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Top 10 ‘New Heights’ Podcast Moments of 2023: From Taylor Swift Mentions and to ‘Jeans for Jason’

Top 10 New Heights Moments of 2023
New Heights/YouTube

Travis Kelce and his brother, Jason Kelce, turned Us into certified 92%ers in 2023.

The athletes launched their “New Heights” podcast in 2022, and the show’s popularity took off ahead of the 2023 Super Bowl as Travis and Jason’s respective teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, prepared to play one another in the NFL championship. Leading up to the big game, the brothers invited their parents, Ed and Donna Kelce, onto the show to give fans an even closer look at the Kelce family’s dynamic.

More special guests followed suit, from teammates and fellow NFL icons to Jason’s wife, Kylie Kelce, whose September interview drew in more listeners than any other episode all year. “I’m not nervous, I just don’t wanna do it!” Kylie shouted at her husband from another room in their house at the beginning of the episode.

The real fun began, however, when Travis gave Taylor Swift a major shout-out on the air after seeing her Eras Tour in Kansas City over the summer, which sparked one of the most-talked about romances of 2023 — and brought a whole new audience to the NFL.

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift

Related: Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s Relationship Timeline

Scroll down for a look back at the top 10 “New Heights” moments of the year:

10. Ed Kelce Reveals How ‘Kelce’ Is Really Pronounced

“Why in the world did you change your name out of nowhere?” Jason asked his father during a round of “Kelce Family Secrets” on a February episode as the family prepared for Super Bowl LVII. Jason, Travis and Ed went on to debate whether their last name was pronounced “Kelsey” or “Kels.”

“I got tired of correcting people,” Ed teased. “I didn’t change anybody’s name. … Your mother thought it was ‘Kelsey’ because that was the name I went by at work.”

When asked which version of the surname they should use moving forward, Ed quipped, “Do whatever you want. I did.” Travis said he would happily “go by both,” but Jason disagreed. “Don’t call me ‘Kels,’” he asserted.

9. Jason Dresses Up as King Triton for Halloween

The brothers released an episode one day after Halloween, but only one of them got into the holiday spirit. Jason went all out, wearing a Little Mermaid-inspired costume complete with a crown. “Are those scales? What the f—k are you?” Travis wondered.

In the video recording of the episode, Jason stood up to model his look, which featured blue leggings and golden cuff bracelets. “These are my scales! I got flippers [on my ankles],” he explained.

Top 10 New Heights Moments of 2023
New Heights/YouTube

Travis took the opportunity to roast his brother’s outfit, joking that the “best costumes” are the ones that “don’t fit” quite right. “I don’t remember King Triton’s belly button showing!” he teased, to which Jason replied, “Well, you must not remember the movie.”

8. Jason and Travis Ace the State Farm Jingle

True 92%ers will know that ad reads sometimes provide the silliest moments on any given “New Heights” episode. While promoting State Farm during an August recording, Jason and Travis gave fans a preview of their eventual Christmas carol duet by singing the insurance brand’s catchy jingle. “Like a good neighbor,” Travis sang before Jason jumped in to harmonize, “State Farm is there.”

“Give me the note you’re gonna [do],” Jason told his brother, singing a drawn-out “Staaaaate.” Travis echoed the phrase as Jason tried to figure out the high harmony.

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With straight faces, the dynamic duo gave the full jingle another try. “That’s miserable, one more time,” Travis teased, to which Jason replied, “I thought it was OK.” After a few more attempts, Travis was tapped out — but Jason was “committed” to the bit, which lasted nearly a full two minutes.

7. Swifties Ask No Dumb Questions, Jason and Travis Answer

After Swift made her Chiefs debut at one of Travis’ September games, her fans got involved in learning the rules of football — with a little help from Jason and Travis. The weekly “No Dumb Questions” segment was full of Swiftie submissions, from “What’s a field goal?” to “What is a down? Is it like dropping the ball?”

While some football lovers were less enthused about the newcomers to the sports fandom (Swift would later refer to the haters as “dads, Brads and Chads” in her TIME Person of the Year cover story), Jason and Travis welcomed the Swifties with open arms. They frequently shouted out the pop star’s dedicated followers on the air as her romance with Travis continued to bloom, even thanking Swifties for helping their Christmas song reach No. 1 on the iTunes chart in November.

6. Travis Roasts Jason for Forgetting His Jeans

When Jason recapped the “green carpet” premiere of the Prime Video documentary Kelce on a September episode, Travis called out his casual attire. “You really got dressed up,” Travis teased, referring to Jason’s T-shirt, shorts and trademark flip-flops.

Jason attempted to explain how he ended up looking so relaxed, saying, “I was gonna have jeans on, but Kylie … was running late. I just came straight from football, Kylie was gonna bring the jeans. Kylie was late.”

Travis was baffled by Jason shifting the blame, asking in a clip that has since gone viral, “Why didn’t Jason bring jeans for Jason?” His brother emphasized, “Because I was at football and I needed the jeans for after football,” before eventually backtracking. “I’m realizing now I probably can’t blame Kylie for this.”

Travis laughed while picturing his sister-in-law’s day before heading to the premiere. “She was too busy putting jeans on the three girls,” he said, referring to Jason and Kylie’s three daughters. “I can just see you pulling up [like], ‘You don’t have my jeans? I’m gonna look like an idiot.’”

5. Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson Crash the Show for a Good Cause

Eagles fans ignited a bidding war in November when a vintage Kelly Green varsity jacket signed by Kylie went up for auction to benefit the Eagles Autism Foundation. McElhenney threw his hat in the ring, initially offering more than $10,000 for the item, which many Philly loyalists refer to as the “Princess Diana jacket,” but he was consistently outbid by another fan. When the auction closed, he stopped by “New Heights” to reveal who was countering his offers.

