It’s October, Fangirl Nation. That’s means sweaters, candy, pumpkin spice everything, Halloween and, of course, National Tight Ends Day. It’s a day to celebrate tight ends around the NFL, as they block, catch and make their way into end zones all over the country, all while being mic’d up.
What is the origin of National Tight Ends Day, you ask? Well, it probably won’t surprise you to know that San Francisco 49ers’ tight end George Kittle had a hand in it, but it might surprise you to know that his quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the one who coined it.
“It was a conversation between Garrett Celek, Jimmy G and myself,” Kittle said in Zoom call with the media earlier this week. “I’m pretty sure it was the day that all the tight ends were active, and Jimmy G was like, ‘[W]hat is it National Tight End Day?’ We’re like, ‘[Y]eah, it’s a holiday man. It’s National Tight End Day.’ We just rolled with it. Garrett Celek had a touchdown on that day…[and] that was our first annual Niners National Tight End Day, but in my opinion, every day is National Tight Ends Day. The NFL just wanted to give us one specified weekend which is the last weekend in October. Thank you to them for that.”
— NFL (@NFL) October 24, 2020
Garoppolo is happy to have been a part of the creation of this national holiday.
“I was just trying to get George, Celek ,all those guys fired up,” Garoppolo said this week. “Started declaring it national tight end day and now it’s a holiday. So, congrats for those guys.”
To celebrate the Second Annual National Tight Ends Day, ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown will do a feature on Kittle and his friendship with wrestler Penta El Zero M. And Fangirl Sports Network is celebrating with 5 Fun Facts on the feature, because we never miss an opportunity to celebrate a holiday. Let’s go!
- Kittle and Penta El Zero M met at Wrestlemania in New Orleans and have kept in touch through Instagram.
- What’s a holiday without gifts? Kittle gave Penta a Kittle jersey, while Penta gave sent Kittle Penta sent George a customized mask with the #85 before Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
- Kittle celebrates first-downs with Penta’s hand sign, which signals zero fear.
- “When you’re playing football you have that zero fear, because if you’re scared, you’re going to maybe not reach out for a ball, because there’s a safety in the middle of the field,” Kittle says in the feature. “Or you might not want to make a play because you’re going to be hit really hard.”
- The feature will be voiced by ESPN’s Chris Connelly and was produced by Daniela Marulanda.
Sunday NFL Countdown airs at 7 am PT tomorrow and the feature should air around 8:30 am PT. Don’t miss it!
*Photos provided by ESPN and 49ers.com