The sports pundits can talk passer ratings and completion percentages until they’re blue in the face, but here’s the real question come Super Bowl Sunday: Which QB has superior style? It should be said first that both Joe and Colin are pretty put together guys, which makes this competition a lot like comparing bar soap to body wash—we love each for different reasons. But the side-by-side is worth a closer look since their contrasting new school/old school styles are unlike anything we’ve seen since Super Bowl III in ‘69, when the shaggy-haired Joe Namath and clean-cut Johnny Unitas faced off. Like those two gridiron legends, Flacco and Kaepernick are emblematic of their own distinct style epochs. Let’s jump in.
Both QBs have sported some regrettable facial hair in their time. Flacco had a handlebar moustache, and Kaepernick is currently sporting a patch of beard at the end of his chin that we can’t really endorse unless it gets a lot longer and more pharaoh-like. Flacco has had some much ballyhooed issues with his unibrow, which, admittedly, wasn’t as bad as Anthony Davis’. But since then Flacco appears to have tamed that man brow of his. So we have to respect that.
Kaepernick represents the new school, on the field and off. He’s a rushing quarterback with a crazy amount of tats (temporary versions of which are now available for purchase at Kaepertat.com), and he wears his hats with no bend in the brim. On the flipside, Flacco is your traditional pocket passer and most of the suits he wears remind us of junior year prom rentals. To be fair, Flacco has cleaned it up a bit (hard to argue with the fit of this suit—with the ticket pocket to boot).
We love that Flacco doesn’t take himself too seriously, as evidenced by those incredible wedding photos(this one especially. By the same token, there’s not a lot to be excited about personality-wise. His own father has called him flat out “dull.” Kaepernick, on the other hand, is anything but. “Kaepernicking” doesn’t feel like it’s going to catch fire, but if recent history is a guide—Tebowing, anyone?—the American public are total suckers for a good verbing of a QB’s surname.
Kaepernick’s Instagram has a picture of him and his barber (major BB Man points for this), as well as a picture of him and his 115-pound pet turtle. Flacco, meanwhile, has this. Michael Oher’s face says it all.
While we can’t pick favorites on the field—a Harbaugh bowl means this year’s face-off is potentially more about the coaches’ strategy than it is the players—off the field we’re partial to Kaepernick’s look for a kickback weekend and Flacco’s stylings for more formal situations when we have to keep our wits about us. There’s a lot to be learned—positively and negatively—from both sides.