In the early hours of Super Bowl week, I’m already living in fear of something. Well, many things actually, and mostly zombie Hines Ward.

But let’s entertain a hypothetical situation that most likely won’t happen. Six days from now, Colin Kaepernick sort of sucks. We’re not quite talking Tim Tebow in the playoffs against the Patriots suckage, and definitely not Joe Webb against anyone suckage either. Just your standard, average failure to live up to lofty expectations. So basically, me daily.

My fear is that there are people who occupy air space in this world who will then claim that Jim Harbaugh is the planet’s leading moron, and he made a horrible decision when he started Kaepernick in a football contest so big that it actually has “super” in its name (quick aside: really think about that for a second, because calling this game the “Super Bowl” is sort of like calling a big island, um, “Big Island“).

There’s no doubt whatsoever that the Alex Smith cries will then begin in this hypothetical scenario of doom. It’s at that moment when I’m eating the keys on my keyboard due to irrational rage over the idiocy of the Internet that I will remember a crucial, sanity-saving bit of knowledge: the pageantry of the Super Bowl makes people forget simple yet extremely important facts.

Namely, this one…

When you follow that link, you’ll note many quarterbacks who are sort of a big deal, and they were older (sometimes much older) than Kaepernick when they played in their first Super Bowl. Having only just blown out 25 candles on his birthday cake a few months ago in November, Kaepernick will have been on this Earth for exactly 25 years and 91 days this Sunday when he takes his first SB snap. That’s ahead of…

  • Terry Bradshaw (26 years, 132 days)
  • Tom Brady (26 years, 182 days)
  • Roger Staubach (29 years, 345 days)
  • Peyton Manning (30 years, 317 days)
  • Jim Kelly (30 years, 347 days)
  • Bart Starr (33 years, six days)
  • Joe Theismann(33 years, 143 days)

And that’s just a few of the notable names behind Kaepernick on a list that begins with Dan Marino as the youngest ever Super Bowl quarterback (23 years, 127 days), and ends with John Elway as the oldest (38 years, 217 days).

The intention here isn’t to plant an excuse for Kaepernick early in the week. If he sucks (and he won’t), then it’ll be because he was inaccurate, or because his running ability was effectively limited by the Ravens, or many other reasons that aren’t tattoos. His age will be only a minimal, secondary factor.

But if that struggling begins, some context is still required to maintain normal breathing.