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Posts posted by wiegie

  1. ESPN is saying the Panthers were told to travel to KC as planned.


    I have little doubt that the fact that the game has no playoff implications made it easier for the NFL to just say they are going to play the game as scheduled. In fact, they are probably relieved to be able to get the game over with as scheduled so as not to the draw extra publicity and additional bad PR that could have resulted if there were more of an individual focus on the game (as would have happened if the game had been postponed and played in isolation).

  2. If I could be a shape-shifting cyborg future cop, I'd be like present-day wiegie. Just a small, nearly infinitesmal midget body with all my mass warped out into one hugh penis. I'd walk around being big man on campus...literally. And then I'd climb up the Eiffel Tower and steal me a woman. If only...


    Tim just basically explained my entire life story in 2.5 lines.

  3. If you've made it this far into this thread, then this is probably worth reading:


    The Punter Makes His Point

    The New York Times


    Published: October 19, 2012


    MINNEAPOLIS — It was a Saturday night in early October, and the temperature was below freezing. A half-hour before team curfew, Chris Kluwe, the Minnesota Vikings’ punter and an unlikely voice of the national debate on same-sex marriage, was polishing off a family-size box of Gobstopper candy, reluctant to leave band practice.


    Earlier, while driving to rehearsal at a wasp-infested warehouse in a dicey north Minneapolis neighborhood, Kluwe said, “Football is what I do for a living, but it’s not even remotely who I am.”


    Despite the unseasonably frigid air, he wore a World of Warcraft baseball cap backward, a Nice Vibe T-shirt, low-slung jeans and sandals.


    “I only wear shoes when it’s absolutely necessary,” said Kluwe, who grew up in California. “Otherwise, it’s sandals or, when I’m forced to, boots.”


    Kluwe might look to some like an undercover cop trying to pass as a college student. He fits right in. His bandmates in Tripping Icarus — an energetic four-piece rock group that Kluwe was enlisted to join mainly because of his prowess on the video game Guitar Hero (true story) — ended the session with a typical flurry of insults. They seized on Kluwe’s recent shirtless photos in a magazine and his decidedly uneven singing voice. A scruffy-haired 30-year-old, he took it in stride and grinned, his mouth filled with sugar.


    When he is under assault, Kluwe is clearly in his element.


    In late August, the Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. wrote to the Baltimore Ravens’ owner, Steve Bisciotti, urging him to silence linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo. Ayanbadejo had been supporting the state’s Civil Marriage Protection Act, which will allow gay couples to obtain a civil marriage license beginning Jan. 1 if it passes a Nov. 6 referendum. Burns asked Bisciotti to “inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.”


    “I know of no other N.F.L. player who has done what Mr. Ayambadejo is doing,” Burns wrote, misspelling Ayanbadejo’s surname.


    Nine days later, at 11:30 p.m. in the master bedroom of the modest Savage, Minn., home that Kluwe shares with his wife, Isabel, and daughters, Olivia, 4, and Remy, 2, Kluwe came across Burns’s dispatch while surfing the Web.


    “So I’m lying in bed, and I keep thinking over and over about this letter, and I’m like, ‘I can’t fall asleep,’ ” he recalled. “I have to write something.”


    So he pulled off the covers, turned on his MacBook Pro and spent less than an hour composing a response to Burns that was published on Deadspin.com and lifted Kluwe off the sports pages and into the national conversation about the rights of same-sex couples.


    For a man who had a perfect verbal score on the SAT, and whom friends, family, teammates and coaches describe as having “no filter,” the brickbat that Kluwe gorilla-swung at the notion of civil discourse became as much the story as the message itself.


    “This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom?” he wrote. “Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life?”


    The letter is a profanity-laden rant, as well as a multilayered, point-by-point decimation of Burns’s argument, so insidiously thorough that Burns waved the white flag two days later in an interview with The Baltimore Sun in which he said, in effect, “Never mind.”


    “My writing style comes from a storied history on the World of Warcraft forum boards,” Kluwe said, referring to the enormously popular online role-playing game. “And in that context, the letter was actually really tame. I toned it down quite a few notches. I knew from the start, I wanted to make it funny, but I definitely couldn’t go full-bore on it.”


    His definition of full-bore is debatable; what’s not in question is the positive manner in which his missive has been received across all sexual orientations and political affiliations.


    “The guy’s got a way with words,” Rush Limbaugh said of Kluwe on his radio show.


    Kluwe said: “It was funny because it felt like a sign of the apocalypse that Rush Limbaugh and whoever it was from the far left end of the spectrum were both congratulating me. Are pigs flying overhead now?”


