Despite losing the recent NFL championship battle at the
Superdome, the QB with the golden arm is poised to win the war with
the Bible as his strength and shield.
He only began starting at quarterback in
mid-season, brought his team back several times from impossible
deficits, and almost brought the San Francisco 49ers back from 22
points behind to steal Super Bowl XLVII from the Baltimore
49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick might have fallen a field goal
short of winning his first Super Bowl -- but even if he had kept
San Francisco's unblemished 5-0 record in Super Bowl appearances
alive to win their sixth, the all-around athlete would still have
considered his number-one blessing being adopted.
"[Being adopted] was the biggest blessing of my entire life,"
Kaepernick told former Miami Dolphin star quarterback Dan Marino in
a CBS pregame interview that included his adoptive parents.
Grateful that his birth mother decided to have him and give him
up for adoption rather than go the route of an abortion, the
two-time Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year
from the University of Nevada-Reno was blessed to be lovingly and
discerningly placed by his 19-year-old mother into the Christian
home of Rick and Teresa Kaepernick when he was just five weeks old.
At that time, the Kaepernicks already had two healthy children, but
had suffered the tragic loss of two sons due to heart defects.
From an early age, the Kaepernicks knew their adopted son had a
great drive. During the pregame interview, they proudly read a
letter their son wrote to himself while still in junior high,
stating that he would be a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers
soon after he graduated from college.
Despite his hard work ethic, superb athletic ability and
incessant drive for success, the young man who was nominated for
all-state in baseball, basketball, and football during his senior
year of high school credits his success to God and the love and
support of his adoptive family.
Wearing his faith under his sleeves
Besides his undeniable talent, one of the first things football
fans notice about Kaepernick is the tattoos running up and down his
arms -- typical of a lineman, but not so much for a quarterback.
What do they read?
"Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear though war
break out against me, even then I will be confident," is inscribed
on one arm, which recites Psalm 27:3 and explains his fearless
determination to be victorious on the gridiron.
His other arm explains another
dimension of his game. "You armed me with strength for battle; you
humbled my adversaries before me," is written across that arm,
repeating Psalm 18:39 -- helping fans see the source of his
Yet despite Kaepernick's faith, unblemished character and hard
work ethic, as well as graduating high school with a 4.0 GPA, his
status as a role model has been questioned because of his tattoos,
most recently by AOL FanHouse columnist David Whitley.
"I realize tattoos are ways to pay homage to your religion,
children and motorcycle gang … [b]ut I can't shake the notion that
a person's body is a temple, and you don't cover temples in
graffiti," Whitley commented. "Did Sammy Baugh, Johnny Unitas, Doug
Williams or Joe Montana have arms covered in ink? Do Tom Brady,
Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers? The world will end when Tim Tebow
shows up a tattoo parlor."
He claimed that the star San Francisco 49er quarterback doesn't
fit the mold.
"Then there are Michael Vick and Terrelle Pryor … [n]either
exactly fit the CEO image, unless your CEO has done a stretch in
Leavenworth or has gotten Ohio State on probation over free
tattoos," Whitley continued. "That's what makes Kaepernick a threat
to the stereotype. By all accounts, he's polite, hardworking,
humble and has never been to prison. He sounds more like a Tebow
who can throw .... His ink-covered arms will one day raise the
Vince Lombardi Trophy. Imagine the impact that could have."
Not feeling Whitley gave their son a fair shake, Kaepernick's
parents felt they had to stand up for his reputation.
"It annoyed me," Kaepernick's mother responded to Whitley's
criticism of her son's tattoos. "You are categorizing this kid on
something like tattoos? Really? Saying other guys are role models
because they don't have them? Really? Some of these other guys
don't have crystal clear reputations. That's how you're going to
define this kid? It's pretty irritating, but it is what it is."
Man of faith
Even though the 25-year-old Kaepernick isn't the most loquacious
professional athlete about his faith, he shows it in different and
"Colin's a fairly religious kid, but he's not in your face about
it," his father, Rick Kaepernick, told the Huffington Post. "It's
more about him and what he believes."
But the 6-foot-5, 230-pound quarterback is not shy to speak
about his Christian faith.
"I don't think most people look at football players as what
they're doing out here is trying to glorify the Lord," he shared
while speaking at Summit Christian Church near Reno, Nevada. "I
think a lot of people think of it as, 'Oh, it's a game, let's go
win.' Ultimately, that's your goal, that's what you want to do, but
you also want to glorify the Lord on your way to doing that."
He revealed to the congregation the dynamic relationship between
his faith and his success as a quarterback in the National Football
"My faith is the basis from where my game comes from,"
Kaepernick explained. "I've been very blessed to have the talent to
play the game that I do and be successful at it. I think God guides
me through every day and helps me take the right steps and has
helped me to get to where I'm at."
Unlike most pro quarterbacks these days, both his arm and his
legs are key components to his success. In fact, he recently set
the all-time NFL record for most yards rushing in a game
by a quarterback (181 yards against the Packers in the playoffs).
But humility and surrendering his life to God are key components to
his game -- and his life.
"When I step on the field, I always say a prayer, say I am
thankful to be able to wake up that morning and go out there and
try to glorify the Lord with what I do on the field," the versatile
quarterback shared. "I think if you go out and try to do that, no
matter what you do on the field, you can be happy about what you
Michael Haverluck is a freelance journalist based in the
northwest United States.
This column is printed with permission. Opinions expressed in 'Perspectives' columns published by OneNewsNow.com are the sole responsibility of the article's author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network, OneNewsNow.com, our parent organization or its other affiliates.