Just for fun, let’s say Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky messes the bed Thursday against the Lions at Ford Field. It could happen, you know. History’s on the bed’s side.
Would you, at that moment, say to Bears management, ‘‘OK, management, give Colin Kaepernick a try’’?
Those of you who already are shrieking and rending your clothes as you run to grab squirrel muskets and Betsy Ross flags in a dithering rage, please calm down.
We’re having fun here, remember?
Kaepernick, as we know, is the bushy-haired, heavily tattooed, national-anthem-kneeling, once-upon-a-time-very-good NFL quarterback who blew up his own career while taking a stand — or a knee — over social-justice issues that have little or nothing to do with football.
By now, you pretty much either hate him or love him as a martyr for the cause of civil rights.
If you want to say this is a racial matter above all, I can’t disagree. But it’s an odd one. Anything of depth that happens in the midst of the rigidly orchestrated NFL circus — chaos afield, corporate precision off it — is odd and disconcerting to the BarcaLounging fantasy crowd.
Kaepernick, who was born in Milwaukee, has one white and one black birth parent and was adopted and raised by white parents Rick and Teresa Kaepernick — first in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and then in Turlock, California, a midsized town west of San Jose.
Haters say Kaepernick is dumb, but they’re wrong. He earned 4.0 GPAs through high school and college and has a degree in business management.
Nor is he without philosophical grounding. Most of his tattoos are religious in nature, with one that reads ‘‘God Will Guide Me.’’
None of this would be important but for the fact it seems everything that has to do with Kaepernick’s acceptability to the public has to do with his appearance and his actions when not actually playing the game he was meant to play.
Then, too, if there were a breakdown of demographics, it’s pretty clear black Americans and the young side with him in his protests, while his detractors trend whiter and older. ‘‘OK, Boomers’’ might be a good response to the most vehement of the group.
Yet the first thing we need to know is whether the guy still can play. It seems he can.
He’s 32 and has been out of the NFL for almost three years, true. But in that recent fiasco of a wacky tryout (of sorts) arranged by the NFL and protested by Kaepernick’s camp (naturally), he showed he still can throw deep with accuracy. Trubisky can’t.
At least, it appeared that way on a few video snatches.
All that’s certain is that Kaepernick looks physically fit, that he seems healthy and that his hair is so wild you wonder whether it will fit inside a helmet.
But forget the hair, the protests, his all-encompassing stance against racism, even his statement from three years ago — ‘‘I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way’’ — and try to imagine him in Bears colors.
Would he tear the team apart with his proselytizing, or would he just be a guy with strong beliefs who is all-in as a field general? Would the coaching staff and front office — including the McCaskey rulers, starting with Virginia — be able to stomach a player who shakes their values to the core?
This is all predicated on the possibility — nay, likelihood — that general manager Ryan Pace went so far out on a limb to pick a raging dud such as Trubisky that the organization must find a quarterback somewhere, somehow, to stop the bleeding and the embarrassment. The Bears might have a Super Bowl defense, but they’ve got a peewee offense.
Would the war veterans, conservatives and people who see the flag as representing all that is good and possible in our country, rather than racial oppression, go crazy if Kaepernick became a Bear? Could he ever play himself into their hearts?
In his last season with the 49ers, Kaepernick — who can run like the wind — threw 16 touchdown passes and only four interceptions and had a 90.7 passer rating.
Maybe he’s finished now, toast. Or maybe he’s just average. And who needs that?
But would you be willing to find out? I just might.