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.
The latest episode of the series features a guest the Kelce brothers have wanted for a long time: Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who brought both of them into the NFL. Reid recounts his journey from being a college player to becoming one of the greatest coaches ever.
“New Heights” with Jason & Travis Kelce | Jukes Original Presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment | You can also listen to the show on Spotify.
1. Andy Reid could be a voice actor
The Chiefs’ head coach is known for many things: he’s one of the greatest offensive minds in league history, loves hamburgers and prefers Hawaiian shirts. But what you may not know is that if he wanted to, he could probably get a job as a voice actor on “Sesame Street.”
Check it out:
2. Andy Reid was a gymnast
Being a guest on a podcast like “New Heights” isn’t typically Reid’s cup of tea — but for the Kelce brothers, Reid said he would “do a backflip.”
Once upon a time, the idea that Reid could do a backflip wasn’t very far-fetched.
“Believe it or not,” he told Travis and Jason, “I took a gymnastics class... We did the trampling and the backflips into the pit. So I’m in college — and you know all the pretty girls were on the gymnastics team, and I had to do it right in front of them... Those days are over, though.”
Perhaps in another life, Reid could have been one of the world’s greatest gymnasts — and won an Olympic gold medal.
3. Travis was cocky coming out of college
Travis had many red flags surrounding him as he came to the NFL. In his sophomore year at the University of Cincinnati, he was kicked off the football team after failing a drug test — and he had earned a reputation for being a hothead who was full of himself. But his talent was undeniable.
“My son kept telling me, ‘This tight end is unbelievable,’” recalled Reid. “‘Kelce’s brother is like... incredible. You know he’s 265 pounds? He’s a beast!’”
Reid said he went to see him play against Temple University. Even though Travis caught just four passes for 37 yards, the Bearcats won by 24 points. Reid went to meet him after the game, finding him to be “cocky.”
“He comes out, bee-bopping along,” said Reid, “and just starts giving me the business — like we’re long-lost friends. And deep down, I’m going, ‘If I get my hands on that son of a buck, I’m going to rip his heart out.’”
Still, Reid said that Travis was the No. 1 tight end on the Chiefs’ draft board.
“He actually was the first one,” he revealed. “That was a slam-dunk: he was going to be a Chief.”
But that doesn’t mean Travis’ transition to the NFL was easy.
“I was hoarse with him,” said Reid. “For the first five years, it was a war. But the last five years have been unbelievable.”
4. The beauty of being on a football team
Reid took a moment to reflect on what a beautiful thing it is to gather people from different backgrounds and unify them in seeking a common goal.
“It’s a little bit of [a] microcosm life,” explained Reid.
“You’ve got every race [and] religion. They come together, and they don’t really care what race [or] religion they are... Everybody just plays and joins in and kind of pulls the tug-of-war, and they’re all pulling the rope in the same direction — and doing it with the greatest of efforts. I think that’s unique”
5. The second Super Bowl felt better than the first
They say there is no love like your first love, but the same can’t be said for Lombardi Trophies — at least not according to Reid.
“I think it did feel better actually, and it wasn’t because it was the Eagles,” said Reid of the his second Super Bowl win. “That’s not the reason. The first one was a whirlwind, everything was moving fast, and then the second one was weird because of COVID — and we lost. And then the third one, you were able to kind of step back and take everything in.
“You still know that there’s a challenge ahead of you coming up for the season, but you’re able to enjoy it for that moment there, and it was just, and I’ll remember that part, where the first one is a little bit foggy. “
Bonus: Brett Veach and Matt Nagy were in cahoots
On an earlier “New Heights” podcast, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes revealed that when he visited Kansas City on his top-30 pre-draft visit, offensive coordinator Matt Nagy gave him a copy of the plays they would go over before Mahomes met with Reid and the coaching staff.
But according to Reid, Nagy did not act alone; he had an accomplice in his covert operation.
“Veach and Nagy were teammates,” said Reid. “[But] I had a couple of curveballs to throw in there — and he (Mahomes) handled them.”
Thankfully, Mahomes studied the plays he was given — and he was quick enough on his feet to hit the curveballs thrown his way.