Ever since studying the 2011 NFL draft prospects people have been abbreviating long names, such as "Kaepernick". Personally I figured you just drop off the latter part of the word and end up with "Kaep". I'm pretty sure I wasn't alone in this assumption, and without seeing Colin Kaepernick spell the nickname himself, we all just ran with it.
Since Kaepernick has become the starting QB of the 49ers, I noticed that the official team website, twitter, and the twitter of media guys like Taylor Price and Scott Kegley were using "Kap" with no "e". That should have been enough to just adopt the new nickname, but I had grown so used to using the "e" that today I decided to seek the "truth".
First I was pointed to a tweet by Tim Kawakami saying that he had asked Kaepernick about the spelling and was told "Kap" with no "e".
By the way, double-checked with 49ers: Colin Kaepernick says his nickname is spelled "Kap."— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) November 23, 2012
I accepted that, but then someone asked why don't we inquire of Kaepernick's brother, who's also on twitter. Kyle (Colin's brother) was gracious enough to send several tweets explaining the "story" of the nickname. I've condensed his tweets into paragraph form below.
#KapvsKaep: Of the 4 brothers my uncle John was called Kazzie. Next would be my dad @QBDAD7 who was called Kap at times but doesn't consider it to be his nickname. Then my uncle @forklift10 who was also called Kap probably more than my dad. Finally my uncle Jim, who I clearly remember always being referred to as Kap (including during his wedding the priest called him Kap).
My dad & uncle both say no E. However, since moving to CA I've seen it both ways in regards to @Kaepernick7 & personally it doesn't bother me. But tradition says KAP. I think by removing the E it's more clearly pronounced "cap" vs "cape" but when you read Kaepernick the E is there. It's a f#$%ing mess
So there you have it. The family themselves tend to agree that the "e" should be left-off. I agree that leaving it in there makes it look more like it would be pronounced "Kape", so that alone makes it a good idea.
Henceforth, let it be decreed that from this moment (probably a long time ago, actually) forward, the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers with the legal name of Colin Kaepernick shall have a nickname spelled "Kap" and pronounced "cap".
Now back to your regular programming.