It's been a crazy ride for Kaepernick family

Published: Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6X
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 - 10:33 am

NEW ORLEANS – It's come down to this: Mothers request Colin Kaepernick dates for their daughters.

From TV networks to rabid fans to those eager moms, the world stands in line for Kaepernick, and all his parents, Rick and Teresa, can do is watch – amused if also slightly alarmed – from a distance.

"It's crazy, but crazy good," Rick Kaepernick said.

Colin Kaepernick, who has vaulted from backup to Super Bowl quarterback in two months, used to be the skinny kid from Turlock, the orchestrator of a gimmick offense at Nevada.

Now his name jumps from the lips of every football fan in the country. The quarterback of the 49ers walks into the Superdome today for Super Bowl XLVII as the phenom, the gunslinger, the wonder boy with skills so dazzling they jump off the TV screen and rearrange your living room.

Let's take inventory.

Kaepernick is 25, a bachelor and a Super Bowl quarterback after only nine NFL starts. He's raced past "trendy" and is fast approaching "radioactive." The "Kaepernicking" pose is copied at playgrounds, fraternity parties and more than a few sports bars.

One thing's for sure: His life will never be the same after today's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

The couple that adopted him when he was 5 weeks old understood the consequences long ago. So did the quarterback with the "My Gift Is My Curse" tattoo stamped on his biceps.

Said Teresa: "There is no way we can be alone in public with him anymore."

A rare family dinner this week was interrupted by fans poking the restaurant window for snapshots. The 49ers stepped in and set aside a hotel room for family and friends on Friday night.

Win or lose, Kaepernick must make some lifestyle choices.

His parents saw Colin twice during the regular season – the bye week in early November and for 20 hours on Christmas Eve. There just wasn't enough time in the day to fit his commitments around his 24/7 focus on the game.

"We spent about 30 minutes with him after the Atlanta game (for the NFC championship two weeks ago)," Rick said. "That was a bonus."

Whether or not Colin enjoys the ramped-up attention is moot. It's not going away, and a victory over the Ravens will intensify it.

"He's a grounded kid. He'll be fine with it," Teresa said. "He was always so good at giving autographs, but he just can't do it anymore. If he stops, he gets swarmed and he can't get to where he's going."

Kaepernick's sole priority is winning. Today the target is the Super Bowl. In seven months, it will be the 2013 season opener. The rare losses stick with him like a virus.

His parents remember his first collegiate start in 2007. Kaepernick rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 243 yards and three touchdowns, but Nevada lost 69-67 in four jarring overtimes.

"We were so excited that Colin played so well until we caught up with him. He was miserable," Rick said. "He just said, 'We didn't win.' As far as he was concerned, it was awful."

It also helps explain, however, his warp-speed rise into the NFL stratosphere.

Kaepernick will trade the loss of privacy if it means one or two new Lombardi Trophies for the 49ers. Call it the cost of doing business.

The new norm for Rick and Teresa is that the son they once called "our little Colin" must be shared. They're amused by the mothers hoping against hope for a Colin-daughter matchup, but their priority is the little boy who became a star.

Because these days are crazy – crazy good.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Ron Agostini



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