He stepped onto the ESPY’s red carpet with this cool, relaxed demeanor. Half Joe Montana, half Denzel Washington. The red sport coat and aviator glasses replaced the helmet and glove he possessed during his coming out party last season. The boyhood smile replaced the look of defeat and depression after Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens shattered the storybook ending in New Orleans. No longer is he a secret, rather a sure fire message. The word is out on Colin Kaepernick and the message is clear, he’s the NFL’s hottest new thing.
The NFL is a billion dollar business that relies on the growth of its product with a, “what have you done for me lately?” mentality. Lately Kaepernick, along with Robert Griffin III, is it’s newest hot commodity. When Alex Smith went down with a concussion against St. Louis last year many in the NFL community thought he would freeze with his new found role as a starter. In front of a live National Television audience, and facing one of the best defenses in the league in the Chicago Bears, Colin Kaepernick made his entrance. Kaepernick torched the Bears, throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Shortly after Niners Head Coach Jim Harbaugh named him starter.
Debate followed, should he have stayed with consistency in Smith instead of risk-reward in Kaepernick? After the decision one thing was cleared, Colin Kaepernick could ball. And he was doing it his way. Not everyone gets to play Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. It’s one of those positions in Sports, along with Linebacker for the Bears and Center for the Los Angeles Lakers, that is reserved for only the prestige. And here was Colin Kaepernick, from the University of Nevada, with his Biblical Tattoos and glove on the left hand, a different breed of Quarterback. He runs, he throws, he dodges and dives. When he’s in the endzone he kisses his biceps to symbolize that he could care less what anyone thinks about him. He’s not Joe Montana and he’s not Steve Young. His first thought isn’t just to stay in the pocket. If he feels the need to scramble and bust one for twenty on the ground he’s taking that chance. Colin Kaepernick is the bridge to the gap between Middle and Urban America. He has both earrings and tattoos, doesn’t have a shoe in his collection of hundreds and hundreds of pairs that he can’t match with a fitted hat. Oh ,and he’s driving a Corvette now, no big.
Some can’t understand him, assuming that because he is a man with tattoos he represents a thug living off his abilities as a football player without realizing all of his tattoos are biblical. It doesn’t matter to Colin Kapernick what the haters say about him because he’s living the American Dream.Biggie Smalls said it was all a dream and it still is for the boy who grew up in his small hometown of Turlock, California. In a span of six years he’s gone from being recruited solely by Nevada to play Quarterback to now being the starter for one of the NFL’s premiere teams next to Dallas and Pittsburgh. Life can’t seem to get any sweeter for number 7.
But now it’s different. Just like the money, girls, and notoriety that come with being an NFL Superstar so too does expectations. Niner fans expect him to do what he did last year in ten games and transfer it to a full schedule for a good ten years. Alex Smith is gone, now a Kansas City Chief, which means this is solely Kaepernick’s team now. The Niners will go as far as he takes them. If anything last year taught us about Colin Kaepernick is true, then he seems mature enough and ready with the physical attributes to take it upon himself to deliver. And that’s fine, but the Niners come from a long line of winning. Their fans pride themselves on their five Super Bowl Championships, they want more. Colin Kaepernick now carries these expectations on his shoulders. They win it’s all because of him, if they lose it’s his fault. That’s what being a Quarterback is all about, you take the good with the bad, high with the low, the ring with sitting on your couch watching the big game. Last year Colin Kaepernick got to the Super Bowl, the only way he will surprise anyone is if he doesn’t win it this year.
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