49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

June 26, 2013
ESPN to feature Kaepernick's ink six months after it was criticized


Vernon Davis says the Seahawks are building a "dynasty," Anthony Davis gives away a bulldog on Twitter, Colin Kaepernick is going to appear in the "body issue" of ESPN the Magazine. Welcome to the NFL in late June.

Actually, a couple of these story lines are worthwhile, beginning with Kaepernick's. After all, his body -- and the ink that covers a large percentage of it -- was an "issue" last season when writer David Whitley questioned whether a quarterback, the de facto leader of the team, should have so many tattoos.

The author's point seemed like it came out of 1959 -- what is this, an episode of "Mad Men"? -- at the time, and Kaepernick's inclusion in the magazine, which hits the stands July 12, only hammers home the point that tattoos are accepted (and in an NFL locker room are numbingly routine; the oddball is the player who doesn't have any tattoos).

Because of that history, Kaepernick is the most intriguing of the athletes to be featured in the body issue, and ESPN can thank Whitley for selling more magazines. It also doesn't hurt that Kaepernick is a weight-room teacher's pet and has a physique that shows off the hours he spends there each week.

As for Vernon Davis, who was on NFL Network Tuesday, "dynasty" probably was the wrong word. "Powerhouse" would have been better. After all, the 49ers, having played in the most recent Super Bowl, are closer to the d-word than the Seahawks.

Still, it's notable that Davis, who at one point of his carer was so brash that he would guarantee victory practically every week, would be so gracious to an opponent. His words also stand in sharp contrast to the volatile and childish things that have been uttered by the Seahawks players about the 49ers in recent weeks.

Finally, you're never supposed to give away your pet for free, unless you know who is taking it. The Humane Society, for instance, strongly discourages "free to good home" ads. The concern is that someone who takes a pet in for free isn't showing the same commitment as someone who will pay money. Those who run dog-fighting operations also use dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. as "bait animals" in training their fighters.

The more you know ... (shooting star with rainbow trail)

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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