Raheem Mostert stood on the stage Sunday at Levi's Stadium with confetti raining down on him. The 49ers running back held the George Halas Trophy in his right hand and his young son in his left. For a moment, he had to soak in the surreal situation he found himself in.
He locked eyes with his wife and his mother-in-law and admittedly shed a few tears. What really had him lost in it all, though, was his son.
"The biggest moment for me was when I was holding my son up there," Mostert said Tuesday on ESPN Radio's "The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz." "I felt like I was just bringing two worlds together: Fatherhood and the game of football. Not too many people get to experience that feeling of having their son up there.
"I really had to keep it together. I really enjoyed it and embraced it."
Nobody ever expected Mostert to be the one in the spotlight after the 49ers set a date with Super Bowl LIV in Miami by beating the Green Bay Packers 37-20 in the NFC Championship Game. But it was Mostert, the same player who had been cut by six teams without carrying the ball once, who was the star in San Francisco's win.
The 27-year-old running back set a franchise record in the playoffs by rushing for 220 yards on 29 carries, and scored four touchdowns. As quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was asked to throw the ball only eight times, Mostert was galloping to the end zone.
If anyone did believe Mostert could be the star that pushed the 49ers to the Super Bowl, it was his wife. While six teams gave up on him in a mere 18 months, she always stood by his side.
"That's really who helped me through the rough times, man," Mostert said. "I feel like I don't give her enough credit, but she kept me in line, man, no matter what. She always had belief and always had faith in me, even when those six other teams didn't. Like I said, I have to give her all the due because she really got my mind right and really helped me out mentally to get to where I'm at today."
Mostert acknowledges there were some low times when team after team threw him to the side. He was an undrafted player out of Purdue who only rushed for 759 total yards over his four-year college career. But he persisted.
His wife made sure of that.
"Any person that's in the league would know what I felt being cut, and she really did just ... did her part in helping me bring to light, 'Hey look, you love this game of football like you say you love it, right? Well go out there and do what you got to do in order to be successful,' " Mostert said.
Mostert didn't only hand out credit to his wife, too. He made sure to express his gratitude to his mother-in-law Michelle as well.
"I know she was emotional and my mother-in-law, she's here in California, she shared that moment with us too," Mostert said. "And I know my mother-in-law, she was definitely emotional because she also helped me -- she saw what nobody else saw. She knew I could be a special person and do the things that I've been able to do.
"They both were emotional, and it caught up to me as well."
Mostert's season has been one made for the big screen. Now he's one win away from a Super Bowl ring and a sea of confetti to share with his wife, son and everyone else who has believed in him.
Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).