This is my Friday column.
Even though you are 27 years old and have been a starter in the NFL for three seasons, you still lack a quarterback’s temperament. It troubles me. You actually pick fights with fans on Twitter. You picked one on Wednesday.
Let’s analyze what you did. This is a teachable moment.
At 3:37 Wednesday afternoon, you tweeted the workout you did that day: “1000 abs … arm workout … 10 min straight on the jump rope … 2 hour study session in February … that’s what we call a recovery day!”
A reasonable use of Twitter, but what are 1000 abs? Did you mean sit-ups? Or do you have 1000 abs? Eager to hear back from you about that.
Back to the Twitter fight. At 4:21, 44 minutes after you sent out your tweet, a fan named Stephen Batten responded: “Ab workout won’t help find open receiver.”
At 4:24 — just three minutes later — you shot back three tweets. Do you pore over every tweet you get as you get them? I wonder about your state of mind.
Tweet No. 1: “Are you illiterate or just ignorant? Read the tweet again better yet give me your breakdown of every defensive coverage.”
Tweet No. 2: “I want players responsibility on every coverage if you can’t do it mind your damn business clown!”
Tweet No. 3: “You got eight followers bruh your own family don’t even want to know what you’re doin! Get better at life!”
Did you really think those tweets were acceptable, Colin?
They might have been acceptable if you were a strong safety. Strong safeties are supposed to pick fights and be aggressive, it’s their job description. Maybe Antoine Bethea, Donte Whitner or Kam Chancellor could get away with those angry tweets, although from the team’s perspective it would be better if they didn’t tweet at all.
But, you’re not a strong safety, Colin. You’re a quarterback, and a quarterback is supposed to be almost beyond emotion.
A quarterback must have vision, the most global vision possible. He must look at the whole picture because his teammates are looking at him. He must keep his composure, be above petty distractions.
You’re not above any of it, Colin. Not on Twitter and not on the field. You’re in the middle of it. You put yourself there. Every player in the league knows they can get to you.
First, the Bears got under your skin during your home opener at Levi’s Stadium. Every time you threw an incomplete pass, someone on the Bears walked up to you and said something like, “Good try.” They knew it would bother you. Everyone knows.
And, it did. You threw three interceptions, shouted obscenities at Bears defensive end LaMarr Houston and got flagged and fined for what you said. After the game, you told reporters you didn’t say anything, and then video proved you lied. That was Week 2.
Then, there was Week 14. Raiders linebacker Sio Moore baited you into a shouting match as you came off the field at halftime. You yelled, “I’m coming for you!” The second half started, and then you threw an interception, posted a passer rating of 39 in the second half and led the offense to just three more points.
This Twitter fight is your third public fight in six months, the third we know about.
I know what you’re going to say. You were being fiery each time, and fiery is a good quality in a quarterback.
Yes, fiery is good. Aaron Rodgers is fiery. Tom Brady is, too. Sometimes they yell between plays or drives. But during play, they’re impervious. They’re cold, stony, they almost look bored. They have a quarterback’s temperament.
They’re above Twitter fights with fans. Other teams don’t try to get to them because they know it’s useless.
You could learn from Alex Smith. He has a quarterback’s temperament. When Smith was the 49ers’ quarterback, he had 10 times more hecklers than you and a million offensive coordinators, and Smith never snapped, never let the criticism get under his skin. He triumphed over it.
With you, Colin, teams game-plan to get to you. It’s like they say: “Before the game, let’s tell Kaepernick, ‘You stink at reading defenses.’ After every incomplete pass he throws in the first half, tell him ‘Good read,’ and at halftime, tell him, ‘Nice abs.’”
You set yourself up by broadcasting what bothers you. Let’s think about exactly what you said on Twitter.
You asked the fan if he is illiterate or ignorant. But, you’re the one who misread what he said. You responded as if the fan had said, “You stink at finding open receivers,” which is not what he said. He said, “Ab workouts won’t help you find the open receiver.” It is a true statement. Can’t argue with it.
You reacted to what you thought he said — “you can’t read defenses” — not to what he actually said because that’s how sensitive you are on the subject.
You could have ignored the tweet or laughed it off, written something like, “You’re right, lol.” Instead, you fired back without thinking it through. You revealed how insecure you are.
And then you made it personal. “You got eight followers bruh your own family don’t even want to know what you’re doin! Get better at life!”
Let me get this straight. If he had more followers, the criticism would be valid? If he had 8,000 followers instead of eight, you would take his criticism to heart?
I’m wondering about your values. You implied the fan stinks at life because he’s not famous, and people who are not famous need to keep their mouths shut. Is fame all that matters?
Hey, Colin, remember Happy Gilmore? You’re the Happy Gilmore of quarterbacks. You probably would pick a fight with Bob Barker if he questioned your ability. Or if you thought he questioned it.
You need to find your happy place.
Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.