AGOSTINI: 49ers' Colin Kaepernick responds well after a difficult week

ragostini@modbee.comSeptember 28, 2013 

— Reading time, two minutes:

• Not in his entire career, from Pitman High to Nevada to the 49ers, had Colin Kaepernick felt the slings and arrows like this week after the Indy loss.

• For that reason alone, he maturated in a big way Thursday night at St. Louis.

• Another thing that became crystal-clear: Kaepernick still has steps to take.

• Still his strongest asset and one that will help him during tough times — his work ethic.

• What makes zero sense: Thinking the 49ers should have kept Alex Smith over Kaepernick. Smith's only advantage is experience — nothing else.

• The late Larry Shimel's constant companion: His peace of mind.

• Nearly a decade in the minors and maybe The Call comes in 2014: Relief pitcher Justin Friend (East Union High, Oklahoma State), who finished this season with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies' Triple-A team.

• Regarding the Dodger fan killed several blocks from AT&T Park, we remember the words of the late Grace Davis coach Dan Gonsalves: "It's only a game." Wish more people would get it.

• Do the owners get it? Apparently not the Jacksonville Jaguars who — in lieu of a competent team — peddle free beer to ticket buyers.

• Hardly a week goes by without a DUI charge somewhere around the NFL, and a team gives away beer to its customers. Tone-deaf message.

• The NFL offers free rides, with a single phone call, to any player at any time. Yes, the league knows about its issues with alcohol.

• Peyton Manning lacks his old arm strength, which makes his slicing and dicing of defenses these days even more remarkable.

• Jerry Rice hasn't caught an NFL pass since 2004, yet he sprinted from goal line to goal line last week at Candlestick Park. In a suit. Looking fast.

• It seemed preposterous to think last spring that the Angels ($142.1 million payroll) could be boatraced by the Athletics($68.5 million).

• If new Kings minority owner Shaquille O'Neal is smart, he'll avoid these words to his new fan-base: "I cost you an NBA title."

• We have Job 1 for Shaq: Somehow, someway, teaching DeMarcus Cousins how to be a pro.

• A sure sign that the Red Wave is rolling again at Fresno State: Heisman Trophy talk surrounding Derek Carr.

• Brian Wilson argued with Giants CEO Larry Baer after the last Giants-Dodgers game. Surely, it couldn't have been because Wilson wanted to draw attention to himself. That's so unlike him.

• Why Barry Zito was worth every dime: About five people in the nation thought he could win Game 5 of the 2012 NLCS and extend the Giants' season. Then he whipped Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the World Series. All after he went 15-8.

• No guilty feelings, Giants fans, about cursing Zito over the years. Life often was rocky on the Planet Zito.

• Critics dismissed the America's Cup as rich men racing their boats. What makes that so different from the NFL, Major League Baseball or the NBA?

• The Giants will regret not signing Tim Lincecum when they see the small army of teams throwing money at him.

• From another angle: Let Lincecum go and keep Yusmeiro Petit?

• Kaepernick absorbed his first grilling from fans-media-etc. while most veterans sat back and probably mused, "Welcome to the real world, kid."

Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at or (209) 578-2302. Follow Ron via Twitter, @modbeesports.

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