Chad Johnson Travis Kelce Nightcap Screen grab: Nightcap

After the Kansas City Chiefs suffered a surprising 24-9 defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos on Sunday, it was only a matter of time until Travis Kelce received blowback for attending Game 1 of the World Series two nights prior.

And like clockwork, that criticism came. ESPN’s Shannon Sharpe in particular took issue with Kelce’s ill-timed trip.

“He didn’t have his best game,” Sharpe said of Kelce during Sunday’s episode of Nightcap with Unc and Ocho. “I’m kind of disappointed because Friday night, he was at the Rangers game.”

“What’s wrong with that?” co-host Chad Johnson interjected.

“It’s the middle of the season! What do you mean what’s wrong with that?!” an incredulous Sharpe responded.

Johnson did his best to defend Kelce. “I know the Chiefs lost. I know [Patrick] Mahomes didn’t have a game. I know Travis Kelce didn’t have a game,” the former Cincinnati Bengals star said. “But you’re not going to tell me that you can’t enjoy yourself on a Friday night, which is a short day. Listen to me — it’s a short day.”

Sharpe, however, had a trump card waiting.

“It was in Texas,” he reminded Johnson of Game 1 of the World Series. “He lives in Kansas City.”

“Oh, ****,” Johnson replied. “OK.”

Johnson proceeded to ask Sharpe if he really thought that traveling two days prior to a game was really that bad of a look for Kelce, to which the Hall of Fame tight end replied: “It’s an awful look. It’s a terrible look. Ocho, you do realize that this is the NFL. You’ve got a game on Sunday. You’re going to board a plane? Every coach I’ve ever played for has always told us one thing on Friday: Make sure you get off your feet.”

Regardless of where you stand on Kelce attending the World Series, this is where Sharpe and Johnson’s experience as a former NFL player is especially useful. When Sharpe criticizes Kelce, it’s coming from somebody who’s been in that position and knows what it means for a player to travel somewhere for leisure purposes fewer than 48 hours before a road game.

Similarly, Johnson is able to provide Kelce’s perspective — although he even had to admit defeat when he was reminded that Game 1 of the World Series was in Texas. Either way, Sharpe and Johnson’s experiences and ability to share different perspectives based on them seems like a big reason why Nightcap has been an instant success for The Volume and Shay Shay Media.

[Nightcap with Unc and Ocho]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.