Travis Kelce saluted Kansas City Chiefs boss Andy Reid as the “greatest coach” in NFL history on Sunday as both men played down their stormy Super Bowl bust-up.
Kelce blew his top at Reid on the sidelines in the second quarter of the Chiefs’ thrilling 25-22 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers at the Allegiant Stadium.
The flashpoint came after Isiah Pacheco fumbled in a promising attacking situation for Kansas City as the Chiefs tried to claw their way back into the game.
The 6ft 5in (1.96m), 250-pound (113 kg) Kelce looked wild-eyed with anger as he confronted Reid in apparent frustration at not being put on the field for the play in question.
Kelce, with superstar pop-star girlfriend Taylor Swift looking on from a VIP suite, bumped the 65-year-old Reid, who stumbled backwards briefly before regaining his footing.
Afterwards, Kelce paid tribute to Reid, who he has often described as a mentor. Reid drafted Kelce in 2013 despite a suspension for marijuana use in college that had deterred other suitors.
“I’ve got the greatest coach this game has ever seen,” Kelce told reporters.
“He’s unbelievable not only at dialling up plays and having everyone prepared, but he’s one of the best leaders of men I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s helped me a lot with channeling that emotion, channeling that passion.
“I owe my entire career to that guy and how to control how emotional I get. I just love him.”
Reid meanwhile played down the significance of Kelce’s outburst, saying his frustration stemmed from wanting the team to win.
“He was emotional today,” Reid said of Kelce. “But listen, I’ve got five kids and I know how that goes. The part that I love is that he loves to play the game, and he wants to help his team win.
“It’s not a selfish thing. And I understand that. As much as he bumps into me, I get after him. And we both understand that – he just caught me off balance.”
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