Chris Kluwe is the Minnesota Vikings punter and one of the most interesting people on twitter (seriously, go follow him!). Below he talks about the Vikings, the NFL, life, music, and video games. Enjoy!
What are your thoughts on the new Vikings stadium?
Chris Kluwe: I’m just happy that it’s finally been resolved. It’s been almost 10 years now that the Vikings have been trying to get t his thing figured out and it’s nice to get some closure.
What are your expectations going into the 2012 season? What’s the vibe around the locker room and around the team heading into off-season workouts?
CK: Hopefully to be atop the NFC North at the end of the year with a chance at the Super Bowl. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, since the division is pretty tough this year, but I know guys are going to try their best to be ready.
What’s your thoughts on the Vikings mind-set of getting younger? You lost some veteran presence in the locker room, including your friend Ryan Longwell, how does that affect the locker room?
CK: That kind of thing happens every off-season, and while it’s sad to see Ryan go, it’s an unfortunate part of the business. We just have to move on and help make this new kicker (Blair Walsh) be the best he can be.
Workouts have begun at Winter Park and OTAs start at the end of the month, but it’s still the “off-season.” What do you have planned for the rest of your off-season before training camp?
CK: I’m back in Minnesota until June 25 when OTAs end, then I’ll head to California for a month or so. After that, it’s fall camp into the season.
What are your thoughts on the two years of having Brett Favre on your team? What kind of presence was he in the locker room? It was rumored in New York he was a “bad teammate,” was that the case in Minnesota?
CK: I thought it was a lot of fun having Brett around, he was a good guy and I didn’t get any sense of him being a bad teammate. You could tell he really loved playing the game, and was out there to win every time he stepped on the field.
I know you’re not a kicker, but you must have an opinion on the ever-changing kick-off position and the rumors of the NFL potentially doing away with kick-offs all together? How would that change the game?
CK: It would take a lot of excitement out of the game, but if that’s something they think will make the game a lot safer then it’s hard to oppose getting rid of it. They’ll have to come up with something to replace it though.
What are your thoughts on Bryan Anger getting drafted in the third round? Seemed to shock a lot of people.
CK: A lot of people minimize the kicking game, but a lot of people also don’t understand just how much the kicking game can affect everything else that goes on. Whether it be your offense starting backed up, your defense having to hold an opponent from mid-field instead of the other 20, or even making field goals; all that stuff affects the outcome of the game. It’s subtle, but just because it’s subtle doesn’t mean it’s not there. Punters don’t normally go in the third round but the Jaguars felt they had a need at the position and they felt that Anger was good enough to justify that pick; now it’s on him to perform.
People often discount your comments/rants by saying, “You’re just a punter.” Tell them why punters are still football players, I mean you are they few players that actually use their foot to play. (My comeback is usually, well he’s more of a football player than you, who is sitting on your couch..BOOM!)
CK: I ask them, “Do you make fun of quarterbacks because they can’t play d-line? Do you laugh at linebackers because they can’t run routes?” Everyone has a role to play, and to say someone is not a football player just because they do a job you don’t understand is kind of stupid. Also, feel free to come and take it from me at any time. Seriously, if it’s that easy to do, come on out to Winter Park and take my spot. I’ll get to spend more time with my kids.
The Saints bounty issue and the NFLPA has been a hot topic in your twitter rants. What’s your opinions on the NFLPA’s current stance on the bounty situation?
CK: The guys accused of placing the bounties deserve an appeal, as that’s their right, but if the evidence against them is airtight then I think it’s best if they just accept their punishment and not try to weasel out of it. That being said, the NFL needs to produce the evidence, because right now they’ve told everyone they have it but we haven’t had a chance to see it yet. I don’t think the NFL would make those kind of accusations without proper proof, but you never know, sometimes mix-ups happen.
What’s your stance on the concussion issue in the NFL? Do you believe the NFL is on the right track to bettering the game and making it safer?
CK: I think you have to do everything in your power to make the game as safe as possible within the constraints of football. We all know the risks when we step out on the field, and we choose to accept them; the challenge is mitigating those risks as best as we can without taking away from the intensity of the game. I think the NFL is on the right path, not just from a safety standpoint, but also to avoid future lawsuits.
Roddy White tweeted his stance on making the game safer by saying the former players are killing the game by suing the NFL and that he won’t care if he isn’t able to walk at the age of 50 because of the game. Any comments?
CK: That’s Roddy White’s choice. I don’t think the NFL is killing the game by making sure guys have the chance at a certain quality of life after they’re done playing that doesn’t involve drooling from the mouth and falling over.
Two hypothetical questions: 1) What would you do if you were the NFL commissioner? AND 2) What would you do if you were elected president?
CK: 1) Fine everyone $10,000 and use it to build myself a moonbase.
2) Tax everyone $100 and use it to build myself a moonbase.
For one of the most interesting person on Twitter, what is it like being Chris Kluwe?
CK: Mainly long boring episodes filled with sheer moments of absolute terror.
Any updates with your band?
CK: We released our latest CD at TrippingIcarus.net, and we’re recording another one this May. Listen to it!
You’re an avid gamer, what are you into these days? And one of my fellow writers wants to know if you have ever played Starcraft?
CK: Started playing Tera, which is a lot of fun, and of course I’m going to be jumping into Diablo 3 when it comes out Tuesday. I have played Starcraft (both 1 and 2) but never really competitively or multiplayer, I mainly enjoy going through the campaigns.
Thank you soo much Chris!
CK: No problemo