Bob Sansevere Interviews Chris Kluwe: Draft, Off Season & Lockout.
I always enjoy seeing what Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has to say on Twitter. He’s bound to be entertaining, cynical or both. After the NFL lockout was restored by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Kluwe tweeted, ‘Good to know our court system still operates under the founding principle ‘He who has the most money gets his way’. Good job 8th Circuit.’ After news of Osama bin Laden’s death, Kluwe tied in the hacking of Sony PlayStation’s online network and tweeted, ‘CNN reports Bin Laden found due to hacked Playstation Network info. Sony replies ‘No comment.’ ‘
Rather than rely solely on his tweets, I gave Kluwe a call Monday to see what he’s thinking about the NFL draft and more.
BS: What did you think of the Vikings’ draft?
CK: I was playing video games the entire time.
CK: I got updates through Twitter. People told me who was drafted. It looks like we got a quarterback. Hopefully, he’ll be pretty good.
BS: What do you know about Christian Ponder, the quarterback the Vikings took in the first round?
CK: I don’t really follow college football. From everything I heard, he’s a pretty smart kid and a good athlete. Hopefully, he keeps me off the field. My favorite quarterback is one who doesn’t let me do my job.
BS: You got a perfect score on the verbal portion of your SAT. Christian Ponder got a finance degree in 2 1/2 years at Florida State and had a 3.73 GPA. Then he received an MBA before his senior season. You think you’ll challenge him to a game of online “Jeopardy” to see who’s the brightest guy in the locker room?
CK: I’ve been playing a lot of “Words With Friends” on iPhone. It’s basically “Scrabble” for the iPhone. There’s quite a few guys who play. We’ll see how he stacks up.
BS: Who’s the best player in the locker room?
CK: Me, of course. There are a lot of guys who are pretty good. (Center John) Sullivan, (offensive lineman Jon) Cooper and (wide receiver) Hank Baskett are pretty good.
BS: Who else in the locker room is book smart like you?
CK: I don’t know who would be book smart. I’m pretty sure I read the most books. I don’t have a lot of book conversations with guys. Most of the guys are into military stories and nonfiction or mysteries. I’m into science fiction and fantasy.
BS: What have you been doing to pass the time until the lockout is lifted for good?
CK: I’m making sure the couch doesn’t escape. I’m also painting “War Machine” miniatures. They’re the little figurines I paint for a tabletop gaming system. I’m playing a lot of video games and just taking in the sun. I’m in California right now. Huntington Beach.
BS: Is it easier for you than most players to stay sharp because all you need is a football to kick?
CK: Pretty much all I need is an open field that’s 70 or 80 yards long. I’ve started kicking a little bit, but nothing major. Hopefully, they’ll get the lockout worked out soon.
BS: As we’ve discussed, you’re a bright fellow. How would you end the lockout?
CK: Well, both sides need to compromise. It’s obvious, as players, we got a pretty good deal the last time. As players, we have to be reasonable about it. Football is a great thing. Rather than try and squeeze every drop out of the owners that we can, we need to make sure it’s equitable for everyone. The owners need to open the books. I don’t think they’ll do it. Each team has something to hide. The owners can’t just ask for money upfront. They have to prove they need it. We’re willing to share this huge jackpot, but at the same time we’re not going to take your word that you need a billion dollars. It’s just going to come down to the owners bringing down the extra amount of money they want if they’re not going to show us what they’re making. The lockout really hurts a team like ours. Coach (Leslie) Frazier, who’s in his first year, can really use those extra minicamps (new coaches get) so everyone knows what he wants to get done.
BS: Eventually, football will be played again. Are you excited about the team you’ll have?
CK: Yeah. I think we’ll have a pretty good team. It should be interesting to see what happens with free agency whenever that gets around to happening. The season should be a lot of fun.
BS: You recently tweeted, “Having dinner with a bunch of Mexicans (wife’s family). They made me pick fruit.” Did you get any flak from that?
CK: It was pretty light. I think everyone took it in the spirit it was intended. It actually was my wife’s idea to tweet that. My in-laws, who are Mexican, have an avocado tree in their backyard, and they needed it picked. I was the tallest person there, so I picked it. Afterward, my wife said to tweet something. She thought it was funny. Her family thought so, too.
MNVikingsBlog Analysis: As mentioned by Sansevere, Kluwe is always entertaining whether it be on the local radio, Twitter, or in person. It sounds like Kluwe is enjoying his off season but is realistic in the need for a solution to be found regarding the lockout. Chris Kluwe has a great season last year in which he focused on hangtime for his punts rather than distance. The new technique seems to be working well and hopefully it’s something the Vikings choose to focus on again this season.