MIAMI — Dear Diary,
First thing in the morning, Janet D sent me a direct message saying she’s in Miami with her husband and would like to meet me. Janet D is a middle-aged woman who watches all of my Periscopes and regularly sends me tweets. She’s the only middle-aged woman who follows my coverage so closely. I just figured she was a huge fan. She really knows her stuff.
I sent her back a non-committal note saying it was nice to hear from her, but I’d be working all day and maybe we could meet up later. She wrote back and said she was with Ross Dwelley’s family and they’d like to meet me, too.
Apparently, Janet D is not just some random die-hard 49ers fan. She is the mother of Dwelley’s girlfriend.
I told her of course I’d meet them for a drink after dinner. I finished my work, ran downstairs and took a Lyft to the J.W. Marriott Marquis in downtown Miami — that’s where the 49ers and they’re families are staying — and when I got there, I met Janet D, her husband, their daughter, Dwelley’s mom, Dwelley’s step mom, Dwelley’s dad, Dwelley’s best from childhood and one more relative.
The Dwelleys are the sweetest people. We had such a nice time. I also met George Kittle’s mom. The Kittles and Dwelleys are really close. It’s so cute. This 49ers team really seems like a family.
I also learned something about Dwelley. Apparently, tight ends coach John Embree scouted him, worked him out before the draft and campaigned the 49ers to sign him as an undrafted free agent. I’ve never heard of an NFL tight ends coach scouting players from small schools who probably won’t get drafted. Embree clearly does his homework. Plus, he’s a fantastic teacher. Look at the work he has down with both Dwelley and Kittle. You could argue Embree is the most underrated coach on the 49ers. I had no idea.
Halfway through the evening, Dwelley’s girlfriend turned to me and asked, “Where’d you get the idea for the video?”
She meant this one:
“It was a little tongue in cheek,” she said.
I started stuttering. “Um, uh, yes, but you know I really think he’s terrific. I wasn’t putting him down.”
“What did you call the video?” she asked. Dead pan.
“Ross Dwelley is an American Hero,” I whispered.
“To the American Hero,” she said. Then she raised a glass, and we all toasted to Ross. I was so relieved.