By CHRIS CHASE
Because weather predictions are the only thing less accurate than sports predictions, temperatures in Green Bay for Sundayâ€™s NFC wild card game werenâ€™t -6, like forecasted, but actually a balmy +4. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took advantage of the not-quite subzero temperatures by dressing like he was starting a preseason game in Arizona. He didnâ€™t wear sleeves.
I guess when you have the ink, youâ€™ve gotta show it off. And maybe it wouldnâ€™t technically be Kaepernicking if instead of kissing an actual bicep youâ€™re kissing a bicep covered in a Polyester/Elastane blend?
Remarkably, Kaepernick was one of the handful players on both side of the ball who went sleeveless in the frigid Green Bay night. Itâ€™s crazy enough when linemen or linebackers do it, but those guys have so much meat on their bones and rely on a sense of self-toughness. Their flirtations with frostbite make a little sense. A few skill position players like Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy went with bare arms too and I also get that. When you carry a ball tucked into your forearm all season, adding a slippery sleeve could upset the process.
But a quarterback? A quarterback whose throwing arm is the most important body part on the field? A quarterback who needs to firmly grip the ball so he can throw a perfect spiral at a high velocity into double coverage? A quarterback who relies on precision, not brute force? Wouldnâ€™t you think a quarterback would need to keep all extremities warm?
Evidently not. Surely Kaepernick will discuss his anti-sleeve feelings in the postgame press conference, but it didnâ€™t hinder him on the field. Kaepernick played a stellar game, rushing for the second highest total of his career and leading the 49ers to a road playoff win at Lambeau Field.
Also, every time there was a stoppage on the field, Kaepernick and his other sleeveless teammates rushed to the sideline to get a coat thrown over their shoulders. Maybe someone should let them know that sleeves can serve the same warming function.