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Friday, January 3, 2014

Barely An Athlete?

With the NFL Playoffs starting tomorrow the talk of the NFL is not about teams like the Eagles and the Packers barely getting.  Its not even about the Cardinals winning 10 games and not getting in.  Is it about the recent slide of the Chiefs and Saints, with both managing to get in the playoffs.  No, of course not.  The talk is about a team that 5-11-1 and fired their coach the day after the season ended.  The funny part is the new coaching search is not the main fi\ocus in Minnesota.  Its the punter, yes the punter.  And to top it off he was cut before the season even started.  And that's where this story begins.
Chris Kluwe was a punter for the Minnesota Vikings until he was cut by the team before the season started.  In an essay he wrote published by Deadspin he he claims that he was cut because of his stance on gay rights and same sex marriage.  This allegation opens up for a lot of discussions and opinions on being a gay athlete.  This will be discussed in a future article.
I listen to a lot of talk radio.  Obviously I listen to sports but I also like to listen to a station that talks politics and current events.  On this station I heard a radio personality talking about the Kluwe situation.  Now this station doesn't always talk sports, but it is no stranger to it.  The segment was more informative than it was commentary, until the end.  The report said as the segment ended that Kluwe was a punter, "barely an athlete".  This bothered me for several reasons.  was he saying that as if to say that this story was relevant because it was just a punter saying it?  What if it was Tom Brady or even Bruce Arians?
This poses another question.  Why would he say that a punter is barely an athlete.  I get that they are only on the field a few times a game and that all they do is kick a football.  But lets be honest they are in the NFL and that takes a lot of athleticism to get there, no matter the position.  Punters may not be as athletic as a QB or even a lineman but they workout and train everyday just like any other athlete in the NFL.  I'd love to see that radio personality compete in a combine drill against Chrs Kluwe or any other NFL punter, than I'd like to see how athletic he thinks punters are.

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