2014 NFL Conference championships, daily briefing: Politicians take on Colin Kaepernick

Ronald Martinez

For a seemingly mild-tempered guy, Colin Kaepernick seems to invoke a lot of opinions from different walks of life. Nancy Pelosi and Rob Ford gave their takes Thursday, and we are all the better for it.

When local politicians comment on sports, it's usually an offering of the "nobody's tougher than Area Sports Team!" variety. Simple words with a pleasing message to placate a maximum number of people and create a veneer that betrays a bare minimum of your actual personality. It's a cheap political point, basically, and to anyone who pays more than basic attention to sports (e.g., reads this site), the words ring dead hollow.

No, we here at SB Nation demand better than lazy bon mots, if not for our votes then at least for a moment of our short attention spans. All the better if you can add to the growing canon of absurd opinions on tattooed, hat-wearing, mild-mannered and somehow-media lightning rod, Colin Kaepernick.

California 12th District representative and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, you're up:

OOOooh, very nice: a great big fist full of sand in the eyes of those who believe a drawing on one's body is a moral failing and perhaps a glimpse into your friskier side. Well done, Ms. Pelosi.

Toronto mayor and noted crack enthusiast Rob Ford, what do you have for us:

Without a trace of irony, Ford predicted that Kaepernick would "get lit up" and that "they might give him a rockin' pretty good" if he tried to run the ball against the Seattle Seahawks. He also said that the 49ers quarterback was "a little bit arrogant," but admitted that "he might deserve to be arrogant."

Not bad, though the words wouldn't register much if Ford wasn't the source. In context, however, the fact that he is making any statement on another man's personal shortcomings and football aptitude is pretty dang funny.

So what do these comments tell us? Are they a sign that politicians now recognize the value of sincerity in the Internet age, when millions with twittering fingertips are ready to call you out on your bullshit? Or are Pelosi and Ford simply more willing to speak their minds than most? Are these important questions?

The answer to the first two is who knows, the answer to the last is probably not. But for our purposes, they make things a lot more fun.

Thursday notes

  • Tom Brady returned to practice Thursday after a mild hubbub was made of his absence from practice Wednesday. Sources told Albert Breer that the problem was a stomach bug, which would be very difficult to practice through, indeed. Brady will play Sunday, he will be playing against Peyton Manning for the 15th time, the game is for all the marbles (not really), etc.
  • In important injury news, Percy Harvin still has yet to be cleared from the concussion he suffered last weekend against the New Orleans Saints. He will need the approval of both a team doctor and an independent concussion expert physician if he hopes to take the field against the 49ers. The Seahawks haven't needed him this season, but Harvin certainly has the ability to be a game-changer.
  • John Elway is apparently feeling nostalgic for his playing days, telling the Denver Post that the playoffs aren't "nearly as much fun" as an executive. All the same, he'll probably be plenty happy if the Broncos make it to the Super Bowl over the Patriots on Sunday.
  • Sidney Rice believes that Seattle has become a hot spot destination for free agents, which ... I mean, yeah. The Seahawks have been of the best teams in the NFL the last two seasons under one of the most player-friendly head coaches of all time. It should come as no surprise that big-name talent joined the Seahawks in droves this past offseason. Unfortunately for Rice, he could be a cap casualty after the playoffs due to his expensive contract relative to his modest production.
  • An elementary school teacher in Seattle is raising money to buy Seahawks jerseys for students whose parents can't afford to deck out their kids. Go contribute. You may make someone very happy.

Injury report

Patriots

Limited participation: Ryan Allen, P (shoulder), Danny Amendola, WR (groin), Aaron Dobson, WR (foot), Dont'a Hightower, LB (ankle), Kenbrell Thompkins, WR (hip, concussion) Full participation: Alfonzo Dennard, CB (knee, shoulder), Dane Fletcher, LB (groin), Logan Mankins, G (ankle), Shane Vereen, RB (groin)

Broncos

Full participation: Mike Adams, S (thigh), Joel Dreessen, TE (knee), Duke Ihenacho, S (knee), Winston Justice, OT (finger), Chris Kuper, G (ankle), Peyton Manning, QB (ankle), Kayvon Webster, CB (thumb)

49ers

Limited participation: Carlos Rogers, CB (hamstring), Will Tukuafu, FB (knee) Full participation: NaVorro Bowman, LB (wrist), Ahmad Brooks, LB (illness), Michael Crabtree, WR (wrist), Demarcus Dobbs, DE (knee, shoulder), Jonathan Goodwin, C (foot), Frank Gore, RB (knee), Dan Skuta, LB (foot), Justin Smith, DT (shoulder)

Seahawks

Did not participate: Percy Harvin, WR (concussion) Limited participation: Jordan Hill, DT (groin) Full participation: Marshawn Lynch, RB (not injury related), K.J. Wright, LB (foot)

Number of interest: 6.5

Or the number of sacks Ahmad Brooks needs to set an impressive NFL postseason record. No player has ever recorded more than six sacks during the postseason. Brooks already has 4.5 sacks through the 49ers' two playoff wins, putting him on pace to set the record this Sunday. Of course, fans in San Francisco would be plenty happy if he had an extra game to hit the mark.

More from SB Nation NFL

SB Nation's 2014 NFL playoff coverage and brackets

The Notebook: Seahawks need Russell running | Patriots' secret weapons

PFT Commenter's NFL playoff awards | Dan on Fire: Are the Seahawks tanking?

Petty Tyrants: The Browns just want you to believe in them

NFL mock draft: Johnny Football cracks the top 5

Beast Quake: The greatest TD run in NFL playoff history

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