I was not in Santa Clara today. I just read the transcript of Colin Kaepernick’s interview with the media, a transcript provided by the Niners. Kaepernick said: 1) He did not watch the Monday night game in which Seattle, San Francisco’s next opponent, participated. 2) He speaks to the media only because his contract obligates him to.

Here is my response, and I hope Kaepernick returns to Earth long enough to read it.

I am appalled that the 49ers starting quarterback did not tune in to the Monday night game when 6 days later he would be facing one of the teams.

Very immature and a missed opportunity to watch how the Seahawks attacked Drew Brees and attempted to cover his receivers.

Also, he missed the chance to listen to Jon Gruden’s analysis of the Seahawks defense. Maybe Gruden had a perspective or points of interest that the 49ers coaching staff has not presented to their quarterbacks.

Missed opportunity to learn in an external environment without coaches speaking their rhetoric.


Lack of maturity to understand his obligations for him to say that he signed a contract to play football, not to engage the media.

Bill Walsh had players at every annual training camp sit for a media seminar so they would understand their obligation as well as their protocol for dealing with the media.

Maybe Kaepernick forgets that it is the fans in the stands who pay his salary and they get their news and impressions of the players from the media who work hard to do an honest job.


His whole interview shows his immaturity.  Chris Ault surely did not teach him to be so disrespectful to the media at UNR.  They begged for media exposure as a member of a non-qualifying conference.

Obviously, totally reflecting the disdain of Jim Harbaugh when dealing with the media.

What a shame. When CK was drafted he seemed like such a nice kid.

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  1. Steve Martarano

    I’m sure Kaepernick will be watching plenty of film this week. Cohn has been blasting players for not talking to him since the ’80s. He blasted Kaepernick last year for the same reason. Yawn.

    December 4th, 2013 8:44 pm

  2. k.g.

    Sadly Lowell these are “not” the 49ers of old…Not the Bill Walsh, Ed DeBartolo, Carmen Policy, Ronnie Lott, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Dwight Clark, John Taylor, Hacksaw Reynolds, Russ Francis, Ken Norton Inspired San Francisco 49ers. Those days are gone forever, there is a new attitude/mentally with these guys in Santa Clara….imho.

    December 4th, 2013 9:17 pm

  3. k.g.

    One last item, has anyone seen Russell Wilson address the Media??? Russell is Intelligent, Articulate, Charismatic young quarterback, that is going to be around fro a very long time. I may be wrong, granted, but I believe the Seahawks will be one of the team participants in the Super Bowl.

    December 4th, 2013 9:23 pm

  4. mendozaline

    I agree with most of this post, but the “fans in the stands” pay only a small part of an NFL players salary. Here is a link to a report that indicates the Packers in 2009 had revenues of $248M which included $30M from home ticket sales and $17M from road ticket sales. That is about 19%.

    pages 3-4.

    December 4th, 2013 9:43 pm

  5. CohnZohn

    Steve Whoever You Are, I wasn’t there for him not to talk to me. And in fact he did talk. I didn’t like what he said. Yawn to you.

    December 4th, 2013 10:02 pm

  6. CohnZohn

    mendozaline, It’s still about the fans.

    December 4th, 2013 10:03 pm

  7. mendozaline

    Lowell, I agree that it is still about the fans. Just trying to make a small point about the economics of the game. Do you think world wide viewership would decrease if games had to be played in empty stadiums like some soccer games? If so, by how much?

    December 4th, 2013 10:11 pm

  8. dharte


    It’s not about the fans anymore and that’s been true for the last decade, maybe longer. Depressing fact, but undeniably true. NFL football is a tv game now, nothing more, at least not for middle class folks.

    My godmother has had 49er tickets (initially with her father) since 1957, she’s 76 this month, and the bill she received for the seat licenses at Santa Clara–just the license, not the actual game tickets–was $80,000 for four seats.