    Some in the Minnesota news media, used to local athletes and celebrities stringing clichés together, appreciate Kluwe’s candor and his ability to speak extemporaneously on any number of subjects. A voracious reader of as many as five books a week, he has emerged as the local go-to guy for a sound bite about a Michael Moore documentary or the latest action video game. (He stopped playing World of Warcraft 18 months ago, he said, because “it wasn’t a challenge anymore.”) After his response to Burns became widely known, people in the news media privately and publicly expressed admiration for Kluwe’s ability to turn a memorable phrase.


    “He might be a better writer than he is a punter,” said Bob Sansevere, a columnist with The St. Paul Pioneer Press, who has covered the Vikings since 1984 and is a regular on the Twin Cities’ top-rated morning radio show on KQRS. He added, “I’ve never seen an athlete who can write like that.”


    What added to Kluwe’s angst that night in his bedroom was the proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution known as Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman, which is on the Nov. 6 ballot.


    “There are only 4 percent of Minnesotans undecided on this question,” says Richard Carlbom, the campaign manager of the coalition Minnesotans United for All Families, an umbrella organization for more than 600 groups working to defeat the amendment. “Right now it’s a dead heat.”


    Kluwe lent his brash voice against the amendment, appearing in radio advertisements and writing a letter on behalf of Minnesotans for Equality, a fund-raising arm of Minnesotans United for All Families. He recently began selling T-shirts printed with two of the more colorful terms from his letter to Burns. Proceeds will be split between Kluwe’s charity, Kick for a Cure, which benefits children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Minnesotans for Equality.


    “Last spring we contacted Chris through Twitter,” said Brad Michael, a committee chairman for Minnesotans for Equality. “He had tweeted about the Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries divorce.” (Sent via his @ChrisWarcraft Twitter handle, Kluwe’s message was: “Dear Sanctity of Marriage — Nyah hah!”)


    Kluwe responded to Michael immediately.


    “I was like, ‘Yeah, this is a good thing,’ ” he recalled. “I really want to make sure that the amendment doesn’t pass because I think it’s an assault on human rights and civil rights.”


    Kluwe followed up with appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and local network news, and conducted newspaper, radio and Web interviews. He has been written about in The Guardian and The Times of London.


    In addition, Kluwe wrote two profanity-free (and much less publicized) letters to other opponents of same-sex marriage, the first to Ravens center Matt Birk, his former teammate. In the second letter, to Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Pope Benedict XVI, he quoted Scripture despite his being agnostic.


    “He’s the polar opposite of your stereotypical football player,” said Cullen Loeffler, the Vikings’ long snapper and Kluwe’s close friend.


    Most recently, Kluwe was featured in Out magazine, posing shirtless, at his wife’s urging, for several photos that he expected to be locker-room fodder among relatively tight-knit, conservative teammates.


    Handling such politically delicate matters is new territory for the N.F.L., which has recently been assaulted by concussion issues, player bounties and inept replacement referees. When asked to comment about the Ayanbadejo situation during a Politico forum in September, Commissioner Roger Goodell said: “Listen, I think in this day and age, people are going to speak up about what they think is important. They speak as individuals, and I think that’s an important part of our democracy.”


    Paul Tagliabue, the previous N.F.L. commissioner, said he planned to donate $100,000 to support same-sex marriage in Maryland.


    Despite the league’s macho culture, Kluwe said: “I had quite a few teammates come up to me and say: ‘We appreciate you speaking out in support of Brendon. We may not agree with you on that marriage issue, but at the same time everybody has got the right to speak.’ And then I’ve had a couple teammates come up and say, ‘We agree with you, we think you did the right thing, and that was a great letter you wrote.’ ”


    Last year, during the final weeks of the N.F.L. lockout, after the stars Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson tried to alter some of the contract language, Kluwe wrote to Deadspin, describing them in a way that is unprintable here. At that moment, the world became aware of Kluwe.


    The former Broncos tight end Nate Jackson’s response on Deadspin was titled, “Dear Chris Kluwe: When We Want the Punter’s Opinion, We’ll Ask for It (We Won’t).”


    Kluwe fired back, ridiculing Jackson’s lack of playing time in a Deadspin column called “Can I Kick It? (Yes, I Can),” which he ended, “You’re not the only one who can craft a sentence, my friend.”


    The roots of Kluwe’s activism can be traced to his upbringing in Los Alamitos, Calif. His parents, Ronald, an executive at a company that works with biofuels, and Sandy, an anesthesiologist, raised him and his younger brother and sister, Greg and Kim, to be freethinkers who embraced both culture and sports. Kluwe became a violin prodigy who could play by ear, and he developed an advanced vocabulary.


