Travis (L) and Jason Kelce on New Heights. Travis (L) and Jason Kelce on New Heights. (New Heights on YouTube.)

The New Heights podcast from Travis and Jason Kelce, presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment, has made plenty of headlines and soared up the charts in its first year. The Kelces’ status as prominent active NFL players helps there, especially around the weeks-long coverage of them facing each other in Super Bowl LVII. But a big part of New Heights‘ appeal is the brothers’ willingness to be candid about other players in a way we don’t always see. And that was shown in the discussion of Aaron Rodgers and the players he wanted the New York Jets to bring in on this week’s show, starting around the 40:30 mark:

Travis Kelce (seen at left above) says “What we do know is that Aaron Rodgers has provided the New York Jets with a list of free agents that he would like them to target and acquire,” and Jason (seen at right above) responds “Also known as a list of demands. He’s provided the New York Jets with a list of demands. We’re full blown hostage situation at this point.” Both laugh, and Travis goes into a Captain Phillips parody: “Hostage situation! I am the captain now! I need a briefcase with 300 million dollars.” Jason responds with “With Odell Beckham in the briefcase. I mean, I get it. Listen, the Jets are stacked on defense. Their head coach is a defensive coach. Aaron coming over there, it could be a match made in heaven. He just wants to make sure they got a target that he feels comfortable with.”

Travis then says “They’ve got a bunch of young guys that can play ball now,” and Jason says “Well, apparently, they can’t play ball good enough, because Aaron’s saying he wants one of these guys.” He then details the Jets’ moves to bring in many of those targets and goes “I don’t know if they folded or if they answered the bell, but the Jets are all-in on the Rodgers deal.” Travis says “We’ve got a hostage situation, they’re trying to keep all the hostages alive.” Jason says “You give us one, we give you one, you give us one and also come to play our quarterback. That’s kind of where we’re at.”

The Kelces are far from the only ones to discuss Rodgers’ list of free agents along these lines, of course; many media and fans have talked about it in similar lines. But their discussion stands out for having this kind of “hostage situation” language used by active players. It feels like them talking about it in a way they might without cameras rolling. And that fits with other past New Heights podcasts and their stories, and is part of what’s helped the Kelces build such a media (and even apparel) brand to this point.

[New Heights on YouTube]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.