EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Vikings Punter Chris “Warcraft” Kluwe
A special thank you goes out to Chris for visiting mnvikingsblog.com/newbuild and agreeing to this interview. On to the questions!
Nick: How is Cullen loeffler doing? It really looked like he got his bell rang. What was going through your head when you realized that you would be having Jared Allen snap the ball to you for the remaining punts? The commentators routinely mentioned how Punters can psych themselves out with this type of change up do you agree or are they be over dramatic?
Chris: Cullen got hit pretty hard, and I’ve seen him play through injuries before, so it takes a lot to keep him out of a game. I think he came down hard on his hip and just couldn’t protect himself in the snapping position anymore. I was a little nervous on Jared’s first snap because I didn’t know how it would come back, but he did a great job and we finished out the game really well.
Nick: Assuming Donovan McNabb will not be with the team next season do you see yourself sporting the #5 jersey again?
Chris: Yes, once Donovan leaves I will be taking back number 5.
Nick: Before signing with the Vikings in 2005 you were originally with the Seattle Seahawks and cut in the “final rounds”. Can you walk us through the emotions and experience of being called into the office and being told you were gettin cut? Do you ever feel like you want to take your performance to another level when you play against Seattle?
Chris: Well, technically they were cutting me to put me on the practice squad, so while demoralizing, I definitely knew I still had a chance to play in the NFL. It’s a very sinking sensation to be told that you’re just not quite ready yet, but fortunately the Vikings felt otherwise and gave me a shot. I don’t really feel any sort of animosity towards Seattle, it was the choice they felt best about and it was my job to try and prove them wrong, which I was fortunate enough to be able to do.
Nick: You are pretty active on Twitter. What do you believe is the best and worst parts of social media from a professional athletes perpective? Do you often get harrassed after a loss or get a lot of messages begging for “free” stuff?
Chris: The best part about social media is being able to interact with the fans and talk with people you might not otherwise get a chance to communicate with. It also gives a great platform to spread positive messages. The worst part is people who abuse the anonymity of the Internet, but I’ve had lots of experience with people like that through online games so it doesn’t really bug me 🙂
Nick: Any internal bragging rights for “most followers” on Twitter between you and other Vikings players? If so which players are most vocal? Also how is social meda addressed from a Vikings organization – do they actively pursuade players to take a certain ‘role’ or monitor you guys in any way?
Chris: There’s not really any bragging rights, we’ll tease guys if they only have a couple hundred followers but it’s all in fun. The Vikings let us talk pretty much on anything we want to, excepting football plans and the like, and it’s our job to make sure what we say doesn’t negatively impact the team.
Nick: As a new father to a 6 week old baby boy I couldn’t imagine being away as often as professional athletes are from their families. How do you deal with being away from your two children and wife?
Chris: Well this is the first year I’ve been away from them, and it sucks a lot. This is kind of a test run for my wife and I to see how we want to handle things during football, and I think we’re leaning towards them staying out here for the majority of the regular season.
Nick: At what point in your football career did you realise you had a legitimate shot at playing in the NFL? If the NFL wasn’t in the cards what do you believe you would be doing for a living right now?
Chris: When I was in high school, the coaches at the kicking camp I went to told me I had a chance at the NFL if I worked hard at it, and it seemed to me to be an awesome job if you could get it so I buckled down and practiced a lot. If I wasn’t playing in the NFL I’d probably be doing something involving video games.
Nick: After signing your more recent contract with the Minnesota Vikings did you splurge and buy anything special?
Chris: Not really. A new computer I guess.
Nick: Share with us something that nobody knows about TRIPPING ICARUS. When is your next show and where can people see you guys perform live? Also, I noticed that the website domain TRIPPINGICARUS.COM has been taken. Do you own the rights and we can expect something big in the future or is it someone squatting on the rights hoping to steal away all your big punting money!? ‘Gotta love domain squatters. 🙂
Chris: Something no one knows about Tripping Icarus is that we’re totally dysfunctional and we’re going to end up killing each other one day. I kid, I kid, we actually get along great. Our next show is Dec. 1st at the Entry at First Ave, and it will be our CD release show; it’s going to be an awesome time. We originally had trippingicarus.com but then let site lapse for a month, and when we tried to get it back someone was squatting on it. Now we’re at trippingicarus.net.
Nick: You were pretty vocal about the conditions of TCF field last year when you guys played outdoors against the Bears. Do you have a preference about a new stadium being ‘open-air’? How about whether or not the stadium remains in Minneapolis vs the popular Arden Hills location? Is the stadium a big topic in the lockerroom?
Chris: The stadium needs to have a roof on it, for several reasons. The most important (obviously) is that it’s much easier to kick in a dome than out in the wind and snow. Secondly, without a roof, you lose use of the stadium for half the year, which really cuts down on what you can do with it. Also, one thing a lot of people don’t realize when they talk about the good old days of playing outdoor football, is that those guys were done in November. There’s a huge difference in playing outside in Minnesota in November, and playing outside in late December/early January. Also, Superbowl? You can forget ever hosting one if it’s an outdoor stadium here. As far as location, I don’t particularly care, I just know we need a new place. The Metrodome is definitely showing its age when you match it against other stadiums around the league (case in point, the Green Bay visitor’s locker room is five times bigger than our HOME locker room at the Dome).
Nick: Next week the Vikings play Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. Do you buy into the “Tebow” mania?
Chris: I’m not a big Tebow fan, but you can’t deny he finds a way to win more often than not. We’re going to do our best to put a stop to that this week though 🙂
Thank you Chris for participating in this interview. Everyone follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisWarcraft and while your at it follow us at @MNVikingsBlog. As always remember to show your Purple Pride by supporting your team through the thick and thin. SKOL VIKES!