“I Would Rather Not Win a Super Bowl Than Sign Colin Kaepernick”
Just say these words. Just say it, Kaepernick haters.
Be honest, and say it.
Show some courage to speak truth instead of reciting America’s best-selling novel: “The Great On-Field Decline of Colin Kaepernick.”
With the Arizona Cardinals signing of Blaine Gabbert, every new chapter is worthy of an Oympic gold medal in Mental Gymnastics.
For those Cardinals fans who oppose Kaepernick’s signing willing to state the title’s words, your honesty is appreciated. For all others: Your cowardice is showing. And it’s ugly.
Today, I’m looking at you, Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill.
Have the courage to tell your fan base the honest truth, and state:
“I would rather not win a Super Bowl than sign Colin Kaepernick”
Colin Kaepernick is an absolute perfect fit for the Cardinals, perhaps more than any other NFL team.
That Kaepernick is clearly superior to newly signed Gabbert is water-is-wet analysis. More importantly, he is arguably superior to a rapidly aging Carson Palmer.
Palmer, 37, admits his body is not recovering like it used to, and has a very real risk of turning into Rip Van Winkle by season’s end. If Palmer’s considerable decline last year is a predictor for 2017, signing Kaepernick is an absolute no-brainer.
Just two years ago the 13-3 Cardinals were in the NFC Championship Game, driven by Palmer’s finest season. But last year, they went 6-8-1 under Palmer — despite an all-pro breakout year from running back David Johnson, and a No. 3 defense as ranked by Football Outsiders. If there were ever an NFL team that needed a second starter “on call,” it’s the Cardinals — a team tailor-made for Kap’s strengths.
If there were ever a player who could partner with Kap to shred defenses in a read-option offense, it’s Johnson (giving me football chills just thinking about it). If there were ever a head coach who could make it all work, it’s Bruce Arians. If there was ever an NFL team recipe that resembles his old Super Bowl contending 49ers, it’s the Cardinals’.
But let some media tell it, it’s the 29-year-old Kaepernick, not Palmer, who has suddenly declined since his anthem protest. Of course, the exact opposite is true.
Kaepernick had a 90.7 passer rating last year despite a horrible team. Throw out his first two post-injury, get-the-rust-off starts, and that rating becomes 96.5. Fast forward to his last four games, and it’s 100.1.
This rating doesn’t factor in his rushing totals, or that his top receiver was Jeremy Kerley. Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald would instantly become the best wide receiver Kaepernick has ever had. His former Cardinal teammate, Anquan Boldin, holds that current distinction. In Boldin’s seven post-Cardinals seasons, his only two 1,000-yard seasons came playing with Kaepernick, not Joe Flacco in Baltimore.
Point is, if the NFL machine has got us to the point where we must explain why Kap is better than Gabbert instead of Palmer, that machine has already won.
And with aid from many irresponsible media members, too many fans are actually buying this garbage.
And just to be demographically clear — we are talking about older white fans.
Polls show that a significant majority of African-Americans, Latinx, and younger white fans support Kaepernick’s stance. Despite false narratives that Colin was protesting against the military, he explicitly stated he was protesting police who were “getting away with murder.” While Kaepernick’s detractors have been world-class subject-changers, his support reportedly includes 35% of United States veterans.
So who supports Kaepernick being blackballed? Basically, old white Trump supporters (please excuse the redundancy).
And you know who NFL owners are? Yup. Old white Trump supporters.
Broncos general manager John Elway passed on Kaepernick, but found time to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration, and to publicly stump for his Supreme Court pick. The Jets’ Woody Johnson donated a million bucks to Trump’s campaign and was rewarded an ambassadorship to Great Britain. Texans owner Robert McNair also donated a million dollars, and will begin the season with the NFL’s best defense and a starting quarterback named Tom Barage.
And the fact that his name is actually Tom Savage and it didn’t stop you tells you all you need to know.
For many sports writers the Gabbert signing produced the final nail in the “Is he being blackballed?” coffin. It has also produced some much-needed myth-busting.
Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman has interviewed several NFL executives throughout the season with the same results. In his column Friday morning, Freeman clearly states: “Kaepernick still hasn’t been signed, I’ve been told by dozens of teams this week, it’s because of the political stance.”
