Kluwe's a Renaissance man for the Internet age

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 23, 2011 - 11:07 PM

Chris Kluwe is a musician, a gamer, an entertaining Twitter voice -- and a superb punter.

hide

One of Vikings punter Chris Kluwe's many side projects is being the bassist and manager for his band, Tripping Icarus.

Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

In the time it takes for one of his punts to land, Chris Kluwe could paint a miniature soldier, verbally strafe an Internet adversary, play a few notes on his bass and reconsider his decision to wear the number of a star quarterback known for indecision and inappropriate texting.

Kluwe gives new meaning to the phrase "hang time.''

"I find things to do when I'm bored," he said. "As you can see, some of them are a little off-kilter."

The Vikings punter had to be the most popular guy at Los Alamitos (Calif.) High School. How many people can hang out with jocks, geeks, science-fiction nerds, musicians, artists and intellectuals without snapping a synapse or pulling a hamstring?

He's a Monty Python character who can kick a hole in the ozone layer.

While his teammates slept or drank beer at training camp, Kluwe wrote songs, played his acoustic guitar, acted as manager for his band, played the video game "World of Warcraft" and painted soldiers for the game "War Machine."

"'War Machine' is a full-time hobby," he said. "It's a tabletop strategy game, like a cross between 'Risk' and chess.

"You get the miniatures, they're pewter, then you have to assemble and paint them, and use them in your army."

Like we didn't know that.

"He's been a character all along," Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell said. "He's just getting more attention for it nowadays. I think Twitter gets him into trouble, and painting miniatures is a way of staying out of trouble."

For Kluwe, the Internet is like fire. Uncontrolled, it can be destructive. Controlled, it's really useful in a flamethrower.

Kluwe, via Twitter, criticized such NFL players as Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, who were rumored to be trying to settle their own side deals as the NFL Players Association negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement. Nate Jackson, a former tight end for the Denver Broncos, questioned whether a punter's opinion should count.

Kluwe then profanely eviscerated Jackson in a post for deadspin.com.

"That was fun," Kluwe said. "What he didn't know is that for my first three years here, my prime way of occupying my time was trolling on the World of Warcraft realm forums, and that's a very vicious literary place. So I had lots of practice at crafting insults."

Kluwe would be a Renaissance man, if only the Middle Ages had good wireless Internet service.

"When I first saw him punt, I thought he was phenomenally talented," Longwell said. "Then I came over here from Green Bay and realized that football was just a means of supporting all of the other things he wants to do in life.

"I think guys know what you get with Chris, which is a very, very intellectual guy. So if people give him grief, they've got to be ready to take some grief back, because he's a lot smarter than a lot of the guys around here."

Some former Vikings special teamers seemed to spend their playing careers setting up their media careers. I'm not thinking of anyone particular.

Kluwe probably will be too busy to do a morning radio show. He's the bassist and manager of Tripping Icarus, the band that new quarterback Donovan McNabb suddenly seems so taken with.

Kluwe gave his old jersey number, No. 5, to McNabb, but only after demanding that McNabb promise he'll mention the name of Kluwe's band frequently in interviews. And give him an ice cream cone.

Then Kluwe donned Brett Favre's No. 4, meaning he might be cursed with indecision and an inability to shave for the rest of his life.

None of this would seem funny if Kluwe weren't so good at his job. The Vikings named him their special teams MVP last season, and he might be the best punter in team history.

"I like to kid him that there's only one All-Pac-10 punter on the roster, and it's not him," Longwell said.

Yes, it's Longwell, who punted and kicked for Cal.

"Of course," Longwell said, "he reminds me that there's only one guy on this roster who's kicked a 60-yard field goal in a game. And, of course, it was him, in high school."

Back then, Kluwe had no idea he'd have a long NFL career. Of course, he probably didn't envision himself skewering Nate Jackson during a lockout.

"I kick the ball well enough that I'll have a job for a while, Kluwe said. "But old age happens eventually, and I'll have to find something else to do."

The mind reels.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2:40 p.m. on 1500ESPN. His Twitter name is Souhanstrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 6 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 7
Milwaukee 0 Top 9th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 2
Chicago WSox 1 Top 9th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Cleveland 7 Bottom 6th Inning
Minnesota 2
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 10
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Motte 8
San Francisco 0 Top 6th Inning
San Diego 1
Texas 0 Top 5th Inning
LA Angels 3
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Appalachian St 14 4th Qtr 4:18
Southern Miss 14
Miss State 34 4th Qtr 8:25
(8) LSU 16
Utah State 14 4th Qtr 4:58
Arkansas State 14
Miami-Ohio 24 4th Qtr 8:16
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 4th Qtr 2:21
Ohio U 29
Ball State 3 1st Qtr 4:20
Toledo 13
(14) So Carolina 27 3rd Qtr 0:23
Vanderbilt 24
(4) Oklahoma 31 3rd Qtr 8:20
West Virginia 24
Ga Southern 21 4th Qtr 8:21
South Alabama 6
UNLV 7 3rd Qtr 11:39
Houston 27
Miami-Florida 21 3rd Qtr 5:09
(24) Nebraska 24
New Mexico 21 3rd Qtr 11:08
New Mexico St 21
(22) Clemson 10 3rd Qtr 15:00
(1) Florida State 3
California 7 1st Qtr 12:16
Arizona 0
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 0 FINAL
Columbus 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
Seattle 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
D.C. 3 2nd Half 20:00
Chicago 2
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 16 1:27
Hamilton 25
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do on Sunday in New Orleans?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close