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NFL Alums Defend Travis Kelce’s ‘Emotional’ Super Bowl LVIII Outburst Toward Coach Andy Reid

Travis Kelce’s outburst toward Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid is being addressed by some major NFL legends.

During the Tuesday, February 13, episode of Inside the NFL, hosts Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder, Jay Cutler, Chad Johnson and Chris Long discussed the heated sideline moment in which Kelce, 34, screamed at Reid, 65, on the sidelines of Super Bowl LVIII. The men defended Kelce’s actions, crediting the behavior to the intensity of the situation.

“Football is an emotional sport,” Crowder, a former linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, explained. “From the outside world, a Hall of Fame tight end bumping a Hall of Fame head coach might look bad, but without emotion, these two teams wouldn’t be where they are right now.”

Long, a former defensive end for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, agreed with his cohost, admitting that the blowup was “not a look [the Chiefs] want” but would have been worse had they not secured the win.

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“If they were to have lost the game we would be looking back at it,” he said. “But I think, not just two Hall of Famers but two guys who are like family to each other. … Conflict is resolved and tension is resolved in different ways than people are used to.”

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Andy Reid, Travis Kelce. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Reminding fans that there have been “worse” outbursts from players over the years, Long noted that Kelce and Reid, who have had a deep bond since Kelce joined the Chiefs in 2013, were quickly able to “squash it and [get] back down to business.”

Kelce’s emotional moment came during the second quarter of the Sunday, February 11, game, when teammate Isiah Pacheco lost a fumble in the red zone while Kelce was watching from the sidelines. As Kelce grabbed Reid’s arm and seemingly yelled to be put back on the field, Reid lost his balance and stumbled back.

Clark, a former safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, argued that the high-stakes situation was less about Kelce on the sidelines and “more about what was going on on the field,” claiming that Reid’s decision to take Kelce out of the game and ‘throw” him and quarterback Patrick Mahomes “off timing wise by bumping them” was a surprising choice.

Travis Kelce and Chiefs Coach Andy Reid Address Super Bowl Sideline Clash
Travis Kelce #87 and Head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs look on in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl LVIII on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Despite the controversy, the Kansas City Chiefs ultimately defeated the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime, marking their second Super Bowl win in a row. Kelce and Reid, for their parts, were spotted hugging and smiling at each other in celebration.

Reid was later asked about the heated encounter during a CBS post-game interview, where he shared that Kelce simply caught him “off balance.”

“[Travis] keeps me young,” he explained. “Normally I’d give him a little bit [back], but I didn’t have [my] feet under me.”

Kelce, for his part, was shocked to hear that the run-in had been caught on camera. “Oh, you guys saw that?” he joked in a postgame interview. “I’m gonna keep it between us unless my mic’d up  [content] tells the world, but I was just telling him how much I love him.”

Since making headlines, NFL players past and present have begun to weigh in on the fiery exchange, including seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. The former star quarterback claimed “family issues” within a team are expected.

“I don’t mind seeing it because I was a part of a lot of those things,” he said during the Tuesday episode of SiriusXM’s Let’s Go! With Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray. “Emotions are so high. “You are definitely not centered and balanced, You’re not in a meditative state at that point. You are fully determined to go out there and to win.”

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Brady added that Reid handled the situation “just awesome, like he always does,” saying the level-headed reaction speaks to his “leadership ability.”

“It speaks to the self-confidence that Coach Reid has in himself too. Because he doesn’t take that personally at all. He doesn’t look at that and feel like someone offended him,” he continued. “He takes it for what it is and doesn’t make it more than it is and doesn’t see someone’s trying to belittle him. Travis is not trying to do any of those things. He’s just trying to be fired up and stay in the moment.”

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