    Not a chance in hell she could pay that tab. How many people do you know with that kind of “entertainment money”? And there is absolutely no way that scalping tickets will pay such a license fee off, not even if Bill Walsh came back and magically transformed Joe into a 23-year-old again (though wouldn’t that be a nice change of pace from the Harbaugh/Kaepernick Era?)

    So the tech boys will go on Sundays and then watch the game on their phones while the rest of us watch on tv.

    A different world, and a very different game than you and I grew up loving.

    December 4th, 2013 10:46 pm

  9. Mike from Philly

    I agree. “The Media” is the communication piece to the fans. By being rude to a reporter, being rude to fans. Shocking a PR person on the Niners hasn’t been able to get this thru to the coaches/players (tho Harbaugh has toned it down). Beyond unprofessional and verges on acting like a teenager. See Lebron and Curry on how to act like franchise players.

    December 4th, 2013 11:04 pm

  10. CohnZohn

    dharte, Does any of what you wrote vindicate Kaepernick?

    December 4th, 2013 11:09 pm

  11. Annie M

    I find your statements unfair.
    Firstly, there is no need for Kaepernick to have watched the Seahawks game when it was being broadcast because I’m sure, a sports writter you know that the 49ers and indeed Kaepernick will spend several hours this week watching the Seahawks film and listening to comments tailored to their specific offense/defense teams and game plans, thus making his watching the game at the time unnecessary. Furthermore, he has already said he doesn’t watch football at all and prefers to watch crime shows, understandably as he spends incredible amounts of time watching football every single day at work.
    Secondly, at it pertains to him “rude” to reporters, I find that categorizing his short, precise answers as “rude” a stretch. Primarily because, long answers can get one in trouble and it is no secret that the media can, and will turn on you to get a story. By keeping his answers short and straight to the point, he is less likely to be sensationalized, especially when losing or under-performing (eg: RG3). Simply put, it is more of a protection mechanism than an insult to the fans.
    I find it highly amusing that not being able to get a story from his comments, writers such as yourself have now made him the story in an effort to embarrass him, which will fail, as even though you find him rude, many other writers/reporters have found him delightful in person. Perhaps it is your style of questioning (or perhaps the repetition of the same, mundane questions) that leave him uninspired to not shine his sparkling personality on you.

    PS: Watch the actual video before you comment, body language speaks multitudes and it is beyond obvious from the current press conference that he had no hostility as you would make it seem, unless massive smiles are now hostile behavior.

    December 5th, 2013 4:48 am

  12. Tommy CostaRica

    Lowell you are sooooo right! Can’t believe this guy. I don’t get much media down here like you guys up there in iceland, but when I first saw him talking to the media I was sooooo disappointed! Love to watch him play, but the minute he opens his mouth he’s like a punk with a chip on his shoulder. Get a clue man you won’t be in the spotlight but for a moment in time…..

    December 5th, 2013 6:41 am

  13. Dennis

    Oh my goodness! Immature, can’t talk to the media, only does it because his contract says he has to! And to make matters worse he had the audacity to say that! Gee, do you think they will bench him Sunday? After all, media matters. Even worse do you thing they will not resign him to a contract in the off season? How could they, he is so immature. Do you think attendance will go down do to this less than charismatic approach to the media/fan base?

    Get real. No one cares as long as they win. Hey, but at least you got something to complain about. And I think you are going to have it for quite awhile.

    December 5th, 2013 7:54 am

  14. mike

    mendozaline – In addition to season ticket sales, PSLs, luxury suite leases, catering, parking, concessions, etc. which fans pay, the NFL pulled in over $4BILLION in their merchandise and licensing programs. That money is distributed equally to each club and the league office also gets it bite of the apple. Players also share in the revenues generated with the sale of their jerseys. Also, players get shares of revenue from NFLPA for images, likenesses, use of names in promotions of games and products.

    Therefore, there is a significant amount of revenue that ends up in the player’s pocket that is coughed up by fans.

