49ers

Why George Kittle wants to channel his inner Joker on 49ers game days

Why George Kittle wants to channel his inner Joker on 49ers game days

George Kittle is an agent of chaos.

At least, that's his goal on the football field.

The 49ers' fun-loving star tight end took the NFL by storm last season, racking up 88 catches and 1,377 yards, an NFL single-season record for tight ends.

Kittle's rise to NFL stardom is a credit to his athletic gifts, his work ethic and, at least partly, his favorite comic-book villain. 

The Iowa product is a huge Batman fan, and he does his best to make the Dark Knight's archnemesis -- the Joker -- his gridiron alter-ego.

"I don't try to channel all the Joker, obviously, because he has some issues," Kittle told ESPN's Nick Wagoner. "Creating a little bit of chaos is just kind of what I try to do. I'm just trying to be the most outgoing, craziest person on the field."

Don't you want to know how Kittle got those yards?

The All-Pro tight end loves the Clown Prince of Gotham so much, in fact, he got a tattoo of the Joker on his forearm the day before his wedding. 

"He's so goofy," Kittle's wife Claire told Wagoner. "At first, I thought he was joking -- he has a lot of ideas that are out there and he doesn't actually go through with them. So at first, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, that's the worst idea you've ever had. I hate that.'

"But then after he had explained to me all of the meaning behind it and then seeing it in person, it's actually really cool. So I do really like it now. That's just George."

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As Kittle and the 49ers prepare to embark on the 2019 campaign, the star tight end is hoping to introduce a little anarchy to the NFC West, upset the established order in the conference and make everything a little chaotic.

The 49ers suffered a brutal 2018 campaign after quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was lost for the season when he suffered a torn ACL in Week 3 against the Chiefs. They went on to limp to a 4-12 record with Kittle being the lone bright spot in the campaign.

Kittle and the 49ers now can look to an iconic speech from Mark Hamill's Joker in famed "Batman: The Animated Series" episode "The Man Who Killed Batman."

"But I digress. The time for sorrow is over. It's time to look to a future filled with smiles."

And wins, the 49ers hope.

"Well, that was fun ... who's for Chinese?"

Watch Joe Montana 49ers highlights from dominant 1989 NFL playoffs

Watch Joe Montana 49ers highlights from dominant 1989 NFL playoffs

Joe Montana displayed pinpoint accuracy in the 1989 NFL season, completing 70.2 percent of his passes, and he only was intercepted eight times. In the playoffs, though, the MVP was downright unstoppable. 

Over 83 pass attempts, Montana didn't throw a single interception in three playoffs games. He completed an absurd 78.3 percent of his passes, and had 800 passing yards with 11 touchdowns. Let's take a walk down memory lane, and watch all of Montana's TDs from that dominant three-game run. 

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

That's one minute of purely dominant football. The 49ers outscored their opponents by 100 points, 126-26, in just three games. They averaged over 33 points per game while only allowing under nine. 

Montana obviously was the captain that steered this scoring onslaught. He averaged 267 passing yards per game and nearly four touchdowns. In the 49ers' 55-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV, Montana completed 22 of his 29 pass attempts for 297 yards and five touchdowns. 

[RELATED: This stat shows how 49ers' Aiyuk can be reliable receiver]

Oh, and Jerry Rice helped a bit as Montana's No. 1 receiver. All he did was finish with seven receptions for 148 yards and three touchdowns. 

When the bright lights came on, Montana was at his best. He went a perfect 4-0 in the Super Bowl, and his run in the 1989 playoffs was nothing short of perfect football.

49ers rookie Brandon Aiyuk's reliable hands are shown with this stat

49ers rookie Brandon Aiyuk's reliable hands are shown with this stat

High expectations were placed on Brandon Aiyuk immediately after the 49ers traded up and selected the former Arizona State receiver with the No. 25 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Those hopes among The Faithful only have grown with Deebo Samuel and Richie James going down with injuries this offseason. 

Samuel and James should be ready to go for the season if everything goes right in their recovery. It's never that easy, though. 

There of course are concerns with any rookie's learning curve coming into the NFL. Those only have been heightened with this odd offseason. And Kyle Shanahan notoriously has one of the most complex playbooks in football. But there's good news when it comes to Aiyuk. 

Aiyuk has some of the surest hands in the entire rookie draft class. His 5.5 percent drop rate was the third-best among six first-round receivers. Only Henry Ruggs and CeeDee Lamb, both drafted ahead of Aiyuk, performed better in the category. 

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

As a senior, Aiyuk hauled in 65 receptions for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games. He did this all while having a freshman quarterback, Jayden Daniels, throwing him passes last year. And he has shown off his sure hands this offseason, too. 

Aiyuk made a great first impression on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The rookie joined his QB and others in workouts at San Jose State last month, and he stood out to Garoppolo for more than his talent. 

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“You can tell when you’re calling a play and you look into a guy’s eye and know if he’s taking it in or if it’s like, ‘What the hell is this guy saying?' ” Garoppolo told The Athletic's Matt Barrows. “And he was engaged, he was locked in. And he was a fun guy to be around, too.”

The 49ers are scheduled to start training camp July 25, and all eyes will be on Aiyuk. He has a great chance to carve out an important role with Samuel shelved, and he only will further solidify that by snagging every ball Garoppolo throws his way.