Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports had a great read Monday morning on how San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo gave a 49ers fan a souvenir after the team beat the Seahawks to clinch the division. Garoppolo threw the ball into the stands as time was expiring. The Niners quarterback explained in the article how he didn’t see referee Tony Corrente around to hand him the ball, so instead of waiting 15 seconds, Garoppolo decided, “I’m just going to throw this thing.”
Garoppolo’s throw landed in the lower level of Section 105, Row Y, right into the hands of 19-year old Matthew Pinelli, a 49ers fan that made the trip to Seattle from San Jose with a. group of 17 people. Here is Matthew recalling how everything played out:
“I was actually on my phone, and I didn’t even know what was happening,” Pinelli said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “I was texting my friends, saying how awesome the game was. And a bunch of Seahawks fans had their backs to field, walking up.
“I looked up from my phone to see the ball just coming towards me, like a row over. So once I saw it, I got into the aisle, and I had to push a Seahawks fan over, and I jumped on the ball.”
Matthew got lucky. That was the final ball used in the 2019 regular season, of the decade, and the first 100 years of the league. Jimmy G said he would autograph the ball.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Garoppolo’s pass cost him a few bucks, though Jimmy G is appealing the fine. The NFL fined Garoppolo $7,017 for throwing the ball into the stands. The No Fun League strikes again.