Colin Kaepernick, shirtless on GQ, has nightmares of his bad plays
Colin Kaepernick is featured on one of two covers for GQ’s September NFL kickoff edition, joining Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III as one of the two cover guys. Our friend Jimmy Traina at SI Hot Clicks posted a photo of the shirtless, muscular San Francisco 49ers quarterback on Wednesday at the behest of one of his female readers. We decided since we post so many photos of women on here — like Amanda Dufner for instance — that our female fans might enjoy that pic of Kaepernick. There’s also this photo gallery of Kaepernick if you’re looking for more.
GQ did an interview with Kaepernick that’s pretty interesting. In the interview, Kaepernick said he wanted cornrows in middle school to be like Allen Iverson, and he had to travel 15 miles to find someone who could do that for him. He talked about what it was like growing up having a different skin color from the rest of his family. He said he didn’t run as a high school quarterback, even though he could, because his coaches didn’t want him to (something about keeping him healthy).
One thing from the interview that stood out is that Kaepernick wants people to know that he is an intellectual QB who puts in a ton of work on the mental side of the game. He’s such a perfectionist and visual player that he has nightmares of his bad plays.
“All my life I’ve had these flashbacks, these dreams, nightmares, daymares, like visions, where I relive certain plays,” Kaepernick told GQ. “It’s never the highlight-reel stuff. Just the junk.
“Only the bad plays. I see them over and over, as if somebody’s rewinding a tape and forcing me to watch. Some of these are recent. But some of them go back to high school. Every time I relive these mistakes of mine, I’m also forced to ask, What could I have done different? What decisions could I have made? This stuff haunts me, but I like it, because it makes the game hard. And the more I study, the more comfortable I feel with what a defense is going to do.”
It seems like Kaepernick is big on visualization, because he described seeing things in his mind’s eye.
“Sometimes, when things are going really well, I feel like I’ve already seen things—it’s the flashback feeling in a good way. Like I’m watching a rerun, because I’ve studied this defense and know what comes next. Now, that is a good feeling, when your mind is working fast because you’ve studied and you realize, I’ve seen this before.”
Kaepernick is supremely athletic, and he’s also very smart. He got excellent grades throughout his academic career and, as we have seen throughout his professional career, he is also a big student of the game.
Photo Credit: Ben Watts / GQ