Pass It Down

Ep. 54: George Kittle, Stealer of Souls

Episode Summary

Three years into his career at the University of Iowa, George Kittle was a hard-partying screwup who barely played on Saturdays. Then Kittle shifted his approach, turned his career around and went on to become one of the best--and most colorful--football players on earth. In our unguarded and slightly unhinged conversation, the San Francisco 49ers’ All-Pro tight end covers his pivotal epiphany and much, much more: From feeling an opponent’s soul leave his body, to his impact on the Panda Express menu, to his youthful social-media rants toward NFL players, to whether his head coach’s dog is named after him. We also talk about the 49ers’ eventful offseason, Jimmy G’s looks, Trey Lance’s arm and his post-draft text to Kyle Shanahan.

Episode Notes

The San Francisco 49ers’ star tight end weighs in on his team’s wild offseason, which he likens to “a tornado after a hurricane after a thunderstorm,” explaining which teammate “sweats olive oil” and assessing the pre-draft trade that landed quarterback Trey Lance. After addressing his Panda Express obsession in very specific fashion, Kittle talks about his prodigious partying days at the University of Iowa and the dramatic behavioral change that saved his football career and catapulted him to the NFL. From that point on the episode turns fast and furious, with topics such as Kittle’s physical dominance of opponents, his love for tight ends (including new Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell), why he can’t wait for fans to flip him off in 2021 and his kinship with Kyle Shanahan’s dog among the auditory offerings.