    December 5th, 2013 8:16 am

  15. Amir

    Why would he watch a live game? There are commercials and more than half the game when Seattle was on offense and time is precious. Tuesday morning at probably 6am he probably had all the game tape he needed. And if he needs jon gruden’s input, we are in huge trouble. This is a bizarre complaint Lowell.
    As for talking to the media, I’m sorry, get over it. He’s not good at it, he’s not interested. Hey, if I am a top chef, it’d be great if I could also schmooze the patrons in my restaurant and do interviews with food critics, but nothing is more important than how I cook that steak.

    December 5th, 2013 8:24 am

  16. Brett

    Lowell these guys don’t have to watch the game on television like the rest of us arm chair folks do. I bet he will spend hrs breaking down that game on film as Steve M. wrote.

    As for entertaining the media…I think he is a product of his environment. I think he will do better as he grows. Imature? Sure…he is essecially a rookie to me.

    December 5th, 2013 8:31 am

  17. Rob

    Whatever their professional attriibutes and accomplishments, Harbaugh and Kapernick
    both come across as jerks. As for their
    PR staff, the PR departments at other NFL
    teams — think the Ravens at the Super Bowl
    last year –have done, and are doing, a
    considerably better job, as are the SF Giants.

    December 5th, 2013 8:41 am

  18. Frank In Minnesota

    Covering the Raiders may become more interesting if the Seahawks blow the 49ers away……at least they seem to co-operate with the media and fans…

    December 5th, 2013 8:48 am

  19. CohnZohn

    Annie, I did not criticize the brevity of his answers. I criticized what he said about the media and I still feel the same.

    December 5th, 2013 9:14 am

  20. CohnZohn

    Dennis, I believe good manners and professionalism matter in life. Maybe not in games but certainly in life. I would add he is not a good enough qb to have his attitude.

    December 5th, 2013 9:17 am

  21. CohnZohn

    Amir, I hope you drink a nice cab with your steak.

    December 5th, 2013 9:18 am

  22. CohnZohn

    Brett, entertain the media? In what sense?

    December 5th, 2013 9:19 am

  23. Mark M

    Silly, seemingly emotional, outburst by Lowell here. As long as the staff takes in the lessons from Monday night, whether it be from watching and/or listening to Gruden (whom is excellent), where is the loss here? Baffling and nonsensical.

    As far as the Niner attitude towards media obligation goes, Kap is following the party line all the way. It must get endorsed from the top since it’s been going on so long. It is disappointing but the same truth holds…as long as they win, it will be OK with fans.

    December 5th, 2013 9:25 am

  24. Bob In Beaverton

    I would not be surprised to find out that Kaepernick is an introvert. Introverts aren’t comfortable talking about themselves in public. And yes, you can be a professional athlete and an introvert. It’s just a little harder.

    He is in his twenties. Introverts find ways to deal with unwanted attention over lifetimes. Sometimes shyness can be misinterpreted as standoffishness.

    I worry more about the Niners’ running game than Kaepernick’s relationship with the media.

    December 5th, 2013 9:33 am

  25. Annie

    @ CohnZohn, again I suggest you watch the video because when he said that bit about the media, he said it laughingly with the largest smile on his face, indicating to most, a joke of sorts.
    Additionally, aside from refusing a few pictures, Kaepernick is actually loved by his fans, so ?
    I find it ridiculous that we are judging his whole persona and professionalism off of a few selected media clips.

    December 5th, 2013 9:34 am

  26. Brady

    i understand your qualms with his attitude. But chastising him for not watching MNF is something I find offensive.

    Kaep is well documented as being the first one at the facility, there at 6AM when most organized sessions don’t start until 8. He stays until after dinner. On most days he works 12-14 hours, and he works 7 days a week.

    And you’re upset that in his free time (when he was probably at the Niners facility anyway) he’s not watching 60 minutes of football surrounded by 2 hours of commercials?

