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Kaepernick Graces Cover of Sports Illustrated

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Colin Kaepernick on the cover of Sports Illustrated. (Photo courtesy: Sports Illustrated.)

Colin Kaepernick on the cover of Sports Illustrated. (Photo courtesy: Sports Illustrated.)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Colin Kaepernick has made it big time!

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback who rushed for 181 yards — more than any other quarterback in any NFL game, threw for another 261 and finished with four TDs in a 45-31 victory over Green Bay in the NFC Divisional playoff last Saturday, is on the cover of the Jan. 21, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated.

It went on sale at newsstands across the country on Wednesday.

This is the first time Kaepernick has ever appeared on the cover, and the first time a 49er was featured on the SI cover since Jan. 23, 2012 when the 49ers’ Alex Smith appeared on it.

Sports Illustrated staff writer Austin Murphy wrote that after one of the most electrifying playoff debuts in NFL History, Kaepernick has silenced critics: the college coaches who didn’t find him worthy of a scholarship, the NFL teams who picked five quarterbacks before him in the ’11 draft, and the fans who preferred Alex Smith.

“I had a lot to prove,” Kaepernick shouted on the field after the game. “A lot of people doubted me and my ability to lead this team.”

Perhaps it was fate that the 49er quarterback led his team to a win over the Packers. Kaepernick’s mother Theresa told the magazine about a letter she found that Colin wrote to himself as a fourth grader. It said in part: “I hope I go to a good college in football, then go to the pros and play on the Niners or the Packers – even if they aren’t good in seven years.”

Kaepernick will lead the 49ers against the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game – and there are some who wonder if he can break the so-called ‘Cover Curse.’

It’s an urban legend that players and teams who appear on the cover will subsequently be jinxed. While no one is maintaining there’s any truth to that, Smith and the 49ers lost the NFC Championship to the New York Giants after the 49ers last cover appearance about a year ago at this time.

RELATED CONTENT: Wikipedia’s list of notable cases of the cover jinx

(Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)

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