• Jen Booton

Surfer In The Super Bowl!

That’s right folks, there’s a surfer in the big game. San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert grew up in Florida and was once such a shredder he was offered a Billabong contract. Mostert, who has nine NFL touchdowns, all with the Niners and eight of which occurred this season, celebrates each score by pretending to surf the turf. On the NFL network he says the touchdown celebration makes him feel like a kid. “It gave me a lot of outlets, ya know, just having fun and being a kid,” he said. “When I do my touchdown celebration, it just brings me back to being a kid and enjoying life when I was younger. I still enjoy life to this day, you’ve got to, you’ve got to enjoy what you do. And I never take it for granted. I just go out there and want to be my best and put on for all the millions of people who are watching. And also to give them a lesson like hey look: no matter what you go through in life you’ve always got positives. And that’s one I try to portray in my image.” Mostert, who began surfing when he was 13 or 14, played football for Purdue and later worked at the U.S. Naval Academy as an assistant coach. He went undrafted from the NFL in 2015 but ultimately signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a free agent to begin his career in professional football. His following four years were spent bouncing around teams, from Miami and Baltimore to Cleveland, the New York Jets and Chicago, and getting cut over and over, but he caught a break in March 2019 when the 49ers scooped him up in what some media outlets referred to as a “bargain” three-year, $8.7 million contract. Despite the five years he’s spent in the NFL, the world is just now starting to talk about him because Mostert had a breakout year and is heading to the Super Bowl. The 27-year-old recently tallied 220 yards and carried 29 yards with four touchdowns in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers. Mostert’s history as a surfer from Florida has attracted media attention over the past few months. In an NFL Network interview, he said he’d even one day be interested in surfing Mavericks. “Going out there in the waves and riding the waves like you see in the video man, just enjoying the atmosphere in the water,” he said in an NFL Network interview. “I want to go to Mavericks so bad but unfortunately due to contract negotiations and stuff I won’t be able to any time soon. But, you know, you just got to go out there and enjoy it.” Interestingly, his contract now bans him from partaking in any “extraordinary sports,” which includes surfing. The provision was added one year into his contract, beginning with the 2019 season, as he became more valuable to the NFL. Alas, he will not be catching waves when he’s home in Florida for the big game but is not-that-surprisingly totally fine with it. "I'm not allowed to," he told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. "I'll be able to have time to do that when I'm done playing ball. I'm not too bummed about it. I have one objective, one goal, and that's to play the game I love right now and to play in the Super Bowl." Mostert last surfed in January 2019, two months before signing his contract, says Fowler. Watch him shred some barrels in this World Surf League video.