Northern Nevada has been in the grip of subzero nighttime temperatures for 3 weeks. It’s begun to warm up over the last three days. Could it be the increasing heat of Kaepernick Fever thawing us out?
There has been extra interest in the San Francisco Forty-Niners across the region all season, but since they won the conference championship last Sunday, the excitement is ramping up. The “Sports Illustrated” issue with Kaepernick on the cover sold out within an hour at Reno area bookstores and sporting goods stores. Tattoo artist Nes Andrion of Endless Ink in Reno, who did most of Kaepernick’s tattoos, has been the subject of national attention. It’s nearly impossible to find a Kapernick jersey in the Reno-Sparks area. At Wednesday’s University of Nevada basketball game there was a mass “Kaepernicking” – imitating Kap kissing his bicep tattoos after he makes a touchdown. I heard on the news that the Silver Legacy Casino in downtown Reno has a photo on their marquee of Kap doing that signature move.
In this area, those who follow college football know Kaepernick’ story: three-sport high school athlete in Turlock, California; only UNR offered him a football scholarship because it was expected that Kap would be drafted by a Major League Baseball team; Kap attends UNR because he likes football more than baseball and becomes the first NCAA QB to pass over 10,000 yards and rush over 4000 yards in a college career. Kaepernick did not get much attention while attending a small school in a small conference. I’m still not clear how he came to the attention of the Forty-Niners, but they were willing to trade a draft pick to draft him in the second round in 2011.
Now the national media is scrambling to learn the details of Kaepernick’s life and football career in high school and college. Coach Chris Ault, who resigned as UNR’s head coach on December 28, has done many interviews to supply the college career information. As more people learn about Kap and see his skill in Super Bowl XLVII, it’s going to be even more difficult to find a #7 San Francisco jersey.