January 15, 2014

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What’s not to like about Colin Kaepernick?

By: Matt Bowen

NFL Championship Sunday is inching closer and a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII is on the line. One player being written-off at the moment is San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Why?

He’s taken an unjustified bashing through the media recently for not looking “professional.” Apparently more people want him to emulate the looks of his counterpart on Sunday, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.

Colin Kaepernick

One game away, can Colin Kaepernick lead the 49ers back to the Super Bowl?

Why do we care what Kaepernick looks like? Why do we care that he has a pronounced personality?

Yes, he has tattoos, but that is hardly uncommon these days. With a tattoo parlor seemingly on every corner, everyone from Fortune 500 CEO’s to your child’s school teacher has ink.

He also likes to wear his hat backwards, but every kid who ever witnessed Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners in the locker room has worn their hat backwards.

Give him credit to have enough personality and the confidence to create his own finishing move, conveniently dubbed “Kaepernicking.” His naysayers may say he’s a showboat, but then again, who likes being bland?

As Americans don’t we pride ourselves on self-expression?

It’s 2014—let Kaepernick be Kaepernick and let his game do the talking.

Like tattoos and charisma, the 26-year-old quarterback from the University of Nevada, Reno, has plenty of game. Like Wilson, Kaepernick was also taken in the MLB draft. He has a 95-mph fastball to back it up. In the end he chose to pursue his love of football just like Wilson did.

The two young quarterbacks are remarkably similar on the field—their numbers mirror each other’s. They have an abundance of intelligence and athleticism. Other than appearance, especially to the media, there’s a striking resemblance.

Kaepernick started all 16 games this season for the 49ers and led his team to a 12-4 regular season record.  In 23 career starts he’s 17-6. He takes care of the ball, 31 career touchdowns vs. 11 interceptions. The 49ers receiving corps was a M.A.S.H. unit this season until Michael Crabtree returned from injury in December.

Now, the Niners are clicking on all cylinders and have the most dynamic offense remaining in the playoffs. The trio of Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin is a downright scary. Sprinkle in the fact they have running back Frank Gore and without a doubt San Francisco is prepared to return to the Super Bowl.

Don’t forget that the success of the Niners’ offense begins and ends with Kaepernick at the helm. Don’t try to pass the quarterback’s success off on the talent surrounding him. Kaepernick is the leader. He’s the man who makes smart decisions with the ball. He’s the guy who has only thrown two interceptions in the past eight weeks, all games in which his team has won.

Come Sunday, he’ll be the guy who leads his team to the Super Bowl for the second time in as many seasons.

Come Sunday, judge him for yourself. Make sure it’s beyond skin deep.

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