A week before suiting up for Super Bowl LVIII, the San Francisco 49ers superstar received a very special gift from his old Carolina teammate—a pair of Lee’s personal sunglasses. Kalil, the ex-center and current filmmaker, documented the moment:
McCaffrey, especially during his six-year run in Charlotte, has been known to be quite the fan of Lee’s. He recently spoke about the inspiration he draws from the legendary martial artist in an interview with linebacker Brennan Scarlett.
“I’ve always loved combat sports, and my dad used to show me the ‘Enter the Dragon’ Bruce Lee movies back in the day,” he said in an episode of Scarlett’s podcast. “And I just loved ’em. I thought they were cool. I loved the fight scenes. And as I got older, I started looking more into his philosophy and what he represented, and it just stuck with me.
“You think of fighting, you think of angry, tough, ‘I’m fighting.’ And a lot of my buddies are UFC, Bellator guys and getting to know them more and more, you realize that fighting is all about preparation and being calm—but controlled in chaos. And so I always appreciated that ’cause I relate it to football. Being able to be calm, but be extremely explosive at the same time. And that’s really what he represents—being fluid, being formless, shapeless.”
Unfortunately for McCaffrey, he and his Niners did not come out on top in the big game—falling short in a 25-22 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. But his fluid, formless and shapeless performance—one that resulted in a game-high 160 yards from scrimmage—had to have made his friend proud.