|When San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick celebrates, so does his tattoo artist. (US Presswire)|
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick only started seven regular season games in 2012 for the 49ers, but in those starts he quickly became known for three things: his rocket arm, his mobility and -- his tattoos. Yes, his tattoos.
A mini-controversy was started in November, when an AOL writer seemed to insinuate that quarterbacks shouldn't have tattoos, writing, "less than 1.3 percent of NFL quarterbacks have tattoos. There's a reason for that."
The controversy eventually blew over, but not before Kaepernick and his tattoos made the news for something else: 'Kaepernicking.' The Tebowing-like trend began in mid-December when Kaepernick began kissing his tattoo-covered bicep after every touchdown he scored. Fans began to emulate it and Kaepernicking was born. Kaepernicking got so big that Kaepernick is now looking to have it trademarked.
With Kaepernick and his tattoos headed for the Super Bowl, a lot fans are wondering who is responsible for his tattoos, which cover his back and both biceps.
The answer to that question is Reno, Nev., tattoo artist Nes Andrion, who said he's seen a recent boon in business thanks to Kaepernick. "I've had a lot more visits, a lot more calls," Andrion told USA TODAY. "The more they show [Kaepernick's tattoos] on the news, the more calls and emails I get."
Andrion gave Kaepernick his first tattoo in 2007 when Kaepernick was at the University of Nevada.
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The emergence of Kaepernick has meant big business for Andrion, who has a three-month waiting list for anyone that wants to get a tattoo. According to Andrion, that's about twice as long as the waiting list was before Kaepernick hit it big.
Andrion said that he's had about 15 customers specifically ask him to do a tattoo because they heard he inked Kaepernick.
The tattoo that covers Kaepernick's back took 18 hours and two visits to complete, Andrion said, adding that Kaeprnick "was a real quiet guy, real humble. He didn't have much to say."
So what's Kaepernick's favorite tattoo?
"Probably the one on the inside of my arm that says 'my gift is my curse.' I just feel like that's something that applied to my life in many different ways," Kaepernick said Thursday.
As for Andrion, it sounds like he has a customer for life in Kaepernick, "I met [Andrion] through a friend in college. I had him do one piece, I really liked it and I've been going to him ever since," Kaepernick said.
Andrion might want to get some extra ink ready because if the 49ers win Super Bowl XLVII, he could be in even higher demand.
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