I've had the opportunity to interview many guests on my radio show, but my personal favorite has been Minnesota Vikings Punter, Chris Kluwe.
The Vikings opened up training camp today from Minnesota State University-Mankato in Mankato, Minnesota. I was able to touch base with Chris for a handful of questions. We'll find out how much he likes Mankato, how the offseason was and his thoughts on new Vikings Kicker, Blair Walsh.
Let's catch up with Chris Kluwe!
The Ace: Hey Chris! Thanks for doing this interview with me. You are the first professional athlete to be interviewed by TJRsports.com. That must be an amazing feeling.
Chris Kluwe: I am literally beside myself with joy right now. I'm starting to hyperventilate.
Ace: How was the offseason for you? What did you do to keep busy?
Chris: It was good. Spent a lot of time with my daughters and wife and opened up a hobby/game store called Mercenary Market in southern California.
Ace: What kind of physical training does a punter do in the offseason to keep in shape?
Chris: Mainly Crossfit, running on the beach, and practicing punting.
Ace: What is the best and worst parts of training camp in Mankato?
Chris: Best part is leaving Mankato. Worst part is being at Mankato.
Ace: What's the vibe like without longtime kicker Ryan Longwell no longer on the team? What are your thoughts on 'The Blair Walsh Project?'
Chris: It's a little strange because Ryan was with us for such a long time, but Blair's working really hard and I think he's going to help us out quite a bit this year. He's got a very strong leg and he's definitely committed to getting better.
Ace: If you lined up to do a 40 yard dash with Percy Harvin, how much of a head start would you need, if any?
Chris: At least 20 yards, and a rocket pack, and a team of sled dogs.
Ace: If you were Commissioner Chris Kluwe of the National Football League, what would an appropriate punishment be for those involved in the 'Bountygate' Scandal? Do you think Commissioner Goodell's punishment for Greg Williams, Sean Payton, Jonathon Vilma and other players involved was too harsh, not harsh enough or just right?
Chris: I think his punishment was appropriate for what happened. Offering money to injure other players has no place in any sport and I'm glad he brought the hammer down to make that point.
Ace: Aside from head injuries and bounties, do you think there's any other controversies that will pop up from the league in the next 5-10 years?
Chris: I think the 18 game season issue is going to make a reappearance at some point.
Ace: Okay, serious stuff is done. What sweet video games are coming out that you'll be in line to get?
Chris: Borderlands 2 is the one I'm most looking forwards to. I'm a huge fan of the first one and I can't wait for the sequel to come out.
Ace: Your band, Tripping Icarus, got some national attention last year with Donovon McNabb obtaining #5 from you. How's everything going with the band? Will we be seeing any performances this fall/winter?
Chris: Things are going well. We're currently working on our 4th CD; unfortunately our singer got pretty ill so we had to put it on hold for a while but he's recovering and we should be able to start playing again in a couple months.
Ace: Did Donovon hold up his end of the bargain for #5? Did you get your ice cream cone?
Chris: I never did get the ice cream cone. He did donate the money for Kick For A Cure though, which was very nice of him.
Ace: Are you going to be wearing #5 this year, or do Christain Ponder, Joe Webb or Sage Rosenfels want that?
Chris: I'll be back in number 5. I think I'm pretty safe from the quarterbacks for now.
Ace: Finally, what can we expect from the Minnesota Vikings this year, and specifically, Chris Kluwe this year?
Chris: From the Vikings, hopefully a winning season with some playoff appearances. For myself, I'm looking to try and make it to the Pro Bowl for the first time in my career so we'll see how that works out.
Ace: Chris, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. Hopefully we can get you on the radio show this year. I've been telling you for years now that I'd love to buy you a beer. Hopefully we can make that happen, and then take a form of public transportation home. Good luck on this season and hope you stay healthy!
Chris: Thanks. I appreciate the interest :) .
The questions weren't anything close to an interrogation, but Chris is a great punter and has some very interesting off field interests. It's always fun to catch up with him.
If you're on Twitter, not only should you follow @TJRsports and myself @TheAce18, but follow Chris @ChrisWarcraft. He's one of the most entertaining people on Twitter and always has some fun locker room posts.
I'll be back soon with a debut column with Allen Stevens. Thanks for reading!