The San Francisco 49ers pulled off an improbable comeback against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game.
Down 24-7 at the half, the Niners scored 27 unanswered points to advance to the Super Bowl. Most people likely counted them out at halftime, but one person who did not was All-Pro tight end George Kittle.
There is an amazing video of Kittle telling anyone who will listen on the sideline exactly what he will say after the game once San Francisco mounted a comeback:
George Kittle manifested epic 49ers comeback over Lions into existence
In the video, Kittle recounts to fullback Kyle Juszczyk after the game how he called that the 49ers would mount a comeback in the second half. He told tight end Charlie Woerner and quarterback Brock Purdy that he was going to say, "They had us in the first half, not gonna lie," which is a reference to a popular internet meme originated by a high school football player saying that after his team mounted a big come back after struggling in the first half.
While this is hilarious and classic Kittle behavior, what may go overlooked is how good of a teammate and leader he is with Purdy. He goes up to him and makes the joke about what he will say after the game, likely trying to loosen him up a bit and lighten things for his young quarterback.
But then he reassures him and says, "Keep slinging it, have fun, encourage the guys. Right? You're the guy."
For 49ers fans who have watched Purdy all year, we know that the calm and collected 24-year-old who oftentimes seems to have the composure of a veteran likely did not need this pep talk from Kittle, but it was probably appreciated nonetheless.
Kittle is a leader on this team and knew that if there was any way for the team to come back and allow him to fulfill his prophecy that he was calling in the first half, his quarterback needed to go and let it rip without fear. That is exactly what Purdy did, and the rest is history.
Ironically, the comeback also allowed Kittle to fulfill another manifestation although this one was four years in the making.
He is back. George Kittle and the 49ers will have a chance to redeem themselves against the same team that beat them in that Super Bowl. The 49ers will face the Kansas City Chiefs two Sundays from now in Super Bowl LVIII.