Vikings' Kluwe, Loeffler not quite birds of a feather

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 29, 2012 - 6:47 AM

Chris Kluwe and Cullen Loeffler are friends despite significant political differences.

hide

Long snapper Cullen Loeffler (46) joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2004. Punter Chris Kluwe (5) was picked up the following year, and the two have been friends and teammates ever since.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

They finish each other's sentences, sometimes taking glee while doing so. Sometimes they both start laughing at an inside joke that just flew over your head. The affection between them is obvious.

Not surprising.

As Chris Kluwe says, during the Vikings season he sees Cullen Loeffler more than he sees his wife. Kluwe is the punter and holder for kicks. Loeffler is the team's long snapper. They are football's version of a baseball battery, each dependent on the other for success. They have been NFL teammates since Kluwe's arrival in 2005. So is it any surprise that they kind of sound like an old married couple?

For example: Loeffler was asked about how often the two hung out together.

Loeffler: "Not much. Because he's been Mr. Advocate over here."

Kluwe: "Ah, the political stuff ..."

Loeffler: "See, he's the political sounding board now."

Kluwe: "That's because I don't take time to shoot that many helpless animals."

They both laugh.

It's hard to keep these guys on topic. But what's interesting is to see two people, so different in so many ways, with such a close friendship. Yes, there are familiar ties that bind them. They are teammates. As two key members of the Vikings special teams, they are dependent on one another and spend the majority of practice together. They are both married, both fathers.

But then?

Kluwe grew up an urban kid in the Los Angeles area, while Loeffler grew up in a small Texas town. Kluwe is a veritable Johnny Mnemonic -- well-known gamer, constant tweeter, inveterate blogger, political activist, part-time musician.

Loeffler: "If he had a nice computer and a gaming station, he might be able to live forever."

Kluwe: "I can't wait to cybernetically augment myself. It's going to be great."

Different folks

Loeffler likes to hunt and fish. He has dabbled in metallurgy. He doesn't tweet and hasn't joined Facebook.

"I would love to get to a point in life where I never have to see a computer or a phone and just, almost, homestead," he said.

There's more. Kluwe, 30, has become an outspoken advocate for gay marriage, his fame sparked by a post on the website Deadspin, his subsequent challenge to debate former Vikings teammate Matt Birk on the issue, and his decision to pose shirtless for a pictorial in Out magazine.

Loeffler, 31, is more reticent to talk about political and social issues, but he is no stranger to politics. He was friends with Jenna Bush, daughter of former President George W. Bush, at the University of Texas and once attended a Christmas dinner at the White House as her guest. Loeffler's father, Tom, is a Republican former U.S. congressman from Texas.

While Kluwe seems genetically programmed to express his opinion, Loeffler keeps his to himself. But let's be clear: The two have some disagreements when it comes to policy.

But what's neat is that, at a time when polarization is the norm, these two go against the mold, in a refreshing way.

"I respect him for sticking to his beliefs," Loeffler said. "I think there is a fundamental problem -- no, I shouldn't say that ... I think there are issues today in America where there are a lot of people who will complain and complain and complain about issues but never voice their opinion. I respect [Kluwe] for holding steady to his beliefs and fighting for what he believes in. That's a very American quality.''

Odd couple

The differences don't end at politics. Music? Loeffler goes classic country. George Strait, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard. Two years ago, he and his wife went to a Don Williams concert at the Medina Ballroom. "We were the youngest in the room by, like, 25 years," he said.

Kluwe likes Tool and System of a Down. And Tripping Icarus, the band for which he plays the bass guitar.

Kluwe went to UCLA, getting A's in classes he liked, doing just enough to get by in others. His major was political science and history.

Loeffler majored in finance at Texas, earning Academic All-Big 12 honors four times.

Kluwe loves authors L.E. Modesitt Jr., Robert Jordan, David Weber and, lately, Kurt Vonnegut. Loeffler favors Jon Krakauer and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

They became teammates right before the start of the 2005 season, when Kluwe was acquired off waivers from Seattle.

"I called him Colin for most of the first year because I didn't think Cullen was an actual name," Kluwe said. "But as we worked together, we got to know each other. It's like anything else. The more you're around a person the more you get to know about 'em."

In this case, that was a good thing. They both have strong work ethics and are very competitive. They both laughed about a bowling outing that turned into a competition to see who could throw the ball the fastest.

Fast friends

Years later, the friendship has solidified. The two families spend time and the occasional holiday together. This, they say, will last long past football.

Loeffler: "Absolutely, for sure."

Kluwe: "I'll be sending him letter bombs and he'll defuse them."

