I went to my first ever pro football game last night. Never mind that it was the pre-season, I was excited and made my way to the stadium early and was in my seat a half hour before the game. For the most part the game was sloppy; the niners had fumbled four times, losing two and threw two interceptions. The true starting lineups played just one series and looked sharp.
I was sitting in between two families. The woman on my left was taking so many zoomed-in pictures of the players buttocks that I teased her about it – she quit talking to me. On my right was a family who didn’t want to socialize too much, but I tried to make it normal. I asked the girl if she was just married (she had a massive ring), but she told me she had been married for ten years and was celebrating her birthday. I wished her happy birthday. Neither family really wanted to engage in a conversation with some random guy who came to a Niners game on his own (loser). Plus the husband to the girl who was sitting next to me was tweeting like crazy, but I couldn’t help but notice that his messages screen said Kaepernick on it. I thought that was interesting, but shrugged it off.
Midway through the fourth quarter I was looking at my Instagram feed. The 49ers posted a picture of Colin Kaepernick so I went and looked at his instagram feed. I saw a picture of he and his mother. I looked at it again. His mother. I looked over at the lady sitting a few seats next to me. They looked similar. I saw that she was wearing a black stone ring on her right hand. I waited until I could get a clear view of the ladies right hand. Sure enough, she was wearing a silver ring with a black stone. I scrolled through the rest of his pictures to make sure and then, there they were. His brother, sister-in-law, the friend of the brother, the dad, the mom, all of them right next to me. I had to make sure though!
Before I had made this connection, I had gotten out of my seat and went to the bathroom. The stadium was emptying quickly and it would seem weird for me to go sit by his brother again – It was a tight space. Luckily, the mother of Colin, Tess as she is known by her friends, had gotten up as well and was now just a seat away from me. I looked at her probably three or four times. She had felt eyes on her and we made eye contact. She smiled and looked quickly away. I mustered up the courage to ask her, “Hey, sorry to bother you. This might seem really random, but are you Colin Kaepernick’s mom?”
She smiled, looked down, shook her head a little bit, and nodded and said yes. My mind went blank. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. I told her I was a big fan and it was great to meet her. She asked where I was from, what I was doing in the bay area, etc. I told her where I was from and that I had watched him play at UNR when he was “just a tall skinny guy”, she laughed at that. It was short and brief and she seemed eager to end the conversation, not that she wasn’t polite, but she wasn’t thrilled to be cornered. I told her again it was nice to meet her and I would let her get back to the game.
Then it hit me. Ask her if you can meet him. ASK HER!!! I came up with a clever line, “Any tips on how I could get a picture with Colin?” I looked at all of them again. It was so weird. They hadn’t really cheered that loud. They seemed so inconspicuous. No one was repping his jersey. The brother and friend were on their phone most of the time. The dad didn’t make one peep.
I let the moment pass. I told myself that she would see that I was genuine and nice and she would ask me if I wanted to meet him. NEWSFLASH! That doesn’t happen. It’s just like when you meet a girl. You can make a great intro, get her to laugh, and then at that moment of awkwardness you ask her to the dance, because she isn’t going to ask you.
She didn’t look at me again. I watched them walk past me and that was that. It is still haunting me. Two lessons: 1) Introduce yourself to whoever you sit by and be genuine. Doesn’t matter if they are someone or not, it makes for a more enjoyable experience. 2) Ask for the photo session.
This is Kaep’s brother that I was sitting right next to… a real catch, by that I mean, a real douche.