As a little kid playing touch football in the backyard, did you imagine yourself on the biggest possible stage in the most high-pressure situations? Where did you place yourself? Who were you playing? What were the stakes? Wild Card game? The Super Bowl?
If you were a Niner fan growing up in the 90s, you very well might have envisioned your friends and family as Brett Favre, slinging it, and Reggie White chasing you down. Then, perhaps, you would be the first quarterback to lead his team into Lambeau Field during the frigid month of January and walk away with a hard-earned postseason victory.
It seems like George Kittle might have, too. When asked about what it means to be playing on the road against Green Bay in a survive-and-advance brawl, the tight end responded, “Lambeau is going to be awesome. Historic stadium. Haven’t played there since 2018. Very excited to go there.”
Quotes like these give insight into what makes Kittle such a lovable figure and respected leader. His pure joy when discussing the game of football radiates out of him, and in many ways, approaches it the way a fan would. This almost feels like he’s checking off boxes on a bucket list.
He continued, “It’s really kind of a dream come true. Looking forward to that experience, playing a night playoff game at Lambeau, zero degrees. What more could you ask for?”
As someone who grew up religiously watching NFL Films marathons on ESPN2 late into the night, I couldn’t agree more. There are some things, a uniform, a stadium, a weather pattern, superstars, that get up on a table, pound their fist, and scream, “Football!” Somehow this game manages to hit all four of those.
Before a single snap, this next chapter in a renewed rivalry already feels like it deserves the voice of John Facenda narrating over dramatic music and shots of bone-crunching action. There’s something great about one of the biggest stars still thinking like a fan. Hopefully, he can help power a team to its own memorable victory on hallowed ground.