    Petty, Lowell. The man works 85-110 hour weeks. When you do that, and then spend your free time reading the works of your colleagues, then you can complain. Until then, you just sound ignorant, arrogant, and a little offensive.

    December 5th, 2013 9:44 am

  27. mendozaline

    Mike – I agree that most of the money players receive is coughed up by the fans. Just not the “fans in the stands.”

    December 5th, 2013 9:47 am

  28. Stan

    Well Brady, he needs to spend some time learning how to talk to the media. Might be a few minutes a day of not being obnoxious.
    That attitude might have worked in Harbaugh’s day but its not like that now. I recommend he count $100 dollar bills to calm down and smile. Or deflate that head of his.

    December 5th, 2013 9:57 am

  29. Streetglide

    Guess I was a little too salty in my comment… -L-

    Still feel that way though.

    December 5th, 2013 10:34 am

  30. Johnc

    The NFL is still about fans…the ones spread out across the country in TV land and for the select few in Center City, Panem* who have the money to go to the stadium.

    I think College football is a good alternative. It is safe to take the whole family, competitive and affordable.

    *Hunger Games

    December 5th, 2013 10:44 am

  31. Dan

    Kaepernick stating he didn’t watch the game helps to support what some feel is a lack of attention to detail / preparation for success. The team seemed happy to be in the Super Bowl last year and acted like they could be there easily next year.

    As for not speaking with the media, I too may find it difficult to speak to the “media” based on some of the “inside” reporting and stories about what is wrong with the team.

    December 5th, 2013 11:20 am

  32. Streetglide

    Johnc, no offense to your position, but NCAA football is slavery. It is the most evil institution in all of sports and should be investigated and the administrators put in prison for a long time.

    December 5th, 2013 12:18 pm

  33. Streetglide

    And Colin not only needs to grow up he needs to grow a pair. But he won’t on either account. Go play with your turtle Colin…

    December 5th, 2013 12:19 pm

  34. Jeff Van

    I’ve read you for years. I’ve enjoyed it, and I’ve found it entertaining and intelligent. But for the last few months your bitterness and dislike for all things Harbough has made it tedious and not worth reading. I’m afraid I’ll have to move to Maoicco and Kawakami, and Branch and others. The continued decline in objectivity is just too much for me. Good luck from a thirty year reader….

    December 5th, 2013 12:59 pm

  35. Brett

    Lowell, in the sense that one would entertain a question, entertain a thought, or entertain a proposition or idea.

    Was that poor grammer Master?

    I meant Master of the Written Word not master as in “I am the dogs Master”.

    December 5th, 2013 1:28 pm

  36. Streetglide

    Funny Jeff-san, I think Lowell is writing the best stuff of his career. I’m not here to defend him although if he wants to toss a good bottle of Pinot Noir my way I’ll say anything.

    But, face it, the Niners aren’t much fun these days. With the coach acting like an irritated two-year-old on the sidelines, a QB who is a spoiled brat and a bunch of coulda-shoulda-oughta fans whining night-and-day, it’s just not making it for some of us. Niners fan, dat’s me. Niner groupie? Nope…

    December 5th, 2013 1:29 pm

  37. Kommon Senze

    My thoughts on this are two-fold.

    First, I totally agree with you Lowell. Kaepernick’s disdain towards the media seems misguided at best. While I do think sometimes some media members sometimes can act as if they are celebrity, themselves, and that can muddy the waters a bit on the media/professional relationship, but I feel that the role of the media is mostly as a conduit to the fans. When Kaepernick is curt and petulant, I think that, indirectly, he’s telling the fans that he has little respect for them, as well.

