Probably not. But don’t be surprised if he’s projecting a joyful grin, knowing he gifted his wife and daughters a level of joy this off season that will be anticipated greatly until the concert takes place in October, and a lifetime of memories long after the show concludes.
Now that’ a love story. Baby, just say yes.
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