MIAMI — Let’s get this out in the open right away. There are plenty of grown men in and around Super Bowl 2020 who take a look at 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and think to themselves, “What a handsome young man.’’
His teammates included.
“He is by far the best looking, unbelievably, I mean the guy is … Jeez … wow,” left tackle Joe Staley told The Post this week from the 49ers hotel.
With dark, tightly-cut hair, perfectly neat and trim facial growth and a movie-star smile to go along with his sparkling eyes, Garoppolo, 28, looks like a leading man. There were questions about his readiness to win the big game and his ability to outduel Chiefs stud Patrick Mahomes. There were no questions about that face.
“They find something new to criticize him for every day, but they never criticize his looks,” cornerback Richard Sherman cracked.
Of all of Garoppolo’s appearance attributes, one in particular has everyone in agreement. On Halloween 2017, when tight end George Kittle heard the 49ers traded for Garoppolo his first thought was this: “Holy cow. Jimmy Garoppolo, that chin, finally making its way to the West Coast.’’
Staley sweated it out but was able to spell his quarterback’s last name when called upon. If Garoppolo carried himself differently he might engender some jealousy, with his success and looks, but the 49ers are all-in on him.
“What they don’t understand about him as a person is that he’s very down to earth, very just one of the guys,’’ Staley said. “He’s not like a superstar persona, it’s not like he only talks to certain people. He’s very, very accepting, he comes from a hard-working family, unbelievable parents, just great people. He’s one of the most genuine human beings I’ve ever been around.’’
One thing, though: Staley has never seen Garoppolo get angry.
“I don’t think so, which is, now that I think about it, kinda weird,’’ Staley said. “He gets like, he doesn’t get angry like verbally, he just kinda gets disappointed. He’s like a disappointed dad.’’
Weston Richburg was Garoppolo’s center for the first 13 games this season before going on injured reserve with a torn patella tendon. Richburg spent his first four NFL seasons with the Giants, working with Eli Manning.
“I do see some similarities in the way that they prepare, the way that they practice and train,’’ Richburg said. “Jimmy is up there really early in the morning, leaves late, just like Eli did. I see a similarities in that and they’re also able to let loose and just have fun and be one of the guys, which I really respect.’’
Is this where the similarities end?
“Eli’s attractive,’’ Richburg said, smiling. “Jimmy, I mean, it’s Jimmy. Jimmy’s a good-looking dude.’’
For more on Super Bowl 2020, listen to the latest episode of the “Gang’s All Here” podcast: