NFL punter Kluwe riffs on everything from social justice to dinosaur obsessions in a lively collection of stories, essays, letters and poems.
Those who’ve never watched Kluwe attempt to boot his team out of trouble on fourth and long are still probably familiar with his much-talked-about support of same-sex marriage. Marriage equality, however, is just a thin slice of what the avid video gamer, rock-’n’-roll bassist and Kurt Vonnegut devotee has percolating inside his contemplative mind. Much of it, like when he imagines a “sportsball” showdown between the “Lustful Cockmonsters” and the “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies,” has comedic value. Kluwe can’t help but dispatch a few politicians and other assorted close-minded pontificators as “douchebags,” but he spends a lot more time pondering other things, like paradoxical time traveling and mankind’s penchant for self-annihilation. In mixing the profane with the prophetic while using a variety of literary devices, the author succeeds at being both entertaining and enlightening. Haters can forget trying to paint Kluwe as some kind of loudmouth who doesn’t spend enough time thinking about his day job. At least two entries—one painstakingly detailing the intricate process of successfully punting a football downfield while a phalanx of world-class juggernauts hurl their cinder-block bodies at him and another creatively cataloging the variety of painful injuries he has sustained over his long football career—clearly attest to his dedication to gridiron greatness. Football concerns Kluwe, but so do a lot of other things—including being a good parent. “Never be ashamed of who you are. I’m a nerd who plays football,” he cheerfully advises his kids. The advice is empowering and displays the author’s overarching belief in empathy and reason.
An intriguing assortment of work from an athlete with a lot on his mind.