Justin Timberlake Explains Why He Was Terrified to be Tackled by Travis Kelce
Justin Timberlake and Travis Kelce Getty Images (2)

Justin Timberlake can count Travis Kelce as a friend, but he’s still terrified of being tackled by the professional football player.

When Timberlake, 42, appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, January 25, host Jimmy Fallon recalled their joint appearance at the annual 8AM Invitational in Las Vegas when they played a round of golf against Kelce, 34, and his Kansas City Chiefs teammate Patrick Mahomes. (Kelce and Mahomes, 28, competed against Timberlake and Fallon, 49, at the 2022 and 2023 golf tournaments.)

After Fallon made an unexpected yet impressive “bunker” shot — meaning the golf ball landed in the hole after he hit it from the sand — Kelce ran over to celebrate.

“Travis lifted me up in the air,” Fallon recalled, playing a clip. “Even the other team was rooting for me. That’s how bad I was doing, the other team was like, ‘Yes, Jimmy, you did something!’”

Timberlake then pointed out that Kelce “almost” tackled him moments later.

“I saw my life flash before my eyes,” the musician quipped. “He went up and did one of those, you know, when they jump. And I was like, ‘He’s doing it. I have to do it.’ I forgot that he weighs, like, 80 pounds more than me.”

Fallon chimed in, “Yeah, and [he] basically tackled [you]!”

Justin Timberlake Explains Why He Was Terrified to be Tackled by Travis Kelce Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show
Justin Timberlake during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, January 25, 2024. Todd Owyoung/NBC

Timberlake then pointed out that the near-tackle caused an injury. “My neck for, like, a week,” he recalled, indicating he could barely move it. “I was like, ‘Hey, guys, how’s it going?’ ‘What happened to you?’ ‘Travis Kelce.’”

Injury aside, Timberlake gushed that Kelce “is the best” and one of the “nicest guys ever.”

“We text. I don’t want to bother him [because] he’s busy right now,” Timberlake said on Thursday. “He’s in the zone.”

Kelce — who previously name-dropped Timberlake as his most famous phone contact other than his girlfriend, Taylor Swift — is currently “busy” with the NFL postseason. He and the Chiefs are gearing up for the AFC Championship game on Sunday, January 28.

The Missouri football team will play the Baltimore Ravens for a slot in Super Bowl LVIII. The winner of the AFC title game will play either the San Francisco 49ers or the Detroit Lions in the big game next month, depending on the NFC Championship result.

“I love [playing with the Chiefs],” Kelce said in a press conference earlier this month, noting the 2023-2024 season has been a “different journey” than years past. “It’s a new challenge to find ways to get open. It’s a new challenge to find ways to get wins. … I think you’re always trying to challenge yourself to get back to that success, because those are the expectations you set for yourself.”

Kelce won his second Super Bowl trophy with the Chiefs in February 2023.

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