A blessed event has brought out the competitive spirit in some Fox 9 staffers.

Anchor and reporter Dawn Stevens is expecting her second child later this year. Congrats. That means she's due for maternity leave.

Word around the station was that the newest member of the morning show, reporter and traffic anchor Kelsey Soby, was angling to be Stevens' replacement. On Wednesday, Soby declined to comment.

However, station sources informed me that she will soon be announced as Stevens' maternity leave replacement.

I am told that Soby is considered a star on the rise and even anchor material. Soby's bio states that she was an anchor reporter at stations in Mankato and Fargo-Moorhead.

Soby has been at Fox 9 almost two years. The sentiment around the newsroom is that Soby, a junior member of the morning show, was not staying in her lane. At any rate, Soby's moves have not been appreciated by longer-tenured staffers who think Kelsey's jumping the line.

This change does make a lot of sense, however, because Soby can do traffic while filling in for Stevens without anybody else's schedule changing.

Kluwe vs. Colbert

"You, no offense, got your lutefisk handed to you" by the Packers, Comedy Central's Steven Colbert told Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.

Kluwe replied: "In my defense, though, I played well. Unfortunately, when I play well, that's usually a sign the team is not playing well. I'm a professional surrenderer. They call on me and say, 'Chris, go give the ball to the other team, but do it in a good way so we're not hurt too badly.'"

Kluwe matched wits well Tuesday with "The Colbert Report" host, although the kicker was there to talk about more than "The Cholesterol Bowl," as Colbert called the playoff game between states that produce meats and cheeses.

Talking about football was the extent "of the camaraderie we're ever going to have," warned Colbert, as Kluwe responded to that remark by flexing.

They then discussed the reason Kluwe is the best-known kicker in the NFL now.

"Why would you support gay marriage?" asked Colbert. "You're in the most hyper-masculine sport in the world. Football players are a thousand miles from gay. Men in tight pants patting each other on the butt; nothing gay about that."

Kluwe said, "I firmly believe people are people and deserve to be treated the same."

And then Kluwe weighed in on another hot-button issue, in response to a Colbert question: "I believe we should control guns more."

"Should gay people be allowed to have guns?" asked Colbert.

"If they want to, if they're controlled," said Kluwe.

Cozy with Kelly & Michael

Minnesota author Kristen Brown is scheduled to have some happy time in a bed with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan Thursday.

In business-like manner, Brown was chatting with me Tuesday about her second book, "The Happy Hour Effect: 12 Secrets to Minimize Stress and Maximize Life." That book is the reason she'll be on "Live with Kelly & Michael," which airs at 9 a.m. on KSTP-TV. Then, she said, "I've got dress rehearsal with the studio to test out my costume change."

Say what?

"The first part of the segment is about sleep, and then during the commercial break we'll change into our pajamas and I'll actually be in bed with Kelly and Michael," Brown said.

Got to watch that Michael. The former NFLer and current "Fox NFL Sunday" analyst loves to show off his body.

"Maybe he'll have his shirt off," said Brown. "That'll be good."

Brown's in the market for a man. But I don't think Nicole Murphy is of a mind to share hers, although he is taking his sweet time getting her to the altar.

Brown's first book, "The Best Worst Thing," is a memoir about her husband dying in 2007 when their child was a baby.

Regression ...

My sweet 11-month-old niece, Danielle, has some mad Nuk skills.

Video of Danielle flipping her Nuk baby pacifier, without using her hands, was captured at a recent family gathering. All that background noise is coming from a room filled with relatives chattering away, despite my repeated remarks that this might be my viral YouTube video.

Unfortunately, Danielle, who just barely speaks to me, wasn't able to explain how she does this pacifier trick. By the way, a pacifier is much cuter in the mouth of baby. However, in the interest of research, I bought a Nuk and attempted to perform Danielle's trick. The result is not pretty.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.