Chris Kluwe has become a household name (at least in households where punters are discussed), in part because he’s a football player, but mostly because he’s a football player with opinions.
And while one of his coaches said he’s getting tired of Kluwe’s busy extra-curricular activity schedule, Kluwe has kept his status as a human being in front of his position on a 53-man roster.
Asked about special teams coach Mike Priefer saying “those distractions are getting old for me,” Kluwe defended his professionalism, and understands the reality of the business.
“All I can do is go out and punt to the best of my ability each game, and that’s how I’ve always approached things,” Kluwe wrote in an email to the Associated Press. “If the team ever wants to replace me, they will; I’m under no delusions as to how this business operates. We all get cut eventually.”
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he’s talked to his punter about staying focused on his day job the next three weeks.
“We’ve had some conversations, Chris and I,” Frazier said. “Right now he knows the focus has to be on the St. Louis Rams. He’s assured me that’s where his focus is and we just have to keep moving forward.”
As an organization, the NFL doesn’t handle outliers terribly well. There’s a “nail that sticks out gets hammered down,” mentality with many teams, and it seems there are some in Minnesota who would prefer Kluwe just punted.