Kluwe has led crusades before. When long snappers were excluded from EA Sports' "Madden" football games, Kluwe headed a push to get them included. When Loeffler was lost for the season because of a back injury last November in Atlanta, Kluwe went to Twitter to call out the Falcons' Kerry Meier for the blindside block he threw on the long snapper. Kluwe was one of the most vocal players in criticizing replacement officials earlier this season.

The two have joked about Kluwe going into politics in the future, with Loeffler as an adviser.

But seriously, in hours of trading opinions over the years, the two have found some common ground.

"I don't consider myself liberal," Kluwe said. "More libertarian. I'm about individual freedoms. Everyone should have the same chance to succeed in life. But whether you succeed should be up to you. You have to have safety nets but not people on the dole. Because that takes away a person's willingness to do stuff. That's not living."

Said Loeffler: "Basically he's red without the heavy social issues. We both believe in hard work and responsibility."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Detroit 6:00 PM
Washington
Atlanta 6:30 PM
Miami
Toronto 6:30 PM
New York
Memphis 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Brooklyn 7:30 PM
Dallas
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Utah
San Antonio 8:00 PM
Phoenix
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Florida 5
Detroit 4 FINAL
Nashville 3
Carolina 5 3rd Prd
NY Islanders 2
New Jersey 1 3rd Prd
Columbus 0
Arizona 0 2nd Prd 9:39
Boston 3
Toronto 6:00 PM
Montreal
NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Colorado
St. Louis 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Ottawa 9:00 PM
San Jose
Kennesaw St 75 FINAL
Lipscomb 94
Navy 57 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 47
Bucknell 71 FINAL
American Univ 69
NC State 63 FINAL
Boston College 79
East Carolina 71 FINAL
UCF 66
Georgia Tech 63 FINAL
Clemson 70
Lehigh 55 FINAL
Colgate 61
Louisville 81 FINAL
Florida State 59
Missouri 44 FINAL
Georgia 68
Army 64 FINAL
Lafayette 74
Michigan 56 FINAL
Maryland 66
Georgetown 70 FINAL
St Johns 81
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
La Salle 56
Western Carolina 67 FINAL
Citadel 54
Nebraska Omaha 87 FINAL
IUPUI 80
Maine 56 FINAL
New Hampshire 65
Samford 80 FINAL
Va Military 69
Presbyterian 53 FINAL
Winthrop 80
Utah State 74 FINAL
Air Force 60
Vermont 73 FINAL
Albany 79
UMBC 69 FINAL
Binghamton 76
Indiana State 60 FINAL
Bradley 52
Butler 67 FINAL
DePaul 53
Illinois State 69 FINAL
Evansville 67
Wright State 46 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 61
Fla Gulf Coast 67 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Ole Miss 63 FINAL
LSU 73
North Carolina 73 FINAL
Miami-Florida 64
Wagner 64 FINAL
Mount St Marys 74
TCU 60 FINAL
Oklahoma 67
Delaware 65 FINAL
Towson 60
Cincinnati 63 FINAL
Tulane 47
Dayton 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 55
Northern Iowa 60 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Drexel 80 FINAL
William & Mary 66
Oakland 63 FINAL
Green Bay 83
Villanova 78 FINAL
Xavier 66
Campbell 65 FINAL
Longwood 70
Sarah Lawrence 55 FINAL
NJIT 90
Middle Tennessee 95 FINAL
UAB 100
UNC-Asheville 95 FINAL
Liberty 77
Southern Utah 71 FINAL
North Dakota 65
Utah Valley U 44 FINAL
Chicago State 65
ULM 43 FINAL
Appalachian St 66
Bowling Green 62 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 57
Long Island 73 FINAL
Sacred Heart 84
West Virginia 66 FINAL
Baylor 78
Holy Cross 77 FINAL
Boston Univ 70
MD-Eastern Shore 69 FINAL
Delaware State 65
Wofford 62 FINAL
Furman 60
Montana State 73 FINAL
Idaho 80
Hofstra 73 FINAL
James Madison 82
Iowa State 69 FINAL
Kansas State 70
Arkansas 67 FINAL
Kentucky 84
Missouri State 51 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 65
Fordham 74 FINAL
Massachusetts 82
Nicholls 78 FINAL
McNeese State 83
East Tenn St 64 FINAL
Mercer 69
Coppin State 88 FINAL
Morgan State 77
San Diego 78 FINAL
Portland 66
Gardner-Webb 62 FINAL
Radford 72
St Francis-PA 70 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Duquesne 75 FINAL
