Kaepernick's body art inspires cottage industry


So on the Saturday before the NFC Championship Game, these four San Francisco residents were having breakfast, and they were so giddy about the 49ers' Super Bowl chances that they began "Kaepernicking" after every breakfast task, no matter how mundane.

Somebody would spread the butter evenly on his or her toast, somebody would kiss his or her bicep - just as Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers' illustrated man at quarterback, does after scoring a touchdown.

Somebody would pass the coffee pot, somebody would kiss a bicep. Somebody would down a glass of O.J., somebody would kiss a bicep.

And then these daft 49ers fans - a fellow named Brett Nicol; his wife, Ashley; his sister, Janice; his sister's boyfriend, Sean Duffy - came up with this daft idea: If they hurried, they might be able to find a company that produces temporary tattoos at short notice, and then they could create a website - because they are marketing and techie thirtysomethings, that part would be easy - and then they could get a payment service provider, and then they could accept orders for these Colin Kaepernick temporary tattoos.

If they acted now, people could have them in time for the Super Bowl.

Thus in the space of a few hours was born KaeperTat.com.

I think this is similar to how the Pet Rock business got started, and also maybe Silly Putty.

The guy who came up with Pet Rocks sold 1.5 million of them and became a millionaire; all these 49ers fans want to do is sell 500 temporary tattoos so they can break even with perhaps enough left over for a six-pack of Anchor Steam and a bar of Ghirardelli chocolate.

When I spoke to Ashley Nicol on Friday, they were close to selling out the original inventory.

"It's insane how fast they've gone," she said.

KaeperTats come in three styles: "49er Faith," patterned after the tattoo on Kaepernick's right arm; "Crossing the D," left arm; "Endzone Scroll," right arm. These cost $9.99 each. Or you can get all three for $26.99. Nicol said most people want the package deal; she has received orders from as far away as Switzerland.

It can be assumed the guy from Zurich also requested the Ray Lewis Industrial Eye Black for the sake of remaining neutral.

(KaeperTat.com quashed an idea to branch off into Joe Flacco Unibrows and also has recalled its entire Brian Wilson Fuzzy Beard line after the relief pitcher filed for free agency and ZZ Top was rumored to be considering legal action.)

One also could order Nad's for Men Hair Removal Strips from KaeperTat.com "for those not fortunate enough to have been blessed with the hairless, chiseled biceps of Colin Kaepernick." The sales pitch was posted over a photo of a hirsute man with more hair on his arms than Ed Asner.

Nicol said KaeperTat.com received only one order for the hair removal kit, after which a "sold out" button was placed over the picture on the website before it was taken down.

She said I was the third media type to call for an interview, after one of the Bay Area TV stations and the New York Times.

The New York Times?

Yes. The New York Times: "All the News and Temporary Tattoos that are Fit to Print."

Blogs and testimonials are on the website from Alex Smith, who says he is proud to carry the clipboard while sporting a KaeperTat in support of the guy who beat him out; from Sammy, Kaepernick's ponderous pet tortoise, who claims he has been moving faster since he slapped a KaeperTat on his shell; from legions of 49ers fans, who plan to show their 49ers pride by exhibiting temporary body art at Super Bowl parties, or while they watch the game, alone, in the dark, with a pint of organic Three Twins ice cream.

These, I have confirmed, are jokes. But the KaeperTats are totally legit, and if you order yours today, you still can have it in time for the big game with the Roman numerals. (Orders placed after today can be overnighted; no, if you call now, they will not throw in a second Lint Lizard or Grout Bully, as seen on TV.)

Before she excused herself to begin working on the prototype for the Sergio Romo Sandinista Chin Curtain - perfect for a night out, or even when you're only planning to overthrow a government - I asked Ashley Nicol if she or her husband had any real tattoos.

"No," she said. "We're not the tattoo type."

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow him on Twitter: @ronkantowski.

 

Rules for posting comments

Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Stephens Media LLC or this newspaper. This is a public forum. Read our guidelines for posting. If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon next to the comment.