As the Kansas City Chiefs became the first team in 20 years to claim back-to-back Super Bowls, plenty of people were still reeling from Travis Kelce’s shocking blow up at coach Andy Reid in the second quarter.
The eyes of the world were on Kelce, his Chiefs and his girlfriend Taylor Swift and the pressure appeared to get to the tight end in the first half of his side’s 25-22 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers.
UFC 298: VOLKANOVSKI VS TOPURIA | SUN 18 FEB | Order Now with Main Event on Kayo Sports. Main Event on Kayo Sports and Foxtel is the new exclusive home of UFC Pay-Per-View events!
Sniffing an opportunity to score the game’s first touchdown, leaving the Chiefs eight yards out, Kelce, who is one of Patrick Mahomes’ favourite options, was shockingly left on the sideline.
The play didn’t go to plan as Isaiah Pacheco fumbled and handed the 49ers possession, when Kelce erupted, rushing Reid and seemingly knocking him off balance before a teammate dragged him away.
For one of the most recognisable players in the game, it wasn’t a great look, with fans calling out No. 87, slamming him for “assaulting his coach”, while another called him “unhinged” and “violent”.
But both have brushed off the jarring scenes after the match.
It seems winning a Super Bowl cures all ills.
Reid laughed off the incident, saying: “He keeps me young.”
As the panel joked about his balance, Reid added: “Not so good (balance) – he tested that hip out. He caught me off-balance – normally I get him a little bit but I didn’t have any feet under me.”
Speaking in his post-game press conference, Reid said there were no hard feelings.
“He loves to play the game and he loves to help his team win,” Reid said. “It’s not a selfish thing.
“As much as he bumps into me, I get after him. We understand that. He just caught me off balance.”
Kelce equally brushed off the incident.
Asked immediately after the game about the incident on CBS, Kelce said: “Oh you guys saw that?
“I’m going to keep that between us unless my miked up tells the world but I was just telling him how much I love him.”
Speaking on SportsCenter after the game, Kelce dedicated the win to his coach.
“Man, I was fired up — I was fired up that we weren’t hitting on all cylinders,” Kelce said.
“I had to give ‘Big Red’ a love tap and let him know that we were all here fighting for him no matter what.
“I just had to tell him I loved him real quick.
“I put so much trust in him and how he goes about being a head coach, as a leader — he’s one of the best leaders in the game. I can’t thank him enough for giving me opportunities year in, year out. This third one, this second one back-to-back, this one’s for him, no doubt.”
Kelce also spoke to assembled media and was gushing in his praise for Reid.
“I’ve got the greatest coach this game has ever seen,” he said. “Unbelievable at not only dialling up plays and having the guys prepared, but he’s one of the best leaders of men that I’ve ever seen in my life.
“He’s helped me a lot with channelling that emotion, channelling that passion and I owe my entire career to that guy and being able to control how emotional I get. I just love him.”
Kelce barely made any impact on the game in the first half, catching just one pass for one yard.
But he found a groove with Mahomes in the second half, catching seven passes for 85 yards to help the Chiefs recover from a 10-3 deficit to make it 19-19 and force overtime.
Kelce caught one more pass for seven yards in the extra period to take his totals to a game-high nine for 93 yards as the Chiefs went back-to-back with the 25-22 victory.