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Joe Burrow faces rival Kelce in a Podcast matchup; "I always appreciate the legendary battles we have." 

QB Joe Burrow during the New Heights live podcast on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 5/3rd Arena in Cincinnati, OH.
QB Joe Burrow during the New Heights live podcast on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 5/3rd Arena in Cincinnati, OH.

Bengals stars Orlando Brown Jr. and Joe Burrow barged into the Kelce Brothers' frat party podcast Thursday night at the University of Cincinnati and got off some smart and funny one-liners in front of a delighted crowd of 12,500 during an evening of just plain football and fun.

After the crowd at Fifth Third Arena brought the house down with an ovation bigger than the one for Bearcats legend Desmond Ridder when Burrow was introduced, Jason Kelce asked him the brothers' obligatory Mount Rushmore question.

"What's your Mount Rushmore of Joes?" Jason asked.

Burrow reeled off Joe Namath and Joe Montana pretty quickly but needed a little help ("You just can't pull Joes out of the air") for Joe Thomas and Mean Joe Greene.

Jason and Travis, who went from Animal House to the Hall of Fame, capped off their bawdy and rollicking New Heights Live event by giving a portion of proceeds to their alma mater's NIL program by renewing some old ties. Travis teamed with Brown to beat Burrow in the 2022 AFC title game in Kansas City and Jason tried "to lure," Burrow to Clifton before he landed at LSU.

It was that recruiting pitch that made for the most compelling moment of the night. Burrow recalled how he was going through his rough time at Ohio State ("Putting in the work but not bearing the fruit,") and when he saw Jason's emotional podium after the Eagles' Super Bowl win over the Patriots, he said, "I felt like you were talking to me."

Then he got a text soon after with the UC pitch.

"You had just won the Super Bowl, that meant a lot to me," Burrow said.

That's pretty much the only contact they had until Thursday night.

"It didn't work out for us in that manner, but in some ways it did," Jason told Voice of the Bengals And Bearcats Dan Hoard before the show. "Desmond Ridder got more experience and became the player he did during his tenure. I think both sides ended up winning out."

Burrow had more contact with Travis because they met on the field after each time the Bengals played the Chiefs, a series Burrow has won three out of four. Jason wanted to know why he's had that success against the two-time Super Bowl champs.

"I don't know. I think we both work really hard. They have great players, we have great players," Burrow said. "I think we match up pretty well with them. I think we're built to beat them. I always appreciate the legendary battles we have. Guys are out there always making plays. Patrick (Mahomes) is always out there making plays. Both teams have big-time defensive lines. It's a great matchup."

Burrow also had some advice for franchises drafting rookie quarterbacks: Let them take every rep once they arrive, just like the Bengals did with him.

"I had a coaching staff that really empowered me from day one. They gave me full reign of that offense," Burrow said. "I was never playing scared, thinking I was wrong. Playing free and having trust in your players and coaching staff is the biggest recipe for success."

The podcast was a nice brew of fun and football. Burrow remained adamant about aliens ("Where are they?") and left open the possibility they are so advanced that they could be using our technology to hide.

Since Brown has played with both, Jason asked him to choose between Travis and Burrow to decide basically who is the coolest white man in the NFL. Brown brought the house down when he turned to Travis and said, "Sorry Trav."

Burrow also reiterated he doesn't mind taunting, although he said he's always nice talking to the defensive line.

"We're grown adults. Nobody is going to get their feelings hurt," Burrow said. "Fine us, but don't give us 15 yards. You should show your emotions."

Brown said Travis Kelce is one of the biggest trash-talkers he's seen. But he also had a shout-out for Bengals two-time Pro Bowl sacker Trey Hendrickson, a player Brown respects enormously as a daily training camp foe.

"You have to say our guy Trey Hendrickson. What a bad man," Brown said approvingly.

All in all, it was an Ohio football love-fest.

"This city loves you," Travis Kelce said to Burrow above the roar, "because of how you handle it."