Before NFL stadiums fill up with Halloween costumes next weekend, the league has another holiday on its calendar.
It’s National Tight Ends Day in Week 7. This year, there’s a fitting matchup to celebrate the occasion. George Kittle’s San Francisco 49ers will host Travis Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs in a Super Bowl LIV rematch that also features two of the league’s top tight ends.
While it’s a cool title, what is National Tight Ends Day actually, and how did it come about?
Here are the origins of the relatively new holiday.
What is National Tight Ends Day?
National Tight Ends Day is an annual time to celebrate players at the position. There aren’t any formal traditions, per se, but the NFL uses the holiday to highlight tight ends across the league.
How did National Tight Ends Day originate?
The 49ers edged the Detroit Lions in Week 2 of the 2018 NFL season with help from Garrett Celek and Kittle. Celek scored an 11-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and Kittle said a conversation between the two tight ends and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sparked the idea of National Tight Ends Day.
“Jimmy G was like, ‘What is it, National Tight Ends Day?’ We’re like, ‘Yeah, it’s a holiday, man!” Kittle said.
The NFL took the 49ers’ idea and made it a league-wide festivity beginning in 2019.
When is National Tight Ends Day?
The NFL celebrates National Tight Ends Day on the fourth weekend of October.
While he appreciates the official designation from the league, Kittle thinks tight ends are worth honoring year-round.
“In my opinion, every day is National Tight Ends Day,” he said.