49ers star tight end George Kittle recently joined ESPN Chicago for a segment to talk a little bit about everything.
A fun fact that Kittle revealed was that he grew up a Chicago Bears fan. That makes sense, as Kittle attended high school at two separate schools in Iowa, one in Iowa City, and also attended the University of Iowa, which is also in Iowa City.
It’s important to mention the location, as Iowa City is three and a half hours from Chicago. Since there aren’t any professional teams in Iowa, most of the locals gravitate toward the teams nearby, namely, the ones in Chicago.
Here’s what Kittle said on the Waddle & Silvy show: Being a Bear would have been fantastic. I’m pretty happy with where I ended up. Doing pretty well for myself out here in San Francisco. But the Bears are always dear to my heart. And the Cubs. I’ve got to get back to Wrigley.”
There will be a couple of fans who read the headline and respond, “go play for the Bears then!” But these are the sides of the players we rarely hear about, and I think it’s healthy for them to talk about their rooting interests growing up.
Kittle continued: “But hey, you know what it is. That’s the draft. All these guys, they say they have a chip on their shoulder. All these teams looked past me. I got drafted in the fifth round.
All 32 teams looked past me for five rounds. It is what it is. I’m just happy to have the opportunity to be playing football at a high level, and that’s just been my mindset since my career started. And, hopefully, more guys take that mindset as opposed to a chip on their shoulder.”
The “chip on the shoulder” motive is cliché and exhausting. Kittle has a terrific perspective and outlook. Injury concerns caused Kittle to fall out of the first two days of the draft. That, plus Kittle had little to no production in college.
Kittle went on to explain what he enjoys the most about playing in a Kyle Shanahan offense. Hint: it’s the creativity and how he could do three different tasks on three separate plays. It didn’t stop there, as George spoke about transitioning from Robbie Gould to a rookie kicker.
It wouldn’t be an interview unless there was a quarterback mentioned. Kittle, Greg Olsen, and Travis Kelce are hosting their third annual Tight End University event on June 22 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Last year, the event had more than 80 tight ends in attendance. When Kittle was asked who would throw, he said, “we’ve got some great quarterbacks coming in. Josh Allen, Trey Lance. It’s going to be a good one. It’ll be really fun down there in Nashville.”
Kittle, Christian McCaffrey, and Sam Darnold all attended a playoff game in San Francisco for the Golden State Warriors. Instantly, social media ran with Kittle and CMC being “Team Darnold.” They’re teammates. Because Player A hangs out with Player B, that doesn’t mean they dislike Player C.
They are all rooting for each other, which explains why Lance received an invitation.