George Kittle

Watch 49ers' George Kittle troll Jimmy Garoppolo's postgame interviews

Watch 49ers' George Kittle troll Jimmy Garoppolo's postgame interviews

It's clear that 49ers tight end George Kittle really enjoys messing with Jimmy Garoppolo.

Whether he's commenting on the quarterback's handsomeness (in a Canadian accent, no less) or explaining why Garoppolo struggled in a training-camp practice against the 49ers' defense, Kittle doesn't take interactions with the signal-caller too seriously. The latest example came Sunday after the 49ers' sloppy 9-0 win over Washington when Kittle video-bombed Garoppolo's on-field interview.

Here's hoping Kittle's mother got the message.

That wasn't the only media obligation that Kittle crashed, either. He waited in the back of Garoppolo's post-game press conference, too, filming some of the QB's answers from the podium.

[RELATED: Why 49ers' D earned A-plus grade in muddy win over DC]

Garoppolo and Kittle didn't connect much on a very wet FedEx Field. The tight end caught just three passes for a season-low 38 yards.

Sunday's win wasn't much to write home about, but the 49ers are 6-0 for the first time since 1990. When you get off to your best start in three decades, there's room to celebrate with some good old-fashioned trolling.

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'2019 Mud Bowl Champions!' 49ers revel in 'fun' win over Washington

'2019 Mud Bowl Champions!' 49ers revel in 'fun' win over Washington

LANDOVER, Md. -- Rookie defensive lineman Nick Bosa turned into a leader Sunday, as the 49ers turned their postgame celebration into an impromptu Slip ‘N Slide party.

Bosa put the finishing touches on the 49ers’ 9-0 victory over Washington on Sunday with a sack of quarterback Case Keenum. Then, Bosa got up, took a few steps and flopped on his belly for a slide at muddy FedEx Field.

Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Kwon Alexander followed Bosa’s lead in hitting the ground in the celebration. Then, as the 49ers emptied off their sideline at the end of the game, many other players slid on the natural turf in jubilation before heading to the locker room.

“That’s awesome,” Bosa said.

The 49ers’ defense led the way, allowing Keenum to throw for just 77 yards on 9-of-12 passing. Bosa, Armstead and Dee Ford registered a sack apiece totaling minus-27 yards.

“It was a battle, but it was a lot of fun,” Armstead said. “Sometimes you got to win a dirty game and that was definitely, 9-0 defensive battle. It was raining, mud was everywhere, but it was super fun.

“Bosa got the sack at the end, and we all slid in the mud and had a lot of fun with it, so it was super-exciting.”

Said Buckner, "It was like a bunch of little kids out there. That's part of the game, having fun. Right now, we're having a lot of fun."

Veteran Richard Sherman figured it was best at this stage of his career to not take any unnecessary risks.

“I saw all those guys running and diving on the ground, and I was like, ‘Eh, I got out of this one healthy, I’m going to observe.’ But it was fun,” Sherman said. “Mud Bowl 2019 champions! You know what I mean?”

Coach Kyle Shanahan quipped that he considered joining the celebration.

“I did think about it, but I don’t think I would have done it right,” he said.

[RELATED: Mike Shanahan gets game ball after 49ers beat Washington]

The 49ers remained unbeaten with a 6-0 record, while Washington falls to 1-6. It was the kind of weather conditions that put a premium on taking care of the football and avoiding big mistakes on offense.

The 49ers capitalized on a takeaway when Alexander forced a fumble of running back Adrian Peterson and defensive tackle Jullian Taylor recovered in the third quarter. The 49ers’ offense managed four field-goal opportunities, with Robbie Gould connecting on three short kicks on the team's final three possessions of the game.

“It’s very tough for either offense to get anything going unless you get a big turnover or a big play,” Shanahan said. “You get a couple of big plays in those games, but everything usually depends on turnovers and trying your hardest to avoid opening the probability of having those.”

The 49ers managed 263 yards of total offense. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 12 of 21 passes for 151 yards and no touchdowns with one interception. Kendrick Bourne led San Francisco with three receptions for 69 yards.

Bourne said everything about the situation made it the most enjoyable game experience in his three-year NFL career.

“The adversity, all the mud made it fun,” Bourne said. “We never play in mud, and it showed our team can adjust.”

Garoppolo did just enough in the winning effort.  He hit Richie James on a 40-yard pass on third down to set up the first field goal. He converted a fourth-down pass to Ross Dwelley on the second field-goal drive. And he came through with a third-down conversion to George Kittle on the final drive.

“It was a good time,” Garoppolo said. “I missed the slide. I was upset about that.”

Garoppolo might have been facetious when he expressed his disappointment that he let his final opportunity to get soaking and soiled on Sunday slip away. Kittle certainly had no regrets.

“I had a blast out there. You couldn’t tell?” Kittle said. “(But) I spent plenty of time getting wet the entire game. I let other guys do it for me.”

49ers' George Kittle demonstrates leadership through effervescent charm

49ers' George Kittle demonstrates leadership through effervescent charm

George Kittle and his wife, Claire, were married this past April, but it wasn’t exactly love at first sight for the couple.

“I was getting on my moped to go to basketball practice and we had a team rule and you had to wear helmets,” Claire told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I had a bright pink, almost like motorcycle helmet with the shield and everything.

“He’s walking to his moped as well, and he looks at me and he goes, ‘Hey, nice helmet.’ 

“And I just look at him and say, 'Thanks,' and then drove off. And I probably gunned it really fast as I was pulling away.”

Not exactly a typical love story, but it is stories like these that demonstrate the effervescent personality that is at the core of who George Kittle really is.

“I think this is something that I've seen more as he's gotten older or more that I recognized that he's really good at being present in any moment,” Kittle’s sister Emma said.

“I remember he was real outgoing, wasn’t shy of anybody,” Kittle’s college and professional teammate C.J. Beathard said. “A lot of guys come in as freshman and they’re kind of reserved and shy, and he was one of the guys going around, you could tell he wasn’t very shy.”

Beathard and Kittle started alongside each other at Iowa for two seasons, and have been teammates since 2012 from Iowa City to the Bay Area.

“He was a really good teammate,” Beathard said. “Always positive, never talked negative to guys. He’s one of those guys that lifted guys up, never really got on guys for doing something wrong.”

“He always had such a big personality and everybody was just kind of drawn to him,” Claire said.

“You could tell I mean, he just he was a joy to be around,” said Greg Nation, Kittle’s high school coach. “He was fun. He was upbeat. Whether it was in the weight room, on the game field, in the hall, it didn't matter. He was just one of those guys. He loved life. Loved being around people and friends.” 

Even in his early days as a prep football player, Kittle evoked all the qualities of a leader on the field.

“You know, he's vocal,” Nation said. “I think his biggest thing for George is, he wears his feelings on his sleeve.”

[RELATED: Kittle's journey from 'scrawny' to elite tight end]

“I guess he loved being part of a team,” Kittle’s mother Jan said. “He always wanted everyone to succeed, and so he was always coaching in a respectful way, not to overstep boundaries with the coach.”

That leadership has translated to the NFL, where Kittle is now one of the most valued players in the locker room, despite being in just his third NFL season.

“He would be the one to make everybody feel better,” Claire said. “Just let a joke pop off in the room and just make that awkwardness go away. He makes everybody laugh. He's very inclusive and he likes literally everyone. So he's just a happy, happy guy doing what he loves.”