A white shirt, bearing an image of his teammate Jimmy Garoppolo, bare-chested.
"You remember Jimmy had a shirt of me in his locker, I got this one the same day. I just didn't show it to you guys. I was saving it for a special occasion," said Kittle during his press briefing on Sunday.
"I think it's pretty good-he even signed it!" beamed Kittle.
I have solved the mystery of where the @49ers @gkittle46 got this now famous @JimmyG_10 t-shirt from...@shirtfaced_me!— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) January 21, 2020
PS: Mine is a replica from somewhere else!) @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/oeFUL7ZHyF
Since then, media outlets from across the country were fixated on the shirt. But where did it come from?
"All of my friends are texting us saying hey, was this your shirt? Was it really your shirt?" says John Wolfe of ShirtFaced.me.
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John is half of the company he and his best friend Eric Rehe founded about a year ago. They started the company after they realized their love of social media memes and the public's growing interest in personalized t-shirts. So they sent Jimmy G and George shirts hoping they'd take notice.
"We checked Instagram every day to see if the shirts arrived," said Wolfe.
"Last night I heard everyone screaming. I ran to the TV and heard George say he was saving this for a big moment and I was just overwhelmed and felt like oh my god. It brought a lot of validation that this wasn't a joke and it was a good idea!" said John.
Since imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, the guys at Shirt Faced say they've seen their design all over the place. ABC7 News found several retailers online selling replicas.
In case you're wondering how we can confirm ShirtFaced.me really did create the now infamous shirt? John and Eric not only provided ABC7 News with receipt proof of the order being processed and tracking information, but they also sent us email correspondence with the 49ers' marketing team, confirming they received the tees.
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They also have this clue:
"You can see our logo, there's one screenshot where you can see the back of Kittle's jersey you can see the yellow and pink which is our logo."
Now with the mystery of the shirt's origins solved, hopefully, Eric and John's company can get some recognition.
Jimmy certainly seems to have an idea.
"I thought it was a nice shirt he had so maybe we get them in the team store soon!" joked Jimmy at the post-game briefing.
ShirtFaced.me is currently emailing with the team to see if there's an opportunity to provide shirts to all the players. You can learn more about the company at https://shirtfaced.me/
Special thanks to https://www.wishingwellsf.com/ The Wishing Well Workshop in San Francisco for printing ABC7 News a replica Jimmy G shirt to use for our story!
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