Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Colin Kaepernick and the East Coast Bias

Kaepernick after a big win in New Orleans
If you have been watching ESPN the last couple of days, they have been trying their tails off to make a quarterback controversy in San Francisco between in Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick.  They have been acting like Colin Kaepernick just came out of nowhere and is replacing Alex Smith.  They have taken no account into the argument that Colin Kaepernick is statistically one of the greatest college players in Division 1 of all-time.  They cannot even recall the night that the kid from Nevada, in one of the greatest college football games ever played, stole the show from Boise State, and beat the Broncos on Nevada's Senior Night.  The story of Colin Kaepernick might be one of the worst cases of East Coast Bias in the history of sport.
Drew Bledsoe injured, Tom Brady gets his shot

Even before the 49ers played the Bears on Monday Night Football two weeks ago, many people had never heard of Kaepernick.  We at Seasons in the Sun, knew this kid was dangerous, and he came out and destroyed the Bears' defense.  This in turn would ignite ESPN into their massive effort to turn the situation in San Fran into the biggest quarterback controversy in the NFL this year.  Funny, the same thing happened some years ago in New England when Tom Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe, and ESPN did nothing as outlandish as they are doing now.  Maybe the times have changed and ESPN is just in need of a story but let's be honest they are going about it in the wrong direction.

Enter in Seasons in the Sun, to try to right the direction of ESPN and make things a little less negative.  We feel like we need to tell the story because no one at ESPN has mentioned anything of how well Kaepernick played at Nevada.  No one mentioned of how the kid was a two sport star in high school.  He was an excellent high school pitchers but he decided that he was better suited to play college football.  He took the lone college offer from Nevada to play quarterback, turning down many offers from other colleges to play baseball.  For Nevada, this was one of the best decisions that the school has ever made.

Kaepernick came to Nevada in 2006, and was red-shirted his first season.  In similar fashion to this year, it would be game 4 of the 2007 season before he saw any action, coming in when starting quarterback, Nick Graziano went down with an injury.  His first start came against Boise State, and it would be the first of the instant classics between the two schools.  While playing a great game for a red-shirt freshman, Nevada lost the game 69-67 in 4 OTs. With his effort the rest of the season, Kaepernick would earn WAC Freshman of the Year.  As you can see, 2012 was not the first time that Kaepernick made the most of an opportunity to play.

His opportunity would turn into the starting job at Nevada in 2008.  Colin continued his great play as a freshman in his sophomore season becoming only the 5th player in NCAA history to pass for 2,000 yards and run 1,000.  He was honored at the end of the 2008 season as the WAC player of the year, and he was the first sophomore to win the award since Marshall Faulk.  You remember that guy right, the greatest show on turf for the Rams?  Winning the Super Bowl?  As a sophomore, Kaepernick was already statistically in the company of great players.

His junior year for great players might have been a little bit of a let down, as Nevada went 8-5.  They finished second behind who else, Boise State.  He did become the first player in NCAA history to pass for 2000+ yards and rush for 1000+ yards in back to back seasons.  This just goes to show the East Coast bias of ESPN acting like the guy just up and came out of nowhere.  Its comical that a station that big would not do any research on the guy before coming out like they have.

Enough about the negativity and let's get to Colin's senior year.  Yes, folks unlike many players in today's game, Kaepernick stayed in school for all 4 years.  He also graduated from Nevada with a degree in business management.  He finished his senior season going for 20 passing TDs and 20 rushing TDs, joining Tim Tebow as the only two players to ever do that.  No one was talking about Kaepernick, again the East Coast Bias shining through.  Colin is the only player in Division 1 history to pass for 10,000+ yards and rush for 4,000+ yards.  He is also the only player in Division 1 history to go for 2,000+ yards passing and 1,000+ yards rushing in 3 straight seasons.

Not only was it the stats in his senior season that cemented his legacy in college football history, it was a revenge game against Boise State on Senior Night.  The game was so epic at the end that words could never do it justice, so I have added the video from late in the 4th quarter where Colin leads a Nevada drive to tie the game at 31-31.
Now, most people will not remember this game because the game did not start until 10:30 on the East Coast, by at the point on a Saturday night most people are drunk or sleep.  The game did not end until 2:30 am, we at Seasons in the Sun watched the game to the end.  The emotional roller-coaster still makes it one of the best college games we have ever witnessed. This upset snapped a 24 game win streak for Boise State, as you can see from the video they were #4 at that point.  This is Colin Kaepernick to the bone, getting the most of an opportunity and succeeding where his team or himself have been given little chance.

East Coast bias from reporting to the polls has buried players and teams like this since the beginning of time. Sometimes it seems like the pollsters are not watching the late games.  Boise State, themselves have been a victim of this as well.  Colin Kaepernick's career has been about making the most of the opportunities that have been presented to him.  This situation with the 49ers is not the first time that he has had to step in when the starting quarterback as been injured, and he has played very well.  We would believe that he has always played better then he has been given credit for.  This has made him a great player, and he will continue to a great player for the San Francisco 49ers

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