Following key victories by the San Francisco 49ers, tight end George Kittle has celebrated by flinging his hair around and screaming a phrase made popular by former WWE wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. This tradition has made Kittle one of the most popular figures in the NFL, and it has even drawn the attention of Johnson.
This was proven true on Saturday night after the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Rams, eliminating their division rival in the process.
Kittle screamed: "Can you smell what the Niners are cooking?" while walking off the field.
THE PEOPLE’S TIGHT ENDDecember 22, 2019
Johnson saw this video and has since responded. "The People's Tight End, lettin' em know," he wrote on Twitter following the game. Johnson even clarified that his wrestling alter ego also approved, adding the hashtag #PeoplesChampApproved.
This is not the first time that the 49ers tight end and the former wrestler have interacted in such a manner. This has been a tradition throughout a season in which the NFC West team secured a spot in the playoffs and jumped out to a 12-3 record.
Back in October, Kittle channeled Johnson while celebrating a Monday night victory over the Cleveland Browns. This victory resulted in a 4-0 start to the year for the Bay Area team and prompted the release of a rather unique photo. Cartoon versions of Kittle and Johnson were shown together with a wrestling championship belt.
One season after setting the single-season record in receiving yards (1,377) for a tight end, the third-year tight end from Iowa in Kittle entered the season ready to help his team win the division and lock up a spot in the playoffs. Kittle started slower than expected and also dealt with an injury, but he has still served as a reliable target for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
After 16 weeks of NFL action, Kittle has 78 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns. He is on pace for his second consecutive 1,000-yard season and even scored a critical touchdown late in Saturday's game.0comments
With a spot in the playoffs secured, Kittle will be preparing to showcase his skills on an even bigger stage. Each win will lead to the celebration that has become a tradition in 2019, prompting a return message from Johnson.
(Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty)