Kaepernicking

Kaep Pic

He has tattoos, is fashion forward and has a lot of swag. No, I am not talking about LeBron James — I am talking about the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick. The man fresh off of a Super Bowl appearance.

Kaepernick was not raised by his biological parents and yes, they were biracial. That’s not important, I know, but the media seems to think so, therefore trying to fit the bill here. He was adopted when he was an infant by a couple who lived in California, where he spent his formative years . In 2011, Kaepernick’s life took a complete turn when he was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the 49ers with the 36th overall pick.

When I first saw Kaepernick play in a preseason game, I was not impressed. Actually, I was grateful to have quarterback Alex Smith as the starter. I did not like his release, his accuracy nor his footwork.  Then things changed, drastically.

Yes, I admit it, I was dead wrong about the guy.

We all know what happened, but to sum it up — Kaepernick completed 136 out of 218 passes (62.4% CMP), for 1,814 yards and threw for 10 touchdowns with only three interceptions — resulting in a 98.3 QB rating. Not to mention 415 yards on the ground including 5 touchdowns — in only 13 regular season games last year.

The young man can ball.

Did I forget to mention a playoff run that resulted in a Super Bowl appearance which came down to a 4th-and-goal play? Ahem, it was pass interference — but that’s for another day.

We know what he can do on the field. Let’s shift gears and focus on Kaepernick off the field. The man was an overnight sensation for the  entire National Football League, not just the 49ers. That said, things went a bit haywire for the young quarterback during this off-season.

As of late, Kaepernick was photographed wearing a Miami Dolphins hat, was polarized for having excessive tattoos and featured naked in ESPN The Magazine, Body Issue. His appearance at the ESPY’s also raised a few eyebrows.

When I saw Kaepernick in a Dolphin’s hat, I felt sick to my stomach. I didn’t comprehend why he would sport another team’s logo. Then I came to the obvious realization — Kaepernick loves to be trendy, his clothes must match (including head gear) and there is nothing wrong with that.

Heck, if you saw Kaepernick at the ESPY’s he was sporting sunglasses. Indoors. 49ers’ left tackle Joe Staley tweeted his quarterback:

@jstaley74 –>@Kaepernick7 “take ur shades off its not sunny.”

I then kindly responded to Staley, informing  him that it’s just swag. Not sure how he took it but that’s what I’d chalk up the Kaep Gate to — swag.

Granted, a few players on the 49ers admitted that Kaepernick should avoid such attention. However, the bottom line is, it was not a big deal. He is a dedicated 49er and Niner Nation knows that.

Well, how about them tattoos? It’s safe to assume, most franchise quarterbacks, like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees & Eli Manning do not sport tattoos — well, at least that are visible. Kaepernick has said that he does not want to be known as the prototypical quarterback and why should he?

Kaepernick is a far superior athlete than all the quarterback’s mentioned above. Times have changed and those with tattoos are not necessarily associated with gangs and violence. A name that pops out at me currently won the last two NBA championships.

LeBron James.

If you recall, Michael Jordan did not sport tattoos in his playing days. Today, players like LeBron, Kobe, Carmelo and many more have their bodies inked. Inking your body is a personal choice and just because quarterbacks in the past have not sported tattoos, does not mean that since Kaepernick does, he should be profiled.

The NBA has accepted their superstars with tattoos, then why not the NFL? I heard rumblings within media outlets that the face of a franchise should not be inked the way Kaepernick is.

That’s rubbish. It’s 2013 folks. Leave the prejudice at home.

Here we are nitpicking on a young football player, who has the talent to rewrite the quarterback position. Analysts should be focusing on Kaepernick’s play on the field, not his fashion statements or tattoos. Yes he was adopted, so what? That has nothing to do with his potential as a football player.

Let’s focus on the fact that Kaepernick is striving to be a better football player. Reports surfaced today that he has become faster, stronger and quicker with his off-season workout sessions. He trained with a crew of track and field athletes which includes Dwight Phillips (the 2004 Olympic gold medalist — see Kaepernick’s Faster).

Let’s analyze the fact that the young quarterback has sleepless nights because of the devastating Super Bowl loss the 49ers encountered. That depicts his competitive drive. Do most of you know that he won an ESPY for Breakthrough Male Athlete of the Year?  This is a special kid with a plethora of potential.

I get that most people are analyzing his every move because it is the off-season and there were not many relevant story lines the past few months.

Perhaps that is why I am focusing on Kaep Gate and tattoos and not on the game of football itself. Is it September yet?