    “His grandmother gave him ‘The Twits’ by Roald Dahl when he was 4 or 5,” Sandy Kluwe said, referring to the dark children’s tale. “He could read it, so obviously he had subversive literature at a very early age, and it apparently stuck with him.”


    Family dinners often involved lively discussions in which the children were encouraged to defend their opinions. They were taught to treat people the same way, no matter their race, sexual orientation or financial status. The constant companions of Kluwe’s childhood were not toys but books that showed him a world beyond his bedroom. When he was 11, his grandmother, an aerospace engineer and adventurer who climbed Kilimanjaro in her 70s, took him on a two-week trip to Antarctica.


    In 1994, his parents opted to home-school Kluwe, who tested above his grade. They wanted to keep him with his peers athletically rather than have him enter high school a year early. Sandy Kluwe created a rigorous curriculum, which consisted of “Shakespeare, the Federalist papers and Latin conjugations,” he said.


    At Los Alamitos High School, Kluwe decided to play football instead of soccer. A kicker and punter, he once struck a 60-yard field goal in a playoff game to force overtime. (Los Alamitos eventually won, 30-23.)


    “He came home one day from a kicking camp and said, ‘I’m going to get a scholarship to play football in college,’ ” Sandy Kluwe said, “ ‘and then I’m going to play in the N.F.L.’ Just like that.”


    Much to his parents’ dismay, Kluwe turned down Harvard to attend U.C.L.A., where he graduated in 2003 with a double major in political science and history.


    Ronald Kluwe said: “When he got off the phone with the Harvard coach, he said: ‘Dad, I’ll be the second biggest guy on the Harvard team, and I’m the punter.’ And I said, ‘O.K., Chris, just let your mother know because I’m not that brave.’ ”


    Although no team drafted him out of college, Kluwe joined the Vikings in 2005 and had three successful seasons, averaging 43.6 yards. That led to an $8.3 million contract extension that runs through 2013. Through six games this season, he is averaging 46.4 yards per punt, just above his career average. His position coach is pleased.


    “He’s a very intelligent guy, and he’s a fine punter,” Mike Priefer, the Vikings’ special teams coordinator, said. “Although he’s a very funny guy, he’s very motivated and focused on game day, and very coachable.”


    Whether his deal will be extended is uncertain, as is where his family will live. For his first five years with the Vikings, the Kluwes lived in Minnesota year-round. “Minnesota’s not bad in the few weeks of spring,” he said dryly.


    But they recently bought a second home in Huntington Beach, Calif. He and Isabel are considering bringing up the children there while visiting Minnesota during the season.


    Although Kluwe says he has no idea what he will do in retirement (“Play video games?” his mother said), he will probably not recede from public view. He blogs for The Pioneer Press several times a week, and his growing popularity makes it possible that he will have a national platform someday. The good he has done for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in the Twin Cities and elsewhere is tangible.


    “In the sports bar where I hang out, they now see this issue differently because of Chris Kluwe,” said Brad Michael, of Minnesotans for Equality. “That impact can’t be measured.”


    It is doubtful that Kluwe will join the fraternity of former coaches and players in sports broadcasting. There is a better chance of seeing him on an episode of “Nova,” bemoaning the fact that after centuries of studying the heavens, we still know so little about our existence.


    “I saw a study a couple days ago where they showed a scaled picture of the size of the dust cloud that surrounds our galaxy,” Kluwe said, putting his bass guitar down. “And then you zoom out and see how far away our galaxy is from all the others, and it’s this microscopic dot. And that’s just one galaxy out of the billions and trillions there are in the universe. You’re going to tell me we have all the answers?”


    He did not wait for a response before continuing, “If you look at it, our planet and our being on the planet is almost a 0.0 percent chance of happening in the size of the universe.” He thought for a moment. “You know, we could be nothing more than a quantum fluctuation in the stat line of the universe.”


    With that, the most interesting man in the N.F.L. popped a few more Gobstoppers into his mouth and stepped into the cold night air before driving back to the team hotel, moments before curfew.

  4. They made it their first two years in existence: lost to the Canadiens in four straight and then to the Bobby Orr Bruins the next year in four straight. I've been hooked ever since.


    I wrote that wrong--I meant that in that (record for big-four sports) streak of reaching the playoffs, they never made it to the finals.


    As for them making the finals in their first two seasons, I wasn't alive for it but the image of Bobby Orr flying across the goal crease is still burned in my mind. (I'll note that there is something a little bit tarnished about those finals appearances since I'm pretty sure the NHL set it up so that one of the expansion teams HAD to make it to the finals.)

  5. When they went down 4-0, I thought they had no chance of winning. When they went down 6-0, I knew they had no chance of winning. I still thought they would lose when they tied it up 7-7. I was still somewhat concerned when they went to the bottom of the 9th up by two.

  6. Growing up in St. Louis my allegiances are:


    1a) St. Louis Cardinals Baseball: Cardinals baseball is just a tradition in my family (like it is with wo many other families in the St. Louis area). I still have the scorecard from the first game my parents ever took me to (when I was less than one). When I was 12, my dad took my brother and me to spend the night outside of the old Busch Stadium for Game 7 World Series tickets. My uncles have had season tickets for decades (and they used to have front row seats down the third base line before they changed those seats to "club seating" and jacked the price way up). Whenever we have a family gathering, the baseball game is on the tv (I still vividly remember being at a family bbq the day Ryne Sandberg hit two homeruns off Bruce Sutter to win the game--the family drank extra that evening). This past fall, we had a somewhat formal party for my grandma's 90th birthday. As fate would have it, it occured during Game 3 of the World Series. We had four generations of people bitching about Kyle Lohse and then cheering Pujols' three homeruns. Even though I now live in Michigan, I still follow the Cardinals very closely and watch almost every game. My two older boys (ages 6 and 5) are already big Cardinals fans and my 2 year-old is a fan of Fred Bird. My kids went to bed last night when the Cardinals were losing 6-0... this morning I showed them a replay of the 9th inning (telling them that they would get to see "what might be the last time the Cardinals played baseball this year")... when they saw the hit to tie the game, their eyes got HUGH. It was fun.


    1b) The St. Louis Blues: This is the yin to my Cardinals yang. From the 80s into the 2000s, they made the playoffs something like 26 times in a row, but only advanced to the conference championship series one time and have never made it to the finals. They find new ways to alternate from being terrible to choking when they should be good. My pain has increased since moving to Michigan and having to be around insufferable Redwings fans.


    3) The St. Louis Rams: Losing the Big Red to Arizona when I was in my teens sucked (although perhaps not as much as the Cardinals themselves sucked). Getting the Rams was great, even though they were terrible. And the run the went on early last decade was something that I was very very lucky to get to experience. The whole Kurt Warner "rags to riches" story is legendary. I still root for the Rams, but the not unrealistic expectation that they will leave St. Louis makes me hold back on my full devotion.

  7. I agree with you to a certain extent on the politics issue. However, I hate cut and dry rules that fail to apply common sense in how they are implemented. When you take the time to become a contributor to an on-line message board community such as this one you expect to be able to discuss the biggest news story of the day. Whether that story is the George Zimmerman case, the God-awful shootings in Colorado, or the presidential debate. The morning after the presidential debate, the debate was the biggest news story going. It was being talked about everywhere. Just like the day after the upcoming election that will be the biggest news story going. To say that it can’t be discussed on a message board that many people frequent daily because there is this loosely defined “no political discussions” rule is downright silly. So no, I don’t have a problem with not being allowed to discuss the latest bill being held up in the Senate, but not being able to discuss something that everyone else in America is currently talking about is dumb, IMO.

    I agree with this (although I think we ought to be able to discuss pretty much anything). With all due respect to Cliaz, I think it is better to have a forum where people are arguing about H.R. 2961 in addition to the threads about midgets pooping than to just have a forum about midgets pooping.


    I would see the point if there were only one forum on these boards and the powers-that-be wanted to keep the focus on football there... that makes sense. But the political stuff doesn't (usually) filter over onto the other boards and so they are still "pure".


    Yes, there are some idiotic trolls who come and post nonsense and are quick to engage in name-calling (typically because they have no other ammunition to back up their points), but overall, it's generally no too hard to get past the nonsense and read the reasonable posts.


    As for the old-timers needing to post more, I am usually too busy to just post about anything and my fear is that if I take the time to post about something that is potentially important, that it will just get deleted. Therefore, it's usually just not worth the effort to post in many cases.

  8. I've recently learned that cancer isn't cancer. Brain cancer isn't as serious as most types of cancer and cancer policies do not cover it.


    :speechless but mad as hell:

  9. I'm not sure why everyone continues to think that I'm advocating avoiding all insurance.

    from your first post

    However, when I walked away, I was reminded about my fundamental issue with insurance. That being, it can't be that good of a deal if someone is making money selling it.

  10. You mean like the $35K for Fox and $25K for Del Rio when the DEN coaches criticized the refs in the week 2 ATL game?


    The NFL isn't a Republic, it's a private enterprise. Conduct detrimental to the league - which can encapsulate a whole lot of malfeasances - among other specified actionable items, can result in fines and suspensions for players and coaches.


    I'd say the biggest "conduct detrimental to the league" is the owners running these unqualified refs out there.
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