    Second, I don’t think Colin has an obligation to be friendly. It’s his right to say next to nothing, if that’s how he wants to act. But if his legacy is important to him, he should understand that the very best in the sport have always understood how to handle the media. Look at Tom Brady. Peyton Manning. Drew Brees, Go back to Steve Young. Troy Aikman, Brett Farvre, etc. Being friendly to the media didn’t hurt any of their careers or on the field production. You can’t find a more dedicated, focused, player than Peyton Manning, yet he finds a way to have a great repore with almost anybody in the media. Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck are both very good with the media, too,

    What’s particularly sad is that I can remember last year, when he had his first couple interviews, he was very effusive about what he was dong on the field. I remember listening to one post-game interview (maybe after the Chicago game) and he really gave a good explanation of what he was seeing on the field and how he was making his reads and knew when to run and when to hold onto the ball. So, we know it’s not about him being shy or incapable of talking; it’s clearly a choice he’s making.

    I hope someone eventually explains to him that this isn’t going to win him the benefit of the doubt down the line. When things are going well, there will always be fans who support a player (regardless of how they might act in public, etc.); when things go south (even temporarily) that can all come crashing down in a hurry.

    December 5th, 2013 1:49 pm

  38. Kommon Senze

    I will add that I also do agree a bit with some of the other readers here. Similarly to how Colin can lose the benefit of the doubt with fans by being surly or boorish, I do think, Lowell, that when you take your finger-wagging towards Harbaugh a little overboard, you lose some of that respect of your readership, too. I understand where you are coming from on a lot of your points, but the way in which you sort of turn the knife at times to make those points can seem a bit.. how should I put this.. over-invested.

    Harbaugh is gruff, and he can be enigmatic and frustrating towards the media at times. There are clearly things he could improve upon, as all of us can improve upon certain aspects of our own personalities/habits. Would I like to see him be more glib and loose at time? Sure. But I think his occasional poor bedside manner would be more apparent if you didn’t seem so personally incensed by it. There are ways to call attention to it without the virtual shaking of the fist and rolling of the eyes.

    Then again, perhaps that’s partly why you do it. It’s a way to grab some attention. :)

    December 5th, 2013 2:03 pm

  39. dharte


    Just saw this…

    I have no interest in “vindicating” Kaepernick. He’s behaving like a brat (and his act is too childish, too pouty, too pathetic even to consider the word punk).

    But then his coach never grew up either.

    The contrast with Russell Wilson, both on the field and off, is not good for little jed & his boys.

    Can you imagine Bill Walsh putting up with this tough guy nonsense?

    December 5th, 2013 2:22 pm

  40. Phil

    I agree Lowell, don’t be too hard on him though, Colin’s a great kid.

    December 5th, 2013 6:15 pm

  41. Felix

    This is my take on CK. Nobody in the NFL has as much pressure on his shoulders. JH dumped AS and put in CK in the middle of the season –so they cld win the SB. JH put all of his eggs in that basket and expected CK to come through. They came so close, but they didn’t win. CK has said that he blames himself. Having read enough about JH, you know that somehow he does too, fairly or not. So from the moment the SB ended, the pressure has been on CK to win the SB so he can redeem himself in his own eyes and in JH’s eyes. Yeah this is a big boys sport, yeah CK is a big boy and yea he’s competitor. But that’s a helluva lot of pressure on a young guy.

    December 5th, 2013 7:56 pm

  42. Dennis

    In a way, I guess it is better for Kaepernick that people are complaining about his, shall we say, lack of ability as a talking head as opposed to his quarterbacking. Alex Smith was just the opposite and look where it got him – a one way ticket out of town.

    December 6th, 2013 7:47 am

  43. CohnZohn

    Dennis, Your theory is good but people are complaining about CK’s quarterbacking. His numbers are down.

    December 6th, 2013 8:53 am

  44. Dennis

    You know Lowell you bring up an interesting point. Everyone seems to think, me included, that he has tremendous athletic ability. He has all the tools needed to be special. He just can’t get over that hump. I am starting to come to the opinion that he lacks the necessary confidence. And I think this affects both his play and his handling of the media.

