SANTA CLARA -- Gracing this week's Sports Illustrated cover is 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, accented by the main headline "HOLY ... " and by a mug shot of coach Jim Harbaugh with his mouth agape.
"I found out (Monday night) about it, and it was pretty sick" Kaepernick said proudly at his locker Tuesday.
Underneath the "Holy" headline is this declaration: "Shout It From The Mountaintop, Jim -- You Were Dead On About Colin Kaepernick."
The 49ers earned such notoriety via Saturday night's 45-31 win that propelled them into this Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the host Atlanta Falcons.
The cover shows Kaepernick running with the football in his right arm and looking right past the camera, a scene familiar for the Green Bay Packers who saw him run for 181 yards and two touchdowns Saturday while also passing for two touchdowns.
Kaepernick admired Sports Illustrated's covers while growing up in Turlock, some 1 ½ hours from the 49ers facility. "I didn't have them on my walls, but I used to look at them," Kaepernick said.
For those who believe in jinxes, close your eyes or click elsewhere on the Internet: the 49ers also were Sports Illustrated's cover boys heading into last season's NFC Championship Game, which they lost in overtime to the New York Giants.
That Jan. 23, 2012 cover featured a quartet of the 49ers' backfield stacked up quite artistically: center Jonathan Goodwin, quarterback Alex Smith (remember
Kaepernick will hold formal sessions with the media on Wednesday and Friday. Two weeks ago, Kaepernick went on Jim Rome's CBS Sports Radio show and picked up what Rome's followers call "jungle karma." Kaepernick, who said he wasn't aware of the term until his brother Kyle informed of it, sounded willing to make an encore appearance to gain more positive vibes for Sunday's game.