MODESTO -- Day by day and pass by pass, Colin Kaepernick works the pain of Super Bowl XLVII out of his system.
Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers' charismatic quarterback from Turlock, allowed himself one week of rest after the crushing loss to the Baltimore Ravens. From there, he traveled to Atlanta, where he trains with Chip Smith, who pumped Kaepernick into excellent condition for the NFL Combine two years ago.
Atlanta has become a comfort zone for the upstart who somehow escorted the 49ers into the Super Bowl after only 10 starts. He trusts both Smith and wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, a practice squad player who rents a room in Kaepernick's town house in Santa Clara.
Here's the salient point: Hard work is Kaepernick's therapy. In his world, you avoid another blood-curdling loss by honing your craft, not by talking out your misery on the NFL Network.
"He's not a happy camper. He knew he had something in his grasp," said Rick Kaepernick, Colin's father. "The one thing he won't do is let it eat him up. He won't dwell on it. You gotta move on."
If there is a reason for the 49ers to smile through the gloom, it is inspired by their hyper-driven quarterback. But in another parallel universe, the Rollout of Colin Kaepernick proceeds on his terms, thank you. He set the terms before the Super Bowl: Football comes first. The public appearances and endorsement opportunities fall down the pecking order.
Truth No. 1: Kaepernick remains more cutting-edge hot than Georgia asphalt.
Truth No. 2: He won't sell out to fully take advantage of Truth No. 1.
"The biggest part of my job that has consumed the most time are the 'no, thank-you's,' " said Shawn Smith, Kaepernick's marketing agent. "It's about protecting him and giving him his own space. He believes the things coming his way this year will still be there next year."
That said, Team Kaepernick mobilized last week. He was introduced to Hollywood via appearances at the Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards and at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala.
Rubbing elbows with everyone from Usher to Magic Johnson no doubt enhanced his Q rating, though he quickly jetted to Atlanta the next day. The question on everyone's lips, however, was this: What is Kaepernick's social status?
His pat answer: "I'm single and solo." Kaepernick is in play, ladies, especially if you can run a slant-and-go into the end zone.
Super Bowl loss aside, it's still good to be the Niner QB these days. He's 25, popular and brings a fresh dynamic to the NFL's most glamorous position.
And, yes, he's got The Look. He even embellished The Look after the Super Bowl with a new tattoo Polynesian bands across his chest signifying family, spiritual growth, strength and humility.
Many old-school NFL types still chafe at the vision of Kaepernick and all his ink raising the Lombardi Trophy to the sky someday. What they don't realize is that it's their problem. The masses think he's cool-times-50. What's not to like about being trendy, athletic and the NFL's Next New Thing?
Kaepernick has received 10 requests from Make-A-Wish, the foundation that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
"How can you possibly do 10?" his father asked.
True enough, but it illustrates his through-the-roof likability. It also demonstrates his affection for children, another touchstone of his appeal.
Smith confirmed two upcoming Kaepernick projects a youth football camp sponsored by Kellogg's and a golf fund-raiser in June for Camp Taylor, the Salida-based charity for children with heart diseases that Kaepernick has embraced.
The golf outing, targeted for Del Rio Country Club in Modesto, could be special, a thank-you of sorts from Kaepernick to his supporters at home.
With each measured move, Kaepernick reveals more of himself. With each pass he throws in Atlanta, he purges some of that disappointment from the Superdome.
And connects the dots of his new life.
Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2302.