St Bonaventure 92
Creighton 66 FINAL
Seton Hall 67
Oklahoma State 62 FINAL
Texas Tech 63
Alabama 66 FINAL
Vanderbilt 73
Virginia Tech 57 FINAL
Virginia 69
Bethune-Cookman 49 FINAL
NC Central 72
St Francis-NY 51 FINAL
Bryant 61
Drake 57 FINAL
Southern Ill 63
High Point 80 2nd OT 0:50
Char Southern 80
Central Conn St 66 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 73
Eastern Mich 72 FINAL
Western Mich 80
Texas 50 2nd Half 7:55
Kansas 48
Chattanooga 53 2nd Half 6:19
UNC Greensboro 48
SE Louisiana 50 2nd Half 11:42
Central Arkansas 43
South Dakota St 59 2nd Half 3:45
South Dakota 71
Montana 73 2nd Half 4:15
Eastern Wash 69
Georgia State 55 2nd Half 11:12
Troy 33
Old Dominion 27 2nd Half 20:00
North Texas 33
Arkansas State 26 2nd Half 17:25
Texas State 42
Texas Southern 0 1st Half 20:00
Alabama State 0
Tennessee St 28 2nd Half
Belmont 50
Princeton 39 1st Half 2:24
Brown 29
Dartmouth 26 2nd Half
Cornell 14
Tennessee 22 1st Half 3:02
Florida 34
Jacksonville St 31 2nd Half
Morehead State 41
San Jose St 24 1st Half 3:48
Nevada 25
Florida A&M 15 1st Half 6:00
NC A&T 23
Iowa 25 1st Half 2:12
Penn State 29
Loyola Marymount 29 1st Half 2:23
Pepperdine 24
Miss State 31 2nd Half
South Carolina 39
Savannah State 12 1st Half 8:30
SC State 0
Miss Valley St 5 1st Half 11:57
Jackson State 23
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Southern U
Prairie View 6:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Harvard 6:00 PM
Columbia
George Washington 6:00 PM
Davidson
Syracuse 6:00 PM
Duke
Tenn Tech 6:00 PM
Eastern Ky
UNC-Wilmington 6:00 PM
Elon
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Hartford
Hampton 6:00 PM
Howard
Northwestern 6:00 PM
Illinois
Western Ill 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Kent State
Incarnate Word 6:00 PM
Lamar
Cal State Fullerton 6:00 PM
Long Beach State
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Marshall
Richmond 6:00 PM
Saint Josephs
George Mason 6:00 PM
Saint Louis
Austin Peay 6:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Murray State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
Penn 6:00 PM
Yale
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Stetson 6:00 PM
North Florida
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Grand Canyon 6:05 PM
UMKC
Abilene Christian 6:15 PM
New Orleans
Northeastern 7:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
Tulsa 7:00 PM
Memphis
Wyoming 7:00 PM
UNLV
Central Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Denver 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Rice
Boise State 7:00 PM
San Diego St
St Marys-CA 7:00 PM
Santa Clara
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
Sam Houston St 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
New Mexico St 0 Postponed
TX-Pan American 0
FIU 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Ga Southern 7:15 PM
Louisiana
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Grambling St 7:30 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Auburn 7:30 PM
Texas A&M
Arizona 8:00 PM
Utah
Northern Ariz 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UC Davis 0 1st Half
Cal Poly 0
New Mexico 9:00 PM
Fresno State
BYU 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Pacific 9:00 PM
San Francisco
Idaho State 9:00 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 9:05 PM
Portland State
UC Riverside 9:30 PM
CS-Northridge
Washington 9:30 PM
USC
CS-Bakersfield 9:30 PM
Seattle
UC Irvine 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Michigan 60 FINAL
Illinois 72
Lipscomb 57 FINAL
Kennesaw St 75
North Florida 45 FINAL
Stetson 77
Samford 65 FINAL
Mercer 70
Liberty 64 FINAL
Campbell 57
North Texas 48 FINAL
Old Dominion 70
St Francis-NY 62 FINAL
Bryant 52
St Francis-PA 58 FINAL
Robert Morris 73
Long Island 71 FINAL
Sacred Heart 78
Sam Houston St 52 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 60
Kent State 59 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 66
ULM 61 FINAL
Appalachian St 80
Boston U 62 FINAL
Holy Cross 76
Nicholls 73 FINAL
McNeese State 68
Akron 80 FINAL
Buffalo 87
Ball State 50 FINAL