Top 10 New Heights Moments of 2023
Courtesy of New Heights/X (formerly Twitter)

“I got a text from somebody that I know who said, ‘I’ve been the one bidding against you, bozo,’” he said in November. “It did not even cross my mind that this was a possibility. And it turned out that I live with this person.”

Olson subsequently joined her husband on the podcast, celebrating her charitable victory. “He will not be wearing the jacket, ever,” she said of McElhenney.

Longtime “New Heights” listeners and Eagles fans were quick to praise the couple, who costar on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. “The way I SCREAMED when she rolled into the screen, and then I laughed and laughed and laughed. It was all so good,” one tweet read, while another referred to the episode as the “best collaboration ever.”

4. Jason’s Kids Melt Hearts One “Uncle Trav” at a Time

Jason’s daughters instantly put a smile on the faces of fans — and Travis — whenever they crash the show. In one adorable clip from October, eldest Wyatt sat happily on her dad’s lap as she chatted with her Uncle Trav before letting little sister Elliotte take over. “You’re smiling big,” he told the toddler. “You’re making my day.”

Before sending the little ones on their way, Jason asked Elliotte if she wanted to show Travis her new sunglasses. Jason picked up his daughter, who put on a pair of round white shades, and gushed, “Movie star!”

Top 10 New Heights Moments of 2023
Courtesy of New Heights/X (formerly Twitter)

The kids brought in plenty of sweet BTS moments throughout 2023 — even baby Bennett. In May, Travis could hardly contain his excitement as he watched Jason and Kylie gently place the infant in the Stanley Cup trophy. “In the Cup!” Travis exclaimed with a laugh as Jason praised his daughter’s “good head control.” When she spat out her pacifier, Jason quipped, “We don’t need to wash it.”

3. Jason Exhausts Travis With His ‘Twilight’ Summary

“So Jason watched all 5 Twilight movies … 😂💀,” read the caption of a now-viral bonus clip shared via Instagram in June, which showed Jason’s unfiltered thoughts on the popular franchise.

“It’s absolutely terrible,” he told Travis, who initially found the discussion hilarious. “It starts out like all these teenage love stories do, you know, high school girl falls in love with a 109-year-old vampire who still looks like an 18-year-old and nobody asks questions about that.”

As Jason continued to give a detailed summary of the series, Travis asked whether his brother was Team Edward or Team Jacob. “I’m Team This Movie Shouldn’t Exist,” Jason replied. (Taylor Lautner, who played Jacob in the Twilight films, later wrote, “#teamtravis,” in the video’s comments section.)

The conversation went on for much longer than Travis anticipated, and he eventually tried to tune out the extensive recap. He reached for his phone and later took off his headphones to signal that he was ready for the recording to end. “Just call me whenever you’re ready,” he told Jason, who was still going on about vampires, werewolves and more. When Travis put his headphones back on, Jason was finally wrapping up, teasing, “And that’s Twilight.”

2. Kylie Kelce Takes Over for an Episode

In what became the show’s most-listened to episode of the year, the real MVP of the Kelce family got candid about motherhood, life as an NFL spouse, philanthropy and more when she appeared on “New Heights” in September. Kylie’s personality shined through on the air as she went toe-to-toe with her husband and brother-in-law, even offering up some dating advice for Travis.

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“This is going to sound a little harsh,” she warned him. “But I think you should do the mustache [in your dating app photos] because if they swipe right at your worst, then they’ll love you at your best.” (Kylie and Jason infamously met on Tinder before tying the knot in 2018.)

Travis took the comment at face value. “That doesn’t even hurt my feelings, that’s just smart,” he replied.

When Travis later asked how long he’d be allowed to watch the couple’s daughters “unsupervised,” Kylie quipped, “I think my headphones just cut out.”

1. Travis’ Friendship Bracelet Saga Sparks a Romance

One of the most-talked about love stories of the year all started with a SeatGeek ad. While talking up the ticketing platform on a July episode, Jason asked his brother if he’d seen any concerts worth mentioning, prompting Travis to gush over Swift’s Eras Tour. (She brought her record-breaking show to Kansas City this summer, performing in the same stadium where Travis and the Chiefs take the field.)

Travis revealed that he’d taken on the Swiftie task of making a friendship bracelet for the pop star with his phone number on it, but the pair weren’t able to meet backstage. “I took it personal,” he joked. “But it was an unbelievable show. Kansas City showed out. … Everybody was dressed in pink and purple, going crazy for her.”

Swift didn’t respond publicly to Travis’ shout-out at the time. Two months later, however, she was spotted cheering for the Chiefs as they defeated the Chicago Bears at Arrowhead Stadium. She and Travis left the arena together. (Swift later told TIME that she and Travis “started hanging out right after” the July podcast episode.)

“Shout-out to Taylor for pulling up,” Travis teased on “New Heights” after the game. “That was pretty ballsy. … She looked amazing.”

The couple made things even more official in October, surprising fans by both making cameos on Saturday Night Live and holding hands in New York City. As Swift continued to support Travis at his NFL games, he flew to Argentina to cheer her on at another Eras Tour show.

“I was blown away. … The show was even more electric knowing that I had a little bit more to enjoy [it] for,” he gushed on his podcast in November. “Taylor absolutely ripped it. She killed it. It looked like she was having some fun up there.”

The pair’s relationship grew even stronger as the year went on. “I’ve never been a man of words,” Travis told WSJ. Magazine in a November profile. “Being around her, seeing how smart Taylor is, has been f—king mind-blowing. I’m learning every day.”

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