Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and his older brother — Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce — host a weekly podcast called "New Heights." The title is an homage to the Cleveland Heights, Ohio, neighborhood in which they grew up.
In the latest episode, the Kelce brothers discuss the Chiefs' 19-8 victory over the Denver Broncos, and Travis’ surprise guest appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” where he poked fun at the NFL’s over-saturated coverage of his relationship with Taylor Swift.
"New Heights" with Jason & Travis Kelce | Jukes Original Presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment | You can also listen to the show on Spotify.
1. Matt Nagy’s challenge to the offense
Six games into the regular season, the Chiefs' offense is still trying to figure out its identity. Luckily, the team’s defense has played lights-out, giving them plenty of room to get things sorted.
Travis was very candid about it.
“You’ve got to put up touchdowns when you’re in the red zone,” he told Jason.
Travis didn’t want to mince words.
“It’s just frustrating,” he added, “and it’s hard — because you want to be the reason why we’re doing great. Right now, it’s kind of up-and-down; it’s not great.”
Some observers, however, think the Chiefs are just toying with their opponents.
The Chiefs offense doing just enough win AND to make sure Vance Joseph still has his job as Broncos DC when they play again in 18 days.— nick wright (@getnickwright) October 13, 2023
Five-dimensional chess being played at Arrowhead.
Even so, the offense hasn’t necessarily been the train wreck some fans have made it out to be. After all, Kansas City ranks 10th in scoring — and across the league, scoring is down. It’s just that the team’s offense has set a high bar itself — and so have the team’s fans.
But that hasn’t stopped Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Matt Nagy from taking action.
“He challenged all of us this morning, actually,” revealed Travis. “[To] stop saying, ‘You’re going to fix it.’ [Just] go out there and do it.”
2. Bringing the girl home to meet Papa Kelce
Imagine you bring your new girlfriend home to meet your parents at a family barbeque. Then while you’re manning the grill, you look across the yard and see your new girlfriend isolated in man coverage — talking to your father!
Now imagine you’re on the sideline of a football game. Your new girlfriend is the world’s largest pop star. You can see your father talking to her in a suite behind a pane of glass. Not only are you unable to hear them, you have absolutely no control over the situation! Knowing your dad, they could be discussing anything from the weather to the genius behind the architecture of the canal system in the Roman Empire.
That’s the situation in which Travis found himself last Thursday night, when TV cameras caught Ed Kelce talking to Taylor Swift.
What do we think Papa Kelce was talking about? pic.twitter.com/u8nI2Tw78m— New Heights (@newheightshow) October 18, 2023
Jason joked that in the moment, there was only one thing that could be going through Travis’ mind:
“[Dad] shouldn’t be talking to Taylor Swift!”
Travis said he had a similar reaction.
“This is a terrifying conversation,” he recalled of his thought at the time. “I felt terrible for Taylor.”
Jason took a turn imagining the conversation.
“He’s saying, ‘I’ve taken all of your CDs out at the local library, and I’ve started to burn them into my computer.’”
It was all in good fun. If we’ve learned one thing about the Kelce brothers, it’s that they think the world of their dad.
3. The hook and ladder
Chiefs fans know that Travis loves to lateral the football. In the past, he’s said that he’s always looking for an opportunity to toss the football to a teammate — but that when he does it, it has to work. Otherwise, head coach Andy Reid will rip him a new one.
So Travis has been advocating for Andy Reid to add the famous hook and ladder play to the Kansas City playbook — but Reid’s response is always the same.
“Coach Reid is just like, ‘I’m not doing that,’” he said.
So Travis attempted a makeshift version of the play against the Broncos, tossing the ball to fellow tight end Noah Gray on a play during the first quarter.
“If you look at the play,” he noted, “I came off the ball and immediately turned around — because there was a blitzer and I thought Pat [Mahomes] was just going to dot me with the ball while the defense was sinking.”
But Mahomes didn’t see that Kelce had broken his route off.
“He has got a lot of sh*t he’s doing back there... he’s going through his progression,” he explained.
Eventually, Mahomes got the ball to Kelce.
“I was short on my route because of how fast I turned around,” recalled Travis, “so I was actually in Noah Gray’s area — where he would have been getting the ball. [I] kind of felt a little guilty that I might have stolen a catch from him, so I made sure I got that thing to him.”