Western Mich 51
MD-Eastern Shore 68 FINAL
Delaware State 61
Northern Ill 52 FINAL
Eastern Michigan 60
Bowling Green 47 FINAL
Ohio U 67
Central Michigan 53 FINAL
Toledo 62
Coppin State 55 FINAL
Morgan State 73
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC Central 33
Central Conn St 77 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 56
Memphis 24 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 87
Georgia Tech 67 FINAL
Wake Forest 60
East Carolina 69 FINAL
Temple 79
Fairfield 72 FINAL
Manhattan 54
Niagara 53 FINAL
Iona 81
Marist 65 FINAL
Rider 56
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Purdue 56
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
USC Upstate 60
East Tenn St 42 FINAL
(18) Chattanooga 64
Furman 70 FINAL
Wofford 53
Longwood 58 FINAL
Charleston Southern 51
UNC-Asheville 87 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 53
Winthrop 60 FINAL
Presbyterian 53
Western Ill 75 FINAL
South Dakota 78
Detroit 78 FINAL
Valparaiso 57
Cleveland State 69 FINAL
Milwaukee 76
Georgia State 75 FINAL
Troy 88
Lafayette 41 FINAL
Army 57
Arkansas State 74 FINAL
Texas State 83
IUPUI 53 FINAL
South Dakota St 82
Tennessee St 70 FINAL
Belmont 53
Eastern Illinois 55 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 72
Jacksonville St 83 FINAL
Morehead St 78
Kansas State 47 FINAL
TCU 67
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
SMU 46
SE Louisiana 57 FINAL
Central Arkansas 73
Denver 40 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 53
Tulane 52 FINAL
Tulsa 54
IUPU-Ft Wayne 56 FINAL
Oral Roberts 84
Air Force 50 FINAL
Utah State 84
San Diego State 58 FINAL
Boise State 62
Fresno State 60 FINAL
New Mexico 63
Florida A&M 42 FINAL
NC A&T 78
Gonzaga 73 FINAL
BYU 66
South Florida 99 FINAL
UCF 71
UCLA 61 FINAL
Washington 74
(3) Baylor 71 FINAL
Iowa State 76
Tenn Tech 84 FINAL
Eastern Kentucky 71
UMKC 42 FINAL
Grand Canyon 56
Seattle 61 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 73
Texas Southern 64 FINAL
Alabama State 52
Santa Clara 71 FINAL
St Marys-CA 74
UNLV 68 FINAL
Wyoming 99
Savannah State 55 FINAL
SC State 52
Alcorn State 3:00 PM
Southern U
Miss Valley St 54 FINAL
Jackson State 58
Bucknell 55 FINAL
American Univ 65
Radford 63 FINAL
High Point 83
Eastern Washington 59 FINAL
Montana 69
Idaho 62 FINAL
Montana State 71
Weber State 56 FINAL
Idaho State 63
Green Bay 73 FINAL
Youngstown St 27
Oakland 54 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 64
Austin Peay 72 FINAL
SE Missouri St 67
Wagner 65 FINAL
Mount St Marys 68
Portland 65 2nd Half 0:50
San Diego 71
Nevada 61 2nd Half 4:42
San Jose St 70
Stephen F Austin 69 FINAL
Houston Baptist 57
Incarnate Word 64 FINAL
Lamar 81
Abilene Christian 48 2nd Half 2:02
New Orleans 69
Pepperdine 55 2nd Half 1:28
Loyola Marymount 71
San Francisco 91 FINAL
Pacific 79
Prairie View 70 2nd Half 3:11
Alabama A&M 63
Hampton 103 2nd Half 3:40
Howard 48
Chicago State 53 FINAL
Utah Valley U 68
Cal Poly 68 2nd Half 1:44
Cal-Irvine 77
UC Santa Barbara 55 2nd Half 0:07
UC Davis 49
Marshall 65 2nd Half 3:00
Florida Atlantic 77
Portland State 77 FINAL
Sacramento St 123
Western Ky 37 2nd Half
FIU 18
UAB 29 1st Half 10:00
Middle Tennessee 15
Georgia Southern 16 1st Half 1:24
Louisiana 24
Grambling 28 2nd Half
Ark-Pine Bluff 30
Ark-Little Rock 29 2nd Half
TX-Arlington 21
Cornell 19 2nd Half
Dartmouth 28
Columbia 45 2nd Half
Harvard 43
Brown 30 2nd Half
(14) Princeton 35
USC 29 1st Half 3:46
Washington St 28
(24) California 5:00 PM
(7) Oregon State
Yale 6:00 PM
Penn
Murray State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Navy
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
(21) Fla Gulf Coast
Long Beach St 6:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Rice 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Colgate 6:30 PM
Lehigh
CS-Northridge 7:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Kansas 7:00 PM
Oklahoma
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northern Colorado 9:00 PM
Northern Ariz
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 NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close