- George Kittle has been using a wrestler’s hand signal to celebrate first downs during the NFL playoffs.
- Kittle also donated two tickets to the Super Bowl to the family of a United States Army Soldier who was killed in Iraq.
- The 49ers tight end is currently 4th or 5th in terms of odds to be the Super Bowl MVP depending on which sportsbook those odds come from.
SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is one of the most talked about players in the Super Bowl. The premier offensive weapon of the 49ers has been making headlines for his off the field qualities this week, however.
The 49ers tight end donated two tickets to Super Bowl LIV in Miami to Josephine and Nicolas LaMar, the widow and son of Sgt. Martin Lamar, a United States Army soldier who was killed in action in Iraq.
Excited to provide 2 tix to the #SuperBowl to the surviving family of @USArmy SGT Martin "Mick" LaMar of Sacramento (KIA 01/15/2011). Humbled to work with @USAA & @TAPSOrg to honor his legacy. We will never forget. #SaluteToService 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/OFeE4cQV2t
— George Kittle (@gkittle46) January 23, 2020
Of course, some of the news about Kittle is about his football prowess. The 49ers star has become one of the premier players at his position, and has done so in a contrasting way to his immediate competition for the top of the tight end ladder, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce.
Where Kelce is a truly elite pass catcher, and not as formidable in a blocking role, Kittle seems just as happy to spend the entire game in the trenches blocking for his running backs as he is breaking loose for 50-yard touchdown receptions.
This dynamic can make evaluating Kittle’s receiving yards a tricky prospect – he was used almost entirely in the blocking game in the 49ers NFC Championship Game victory over the Green Bay Packers, only catching one pass for 19 yards the entire game.
On Bovada right now, the over/under line for Kittle’s Super Bowl receiving yards total is 70.5, with the over a heavy, -145 favorite. On Bet365, the line is set at 73.5, with both the over and the under having -120 odds.
Kittle is +1700 to win the Super Bowl MVP award at FanDuel’s sportsbook, but it is worth noting that he is +1000 to win at Bovada, reflecting a difference of opinion between the oddsmakers. Kittle generally falls behind Patrick Mahomes, Jimmy Garoppolo and Raheem Mostert when it comes to Super Bowl MVP odds across the board, however.
Kittle’s MVP odds have gotten a little shorter at Bovada recently. On January 21st, Kittle was +1200 to win the Super Bowl MVP at that time, and is now +1000, a notable shortening of the odds.
Kittle and teammate Deebo Samuel are among a group of players tied for the 20th most big receptions in the league, with nine each. The conundrum with Kittle is that he can break any play by himself, but he’s so useful elsewhere on the field that it’s unclear if the 49ers actually need him to. He’s an all-purpose weapon, and one of the best his position has seen in a long time.
However, Kittle is not all football and community service.
Kittle discussed his enjoyment of wrestling and the mutual admiration between himself and All Elite Wrestling star Pentagon Jr. Kittle has appropriated the wrestler’s hand sign, which stands for “Cero Miedo”, Spanish for “Zero Fear.”
For those without IG - here’s the video of @gkittle46 explaining his first down celebration “It's from Pentagon Jr. He's an AEW wrestler now. Cero Miedo, No Fear.” @AEWrestling https://t.co/0X8hRe00iw pic.twitter.com/M3ZtmLG0pa
— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) January 27, 2020
Kittle’s affinity for the Lucha libre star began years ago, when Kittle attended a WrestleMania weekend. Independent wrestlers, such as Pentagon at the time, come to the same town as WrestleMania in order to benefit from the amount of wrestling fans in attendance. Apparently, Kittle saw Pentagon wrestle and he was hooked immediately.
The two have developed a mutual admiration of sorts over time, with Pentagon wearing Kittle’s jersey, and San Francisco 49ers themed gear, and Kittle, of course, using Pentagon’s hand signs when he gets a first down.
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If you’re betting on Kittle to win the Super Bowl MVP, you’ll be hoping for a lot of those hand signs on Sunday.