SANTA CLARA, Calif. — There are all sorts of benefits to having a kid brother who's playing quarterback in the NFC championship game.Continue reading.
For the older brother of San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick, there's also been an unexpected perk.
"People know how to pronounce our last name now," said Kyle Kaepernick (KAP-er-nick), who is 10 years older than Colin. "My whole life, I've heard a lot of 'CAY-per-nick,' because of the E, and for some reason, a lot of 'KAP-er-NACK,' but I don't know why. Now people know."
But Kyle and the rest of the family have largely tried to fly under the radar during this, the most exhilarating of seasons. They wear No. 7 Kaepernick jerseys to 49ers games, although with the rocketing popularity of the second-year quarterback those jerseys are becoming increasingly common.
Kaepernick is coming off a record-setting performance in a 45-31 divisional playoff victory over Green Bay in which he rushed for 181 yards in 16 carries — a postseason record for a quarterback — and accounted for two rushing and two passing touchdowns.
He is the lone remaining truly mobile quarterback in a playoff field that includes New England's Tom Brady, Atlanta's Matt Ryan, and Baltimore's Joe Flacco.
The 49ers play at Atlanta on Sunday with a chance to advance to the Super Bowl for the sixth time in franchise history. And Kaepernick, who replaced an injured Alex Smith at midseason and never relinquished the starting job, is the centerpiece of a formidable (and confounding) San Francisco offense.
Kaepernick, the 36th pick in the 2011 draft from the University of Nevada, is the only player in NCAA history to throw for more than 10,000 yards in his career and run for more than 4,000.
"It's a nightmare, especially when you have a guy that can run 4.4, 4.3, that can outrun defensive backs and linebackers," 49ers safety Donte Whitner said of facing the double-threat quarterback who can sprint 40 yards in that many seconds.
When the dude was in 4th grade he wrote a letter to himself predicting that he'd be a quarterback at San Francisco (or Green Bay).