So, the big news in the Twin Cities is Chris Kluwe.
Mr. Kluwe, my onlyest ever favorite (now former) Viking, is an verbose proponent of gay rights/gay marriage, and took his advocacy wonderfully, beautifully public during the Minnesota Protect Our Tight, Sensitive, Buttstarfish From The Oiled, Post Workout Sweat-Sheened Six-Packed Fruitqueergots Blech Amendment, blasting a Maryland legislator who went on the record saying that the Ravens should force Brendon Ayanbadejo to hush it.
He followed that with an article deconstructing a statement by former Viking center Matt Birk in favor of 'traditional marriage',
In his latest article, he states that he held off with this statement out of respect for his teammates during the course of this season, that he has/had no issues with Vikings owner Zygi Soprano, and that he can't prove and will not claim that he was fired solely for his advocacy, but that he strongly suspects it. So here, at the end of the Vikings Pop-Warner-League-Championship-calibre season, he has spoken out, calling former head coach Leslie Frazier and current General Manager Rick Spielman cowards, and special teams coach (also candidate for new 'Queens head coach) Mike Priefer a bigot.
This is complicated, honestly.
First off, full disclosure, I'm a Kluwe fan. I think he's a fellow weirdo. And I think his head is in the right space.
Unpacking this, there are two primary legs to this stool, and a third, not as important, but tending towards his veracity. Given the characteristics of the tertiary leg, let's get it out of the way quickly.
He admits he's done with football, he's older, he is fully aware that after this article he is unmarketable. Yes, that's right, Ray Lewis, murderer, will go into the NFL Hall O' Fame. Michael Irvin, Lawrence Taylor, cocaine vacuumatics, already there. Chris Kluwe will got to PAX and Comicon. He gets nothing out of this, except perhaps closure, but is honest enough to admit that if Priefer, his primary villain, were to suffer professionally, it wouldn't hurt his feelings. I give this point to Mr. Kluwe, and am likely to take him at his word.
Primary leg one. Anyone thinking the NFL is not homophobic as hell is fooling themselves but no one else. I say that as an NFL, well, Green Bay Packer and whoever is playing the damn Cowboys and the damner Bears, fan. It's all about the macho, who's toughest. Brett Favre played through 413 concussions and can't remember his family's names half the time, but he was the ultimate toughman. What does toughness have to do with being gay? Not a damn thing unless you're an idiot, but, a lot of idiots watch and work for ESPN. Being an NFL coach is the closest you can be to a legal dictator, until you get fired Players not coming forward to back up Kluwe's statements (I am talking very much to Vikings K Blair Walsh) recognize that their own careers are on the line for speaking out (especially with Priefer on the Head Coach bubble.). NFL HR and press offices are cautious to a fault. "We take it one game at a time, love my coaches and my city and my fans, God willing we'll make the playoffs." Rinse and repeat. Anyone not Peyton Manning, who does commercials for Papa John's (who wanted to cut hours and employees rather than provide health insurance? Jackasses.), who says anything is risking 'the product', and the NFL gets twerky about it. Point to Kluwe.
Primary leg two. Kluwe was getting older, getting really good money for a punter, and punters are not exactly important in the NFL scheme of things. One bad game for a punter/kicker can often mean unemployment. A good punter with a long career makes a half season's pay for someone like, well, Peyton Manning. In the 2012 season, I wanted Packer's kicker Mason Crosby not only fired but possibly beaten. In the 2013 season I want Dom 'The Gaping Hole' Capers, Defensive Coordinator of the Packers, fired, beaten, healed, re-hired, fired, and beaten. Any NFL career is capricious at best. Punters are not only hardly immune, they provide excellent scapegoats, are noticed and remembered only when they do poorly, and receive credit only within the bowels of the Monday morning special-teams debriefing. Point to the Vikings.
For myself, I am taking Kluwe's statements as genuine. I also know that not a damn thing will be done about them, we have to give a stadium to a billionaire, ya know.
What do you think?