The Coronation of Colin Kaepernick & the 49ers

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Wow. Before you jump on me for jumping on the 49ers bandwagon, let’s remember one thing, I was born and raised a 49er fan. Now that I am living on the East Coast, my allegiances will always be West Coast over everything.

Sunday night, I was able to watch the game at Finnerty’s, a Bay Area sports bar in the East Village of New York City. Oh man was it an experience. I had never been there before which is strange considering I have lived in New York since April and love Bay Area sports. Anyways, there was a little bit of conflict for me during this game. I hadn’t fully gone back to being a 49er faithful yet (I grew up a huge 49ers fan more on it later), but then I remembered how much I loathe the Patriots. Funny how I say that, considering my fantasy team includes both Tom Brady and Stevan Ridley, the Starting QB and RB for the Patriots. Hey, keep your enemies close I guess you could say. So here comes my conflict, root for the Bay Area team that I grew up loving, or go for a win in my fantasy playoffs. Easy choice, especially considering the East Coast Media never gives the West Coast any love in sports. Oh and living in New York, I HAVE to represent for the West Coast!

So now on to the game, or should I say coming out party for the 49ers which we can all say has been at least 10 years in the making. Let’s not forget that they were in the playoffs last season, and if not for a few untimely fumbles by Kyle Williams, they would have been well on their way to a Super Bowl appearance and probable victory.

The big lights, primetime football, along with a road game in New England set the stage for a huge matchup. The last 10 years have been the EXACT opposite for these two teams, one has enjoyed much success inlcuding Super Bowl victories and the other has been struggling for its identity, running through coaches and failing to miss the playoffs. Last year, the 49ers made their return to the playoffs, something was evident, this once proud franchise was back. They hired Jim Harbaugh from Stanford, and from day 1, it was a new beginning. New attitude, new intensity, something they had lacked for years. Jim Harbaugh’s first season was a complete success, until that fateful day in January when Kyle Williams fumbled two key punts which led to the 49ers loss.

Although last season ended in heartbreak, the niners cameThis year, they have seemed to have it. Ever since Colin Kaepernick took over the starting nod from Alex Smith, the 49ers offense has seemed to have that spark. They seemed to take on a whole new exciting identity, While they might not have been seriously tested yet, last night was going to be that test. Brady vs. Kaepernick, that was the matchup we were faced with. Brady, the man with everything and the rings, facing the kid who has everything to prove.

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How could you not root for Kaepernick? Drafted as a baseball player out of high school, he went on to star at the University of Nevada and set many records. Underhyped and undervalued, he was taken in the 2nd round of last years draft, the first for Harbaugh’s new regime. He grew up in the Bay Area, rooted for the 49ers and always dreamed of playing for his beloved hometown team (peep the picture below). Last week there was much controversy around Kaepernick’s tattoos, it even went as far as one journalist comparing him to a prison inmate. But despite all the controversy, Kaepernick is humble and mature beyond his years, leading his 49ers team to victory after victory.

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Walking into Finnerty’s was an experience. We arrived right as Kaepernick threw a perfect strike to Randy Moss to make it 7-0 49ers. Walking into a Bay Area bar that had just erupted on a 49er touchdown meant it would be an amazing night. From then on out, it was one hell of a game. Colin Kaepernick, playing like a seasoned veteran on the road against New England in December, outplayed Tom Brady throughout the first half. Despite the few muffed snaps, don’t forget its December in the Northeast, Kaepernick never lost his cool. By Halftime, it was 17-3 49ers and you could hear all of the northeast, minus Finnerty’s, in hush mode.

As the 3rd quarter resumed, it was more of the same. The 49ers dominating on both sides of the ball, turning turnovers into points and by the time we could blink, it was 31-3 49ers. No typo here, true dominance by a team that gets no love from the media. Just as we were getting used to the idea of the 49ers pulling off an improbable blowout, Tom Brady began to show his true colors. With 6:45 left in the 4th quarter, Danny Woodhead crossed the goal line to tie the score, and the air seemed to go out of Finnerty’s. Oh no, here comes the worst. But just as we feared the worst, LaMichael James had an amazing return which set up Kaepernick’s 38 yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree.

Finally, the defining moment for a West Coast team. Kaepernick was able to answer to the furious comeback that Brady & Co. were in the midst of pulling off and lead the 49ers to victory. I have been saying this for weeks now, but its official, Alex Smith will NEVER start another game for the 49ers, barring injury to Kaepernick (knock on wood).

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Now I know what you all are saying, primarily how could I jump on the bandwagon and root for the 49ers or what’s wrong with the Raiders. Well, like I briefly stated before, I grew up idolizing the 49ers. I was a huge fan of Jerry Rice, Steve Young and Merton Hanks. Especially the latter, with his chicken dance, something only he was able to perfect. But more than anything, being a 49er fan was a bond I shared with my father. Growing up we went to 49er games and watched them together. I miss watching them, miss going to Candlestick (as horrible as it is), and more importantly miss the glory days. Hopefully with Kaepernick taking the snaps and Harbaugh calling the shots, they can rekindle some of that magic I was so accustomed to growing up.

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  1. February 27th, 2013

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