Not everyone likes tattoos.  Teresa Kaepernick knows that too well.  She was more enthused than anyone when her son Colin became the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.  She knew that every NFL quarterback gets criticism.  But she never guessed his tattoos would be a cause.  She, like Colin, was stunned to hear people like David Whitley of AOL Fanhouse who wrote, “The NFL quarterback is the ultimate position of influence and responsibility. He is the CEO of a high-profile organization, and you don’t want your CEO to look like he just got paroled.”

Criticism for an interception?  They expected that.  But for having tattoos?  Teresa was stunned. Maybe that’s because Colin asked she and her husband Rick for their ideas when choosing a Bible passage to get inked. As a result of their conversation, one of Colin’s biceps read: “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”  Words chosen from Psalm 27:3.  The other arm reads, “You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me.”  (Psalm 18:39)

The tattoos motivate him.  They fuel Colin’s desire to push back the critics who repeatedly told him, “You’re not athletic enough.”  “Your arm is not strong enough.”  “You are too skinny.”  “You are not competitive enough, throwing mechanics aren’t the way they should be.”  So he chose psalms.  Psalms overflowing with passion and energy.

The now-famous artwork on his arms, his “tapestries of tattoos,” are the work of tattoo artist, Nes Andrion of Reno, Nevada who connected Colin’s bicep messages with a tattoo across his chest that reads, “Against All Odds.” Colin says, “I had so many people saying I wasn’t going to be successful.”  His tattoo art stirs him, a way to “prove those people wrong. Teresa summarizes it another way, his tattoos, she says, ” are about asking God to kick somebody’s butt.”

Now that the 49ers are Super Bowl bound, Colin has never been more popular.  And recently he trademarked his celebrative “Kaepernicking”—his habit of kissing his biceps after scoring a touchdown.  Who knows if whether or not Kaepernicking will catch on, but here’s hoping the psalms do.

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