49ers' fanbase proclaims Kaepernick the Baby Jesus

November 20, 2012, 8:11 pm
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Well, you have to hand it to 49er fans, you really do. In these perilous economic and geopolitical times, with global disaster through magnetic shifts just around the corner and the nine counties doused in rain, they still have to ability to leap with both feet down the rabbit hole that is Colin Kaepernick.As in, and you know youve thought this, Ive seen enough. Hes the Baby Jesus, and its Christmas morning. I dont need to know any more.RELATED: Ratto -- For SF, this is a full-blown QB controversy
Of course, youre wrong. You do need to know more. Thats the whole point of not leaping to any extraordinary conclusions based on limited sample size. Thats how teams get stuck with Matt Cassel, and Kevin Kolb, and Matt Flynn by jumping to conclusions.But off one game, one impressive, even lopsided game against a quarterback-less Chicago team whose own resume is fattened by wins over bad teams and losses to good ones, you want the quarterback position decided for good, and in Kaepernicks favor. You dont want, or need, to know any more.Well, pride goeth before Shaun Hill, I suppose.This defense of the short-attention span is remarkable, even for 49er fans who understand how the traditional quarterback controversy really works. And in truth, it isnt even that as much as it the desperate need to see something new even if the something old (Alex Smith) has been perfectly fine.But for a fan base that has been eating its young at quarterback for decades, its to be expected. One game is plenty, and in fact is more than enough evidence to make sweeping pronouncements about the long-term future of the position.Do you not see the madness of that position? How much more Blaine Gabbert, Mark Sanchez and, yes, Tim Tebow, do you need to see before you realize that jumping to conclusions usually results in a high ankle sprain?This is not to defend Smith as the once and forever quarterback. This is also not to denigrate Kaepernick. The facts are the facts. The problem, though, is that there arent enough of them, no matter how sure you say you are.Kaepernick has now played essentially two full games in the NFL when you total all the plays in which he has participated yes, even the modified wildcat plays in which he was used as another running back. Two. How is that enough information to make such a sweeping judgment?Heres how. If Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree come out and say, We want Kaepernick because we can do more. If Jim Harbaugh says, Ive been lying about Alex Smith all along. If Smith says, I am not worthy. I hereby resign.Or if Jed York decides hes rather spend the rest of his life as Jerry Jones.Since none of these conditions exist today, does it not make more sense to (a) let events dictate the course of action and (b) keep ones powder dry until more information has been generated?The answer for the 49ers is yes. Is Kaepernick the obvious choice to deal with a resurgent New Orleans team in the Superdome? No, because very few quarterbacks make that work. He may play Sunday because Smith still hasnt navigated the concussion protocols, and he may even play because Harbaugh is playing the hot hand, but neither of these are guarantees that he will play well.And for those of you who just plain hate Smith as a quarterback, you still dont have enough data today to know for sure that Kaepernick is definitively better. You dont. And if you think you do, then you dont know as much about football as you think you do.The solution to your conundrum then? Do the one thing none of us are comfortable doing wait. We like the snap judgment, knowing that the snap judgment is often wrong, because we want to say we called our shot. We want to pretend our understanding of a sport is so keen and so precise that it exceeds those of the wisest professionals, which is of course madness. We dont have that gift. Hell, most coaches and general managers dont have that gift, which is why so few teams win year after year.So yes, Colin Kaepernick had a hell of a game, and yes, the groundswell rises for his ascension into the fulltime job.But groundswells are just polls, not facts. If you think you have enough data, you dont have enough data. I mean, you want a rookie quarterback in experiential terms to win you a Super Bowl, which is daft enough.But if that cant cool your jets, consider this. A TV host with a bad case of the Tebows on a noted sports channels morning screaming sportswriter show says he has enough information to proclaim Kaepernick a superior quarterback. That ought to cool your engine for awhile.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com