National Tight Ends Day



The Story of National tight Ends Day

At the dawn of the NFL, the game was simple. Run left, run right, run up the middle. But over the years the sport of football, much like America, has evolved. With landmark innovations that historians use to mark eras in time. The huddle…the forward pass…the first down…all additions that changed the game for the better. Here is the (possibly) true story of just how the tight end became more than just another offensive lineman:

Legend has it that early in the 1961 season, after a routine football game of stalled offenses, coach George Halas had a vision of Football Future. “What if we took our fastest blocker,” Halas might have said about the idea that supposedly came to him in a dream, “and moved him away and close to the line, depending on his function in the offense. That way he could both catch passes and block”. And so, alas in the sixth game of the 1961 season – the fourth Sunday of that October – he shared this vision with a young bruising tight end named Mike Ditka.  107 receiving yards and two touchdowns later, the modern tight end was born.

As the game ended, it is rumored that Halas patted the boy on the back and said, “today you represented all that is good about sports. Today you embodied a team effort. Today you brought comfort to the pained, hope to the hopeless, and pride to a nation. But most importantly today, you just made history”.

To commemorate such a monumental occasion, it’s rumored that football fan and United States President, John F. Kennedy decreed to his staff “that every fourth Sunday in October, we shall celebrate the day as a way to honor all that is fun and exciting and joyous. To celebrate all the qualities that represents the Tight End. A day of giving AND receiving. To give thanks for what we have and look forward to what routes life asks us to run. National Tight Ends Day, it’s a holiday”.  Sadly, few in his administration shared President Kennedy’s passion for tight ends and the idea was shelved for decades.

Thankfully, in the mid-2010’s, a rabid historian and budding young tight end named George Kittle – after spending a long weekend in the Kennedy Presidential Library – uncovered the early drafts of the proposed holiday and left Boston on mission to fulfill JFK’s supposed dream. Through Kittle’s dogged persistence, the fourth Sunday in every October is now officially National Tight Ends Day.

Much like the blocking/receiving position itself, our hope is that no two National Tight Ends Day celebrations are alike, with traditions around the country being diverse and beautiful:

  • Children in Dallas and Chicago write letters to Ditka and wake up early to open gifts
  • Families in New England have ‘regronkulous’ parties and BBQ’s to celebrate togetherness
  • School and post offices are closed in Colorado as they give a mile high salute to Shannon Sharpe
  • In San Francisco stores can’t refill the shelves quick enough as they constantly run out of George Kittle costumes for their National Tight Ends Day parade
  • And nothing says Autumn in New York, like buying a “Mark Bavaro Spiced Latte” from your local coffee shop on National Tight Ends Day
  • Of course, for this to really take hold as a holiday we hope for mattress stores and car dealerships to celebrate with “National Tight Ends Day Sales Events”.


How does your family celebrate? Well there’s no wrong way to celebrate National Tight Ends Day as long you embody the spirit and attitude of a tight end that we all have inside of us.





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