Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/24/13
Colin Kaepernick's favorite tattoo is on the inside of his arm and reads, "my gift is my curse." Relating that to his sudden rise to stardom as a quarterback preparing to play in the Super Bowl, Kaepernick is staying grounded by realizing that with fame comes scrutiny. Every play is scrutinized, every word is dissected. He's recognized everywhere he goes in public, and he has more ticket requests for Super Bowl XLVII than he can fulfill. Even his tattoo artist in Reno, Nev. is getting hit up for interview requests this week. He hasn't even left for New Orleans yet, and he has done an interview with 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young. Joe Montana? Met him, too. "Just keep going," was Young's advice in handling the pressures while preparing for the biggest stage in American sports. Kaepernick's faith is out there for the world to see. It's literally written all over his body. He has "faith" inscribed on his right bicep, and "to God the glory" on his right arm as well. Those are the two he kisses when "Kaepernicking," the touchdown celebration the second-year quarterback is now trying to trademark. Kaepernick knows his tattoos get scrutinized along with everything else. "Number one is kind of my way of saying, I don't really care what people think about my tattoos," he said. "I got them for me and to show people this is what I believe in. God has brought me this far, he's laid out a phenomenal path for me and I can't do anything but thank him." That path will lead him to New Orleans, where the 49ers land on Sunday and begin in earnest their preparations to play the Baltimore Ravens. The big stage doesn't seem to faze Kaepernick. He didn't crack when he threw an interception returned for a touchdown that put the Green Bay Packers up 7-0 in the Divisional Playoffs, and steadily brought the 49ers back from a 17-0 deficit against the Atlanta Falcons last week. He's trying to limit the outside distractions and keep his mind focused on preparing for the Ravens' veteran-laden defense. Not that he's intimidated by Ray Lewis, Ed Reed or anyone else, for that matter. "I'm not one to try to get intimidated. I'm just going out to play," Kaepernick said. "Ray Lewis has kind of been the icon of what a linebacker is supposed to be and how the intensity of the game is supposed to be." And if he is lucky enough to be the winning quarterback in Super Bowl XLVII, don't expect him to wake up with a different approach to life. How is it to wake up as Colin Kaepernick today compared to last summer when he was a little-known second-year backup? "It's the same as it was six months ago," he says.
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