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‘I gave him a suggestion that he didn’t like’: Travis Kelce on what led to his ejection

Travis Kelce explains his ejection

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce regrets throwing his towel at the referee after not getting a pass interference call.
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Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce regrets throwing his towel at the referee after not getting a pass interference call.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was a guest on the “Rich Eisen Show” on Tuesday and the subject was the towel-throwing incident in Kansas City’s 19-14 win on Nov. 6.

You may recall that Kelce was enraged that a pass-interference call wasn’t made on a pass in the end zone (and if you see the replay, Kelce is probably right that a flag should have been thrown). But Kelce kept up his objection and used some salty language that resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. After that flag was thrown, Kelce threw his towel at the official and drew another penalty, which led to an automatic ejection.

Eisen asked Kelce what coach Andy Reid said to him.

“At that point, it was just saying ‘how stupid could you be?’ ” Kelce said. “It was the dumbest thing I could do in that situation. We were right there on the goal line. We had been struggling to move the ball on the Jags the whole day. We get in the red zone and finally I do something stupid (and get) 30 yards of penalties and take us out of field goal range. It was a learning experience...”

Kelce said that an official under the goal posts told him that the Jaguars defender broke up the pass without interference. So Kelce asked another Field Judge Mike Weatherford, who was on the sideline, why there was no penalty. This portion of the discussion with Eisen is quite amusing.

“I turned around and he’s looking me dead in the eyes, and this is the ref I had the altercation with,” Kelce said. “He looks me dead in my eyes, and he starts to turn and walk away as I’m walking towards him, asking him, ‘What did he see? How did he not call it?’

“You’ll see me on the video of me waving my hand across my face, and going and circling my ear saying, ‘Hey, you didn’t see it? What? You can’t hear me? You can’t hear me?’ Then I gave him a suggestion that he didn’t like.”

At that point, Kelce said, he was done arguing. but apparently the, um, suggestion didn’t sit well.

“As I’m walking back to the huddle, now, he has the confidence to throw the flag while I’m not looking, and that got the temperature going even more,” Kelce said. “It got everything out of whack and I knew I had a towel in the back of my hip. And you know what? It was history from there.

“Watching the video is priceless, man. Well, I can’t say it’s priceless. It’s $25,000 worth. But it was literally one of the funniest videos I’ve ever seen in my life, because the stunning look on the ref’s face when he has no other flag to throw and he just tosses the hat off his head. It’s classic.”

Eisen dug a little deeper into what the suggestion for the referee might have entailed. You can hear that and the whole interview here:

Here is the play in question.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff