kluwe4

There Can Be Only One

After eight years, punter Chris Kluwe finds himself again in a heated camp competition, and this time he’s the veteran up against a strong-legged youngster in Marquette King

NAPA, Calif. — In the NFL, we all begin as rookies. We come in to a team with no idea what to expect, no idea who anyone really is, blind and unsure. The pressure is immense. Ninety men are on that team, and ultimately there’s only room for 53. You are fighting for your livelihood, daily, against as many as five other people, depending on position.

That doesn’t mean you can’t be a human being.

I entered the league in 2005, as an undrafted free agent for the Seattle Seahawks. In minicamps, I was one of three punters. One was the incumbent from 2004 who’d had a shaky year, Donnie Jones. One was a seasoned veteran looking to prolong his career, Leo Araguz. I was the unproven kid with a big leg. We had what I would call an uneasy truce. We didn’t try to actively sabotage each other, but we didn’t try to help each other out, either. Conversations were slightly stilted, focusing mainly on banal topics like the weather, or what college we had attended. Punt drills were silent affairs of intense effort, the focus solely on ourselves.

Two weeks into minicamp, Donnie was cut. He tweaked his knee golfing, the team decided to drop him then and there, and suddenly it was me and Leo.

The pressure became even more intense. Our special teams coach, Bob Casullo, was loud, brash—a yeller. Mis-hit a punt and you’d hear about it, generally at around 90 decibels. Each day I found myself focusing on the same litany. Don’t mess up. Outkick the other guy. Don’t mess up. Every time I didn’t hit a punt perfectly, I wondered if it would be my last day in Seattle. Will they cut me like they did the incumbent? Am I good enough to play in this league? Will I even make it to preseason? It was a month of fighting down the doubts, convincing myself I belonged, each and every day.

I made it to training camp, and, impossibly, the pressure increased. When you put on full pads, when you do full team sessions, it hits you: This is for real. Every rep counts, and you’ll never get as many as you want. Hit a bad ball, and there’s no taking it back. You can’t ask for one more to try and end on a good note; there’s simply not enough time. What you do in that limited practice segment defines who you are, and some days that definition is hard to face.

Leo and I continued our consensual silence. He would punt with the first team, I’d punt with the second, and again it would be us alone with our thoughts. In the NFL there’s only space for one punter on a roster. We both knew one of us wasn’t making it to the regular season. That knowledge formed the very bedrock of our interactions. How do you get to know someone you’re trying to replace? Is it even possible? Obviously you’re not going to help each other, right?

Once upon a time, Chris Kluwe was just an undrafted free agent punting for his life.
Once upon a time, Chris Kluwe was an undrafted free agent competing against the veteran in Seattle. (Jim Bryant/AP)

I made it to the final day of cuts, 75 down to 53. My roommate, a fullback named Jesse Lumsden, was cut a week earlier. Strained hip-flexor. He tried to play through it, to show the team he was tough. All it got him was no injury settlement. If you make it to the final cutdown, the day after the fourth preseason game is when they let you know your future. You’re on the team, or you’re looking for work. Veterans call the player personnel guy the Grim Reaper, and he carries a scythe labeled, “Coach wants to see you, and bring your playbook.”

I got a call from the Grim Reaper around 10 a.m.

He told me I had punted well during the preseason, but that they were going with the veteran guy. They thought he would be more consistent. They wanted me to stick around, though. They wanted to put me on the eight-man practice squad, a place for young, raw players to develop and get used to the intensity of the NFL.

I was elated. I still had a chance to win the job. It might take a little longer, but at least I was still in the building. I had shown something that made them think I would be a useful addition to the team at some point. All the pressure of minicamps, OTAs, the preseason—all worth it.

Funny thing about the practice squad, though. They have to cut you first, before putting you on it. You spend 24 hours on the waiver wire, during which any other team can put in a request. The catch is that another team can’t claim you to stash on their practice squad; you have to go on the 53-man active roster. As a punter, for all intents and purposes, if someone claims you off the waiver wire, you are their starting punter for that week.

An hour after being cut by Seattle, on my way to put a down payment on an apartment for my wife and me, life changed. I got a phone call informing me I was now the starting punter for the Minnesota Vikings.

I thought I knew what pressure was.

***

Now it’s eight years later. I’m in training camp with the Oakland Raiders, after the Vikings decided they wanted to go in a different direction last spring. The situation is eerily familiar to my first trial. Only for me it’s … the opposite.
There’s a young punter in his second year, very strong leg, lots of potential, immensely talented, looking to earn a starting role for the first time in his career. There’s an older veteran, going on his ninth year in the league, may not have quite the same booming leg strength he used to, but he can still kick. Still wants to prove he can play at an NFL level and prolong the dream a while longer.

This time, I’m Leo Araguz. Marquette King, a nice kid from Georgia, is Chris Kluwe.

Competitors, and comrades. (Allan Yuan/Oakland Raiders :: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
In the competition to replace Shane Lechler, Chris Kluwe (left) is the newcomer; Marquette King got preseason reps with Oakland in 2012  before spending the year on injured reserve. (Allan Yuan/Oakland Raiders :: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

When I first joined the Raiders, during minicamps and OTAs this year, I wasn’t sure how I would handle it. In a lot of ways it’s like being a rookie all over again, constantly trying to prove myself, ruing every wasted opportunity, every bad punt. I wasn’t sure how I would interact with the young punter with the massive leg. After all, aren’t we fighting for the same spot? There’s room for one punter on the 53, after all.

The first couple days were awkward. Marquette and I said hello to each other in the locker room, talked about the weather, went outside and punted in silence. How could it not be awkward? We both knew the underlying foundation, the one unavoidable truth. It hung in the air like smog, an elephant staring at us from its perch in the corner. There can be only one.

After the third or fourth day, I did what might have been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (outside of changing some particularly foul diapers). Marquette and I were out punting, and he was struggling with his drop. It kept falling to the inside, causing his leg to cross over and make his punts drag short and to the left. It’s an easily correctable mistake, but a lot of the time you need someone else to point it out to you, especially if you’re still refining your fundamentals. I could see him getting frustrated, hating the fact he was losing those oh-so-precious reps, squandering them on poor punts.

During a break between kicks, I walked over and told him what was happening, and how to fix it. He looked at me somewhat bemusedly, perhaps sensing some sort of mind game. I can’t say that I blamed him. Why would a veteran, a guy fighting for the same spot, offer to make his competition better? Surely this had to be a trick, a ploy? (And don’t call me Shirley.)

The next rep, he tried the change I had suggested—tuck his elbow in a little to keep the ball from falling inside—and he crushed the ball. And the next one. And the next one. Afterward he thanked me for the help, still not quite believing it. I was glad he trusted me enough to try the technique change, willing to listen to someone he knew might not have his best interests in mind.

Why would a veteran, a guy fighting for the same spot, offer to make his competition better? Surely this had to be a trick, a ploy?

Why did I help Marquette? Why did I knowingly lessen my own chances at winning the punting position for the Raiders? Why would I put his interests before my own?

Because I was Marquette, eight years ago, and no one helped me. No one offered to take a little of that pressure off my shoulders, encourage me that I had what it took to make it in the NFL, showed me the little tips and tricks that can be the difference between playing under the lights on Sunday and watching wistfully from home.

Am I upset at the uneasy truce I had with my veteran teammate when I was a rookie? No. I completely understand why things were the way they were. This is a business, after all, and an extremely competitive one. Offering help to a rookie might mean that the rookie takes your job. Far easier to simply take care of yourself, and let others sink or swim on their own. I made it on my own. Shouldn’t Marquette do the same? When I see him punt well, it’s easy to ask myself what in the hell I’m doing. He has a cannon for a leg, strength that I no longer have. We have evergreen trees here at our camp in Napa, and, depending where you stand on the field, you can see him punt the ball over the trees. When he hits a consistent set, I know I simply can’t match him anymore in terms of raw distance or hang time. Time catches up with all of us, eventually.

The power of special teams: Marquette King and Chris Kluwe flank Sebastian Janikowski.
The red-shirt brigade: Marquette King and Chris Kluwe flank Sebastian Janikowski. (Tony Gonzales/Oakland Raiders)

Time also teaches us lessons.

I may not have the same ceiling as Marquette anymore, but I’m confident in my abilities. I know I can still punt in the NFL, still contribute to this team, and I refuse to watch someone struggle with a problem I know I can fix. Competing for a spot on an NFL roster doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. You see, there are 31 other teams out there. You’re not just competing against each other. You’re competing against every other punter out there, and the best 32 will end up playing on Sunday. That’s how the NFL works. I think I’m one of the best 32 punters out there, and I also think Marquette can be one of the best 32. Whichever one of us ends up getting cut, I want that player to have the best chance possible at making another team. I want someone to get claimed off waivers, just like I was as a rookie. I want us both to succeed.

That’s the other part of the NFL I’m trying to pass along to Marquette. Those other 31 teams? They’re always watching. Always. There’s a reason I ended up in Minnesota despite not having taken a snap with the Vikings for the entire preseason.

What you do in preseason games, during warmups, during practice, it all plays a part in your chance for success. Coaches and scouts and agents and GMs talk to each other. They know each other. The league is a very small world, and if you can play, everyone will find out. There will be a spot for you somewhere. It may not be the spot you originally envisioned, but the opportunity will come.

[si_cvp_video id="video_EEFB417B-03E0-6839-EA69-6331982F0077"]So we help each other at practice, offer words of encouragement, try to pick each other up when we’re having a bad day. We play Call of Duty, and make jokes about the kickers, and talk about things other than the weather. I try to give Marquette as much of my knowledge as I can, the countless things I’ve picked up over my eight years. What to focus on in windy days (hold on to the ball a little bit longer to minimize any variation in your drop, and drive it into the wind when you kick it), for instance. The difference between the home run swing and the 95% swing for consistency, and why it’s important to know both. The home run swing is great for distance and hang time, but you can’t really control where the ball is going to go, and when coaches want you to kick directionally, making sure the ball goes where you want it to is very important. The benefit of taking care of your body while you’re still young, so you don’t have to deal with so many aches and pains when you’re older; now that’s something I really wish someone had told me about—ice baths don’t feel great, but they’re vital for recovering your legs.

Most importantly, we talk about the mental aspect of the game. Punting, just like any other position, is defined not only by your physical attributes, but also by how you apply them. I’ve been in pressure situations before. Most, I’ve kicked well in. Some, I haven’t.

I try to let Marquette know that you have to be able to bounce back from a bad kick, you have to be able to shake it from your mind and focus on the next one.

If you get a bad snap, whether in practice or a game, you can’t let it affect you. Push it out of your memory.

If you get those pre-game jitters, that’s natural. Tamp them down and focus on your fundamentals, on looking at the ball, on making sure your drop is consistent and that you’re not rushing your kick.

If you hit a good kick, great. Now forget about it, and get ready for the next one. Act like you’ve been out there before. Excitement is good; you should be proud of doing your job well. But if you’re focused on the past, you’re not going to do well in the present. Above all, be confident in yourself, no matter what.

And sometimes I can’t help but think: Why am I helping this kid out? I should just focus on me.

What do I get out of being Marquette’s confidant? The satisfaction of passing on what I know to someone else who can use it, if he wants to. The satisfaction of hopefully helping someone make it to the very exclusive club of active NFL players. The focus that teaching requires, knowing the fundamentals so well you can explain them to someone else. The focus that naturally makes your own form better because you’re forced to consider what you’re doing rather than take it for granted.

Is it still awkward sometimes? Yes. Some days that elephant creeps back into the room, especially after a poor practice. The pressure clamps down once more, the doubts resurface. I wonder what he thinks sometimes.

Why does this guy keep talking to me? Just leave me alone!

What if I’m not good enough?

And sometimes I can’t help but think: Why am I helping this kid out? I should just focus on me.

***

A Cold Business

Every August, hundreds of NFL players lose their jobs for various reasons. Previously on The MMQB, Austen Lane has described the heartache and uncertainty that comes with being cut.


Meanwhile, Andrew Brandt explains why having to cut players is not easy on front offices, either.

This weekend the preseason games start. That will bring a whole new set of challenges, a whole new set of pressures. What you do under the lights is ultimately the only thing that counts, and reps are extremely limited there. What will our game-day demeanor be? Will we still help each other? Or will we retreat back into silence, every man for himself?

I don’t know. I don’t know if we’re friends, if we can ever be friends … if that’s even possible given the harsh realities of the NFL. I don’t know which one of us will make the team, or if either of us will. Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, and I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t think about life after football, if I didn’t wonder whether this could be my last time stepping onto the field on Sundays. If this is it for me, I’ll have other pursuits. I can write, do speaking engagements, get a teaching credential. But those are the late-night thoughts, ones I drive from my mind, because to wallow in them is to accept defeat, and that’s one of the most important lessons I want to pass on to Marquette. Never listen to those doubts, because they’ll sap every chance you have to succeed.

What do I know? I know that I am ultimately responsible for my actions. I know the type of person I want to be. I know, were the situations reversed, how I would want to be treated, because I was on the other side of the equation. I was the young rookie, competing with everything I had for a place on the 53. I know that I want to win my spot now because I am the best, competing against the best competition I could possibly find, not because I let a guy struggle when I could have easily helped him out. I know that in a violent sport, filled with uncertainty, I will eventually fail, but it will be my choice, my failure, not because I let someone else fail in my place.

Yes, Marquette and I are fighting for a job. Yes, there will be only one of us when the regular season starts.

That doesn’t mean we can’t act like human beings.

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132 comments
vince11
vince11

See ya, Chris Kluw-less! I sure hope being grand marshall at the homosexual parade was worth it. You were always so interested in everything except improving your punting. 

Chris_in_CA
Chris_in_CA

Hey Chris,


Not sure what's up with some of the troglodytes here in the comments section, but I hope you get a chance to read this.


What you did for Marquette was truly a classy thing.  As a Raiders fan, I thank you for indirectly helping the quality of the team.  As a fellow human being, I thank you for reminding us of the value of the Golden Rule.


I hope you continue to find success in the NFL or in whatever venture you wind up in, and, more importantly, I hope you continue to act as a good example of how we should treat other people around us.  Too many selfish douchebags in this world nowadays.


I don't know much about your political leanings, and I don't much care.  Politics means absolutely nothing without civility, and again you teach us by example that there is plenty of room for both.  I'm sure you taught Marquette more than just the finer points of being an NFL punter.  You taught him that sometimes there are more important things in life.


Good luck to you.

ChrisRobbins
ChrisRobbins

The article was too long. I found it dry and repetitive. Then I got to the comments and found out what dry and repetitive really meant. It's football you morons. How do politics find their way here in the first place? You all throw around a lot of big words, and I noticed that most of them were even used correctly, but in the end your all a bunch of idiots with too much time on your hands. Only you ppl and Rush Limbaugh could find a way to throw politics into a football article. I'm dumber for having read as much as I did...... Thanks. That's time I'll never get back.....GO RAIDERS!!!!\m/

PaulParsons
PaulParsons

I take it he wrote a different article in which he discussed politics? Maybe you morons should go comment on that article instead. 

VIPOD
VIPOD

M.King will get the job in Oakland. For a rebuilding team, this makes too much sense, every punt in a game situation will only improve his accuracy, because the kid does have power (see last years pre-season). As for Mr.Kluwe, I doubt he will be left without work for a long.


As for the political dribble written by most on this blog....God Help You!  The America my dad came to in the 1960's pushed for free speech, new ideas, and a new path...something that didn't exist in the Eastern Block. I guess that dream has been stifled. Welcome to your "Newspeak" society, you deserve it!

randy.lavelle
randy.lavelle

Great Article Chris!Too bad haters are going to use it for their political platform when it wasn't even discussed.


RGEEZY
RGEEZY

and i appreciate the article, seeing a different perspective on a position rarely talked about......now continue with your stupid political comments

RGEEZY
RGEEZY

wow the comment section here is real pathetic. people in america, angry at someone voicing political opinions, and disliking them personally and hoping they fail at their career because of that? i'm so glad i'm not a neo-con, nor a liberal.

Jeff Daniel
Jeff Daniel

If I was grading this essay, it would get a C- at best, as it reads like someone trying to fulfill a word count requirement by sheer repetition. 

DukeThompson
DukeThompson

He's really not very good, and uses his ability to communicate effectively in a verbal and written form to compensate for his lack of ability.... 

He also thinks incredibly highly of himself and his abilities, plus he throws his hair around like he is the Jesus Christ of football.

Good luck with him Raiders.

Rosco
Rosco

the guy is the scum of the earth.  who cares what happened / happens to him...

bigstones11
bigstones11

This guy is using the NFL platform, even as he struggles to succeed at the easiest position, to spout off his unintelligent, ill informed political positions never having worked a day in his life at a real job.  

Sesi
Sesi

Those that claim Kluwe is a mediocre punter have never watched him play. Most likely theyre using the old net avg. argument which has no base in reality. Some idiots use that same argument against Ray Guy, which in my opinion is a HoF player.

Redtheidiot
Redtheidiot

A true liberal would give King this job.

Jean
Jean

I'm betting on marquette Topping clueless.

WaterBoy
WaterBoy

Chris is the type of guy you'd love to go into battle with.  Seems like a great team mate and even a better human being.  Your actions will come back to help you in more ways than you'll ever know.  Be it good or bad.  


Good things will come back around Chris.  Whether you make it as the Raider's punter or not.  There will be a plan for you.  With a solid character like yourself, good things will fall into place.

BeauTroutman
BeauTroutman

I played CoD with Marquette King once. I have to root for him!

Oakland420
Oakland420

I think Kluwe wrote article as a ploy to get the youngster to buy into the BS Kluwe is feeding him.  Genius!!!

Mike26
Mike26

Much better than the trash CK wrote last time.  Good article!

JohnBoros
JohnBoros

Life is about helping others. I commend Chris for his actions in providing help in a gesture that goes beyond football. It is a gesture about life and humanity. And...If we've learned anything from Adam Sandler, it's that being a kicker is hard and...lonesome. Great  job!

Spicemn
Spicemn

Love it.... all about being a nice human being!!  Miss U here at Spice...MN

dahlqvist
dahlqvist

A mediocre punter who shoots his mouth off about controversial issues is lucky to be considered for an NFL roster spot. He should shut up and concentrate on punting. No one cares about his dopey opinions.

GeneY63
GeneY63

OUTSTANDING!!! Great Job Chris.  Good Luck.  Watched you punt during training camp.  You still have it.

Thanks, Gene Y.

Vu
Vu

Great article, Chris.  You're not only a great role model for football, but for how we should treat each other regardless of the circumstances.  That UCLA education served you well too.

Durinsbane
Durinsbane

I teach engineering and Mandarin at a middle school in the Central Valley in California. My school is considered "ghetto". I think Chris can have a very positive influence on young adults who are in tough situations. If the NFL life ends, and I hope it is not for a long time, I wish he goes into education. His wisdom and outlook on what is important in life is something to be shared. Best of luck to you Chris and know that whatever path you take, it is the right one.

Mike26
Mike26

@bigstones11 So now anyone that points out their OPINION of having social issues be forced into a FOOTBALL website is automatically a Republican bigot?  Wow, what great acceptance by those DEMANDING that everyone accept and give them respect.

ReagansDiapers
ReagansDiapers

@bigstones11 By the way, anybody who is going to bother trying to get into a logical debate with this cretin, he posted this as well;

"
Stop being spineless victims.  Grow up and start showing some individual accountability for your actions.  Very few black people still alive have experienced racism as more than an aberration. Affirmative action is actual racism instituted as policy against any white person, nobody has an issue with that.  Excuses are made all the time about Jay-Z saying the word in his songs, a man that apparently has the Presidents ear, but it's ok to use it because he's black.  You want to mention a small time WR as evidence of an epidemic?  Grow up."

I know, how surprising that a generic right wing puppet would have so many hollow, intellectually bankrupt, self entitled, pedantic, generic right wing opinions!

ReagansDiapers
ReagansDiapers

@bigstones11 You conservatives are so full of hate, it would be adorable if it wasn't so pathetic.

Lets see you punt a football. And whats your real job, kid? Answering phones? Being a middle management doofus?

I'll take the outspoken punter over you whiny partisans any day.

_RIPROCK
_RIPROCK

@Sesi im a white fan am watching this competion hoping king wins..he's not in cahoots with the black panthers or the bloods or cripps He's like a big unthreatening gamer geek THAT DONT THREATEN OR SCARE ANYBODY..The job needs to go to him.

jeffvl
jeffvl

@Sesi  Kluwe is as dumb of a punter as Todd Sauerbrun and Scott Player.  Klewe has given up more punt return touchdowns to Devin Hester than any other punter.  Sauerbrun gave up a PR and KR touchdown in the span of a minute (ironically sandwiched around a Cutler-Marshall hook up for a long TD.)  As for Player, all he had to do in '06 was punt the ball into the stands and they wouldn't have "Let 'em off the hook" after "Bad Rex" made his Bears debut.  Granted, you could also remove what Kluwe gave up to 23 and his career net would jump 5-10 yards.

As for the other comments here, Kickers and Punters have two rules, kick the ball where it's supposed to go and shut up unless spoken to.  After a back and forth conversation with him during the lockout, I can't wait until Gould's contract is up after the year. (He's their Union Rep.)   Back to Kluwe...I think you can label him the same way Manning label Vanderjagt at the Pro Bowl.  His views are those of a vocal minority.  Those of someone who has to play in 5-10 plays a game and frankly one who's toughest work is playing computer games with a bunch of mouth breathing 40 year olds still living with their parents. (Again ironic as the Bears' former rep has started up a website built around making more money from fans in order to play online games against athletes.)

It's ironic how the "high and mighty" liberals always scream bloody murder and resort to name calling whenever someone points out the truth.  An accidental President (go read up on the Ryan-Obama IL Senate race pre-leaked divorce papers from a corrupt city) who at best might have been Governor of the state of IL or Mayor of the State of Chicago looking to run in 2016.  The same President who spoke of "change" but neglected to mention that "change" meant sending his "brothers" to polling stations to intimidate voters, questionable voter fraud (WI), and taxpayer funded bachelor weekends for he and his millionaire friends in Florida while his wife and kids disrupted a ski resort with their security and support details.  A President who lied about closing Gitmo, has the philosophy of "never want[ing] to let a good crisis go to waste" (even if it means using grieving families in an attempt to infringe on the Bill of Rights), and one who may have won the battle of saving the auto industry but lost the war in saving Detroit & coming soon....his home state of IL.  A President who negotiated a spending bill where he, yes, OBAMA added the sequestration mechanism.  A President who then played politics with middle class jobs by cutting where it would hurt his subjects the worst rather than other wasteful spending...and then blamed Republicans for it!  Yet you liberals continue to buy into the massive con job that has been his Presidency...something straight out of the Eddie Murphy movie "The Distinguished Gentleman." 

If you ever want a good view of liberal democrat policy failures take a look at Illinois.  A state where the Speaker of the House/Chair of Dem. party and AG are father-daughter, a small geographic area tells the other 90% of the state what to do (largely due to some serious gerrymandering), and who prefer extremists to common sense moderates (go take a look and the Halverson-Kelly primary to replace the convict ,Jesse Jackson Jr.)  After all of this IL has one of the worst credit ratings in the United States.  If it was a person it would have to pay cash to get a car.  If you really want that rolled out to the country by all means elect another liberal in 3 years.

Back to Klewe and his support of Essera with that "packing" team in Wisconsin...  Marriage is a religious institution...which if you are familiar with 2nd grade social studies, government has no business in religion.  In fact it is expressly prohibited.  Again, the hostility in all of this comes from the liberals who push their agenda in the most belligerent way possible.  Or how it's OK for blacks to call white people crackers and other races derogatory slurs but don't you dare say the "N" word if you're not black because then you're the racist and they aren't.  The PROPER way to deal with the issue Klewe whines about was/is civil unions and federal laws giving them equal benefits to married couples.

As for the NFC North... Green Bay had the first openly gay player who then went to the Vikings.  Chicago had a closeted but obvious one in the now out of work Brendon Ayanbadejo (and ironically one of his best friends from the Bears has lost his job as a postgame analyst twice.)  I'm sure Klewe will be joining them in a few weeks.

ReagansDiapers
ReagansDiapers

@RedtheidiotAnd a true conservative would whine about politics in a sports article because of how utterly easily manipulated and shrill they are. Squawk more, Polly Parrot.

Mike26
Mike26

@Reedster2185 Agreed Reedster.  Funny how the group that simply wants to be included clearly has no time for those that DARE to point out that this is a FOOTBALL site and not a political action site.

ReagansDiapers
ReagansDiapers

@dahlqvist Ah yes, another freedom loving conservative who thinks celebrities and athletes should only talk about "controversial issues" that they personally agree with.

Squawk more, Polly. Your owners can't hear you yet.

SolidStateMind
SolidStateMind

@dahlqvist From the other comments, it would appear that you are completely wrong that "no one cares about his dopey opinions."  If you are really so hateful that you have to try to disparage those you don't agree with, I would suggest that you need to do some serious reevaluation of your life.

JimBowski
JimBowski

@dahlqvist 

* years in nfl- mediocre, one out of 32. Are you in the top 32 in your industry?  


Jean
Jean

@Durinsbane "engineering and Mandarin at a middle school" in de ghetto---uh yeah.

workinOvatime
workinOvatime

@jeffvl @Sesi 820 Words. 1 Question: how the f*ck did you manage to spell Ayanbadejo correctly and *not* Kluwe, the guy you've been ranting about for years?


Your poor wife has probably had to hear this rant seven or eight times, and you wonder why she doesn't want to have sex with you while you're rambling about Obama, civil unions, and back-up punters in bed while wearing Bears pajamas.


Relax, sir.

jeffvl
jeffvl

@ReagansDiapers @Redtheidiot Klewe stopped being a black/white person when he used sports to push his political agenda.  At that point he opened himself up to his beliefs/sports becoming intertwined in any article about/by him.

I'll let you in on a little secret...the silent majority of the GOP does not routinely listen to Rush or watch FOX News.  I don't do either, yet I can still form an opinion based on my own beliefs while a person such as yourself tries to take the discussion into the gutter.  For the record, a true conservative would be one who forms their own opinion based on their own beliefs and then decided where in the political spectrum they landed/which candidate most closely represented their beliefs.  Those who you speak of are the idiots who dine under a photo of Sarah Palin, never miss one of Rush's shows (Johnny Carson was still hosting the Tonight Show the last time I listened to him), and receive all of their news from right wing websites.  Rush is as ridiculous as Bill Maher.

Sarah Palin and those following her have hijacked the party much as the Occupy movement has done...though I don't recall anyone ever being raped or assaulted at a Tea Party rally.  Palin is completely opposite Reagan on the Conservative side of the spectrum.  Part of the reason you had "Reagan Democrats" was due to his moderate views. Being involved in the college political environment in the mid-90s (pre-Monicagate), a lot of Washington tactics came from things done at that level.  It's no surprise that they have continued as our generation starts to take over.

Since Hoover, we've had good-great GOP Presidents who at times had to clean up Dem messes.  Eisenhower the man and President speaks for it/himself.  Aside from the Watergate cover-up, Nixon was a great President.  Amongst his successes, getting out of Vietnam after JFK/LBJ got us into that mess and opening the door to a "normalized" relationship with China.  Ford knowingly sacrificed his political career by taking the hit for pardoning Nixon and getting our country past Watergate. 

 Reagan is also a lot like Ike in that the record speaks for itself.  Like Nixon with China, he normalized and worked to improve relations with the USSR.  He made it clear that there were consequences to attacks on the US or our interests.  Tripoli showed that you don't mess with innocent lives and get away with it.  Iran-Contra...the Contra part of it, the funding would be done today with one of those executive orders Obama loves to use these days to get around Congress.  In the end, he stopped and then forced back Communism.  The Iran part...again, cleaning up a mess left by Carter.  He NEVER should had put prolonging the Shah's life by a few months ahead of relations with a country such as Iran.  (If he had normalized relations with the Shah, care to guess what would have happened in the 80s with the tyrant west of Iran and the way the Soviets steamrolled into Afghanistan?) 

Bush 41 lost for two reasons.  Breaking a single tax promise and Perot splitting the vote.  He was President as the Berlin Wall fell, Operation Desert Shied/Storm was "won", and in relation to Desert Storm knew when to stop in order to save a vulnerable Gorbachev from the hardline Communist coup. 

Bush 43 inherited a mess.  Perhaps I should just list what The Democratic Congress in the late 80s and Clinton left him: After the Dem run Congress failed to provide financial support to our Afghan allies, the Taliban and Al Qaeda took over thus creating a mess bigger than Carter's Shah of Iran folly.  Clinton then waited to launch an attack on OBL until he could use it to divert attention from him admitting he lied about his disgusting acts in the Oval Office....resulting in OBL leaving before the missiles hit.  He also was responsible for irresponsibly forcing banks to loan people money they knew couldn't be repaid.  This led to the housing bubble which led to the banking system nearly collapsing, etc., etc., etc.  Clinton also let those responsible for the assassination plot on 41 go without any real punishment against them.

So the major failures cited by the left of Bush were: The economy (caused by Clinton's home lending policies), Afghanistan (helped along by Congressional Dems refusing support in the late 80s), Iraq (suspected by many of developing WMDs and plotting to kill his father...an ex-President), and a tortuous (but necessary) search for OBL who went underground after 9/11.

And now Barry rides in on his white horse to save the day....though I'm sure in 10-15 years there'll be another mess to clean-up thanks to him.  (Let's pray to God that another Clinton isn't given a chance in 2017 to mess things up even more than they already are.)

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