Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is widely credited with sparking the San Francisco 49ers in the second half of the NFL season. He's already achieved pre-folk hero status on Candlestick Point. He's also definitely considered a reason the Niners might beat the Green Bay Packers this weekend in the NFC playoffs.
But can Bay Area sports fans, fresh off the triumph of the San Francisco Giants in the 2012 World Series, completely trust Kaepernick when he wears an enemy's baseball cap in a national TV interview during Packers week?! That's the conundrum facing Kaepernick lovers after the 25-year-old donned a Milwaukee Brewers cap in a sit-down with Kurt Warner of the NFL Network earlier this week. In the video clip provided, Warner addresses Kaepernick's meteoric rise and his myriad tattoos — which gave Kaepernick some negative ink when a crotchety media type felt threatened by them for some reason. (Hey, gramps, it's 2013. Go to bed.)
But notice how Warner delicately avoids any Brewers talk? Quit trying to protect him, media! Granted, it's not — gasp! — a L.A. Dodgers cap that Mr. San Francisco is wearing. Then we'd be talking a full-blown San Fran conniption fit. But this Brewers stuff, even if they're in another division and not the NL West, is troubling. Why rep Wisconsin in any capacity the week you're trying to get past the mighty Packers?
This note in the Pierce County (Wis.) Herald begins to explain:
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he grew up as a Packers’ fan, even though he only lived in Wisconsin for the first four years of his life. He was born in Milwaukee, and he lived in Fond du Lac and New London before moving to southern California. Kaepernick said the Packers were the only team he watched growing up. In his words, “I remember growing up watching Brett Favre every Sunday.”
He grew up a Packers fan? That only makes it worse! And he lived in Fond du Lac? You can't trust the French. Everybody knows this.
Alex Smith (AP)It should be noted that the other 49ers quarterback, Alex Smith, wore a Giants cap during the team's run to the World Series last fall. It almost cost him 15 large, too. If Kaepernick and the Niners are struggling by halftime Saturday night, will a quarterback controversy flare up again? Not just over the score, but over Kaepernick, and if he's "all in" or not with the Niners? Is the pre-birth memory of Juan Nieves' no-hitter worth it, Colin?
Ah, maybe there's nothing to worry about here. After all, it's a Brewers cap with the old "MB" logo from the '80s, when Kaepernick was a toddler. Those Brewers, who used to host the Packers for NFL games at County Stadium before Lambeau Field became cool, are long gone. And he's still got the manufacturers stickers on the underside of the bill. Sure, that's the style with the kids these days, but it also means he still can take the cap back to the store and get a refund. Or at least a store credit so he can buy a proper San Jose Sharks cap. Something.
Also, as the Wisconsin paper points out, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is from Northern California. Wisconsinites pretty much know where Rodgers stands since he's best friends with Ryan Braun. Still, I'd like to see him wear a Giants cap, or maybe one of those Pablo Sandoval panda knit caps on the sideline if it's chilly. You know, just to mess with everyone.
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