Who knew George Kittle was a Chicago Bears fan? After the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals Saturday, which was the exact break the Bears needed sitting on the cusp of the playoff hunt in the NFC, the All-Pro tight end revealed a surprising delight he took from knocking the divisional rival Cardinals down a peg in the playoff race:
“I will say this: I did grow up a Bears fan. And the fact that we helped the Bears makes me a little happier. Da Bears!” Kittle said to close out his postgame interview. Shortly after admitting an allegiance previously unknown by many Bears fans, Kittle continued his verbal appreciation for Chicago, also yelling off-mic after he left the podium: “I f***ing love the Bears!”
Daniel Greenberg of ChiSportsUpdates shared a widely-circulated video of Kittle discussing the joy he felt helping his other favorite football team, and Bears fans everywhere responded with delight. Kittle grew up rooting for Chicago sports teams because that’s where his father’s allegiance lies, but he has never rooted for them in such a public manner before — and it set Twitter off.
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Kittle Didn’t Grow up in Illinois, Was Still a Bears Fan
Kittle was actually born in Packer territory: He was born in Madison, Wisconsin and his family moved to Iowa when he was young. He grew up in Iowa, where he also attended college, playing for the Hawkeyes. The 49ers selected him in the fifth round (146th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft, and he has been one of the best players in football since.
Kittle was named a first-team All-Pro last year, a second-team All-Pro in 2018, and he has made the Pro Bowl twice in his first four seasons. He also has the most receiving yards in an NFL regular season by a tight end (1,377).
The tight end’s skillset and ferocity on the field coupled with his undeniable giddiness when discussing the Bears off it got fans and analysts alike riled after Saturday’s game.
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Analysts Show Major Love to George Kittle, Fans Want Him in Bears Uniform
Kittle admitting he was happy about helping the team he rooted for as a kid naturally got the masses going on Twitter. Several Bears fans and analysts gave Kittle a shout out, while others decided to plead their case for the possibility of the People’s Tight End in a Bears uniform in the future.
Former Bears starting guard Kyle Long even got into the act:
The tight end position has been one that has plagued the Bears since Mike Ditka retired, although the team’s second-round draft pick in 2020, Cole Kmet, has shown a good deal of potential in his rookie season. That didn’t stop oodles of Bears fans from dreaming out loud via Twitter about the possibility Kittle may one day play for the team we never knew he loved, though.
The 49ers official team Twitter account also got into it:
I hate to be the harbinger of bad news while bringing tiny doses of reality to the table, but Kittle signed a five-year extension with the 49ers this offseason, and he makes an average of $15 million a year. The Bears cannot afford him, and it would take an absolute miracle for the 49ers to trade him — but if you’re a Bears fan, it’s a miracle worth hoping for.