Thank you, Kittle
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
And Emmanuel Moseley, you’re a real one, too.
Yesterday was kind of a big deal.
Alright, this might not be the hard-hitting journalism you came here for, but cut me some slack. It was my birthday yesterday and I’m in a cake coma. Also, I’m still very much smitten with the entire day of surprises.
It legit felt like I was having a 49ers-themed party all day long.
The first surprise came when I clicked on the Twitter app to a notification. “Oh, another new follower,” I thought. But wait. Not just any new Follower.
After a mini panic attack and a couple deep breaths, I calmed down enough to send him a DM to thank him for the ‘follow’ on my special day. He wished me happy birthday and told me to have some fun, despite celebrating during a world pandemic.
Considering Moseley signed his exclusive rights tender yesterday, the 49ers cornerback had a lot on his plate. Yet his simple follow and message exchange made my morning the brightest one in a long time.
I’m going to get kind of deep for a moment, so bear with me.
Some days, I wake up and feel like I am worth every good thing I have going for me. I make my morning coffee, walk my dog—who is totally my best furry friend—and I tell myself that I’m living the life.
And then other days…well, it’s hard to leave the safety of my own bed.
Those are the days when I feel like I’m not enough.
Being in an abusive relationship in the past has taken a severe toll on my mentals. In fact, I’ll give a mini shout out to Marshawn Lynch for his epic speech on how important it is to “protect your chicken and your mentals.”
Although, I’m still unsure what he meant by chicken.
Anyway, yesterday I woke up and didn’t want to leave my bed. So while cruising my notifications on Twitter, Moseley’s follow brought me to tears. And that might sound a little crazy to some of you, but something as small as a follow can mean the world to someone who struggles with mental illness.
It’s a subtle push to keep going because other people around you recognize your worth, too.
Moseley’s messages were thoughtful and made me excited to get ready for the day. And thankfully, my mind felt free from any previous sadness. I figuratively put on my party hat and hopped on a show in which I co-host, Sizzlin’ with Cryssy & Jolts, only to cry the happiest tears as each of my family members joined the live spectacle.
The last time I spent my birthday without my family, I was in Australia. The surf and the beaches calmed me in a way that spoke to my soul, so despite being away from them, I was in my element.
Fast-forward to this year, I’m living in Toronto and my family is back west in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. Though I was lucky enough to spend two months with them during this pandemic, it’s hard to be away on the one day all four of my nephews will actually sit on my lap to help me blow out the birthday candles.
Half the time they’re just spitting on the cake; but hey, we’re all family.
That’s what birthdays are about, though. Running around the backyard with the little ones, while dad’s blasting Supertramp and mom is making her famous homemade turkey burgers. Double yum.
Trust me, that is a whole lot to miss.
Thankfully, we live in a time where with the click of a button, we’re brought into each other’s living rooms. We transport into this virtual room and just hang out there for a while, soaking in the laughter and saving it for a rainy day.
Having my whole family and boyfriend with me on that call was surreal. And it’s a moment I’ll cherish forever because my family is the best gift in the world. Hands down.
Just a side note through all the mushy stuff: 3x Super Bowl champion and ex-49er Randy Cross also came on the show and wished me a happy birthday. On live TV!
Told ya, yesterday was kind of a big deal.
Another side note: huge shout out to my boss and co-host, Joltin’ Joe, for organizing literally everything with my fam and coming through on all the 49ers.
You’re the real MVP.
To top this all off with a perfect gold and red cherry, the best tight end in the National Football League tweeted at me three lovely letters that I will hold on to for the rest of my days—good or bad.
I read that as “holy batman, dude” when I first saw his name in my replies.
By the way, I realize he didn’t really say happy birthday in full, but the HBD is such a George Kittle move that I’m totally okay with it. Especially since he added three party face emojis behind it, too.
HBD🥳🥳🥳— George Kittle (@gkittle46) July 28, 2020
While we all wait for a Kittle contract extension, that exact human—one of my idols—opened up his phone to wish me a happy birthday.
He’s the definition of "The People's Tight End."
I've said it before and I'll say it again: sports are the great connector of the human race. Especially when athletes, players who we completely idolize, value the deeper connection with fans in a way that inspires us to keep going. Honeslty, if George Kittle sees me, then of course I’m worth being seen.
We all are.
And don’t get me wrong; I didn’t need his message to know my worth. However, on the darker days, it really helps.
I guess my whole point of this article is to say thank you to Kittle.
Thank you for giving the fans an incredible season—one that I will treasure as a 49ers follower forever, for defending Jimmy G, even when Stephen A. Smith comes at you hard on First Take, and for showing us what true love looks like in what you share with your wife. You inspire us all in so many ways both on-and-off the field.
Above all, thank you for seeing me and sending a lil birthday HBD. I’ll keep those three letters in my heart to infinity and beyond.
PS. Please pay the man. He definitely deserves the bag now.
Photo Courtesy: NBC Sports