Is Kaepernicking the new Tebowing?

Sports writer Steve Politi believes there are more reasons to talk about the man who may lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl than just the Kaepernicking phenomenon.

Story highlights

  • Colin Kaepernick flexes and kisses his bicep when he scores a touchdown
  • The celebratory move of the San Francisco 49ers quarterback is known as Kaepernicking
  • His bicep tattoos are Bible verses; he runs the 40-yard dash in about 4.5 seconds
  • In fourth grade, Kaepernick predicted he'd be a quarterback for the 49ers or Packers
Colin Kaepernick is trying not to get caught up in the national story that he has become -- one that landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, and one that'll just keeping growing if he leads the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl with a win in Atlanta on Sunday.
Still, he can't help but allow himself a few glimpses into the hysteria. They usually come while sitting at the computer, looking through photos of strangers replicating his touchdown celebration, flexing his arm and kissing his bicep, in unusual places.
"I saw a girl Kaepernicking while she was riding a horse," he said at a news conference this week in San Francisco.
Yes, it is a word now -- Kaepernicking -- just like the phenomena surrounding another quarterback unafraid to run with the football. But unlike Tim Tebow, whose celebration of kneeling in the end zone in prayer became known as "Tebowing," there are plenty of reasons to think Kaepernick will have staying power in the NFL.
He will start just his ninth career game against the Falcons on Sunday, with the NFC Championship on the line. But already, teams have struggled to defend against his speed as a runner and his improving accuracy as a passer. Kaepernick rushed for 181 yards, a playoff record for a quarterback, and threw with 263 and two touchdowns in a playoff win against Green Bay last week.