Early in the first half of Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, there was a moment that had everyone talking on social media that had nothing to do with an actual play for either team. Instead, it was an emotional outburst from Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce that drew significant response.
The outpouring of opinions and hot takes is understandable. It was not a good look at all for Kelce. The Chiefs had their fair share of frustrations in the first half, especially on offense, but even cornerback L'Jarius Sneed was flagged for unnecessary roughness immediately following a scrap between cornerback Joshua Williams and a 49ers player (Jauan Jennings).
The first-half emotional dust-up was water under the bridge within moments for the Chiefs.
First, in case you missed it, we're not here to keep you in the dark. Check out the moment before we break it down:
This was a very emotional moment for the Chiefs as running back Isiah Pacheco had just fumbled the ball around the 10-yard line, giving away perhaps the best scoring opportunity for the Chiefs in the first half. Instead of coming away with any points, the Chiefs allowed the Niners to take over on offense and Kelce himself wasn't even in on the play. Hence the likely frustration there.
But what's frustrating here in the rapid responses provided by social media is that the quick framing of the incident removes any context of the emotions and/or the quality of the relationships involved in Kelce and Andy Reid.
In the video, Kelce wants answers for his concern (likely being on the sidelines on an important play) and his energy and momentum catch Reid off guard. Suddenly he's "pushed" Reid while simultaneously "screaming" and it looks like some inappropriate and perhaps even abusive situation. Many responses online clearly interpreted it as much.
But here's what wasn't shared at all in the wake of the event: Reid and Kelce hugged shortly after that moment to "clear the air". To assume the worst of Kelce at that moment is to also ignore the fact that both men are incredibly close after having joined the Chiefs at the same time back in 2013. Kelce is the longest-tenured tweet and even answered questions earlier in the week during the media blitz before Super Bowl LVIII about being Reid's "favorite."
Following their official Super Bowl victory—their third in five seasons—Kelce and Reid exchanged hugs and meaningful moments and Kelce just tried to laugh off the incident in interviews following the game.
"He caught me off balance," Reid later said with a laugh in a post-game interview. "I have this fake hip and he caught me off balance. The guy makes me feel young. He's been with us longer than anybody. He's a seasoned veteran and he caught me off guard. Then I had to go take care of business with him. Huh? So my balance was off."
If you want a take from someone who would know how these moments develop on the Chiefs sidelines, listen to Mitchell Schwartz, the team's long-time right tackle.
And a good note from our own writer Scott Loring:
Here's the truth: Travis Kelce and Andy Reid are just fine. Emotions were exchanged in the heat of the biggest game of the year and it was all caught on camera and commented on seconds after it happened without any context provided. And at this point, winning heals most issues, so don't expect either Travis or Andy to make anything of it going forward.