Why are other sports media members writing columns on Kaepernick, but continually ignore Freeman’s hard work? Such omissions amount to journalistic malpractice.
Despite Freeman’s continual reports, and Gabbertesque signings, media myths persist, which has sent more responsible members into a perpetual debunking mode.
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson debunks four reasons why Kaepernick has gone unsigned. Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News has directly challenged all the media disinformation about Kaepernick — including myths about salary demands or the ludicrous notion that Kap would prefer to not play football. This claim was also directly refuted by Kaepernick himself through The Nation’s Dave Zirin.
That latter charge that Kap’s off-field pursuits is a problem is beyond insidious. Kaepernick’s million dollar charitable donations, or his capacity to raise $ 2 million for the Somalia famine should be praised far and wide — and that includes by his detractors. His incredible ongoing work with his “Know Your Rights Camp” for youth has been chronicled here, here, and here.
The notion that fighting for racial justice will detract from on-field performance has been historically decimated by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Then, of course, there is the blatant act of the Gabbert signing itself (68.4 passer rating last year). Career-wise, Gabbert’s win-loss record is 9-31. While it’s is not quite as good as Mike Glennon’s, it is nearly identical to Josh McCown’s record over the last 10 years. Let’s look:
9-31 Blaine Gabbert
8-30 Josh McCown (last 10 years)
9-15 Mike Glennon
In their 24 combined NFL seasons, their playoff record is 0-0, a mark that only Jim Mora can articulate with justice.
While the 21 million combined dollars Glennon and McCown will “earn” next year is tantamount to felony robbery, the Bears and Jets passing on Kaepernick can be slightly defended in the weakest way: neither team is really trying to win games in 2017. (As for the Jets, the media and fans will predictably scapegoat head coach Todd Bowles for McCown’s incompetence. Mark it down.)
The Cardinals can make no such claim. Blaine >Colin is an equation that forfeits their very best chance to win a Super Bowl.
Should Palmer make it to the playoffs, there is little indication he can advance. Palmer has won only one playoff game in his entire 13-year career (1-3) with a terrible 66.9 passer rating. In contrast, Kaepernick has played well in all six of his playoff games (4-2); has been to one Super Bowl, and was one acrobatic play from Richard Sherman away from a second trip.
Kaepernick’s respectable 87.3 playoff passer rating does not even include the 504 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Factor Kap’s rushing attempts as passes, and his playoff passer rating jumps to 102.98. Kap is a proven primetime player.
In San Francisco, Kaepernick won with a strong defense, a quarterback-minded coach in Jim Harbaugh, and a Frank Gore in his prime to run the read-option offense. Basically, a lesser version of the Cardinals.
There is simply no reason the Arizona owner would not want an injury-free and proven playoff performer like Kaepernick. Except one:
“I would rather not win a Super Bowl than sign Colin Kaepernick”
Bidwell screamed this loud and clear the second he signed Gabbert.
This statement can also be extended to the Broncos and Texans who have Super Bowl-ready defenses with unproven quarterbacks (Texans’ Deshaun Watson may need at least a year).
But Bidwill is not permitted to speak such truths out loud. At minimum, it is ethically corrupt, and at maximum, it supports a future Kaepernick lawsuit charging collusion against the NFL.
A dirty little secret about sports owners is that most don’t care too much about winning games as much as making money — and that includes Bidwill, who is quite possibly pandering to the older white Trumpian fans who may support Kap’s blackballing.
Which brings us back to those fans. According to my Twitter feed, many of these fans have also suddenly developed a deep heartfelt and touching concern for the wallets of their team’s billionaire owners.
Most of these alleged fans can’t say THE STATEMENT either:
It psychologically goes against their sports ethics about what it means to be a fan.
So instead, they suddenly morph into the dumbest fans on the face of the earth. Call it Cognitive Dissonance on Steroids. They create fantastic lies about Kaepernick’s on-field skills to justify their lack of fandom at best, or their outright bigotry at worst.
They prioritize discrimination over winning, but lack the football guts to admit it.
They are the pure cowards.
And will remain as such until they own their discrimination, and proudly state:
“I would rather not win the Super Bowl than sign Colin Kaepernick.”
It is not the greatest statement, but at least it’s an honest one.
And then maybe, we can actually start to have an honest Colin Kaepernick conversation.