The 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 Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years, thanks in large part to an amazing performance by the greatest tight end of all time. In the latest episode, the brothers break down the AFC Championship game — and talk a little trash on Baltimore Ravens placekicker Justin Tucker.
"New Heights" with Jason & Travis Kelce | Jukes Original Presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment | You can also listen to the show on Spotify.
1. Justin Tucker trying to F— around with the Chiefs
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Travis were on the field warming up before Sunday’s AFC Championship game in Baltimore when they got into a verbal altercation with Ravens’ placekicker Justin Tucker.
Travis explained what happened from his and Mahomes’ point of view.
“We do our same warm-up every single time — on our side of the field,” he said. “For those of you who don’t know what happens in pre-game [warm-ups], the Ravens have their side of the field and the Chiefs have our side of the field. Now specialists — because of, like, the wind factor — they get a chance to kick on both sides of the field.”
So while kickers do warm up on both sides of the field, Travis said that if you’re on the opposing team’s side, you try to stay out of the way. Tucker instead chose to try and get in the Chiefs’ heads by doing the opposite — and Kansas City players weren’t having it.
“If you want to be a f*cking dick about it,” explained Travis, “you keep your helmet, your football and your kicking tee right where the [opposing] quarterbacks are warming up... Like, if you’re not going to pick that up, I’ll happily move it for you.”
After the game, Tucker said that it was all in good fun — and while Travis seemed to agree with him, he also said that he wasn’t in a joking mood before the biggest game of the year.
“Me and Pat have been having the same mentality for this game all week long,” he noted, “and you’ve got to go in there and have the right mind frame... We were ready to get after it.”
But while Travis was appearing on Wednesday’s “Pat McAfee Show,” Mahomes stuck his head into Kelce’s interview. McAfee — a former punter for the Indianapolis Colts — stood up for placekickers and punters everywhere, telling Mahomes that Tucker would have “beat your ass.”
Travis then revealed that while he and Mahomes were watching the Baltimore placekicker kick the fourth-quarter field goal that narrowed Kansas City’s lead to a touchdown, they had decided on a plan of action.
“If he would’ve missed that field goal, we were 100% getting a 15-yard flag,” laughed Kelce.
2. Travis’ insane diving catch
Against the Ravens, Travis had one of the best postseason games of his career. It’s not hyperbole to say that without it, the Chiefs would not have made it to Super Bowl LVIII.
But what might have been the defining play of his game actually came after he made a mistake; he was just trying to make up for it.
“[It was a] big third-down play,” recalled Travis. “Pat changed the play — and in my mind, I’m like, ‘I don’t know if we should change this play.’”
After Mahomes snapped the ball, he expected Travis to run one way — but the tight end ran the other direction by mistake.
“I’m over here, f—ing picking my nose over there on the numbers,” said Travis.
Then he saw his opportunity.
“He’s scrambling for his life,“ said Travis. “He gets his legs chopped off and throws something — just to get the ball out of his hands so he doesn’t take the sack.
“At that point, in my head, [I’m thinking], ‘I’ve got to make a f—cking play for my guy. I’m just out here looking like an a—hole, not running the right route in the biggest game of the year.’”
Travis laid out for the fluttering pass, made an amazing catch and kept the drive alive. It led to Kansas City’s second touchdown.
3. Passing Jerry Rice
When a player is as good as Travis has played for as long as he has, their statistics will inevitably come near those of the greatest to play the game. On Sunday, Travis passed Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice’s longstanding record of 151 postseason receptions. With 11 catches on Sunday, Kelce now has 156.
“It’s crazy,” he told Jason, “because I’m looking at, like, 151 catches — and I can only remember five. I’m like, ‘Damn, I got over a f—cking hundred? Goddam, I’ve been playing this game for a while!”
Still, Travis feels honored.
“It’s just such an honor — because I’ve got so much respect for all of those f—cking guys,” he said. “I got so much respect for Jerry Rice and how he’s been down to Earth and cool as hell with me.”