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Episode 494: Nerdist Podcast
Chris Kluwe Returns
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: Chris Kluwe Returns

Chris Kluwe loved the Nerdist podcast so much, he came back! He, Chris and Jonah talk about what video games they are playing right now, what happened to his NFL career since he decided to stand up for marriage equality, and what he hopes for the future of openly gay athletes.

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  1. JD says:

    Not being able to invert my Y axis in video games is a deal breaker for me too.

  2. Aaron says:

    This guy is so awesome. As an avid gamer, I hope he does another appearance on IK so we can get a deeper dive on his current video game obsessions.

    Sucks to hear what happened to him, but the way he talked about frugality, it sounds like he should be fine financially even if he doesn’t end up back in the NFL.

    I like sincere people. This guy sounds like the real deal. I wish him all the best, and will send some good karma his way.

  3. Christopher says:

    If you want to pronounce “GIF” with a soft “g”, that’s fine…I’m going to think you’re talking about peanut butter and treat you accordingly. So deal with THAT.

    Glad to hear Chris K. on the podcast again…sadly, I think his NFL days are over, and given what we’re learning about the injuries players suffer from for the rest of their lives, maybe that’s for the better?

    He doesn’t seem to bitter about it, but he got caught up in “office” politics, like any employee of a company…sometimes you have to learn where you stand and who you are by getting your butt fired.

    Hoping you can have him back on the podcast again!

  4. Carlos Perez says:

    I find it ironic that a podcast about tolerance would be so polarizing about the pronunciation of a word. If too men or two women love each other deeply, why can’t they pronounce GIF with a hard G. And if a man and a woman love each other madly too, they should be able to pronounce it with a soft G.

    As long as you chuckle when you get the funny Internet picture, who really cares how it’s pronounced.

    GIF equality now!!!

  5. Craig says:

    How do you pronounce the following words, Chris:
    Gem; giraffe; gel; gist; gigantic; ginger; gym; Gypsy; gentle.

    I hope it doesn’t involve a hard g. You’re on the wrong side of history with this one.

  6. Tim says:

    I would love to play a game of League of Legends with Chris Harwick, Chloe, and Chris Kluwe.

    Chris Hardwick can be mid because he loves those mages. Chloe can take top because she seems tough. Chris Kluwe can be ADC because, as a punter, he’s good at being at range. I’ll jungle. We’d just have to find a support – probably one of the Sister Wives.

  7. Dean Loveridge says:

    The year he was released he was kicking so poorly that the Vikings brought in people to try out his job during the season. Add that with the fact that he kicked in a dome which means his numbers don’t really compare with the rest of the league (which he keeps trying to do) and that he was scheduled to make twice as much as his replacement and it’s not so obvious that he was released because of his beliefs. He also was given another opportunity by the Raiders and failed to kick well enough to make the team. It makes for a better story for his though.

  8. Jamie says:

    I know nothing about American Football but the world needs more principled,eloquent sports people like this guy.Good luck to him.

  9. Peter says:

    This podcast was great. Chris is a stand-up fellow and his unfortunate situation forced an awful lot of unthinking couch potatoes and christian fundies to give some more thought to some of their prejudices, making a far greater cultural impact than he ever would have just playing ball. Great stuff.

    But if I may, I hear this come up somewhat often in this podcast, & always think at some point I’m going t say something.

    Minnesota & Wisconsin aren’t “midwestern” states, they’re Northern. They’re two of the top states in the union in education & scientific literacy, & highly industrialized centers of cutting edge technology & medical, biotech, & other supersciencey research. Their people are nearly all immigrants within a generation or two from Germany during its technological explosion & other Scandinavians during their cultural progressivism. Culturally, we dont identify with the midwest, or even really the rest of the US; we identify more with Canada than anywhere. You’ll notice us as the small floating island of blue in a sea of red states on the map.

    We have our share of old stubborn bastards up to their tits in money and power, but are steadily watching their ignorant old worldview die out with them.

    Please do not lump Minnesota & Wisconsin in with “the Midwest”.
    Thank you.

  10. JG75 says:

    I admire what this cat has done and sticking to his principles. But his “kids game” comments (even if I partially agree in that sports players make far too much money and too much bs goes on in the sports) completely undermine him and just make him look like a fool.

    I doubt he’d be calling it a “kids game” if this shit didn’t go down and he was still playing. The comment itself is childish in context.

  11. Robert Nunez says:

    I love this podcast. You guys really set the bar high. But every so often you guys even out-do yourselves. The Jarred Leto conversation was a blast. (Why is that guy so down-to-earth after everything he’s done and how did he manage to start the Oscars with the BEST speech of the night?)
    And this one is just as awesome! I know nothing about sports, so I almost skipped this episode. SO gald I didn’t! Chris Kluwe seems liek a great guy who’s been through some crap but maintains an upbeat attitude. That’s the kind of person I want to be!
    Also, you straight guys do a great job at covering LGBT issues. Even when you guys are joking, there’s no sign of homophobia or squeamishness. Nerdists are so good-hearted and all-inclusive. You guys have proved nice guys can be funny, edgy, smart and successful. You guys deserve all the good stuff happening now and more!

  12. Sean says:

    so glad you had Kluwe back on! what a cool dude.

  13. Ian Buck says:

    As someone who lives in Minnesota, that story saddens me. At least we succeeded in voting in favor of equality.

    On a happier note, this is the first time I’ve listened to a return guest who I remember being on the show before, so I feel like a Nerdist veteran now.

