We’re hoping to see a lot of “Kaepernicking” in this Sunday’s Super Bowl. If you’ve missed all the buzz in the NFL lately, Kaepernicking (registered trademark) is when 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick celebrates a touchdown by kissing the tattoo on his bicep. If you’re like me, you were asking, “What is Kaepernick kissing?” What does that tattoo say and why is the QB wanting to attract attention to it? I found out.
Why is Kaepernick Kissing His Arm?
When he was a sophomore at the University of Nevada, Colin Kaepernick had the words of Psalm 27:3 inked onto his left arm:
“Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.”
The whole psalm is a good one. Of course, this raises the theological question that is as old as athletic competition. Who does God cheer for? Beyond that, does God control the outcome of a game? In the Super Bowl, we’ll have Ray Lewis of the Ravens yelling out, “God is so good!” and “No weapon fashioned against us will stand” as if the Ravens are God’s team. I would simply remind God that it’s easy to mouth the words of Scripture in an interview. Inking the Word of God on your arm is a whole new level of commitment. Go Niners! Amen.
Who Does God Help?
I go with the one-liner theology of Yogi Berra, the long-time catcher of the New York Yankees. Yogi Berra played a game in which the score was tied with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The batter from the opposing team stepped up and made the sign of the cross on home plate with his bat. Berra was a Catholic, too, but he wiped the plate with his glove and said to the batter, “Why don’t we let God just watch this game?”
Yes, God is watching – with great interest. Though, God’s interest goes way beyond which team scores more points. God wants us to pray and play – or work – with confidence. So, we will not fear. “Though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.” It’s a victory every time you express your confidence in God.
Remember, whether you’re playing a game of international significance or checkers with your sister, God is watching. God is interested in you and loves you. That’s worth a touchdown dance!
Remember that next time you see Colin Kaepernick kissing his arm.
Pastor Dave Weidlich
Good article in the San Jose Mercury Times on the Kaeper-Ink thing.
Also on Christianity Today’s website on Kaepernick kissing tattoos and Ray Lewis.