The Lamentable Saga of Colin Kaepernick
Start writing a post

The Lamentable Saga of Colin Kaepernick

After the latest round of contention between the former QB and the league, there is an open question of whether he really will ever play football again.

13
The Lamentable Saga of Colin Kaepernick

January 12, 2013 is a day, for Packers fans, that shall live in infamy. I'm of course speaking of the drubbing that Green Bay received at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, and especially one Colin Kaepernick, in the divisional round of that year's playoffs. While the Packers had their fair share of ignominious defeats in the Mike McCarthy-era (the worst of course being the 2014 NFC Championship Game loss to Seattle) this one stung particularly bad for the Packers. Only two years removed from a glorious Super Bowl victory, Green Bay had actually opened their season against San Francisco, losing a close one 30-22. And after beating the Vikings in a wildcard game immediately prior to the 49ers matchup, there was great optimism that a competitive Rodgers & Co. could get the Pack back on track.

Alas, that aforementioned quarterback great, Colin Kaepernick, had other plans. On his way to the win he rushed for 181 yards against Green Bay and two touchdowns, while also throwing for 263 yards and yet another two touchdowns. Those 181 yards on the ground still stand as an NFL record for most in a game by a quarterback, despite the ever-growing success of mobile quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson. It was a humiliating defeat that has touched off an antipathy between Green Bay and San Francisco that has never quite healed.

It is in the shadow of another humiliating defeat at the hands of the 49ers (37-8 the Sunday before Thanksgiving) that I can't but help to contemplate the fate of the dynamic signal-caller at the center of that mid-January showdown.

While Kaepernick would go to the Super Bowl that year, a dominant Ravens defense denied him and his 49ers a chance at joining the Steelers as the only other team in the NFL to possess six Lombardi trophies (the New England Patriots have since accomplished this task). Still, the future looked bright in the Bay. Kaepernick was young, and his ability to make plays with his legs hearkened to the classic mobile greats from Fran Tarkenton to Michael Vick. There was a hungry defense on the other side of the ball and serviceable enough skill players like running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Michael Crabtree to give head coach Jim Harbaugh a go at getting his team back to the big dance.

And yet it was not to be. A tough loss in the 2013 playoffs to division rival Seattle parlayed into an 8-8 season in 2014, after which Harbaugh was removed from his position amidst a power struggle with team ownership.

Meanwhile Kaepernick's own career plateaued in that same time, and then, under the disillusioned leadership of Jim Tomsula in 2015 and Chip Kelly in 2016, it took an absolute nosedive.

It's at this point in time that my fellow Milwaukee native began to develop a profile beyond that of a simple athlete. He refused to stand during the national anthem as a symbol of protest against police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. Doing so set off a firestorm. Some players rallied to his side, others remained mute or even actively opposed him. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump even said that Kaepernick should take himself to a country that "works better" for him.

But most of all, the NFL owners were upset at the PR nightmare that the situation with Kaepernick became. That, of course, became the crux of the collusion argument that Kaepernick made concerning the league. NFL team owners hadn't liked what Kaepernick was doing, the negative backlash, and the especially the money that went out the window as fewer people tuned in to watch the games. And so, according to Kaepernick, they froze him out of employment after he became a free agent at the end of the 2016 season.

Fast forward now to 2019. Kaepernick has been out of the league for nearly three years, but there is the chance that he'll get to play again. Or, such was the narrative. Roger Goodell and the NFL have organized a workout opportunity at the Atlanta Falcons' training facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia. However, at the last minute Kaepernick and his team pull out, citing concerns over the nature of the waiver he was asked to sign as well as the prospect that no cameras will be allowed into the facility to film the practice.

Ultimately, Kaepernick does practice, but at a separate facility miles away from the Flowery Branch location. Only six NFL scouts manage to attend at this new venue. And, approximately three weeks later, Goodell makes remarks to the media amidst yet another scandal concerning the New England Patriots: "We've moved on."

