Emotions struck as the clock winded down during the NFC Championship game at SoFi Stadium. The sixth-seeded San Francisco 49ers came a long way from their 3-5 record at the beginning of the season, but it ended on a sour note.
As the scoreboard displayed the final score of 20-17 and blue and yellow confetti rained down, tears streamed down wide receiver Deebo Samuel's face.
During that game, the first team All-Pro "wide back" recorded 72 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown alongside a team-high 26 rushing yards on seven carries.
However, Samuel was unable to celebrate his in-game accomplishments as the Los Angeles Rams escaped with a win in the final minutes of the game.
If you turned on the television or gave a scroll on your social media feed, it's likely you saw the images of Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. choosing to console an emotional Samuel on the sidelines rather than celebrating his victory. Despite the length discussion, Samuel, still engulfed in his disappointment from the loss, couldn't remember the conversation, but made sure to follow up with the fellow star receiver once his emotions settled.
"At the moment I really didn't know what he was saying," Samuel said on Super Bowl LIVE, reflecting on his postgame talk with Beckham Jr. "I called him later that week… (Beckham Jr.) said 'Sorry it ended that way, you had a great season.'"
Instead of focusing on the loss, Samuel showed support to his colleague who is making his first trip to the Super Bowl in eight NFL seasons. Knowing the history and the path Beckham Jr. has endured dating back to his career with the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and now Rams, in their follow up call, Samuel made sure to remind the Pro Bowl wideout of his importance to his team's success.
"'You look like you're the old O,'" Samuel responded. "'Without you, I don't think (the Rams) are in this position.'"
"They've got Cooper Kupp, of course. But he's not going to beat you by himself. He needs the help. I'm just proud of the player he became and it just looks like he's getting back to himself and I'm very happy for him."