San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went on the road and beat the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17 to take the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Then, he threw the ball into the stands.
The NFL, of course, has taken exception to that act and has fined the quarterback for violating a safety rule, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area: “The NFL on Monday fined Garoppolo $7,017 for throwing the ball into the crowd, an act that the league views as a fan safety issue,” Maiocco wrote Monday.
The fan who caught the ball, 19-year-old Matt Pinelli, was ecstatic.
In Seattle for the big game, Pinelli shared that he had to do some work to land his prize.
“I was actually on my phone and I didn’t even know what was happening,” Pinelli said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “I was texting my friends, saying how awesome the game was. And a bunch of Seahawks fans had their backs to field, walking up. I looked up from my phone to see the ball just coming towards me, like a row over. So once I saw it, I got into the aisle, and I had to push a Seahawks fan over and I jumped on the ball.”
For Garoppolo, while a $7,017 fine wouldn’t necessarily make much of a dent in his bank account, the quarterback will appeal this fine, per the report.