TURLOCK — For Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, the first rule while sitting in the stands at Candlestick Park as parents of a San Francisco 49ers' player is the same as the first rule of Fight Club.
You do not talk about it.
For the Kaepernicks, this first season as Niner parents has been as wonderful as one could imagine.
Their six season tickets at Candlestick are well off the field, and four of them are under the overhang (out of Sunday's expected rain). But through their son, 49ers' backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, they've otherwise had a front-row seat to watch the flourishing camaraderie that has become the hallmark of this San Francisco team.
As much as they'd love to be able to stand up and scream "That's our son!" when Colin runs onto the field, they've learned better a product of years of watching him at Pitman High and the University of Nevada.
That restraint paid off on Oct. 9, when Kaepernick came onto the field to lead a scoring drive late in San Francisco's 48-3 victory over Tampa Bay.
"We're sitting there when Colin goes in and I grab my husband's knee," Teresa Kaepernick said. "What do I hear even before he takes a snap? Someone behind us yelled 'That kid better do well or they'll boot his butt out of here!'
"You hear people hollering stuff like that all the time, so I really don't want people knowing that we're Colin's parents."
As soon as their son was drafted by San Francisco, the Kaepernicks bought six season tickets, which allows them to attend games as a family. They're the same seats that will be in use Sunday when the 49ers host the New York Giants in the NFC championship game.
As a player, Colin Kaepernick gets two tickets. Players can request additional tickets, but the tax on the two "free" tickets as well as the full cost of any additional tickets comes out of their pay.
"We've never used Colin's tickets," Rick Kaepernick said. "Colin has taken care of a lot of people, some former coaches and trainers, with those tickets, as he should. I think most people think players get as many free tickets as they want, but this is a business and tickets are team inventory."
The Kaepernicks both say the 49ers organization takes good care of players' families, including giving them the option of staying at the team hotel the night before home games, and hosting them at post-game family gatherings.
Even more impressive to the Kaepernicks has been the way Colin has been accepted into the locker room.
As Wisconsin natives and longtime fans of the Green Bay Packers, the Kaepernicks read all the stories about how Brett Favre gave Aaron Rodgers the cold shoulder during Favre's final years with the Packers. So they feared that beleaguered Niners quarterback Alex Smith might give the same kind of treatment to Colin.
"Alex is such a great guy," Teresa Kaepernick said. "One of the things that has made this year so easy is how nice Alex has been to Colin from day one.
"You hear so much about how the established quarterback is rude to the new guy, and Aaron certainly didn't get much help in Green Bay. But Colin and Alex get along very well and Colin is the first to say how Alex is such a nice guy. But it doesn't mean they can't compete against each other."
That brings up another point. When Colin Kaepernick was drafted, the idea was to groom him as quickly as possible to take over for Smith, whose first six years with the Niners were, at best, difficult.
But now that Smith is the toast of the town, Colin Kaepernick's field time was very limited this season, with his most important role being scout team quarterback.
"I have absolutely no trouble with it," Teresa Kaepernick said. "We're very happy for Alex. I feel as a mom that the best thing for Colin is being on the sidelines and learning. Colin doesn't think that way. As a pro, he wants to play. But his is a very important task, getting the defense ready to face the quarterback they're seeing that weekend."
The Kaepernicks' connection to the Packers remains. You don't give up the cheese allegiance that easily. And Rick Kaepernick says he dreams of seeing Colin run onto Lambeau Field, a scenario that would have come true on Sunday had Green Bay defeated the New York Giants in last Sunday's NFC divisional game.
So which team had the Kaepernicks' backing?
"I get to see my son run on the field at Lambeau next year because the Niners play there," Rick Kaepernick said. "I was pulling for the Giants. I'm still a big Packers fan but my son plays on the Niners.
"I ask myself 'How many Green Bay Packers do I personally know,' and the answer is that I don't know any. I probably know 95 percent of the Niners and their families, and once you get a chance to meet them you see they're normal people and the players are their kids."
With that comes normal family matters. Early in the season, Colin Kaepernick tweeted jokingly about how it was a difficult day because he had been removed from the family cell-phone plan.
"He'd been on my cell phone plan since high school," Teresa Kaepernick said. "Every time my phone came up for an upgrade, Colin would take my upgrade, so I've had to use this same crazy old flip phone for years. We've teased him for quite a while about still being on my plan."
Yes, Colin Kaepernick can afford his own phone. As the 36th player taken in the 2011 draft, he signed a four-year deal worth $5.22 million, with $3.8 million guaranteed.
Yet with that money comes the stark realization that while what you see on the field remains a game, 100 percent of what you don't see is strictly business.
"What all this has done for me is make me less of a typical fan," Rick Kaepernick said. "You get nervous for the individual players and their families. As a fan you go to work for six days a week and then you turn on the NFL one day a week. When you're family, the NFL is an everyday thing.
"This is Colin's job. In high school and college it was what he did, but it was never a job. He's spoken to me about the great kids he's met and the next day they're gone. As a fan, you hear about it. As a parent you realize how much of a wake-up call that is. You see how all of this can affect families."
Which brings us back to why the Kaepernicks do their best to remain anonymous at Candlestick Park.
That fan who just paid a large chunk of his household budget to buy that ticket might think he owns a part of the team and has the right to yell whatever he chooses at the players, and he'd be half-right.
But it's entirely different when it's your family on the field.
"I don't think anybody in the stands knows I'm Colin's dad," Rick Kaepernick said. "If he plays, whether he plays good or bad, we know we're going to hear it. Overall, it's been quiet and we prefer it that way."
Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2150. Follow him at twitter.com/modestobeek.