Now, whatever your opinion on the nature of Kaepernick's protest and subsequent grievance (my own being somewhere along the lines of he meant to have a worthy conversation, but it was ultimately drowned out by the way he protested, namely in that the American flag is such a broad symbol that reacting directly against it immediately dilutes any content that one hope to bring to the forefront) it's only fair to say that the man is talented. And, especially this season, as we've seen the likes of Kyle Allen and Duck Hodges lay absolute eggs against mediocre opponents, one has to ask why wouldn't anyone take a gamble on Kaepernick?

Publicity is probably the one word that could sum it up. A mixture of true disdain for the man and his movement paired with the difficulty that could arise from a fan backlash (the NFL has about equal numbers of conservative and liberal fans according to FiveThirtyEight). That means even more bad press and even more lost money. Especially as the entire Kaepernick situation seems to be put to bed, with NFL revenues recovered and viewership returned to its pre-2016 state, the real question is why would any coach or owner risk so much on a guy who might certainly be better than a third-string undrafted rookie, but only by a hair? It has been three years after all, and there's no guarantee that Kaepernick is even the slightly above average quarterback he was in 2016, let alone the game-breaking force he was on that cold day in 2013.

And so, here we are. With nothing left but fond memories of Kaep running roughshod over my beloved Green Bay and a final parting from the commissioner for football. We're moving on. Only time will tell what the next chapter is in the admittedly bizarre saga of Colin R. Kaepernick.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

A Conversation About Sex

"Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature." - Marilyn Monroe

2136
Thinking Beyond Barriers

There it is. Even though I'm not around you, I can feel it. Was there a flutter of embarrassment in your mind when you saw the word sex in this article’s title? Did you look over your shoulder to ensure nobody was around before you began to read this?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

13 Signs You Are A True Cancer Of The Zodiac

Calling all babies born June 21st - July 22nd!

2373
My Astral Life

I'm the first to admit that I am one of THOSE people who uses their zodiac sign as a description of themselves. I realize not everyone believes in astrology-related anything, and there are plenty of people who don't fit their signs. However, I'm one of the people who truly fits their sign to a tee. I'm a Cancer, a Crab, a Moon Child. It's currently our season fellow Crabs! So without further ado, here are all of the signs that you're a Cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Blessing of Lacking Sex Appeal

To all the fellow non "it" girls out there

3700
kozepsuli.hu

Lacking sex appeal is not a desirable thing. It makes you fee not ugly, but wrong. Not having charisma is not a life goal. It doesn't make you fee friendless, but isolated. Not being the "it" girl happens, and tonight (and every nigh prior to this)

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Confessions From the Single Friend of the Group

It is truly the worst place to be

6474
Confessions From the Single Friend of the Group

Look. If you are anything like me, complaining about being single is such a hard thing to because you are genuinely happy for your friends, but as they continue to be happy in their relationships, the ever crushing weight of being the single friends can become overwhelming. For context, my primary friend group consists of four people. We are all roommates and it is a great time here. All three of my roommates have boyfriends/girlfriends, which makes our friend group of four quickly jump to seven, and it is wonderful! I love my roommates so much and I love their S.O's, but no matter how much I love them I always get extremely jealous and sad. The sad thing is that the only part that ever truly ends up bugging me is that since I am single, they are my go-to top priorities and it has been really hard to watch myself slip from the top of their go-to's to not being their go to when they feel the weight of the world. What makes it harder is that expressing that I feel alone and unwanted makes me sound jealous and like I don't want my friends to hangout with their people. I get it. I do. But there are just days I want to be someone's first pick and I'm not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Aretha Franklin Will Forever Be A Detroit Legend, I'm Proud To Share A Hometown With Her

Aretha Franklin lost her battle to pancreatic cancer, so we stop to reflect on her powerful journey.

7551
Aretha Franklin Will Forever Be A Detroit Legend, I'm Proud To Share A Hometown With Her

Recently, Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, passed away. Ms. Franklin grew up singing in her church's choir in Detroit. Over the years, she decided to make singing a career, first signing to Columbia Records at 18. Years later, she signed with Atlantic Records where her most powerful tunes, such as "Respect," are remembered to this day. Her breathtaking vocals earned her 18 Grammy Awards and made her one of the best-selling artists of all time.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments