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The Kaepernick Craze: Exposing the Nation's Fools One Conversation at a Time

The Kaeparnick craze and other viral movements haven't merely pressured people into becoming simpler caricatures of their prior selves, but they have manifestly exposed people for how foolish and uninformed they've been all along. 



In his final year in the NFL, Kaepernick ranked 17th in passer rating and 34th the year before that. 

He played through an entire season in only two of his six years in the league, and his best full-season performance ranks far outside of the NFL's top-250 single-season passing performances in the league's history. 

For reference, the oft-criticized Tony Romo posted a career passer rating of 97.1, as compared to Kaepernick's 88.9. 

Romo's passer rating dipped below 90 for only one season of the eleven seasons he played, whereas Kaepernick failed to eclipse the 90 mark on three of his six seasons, a full 50 percent of his time in the NFL. 

In fact, Kaepernick accomplished this feat only once if we are to discard those other two seasons in which he failed to complete all sixteen games. 

Adjusting for the amount of games that Kaepernick actually started out of the possible total of regular-season games, he really achieved this mark for only 35 percent of his career. 

Despite the dramatic difference between their performances, Kaepernick outearned Romo during their first six years as starters for their respective organizations, and Kaepernick's contract had already ballooned to $20 million per year by this time, whereas Romo's contract was worth roughly $6 million during his sixth year. 

In fact, Romo wouldn't fetch $20 million per year until his final year in the league, despite posting the fourth highest career passer rating in NFL history. 

Ultimately, Kaepernick was never a proven starter who was worth his salt. 

In fact, his statistics and outcomes represent a personality who was relatively overpaid and who sold himself as a largely disrupting and risky presence if retained for a role as a backup in a league flush with quarterback talent: so flush with talent, in fact, that last year's leading passer (by passer rating) is presently ranked eighteenth among all quarterbacks in the league, according to NFL.com, while the incumbent Super Bowl MVP ranks thirty-second. 

This quarterback-rich league follows an offseason which witnessed one of the deepest quarterback draft classes and quarterback free-agent crops in history.

What does this mean for Kaepernick?

It means that the NFL doesn't really need him.

It means that they don't really have space for a guy who brings unwanted attention and distractions to organizations who have plenty of quality alternatives to consider.

It means that Kaepernick had his chance, and now it's over.

In total, no organization has room for a guy whose overarching objective is not to contribute to the team, but to leverage the position for political or pseudo-philosophical gain, especially when that guy serves the team as a backup who's unlikely to see any meaningful playing time beyond the set of CNN. 

So, this is the real story of Colin Kaepernick: not one replete with inequity, unless we're referring to the major pay differences between him and statistically-superior quarterbacks, but a tale of a guy who underperformed his contract and expectations, whose shaky in-game performance fails to justify a starting role anywhere, whose contract expectations clash with the reality of the general backup rate, and whose ulterior motives continue to stand at odds with the winning attitudes of owners in the NFL who intend to field athletes who can endure full NFL seasons, who can rally and unify the team, and whose solitary focus remains on doing whatever it takes to win games. 

Beyond the sheer rhetoric, Colin Kaepernick's résumé and performance purely fall short of the goal line, rising only to symbolically take a knee in homage to a once-promising career forestalled by ego, self-importance and mighty misconceptions about the world and one quarterback's odyssey to combat those incomplete illusions. 

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