SANTA CLARA — It was a glorious weekend of NFL football, with a rare double-overtime game, a bewildering late interception by Peyton Manning that helped sink the favored Broncos and a last-minute Atlanta field goal that overturned a 20-point comeback by the Seahawks.
But when Jim Rome, the host of a popular CBS Sports Radio show, opened his program Monday morning, it was young Colin Kaepernick who got top billing.
“The single freakiest thing I saw all weekend was that blur that I saw Saturday night, running right through the Green Bay Packers,” Rome said. “Colin Kaepernick won the weekend. The Packers looked like they had never seen this guy on tape, ever. I mean, I understand defending that read-option can be tricky, but Kaepernick made the Packers look like they were playing with eight guys.”
Kaepernick had already become an obsession of 49ers fans after going 5-2 as Alex Smith's replacement at quarterback. But the 6-foot-4 uber-athlete expanded his base after a jaw-dropping, four-touchdown spree in a 45-31 victory over the Packers on Saturday, a performance that included an NFL-quarterback-record 181 rushing yards.
Kaepernick is national news now as he prepares to play the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game.
Everyone was onto him Monday, including the New York Times, ESPN, USA Today and Forbes. The latter reached Kaepernick's marketing agent, X-A-M Sports' Shawn Smith, who discussed their efforts to trademark the terms “Colin Kaepernick,” “Kap,” “Kap7” and, of course, “Kaepernicking,” which means mimicking the quarterback by leaning in to kiss, or stare impassively at, your right biceps.
“If I am counting memorabilia offers, appearances and product endorsement opportunities, I have received close to 20 offers since the Green Bay game,” Smith told Forbes. “None have been accepted at this point.”