Tip-Off for 7/25/13 (featuring Walter Payton): Colin Kaepernick: Tatted, but unfettered


The only ink the media should focus on is the one which will speak of Colin Kaepernick’s potential greatness.

Two years ago, Cam Newton’s game was dissected coming off a Heisman Trophy and National Championship at Auburn University before he set the standard for rookie quarterbacks. Last season, Robert Griffin III was designated as the rookie fall guy before his eye-popping season was underway.

Fresh off a great second half, which included a Super Bowl run, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was an unknown to defenses around the NFL as well as the media. While the opposition is still trying to get a bead on him, the media is doing their best to try and corner the elusive signal caller.

Media talking heads have waited on Colin Kaepernick from the day head coach Jim Harbaugh handed him the starting job in Week 10. In that time, Kaepernick led the Niners to the playoffs and a fantastic run into the Super Bowl. The second-year pro held his own against the inspired Baltimore Ravens. In fact, given another 15-30 seconds on the clock, we could be celebrating Kaepernick instead of Joe Flacco.

From the day he broke the huddle as the starter, he’s been a mystery to everyone . What’s with the tattoos? Is he African-American? Wasn’t Alex Smith doing a good job? Again, what are the tattoos for?

The ink buzz on Kaepernick generated steam once he graced the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue. If Kaepernick made hearts skip a beat with his sculpted and tatted arms last season, they went into full cardiac arrest when they took a glimpse of him in this issue. Kaepernick’s body is holding more ink than the contract he’s already outplayed.

The national press was looking for Peyton Manning and instead found Dennis Rodman. Kaepernick’s appearance and game have broken tradition across the board. He doesn’t play like your traditional man under center, so why look like him?

After all, it’s about what you do on the field and Kaepernick is holding up his end of the deal.

News in the off-season was light to the point where serious ink was printed over Kaepernick sporting a Miami Dolphins cap. Of course, the old school pundits lined up and took shots at the unsuspecting Kaepernick, who quickly lashed back, urging them to find something more newsworthy to report.

Kaepernick is a proud African-American — who was raised by a white family — which now explains what has become comical coverage of the quarterback. I’ve read and heard more about his life off the field more than whether he can lead the Niners back to the Super Bowl with a full season under his belt.

What Kaepernick is facing reminds me of what Allen Iverson had to deal with as a rookie breaking into the NBA back in 1996. Iverson entered the league with a chip on his shoulder. He sported tattoos and eventually grew cornrows —  not exactly the image Commissioner David Stern envisioned for his league. After all, he had the likes of Michael Jordan, Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway — clean-cut players who were the current face of the NBA.

Iverson did Iverson. Shunning the media and electrifying crowds simultaneously. As Jordan eventually retired, it was Iverson who assumed the mantle as the league’s top draw, setting a cultural standard in the process.

Kaepernick is a single 25 year-old starting quarterback in the NFL. He’s a man of his times, he rocks tattoos, is an avid sneaker head, attends the ESPY’s with his teammates and in his spare time he gives defensive coordinators fits.

The media better fasten their chin straps.


The Lineup:

73 dead in train derailment in Spain (Fortune).

Call him Prince George (USA Today).

Family “rescued” by Zimmerman asking for privacy (7Online.com).

Drama between A-Rod and the Yankees heating up (ESPN).

RG III will not play this preseason (Washington Post).

Usain Bolt says he’s clean, track and field is not (Fox Sports).

Andre Drummond needs more experience for Team USA (Fan Sided).

Remembering the Pine Tar Game (Kansas City Star).

Wes Welker has had the best of both worlds (USA Today).

Report: Lakers vs. Rockets on Nov. 7th. (SB Nation).


Happy Birthday Sweetness!!!

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