    I am also starting to come to the opinion that Jim Harbaugh may not be the right coach for him. I think Harbaugh is a great motivator and teacher but I am not sure he is good at building confidence in his quarterbacks. At the start of every game, when the camera pans to him on the sideline before the kick off, he always looks worried. I think his quarterback reflects that attitude. I think Kaepernick plays the game more worried about making a mistake as opposed to making plays. Counter to that is Sean Payton. He always looks like he is ready to go have some fun playing football. His quarterback reflects the attitude. I think Kaepernick would be a much better QB playing for the Saints. Look at Alex Smith in KC. To me he looks a lot more confident there than he ever did here.

    I could be all wrong here but I think a lack of confidence is the issue. I seem to remember Bill Walsh going to some length to build up Joe Montana’s confidence. Once the confidence was there the skill set took care of itself

    December 6th, 2013 11:29 am

  45. Streetglide

    I just don’t see him as having the so-called skills. One, he runs really gawky; his slides are always short of the first-down mark. Two, he gets a lot of passes batted down at the line because he winds up with a really long motion. Three, and most importantly, he doesn’t like getting hit.

    Colin will not be starting in two years. You can bank on that. We’ll muddle through this season and get knocked out the first round of the playoffs. Next year we will be about the same but there will be a lot of discontent on the team. Harbaugh’s mojo, his entire act, will fade and the Yorks will step in and make changes.

    Fangio will be the head coach and the current DL coach will be the defensive coordinator. They’ll elevate the current QB coach to OC. Jim will take a year off and then go to a Big 10 (12? !14? 16?) school where he’ll do great. And the fans will continue to whine as only Niner fans can do…

    December 6th, 2013 12:17 pm

  46. Neal


    I don’t like Kaep, I really like Russell Wilson as a man, he is mature, friendly, answers questions with honesty. For the first QB in Niner history, to lose a Super Bowl, Kaep arrogance is over the charts. Kaep does not have very good people’s skills, he is also a sore loser, when he loses, he just runs off the field like a crying baby. Wilson is a class act and Kaep is just into Kaep.

    December 6th, 2013 1:20 pm

  47. Marco

    Let’s face it, the current 49er organization is filled with a bunch of arrogant jerks.

    I was born a 49er fan but can’t get behind this bunch.

    Harbaugh is running the show and has set a negative tone for the entire organization. Kap is an immature kid taking bad advice from his coach.

    This is a PR nightmare for Jed and he better wake up before it’s too late.

    December 7th, 2013 7:58 am

  48. snarkk

    I’m not thrilled with the Harbaugh-led media responses, but it doesn’t frost me very much. Nolan was pretty decent with the media, terrible coach and horrible results. What would Niner fans rather have? Walsh was media savvy, he used it to his advantage. Cohn of all people knows this. Harbaugh doesn’t choose to do it. It’s not that big of a deal. As to Kap watching the MNF Seattle game. That’s pretty lame to villainize him for not watching. He’s watched hours of game tape on Seattle this week for sure, including condensed versions of that game with the coaches. Watching 3 hours of commercials for what he needs to see is a waste of his time. Get real…

    December 7th, 2013 2:03 pm

  49. lameduck

    Of course I wonder what he was doing Monday night if not evaluating the game. If he was playing video games no wonder his numbers are down. And if he won’t talk to the media, whom in fandom does he speak with?

    December 7th, 2013 5:39 pm

  50. Chris

    Lowell, I agree 100% percent with all your points here, including those in the next article about Colin Needs to Man Up. What the naysayers on this page don’t understand is that they would not like their teams so much at all, if all the players and coaches spoke the way Harbaugh and Colin do. And, what networks would be willing to engage them if it cost too much money for so little output. Seriously, any self-respecting fan has to admit that they want to like the players they champion. But, again, if all the players behaved this way, we would really begin to loathe their hostility and soon thereafter their greed.

    December 11th, 2013 12:17 pm

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