  14. alanso says:

    @Ethan –
    1. I hope trollin.
    2. Even if you aren’t – I have very little interest in NFL/American football, but there is nothing better than seeing a ‘nerd’ doing well ‘IRL’, even before the fact that Chris seems like a nice, funny guy, who is standing up for people who do not have a voice. This is pretty much the ultimate ‘nerd fantasy’ – being able to fight back against bullies.

    @Chris – Keep finding nerdy people in non traditional nerd professions!

  15. Cale says:

    That unfinished line of the first paragraph was supposed to read:

    It’s too bad that the loudest, least reasonable “Christians” tend to get the biggest platform and wind up painting a false picture of what most Christians think about science and culture.

  16. Cale says:

    After listening to this podcast and the Neil DeGrasse Tyson ep (which were both awesome), I feel like I want to say as a Christian with Christian friends (obviously) that most of us no longer have the expected viewpoints about creation or gay rights. I believe the Earth is as old as scientists say it is, and I also believe the bible is true. And if you think about it objectively you can make the biblical case for an old earth. It’s a pretty normal thing these days theologically, and it’s too bad that the least

    I would also say that most of my Christian friends and I share the same perspective: This is America, people should be allowed to freely practice religion, commerce, marriage, media, etc…. and should be able to do so without fear of hatred or oppression. Jesus didn’t hate people, and he was the hardest on those that were the most “religious” and was most loving and caring to those that were the most broken, and was that way without expectation or conditions. That’s what I hope to be to people.

    And I also love League of Legends, my user is MazerX86, so if Chris or Chris ever wants to get a game going, hit me up!

  17. Nerdrage Mustache says:

    I believe you mean “colonel”. Colonial is, in fact, pronounced phonetically. If you’re going to call people names, it’s best to proof read first.

    To the larger point, language is fluid, especially across cultures. In language, “right” is what two or more people agree upon. 2+2=4 no matter who you’re asking. But ask a Brit what a fag is and you’ll get a different answer than an American. The list goes on. It doesn’t make one person right or wrong. Now, if you say “suposably”, THAT is wrong and you deserve to be shunned publicly.

  18. Ross says:

    Oh, you naive children. The change of generations may tilt the numbers past the halfway point, and the reactionaries may be forced to watch their language in public, but it will _not_ just go away. You’ll just get a new group of code words, and the younger right-wingers will continue in their own bubble(just as they do now), working against liberalization of the laws(backed by the next crop of uber-wealthy knuckle-draggers, draped in the flag & a supposed love of liberty) and hiding behind the left’s own requisite tolerance by playing the “faith” card.
    As Lewis Black said in one of his specials, if you had told me 20 years ago that, in my lifetime, we’d have a president who doesn’t believe in evolution(and so many more public figures tripping over themselves to show their base how militantly ignorant they are, too), I’d have laughed in your face. Same with abortion rights, affirmative action, etc.
    Chris, I know you think talking to your audiences in red states means you’ve seen the country, but I tell you as an older, Midwestern nerd, you haven’t. Your audiences just create a pocket here of what you’re used to in LaLaLand. If this optimism were based on hanging around talking to the audiences at, say, Blue Collar Comedy Tour shows(or better yet, just silently listening to them talk to each other), I’d happily agree with your confidence in the trend toward acceptance. Come spend a day with my relatives and their friends, friends of friends, etc. and you’ll understand why right-wing talk radio still makes piles of money, why the Teabaggers exist & now control the GOP and why so many social justice issues _still_ aren’t solved.* I live in the state once known for Progressive politicians, and in the city that once had _Socialist_ mayors, yet the vast majority of it elected a union-busting mouth-breather like Scott Walker governor. Hell, look at your own state; Los Angelenos(& San Franciscans) tend to forget that where you live isn’t the world, or even CA, at large, and it’s no accident that CO beat you to really legalizing marijuana, and that The Terminator ran the place for so long–you are islands in a rural, conservative sea.
    *Better yet, don’t–you might get so depressed we’d never hear from you again.
    Oh, and by the way, Billy Crystal in “Soap” beat “The Sarah Silverman Show” by 25+ years. The only times he & the writers camped it up was when his character was needling someone else about their attitudes toward him/the LGBT community. In fact, his character’s big romance arc was with an NFL player–who wasn’t at all fey, either. (Of course, they were prettier than Posehn & Agee, so I guess that’s progress of a sort.)

  19. Aaron says:

    I argree with the views that Chris has on equaliy. Yet, being a Vikings fan I have to say he was let go because he just “okay”. If he was a top 5 kicker he would still be in the league. He has other pasions and tallents and will be fine outside of the NFL.

  20. Frank says:

    Put all the old guard on an island and enlighten them?

  21. Dave says:

    Fine, I’ll jump in on the hard/soft g thing. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how you’re “supposed” to say it, or how the inventor says it. It’s pronounced the way people end up pronouncing it. That’s how language works. Everyone wants to put rules on how language works, but unfortunately for pedants, language is a democracy. It changes simply because we feel like it, and no amount of running people down and showing them the rule book is gonna stop that. You can still use “thy” and “thou” if you want, but you’re fighting a losing battle.

  22. Arabrabbra says:

    its pronounced JAY not GAY! God the G is a soft G!

  23. Arabrabbra says:

    My gramma last night, literally –

    Im glad David and Kevin are such good friends…but im glad theyre not queer.

    In regards to my nephew and his finacee who have been together for 9 years. Shes 92…not much I can do in regards to that but certainly speak up to people when its NOT my 92 yr old grandma. So glad there are people like Chris speaking out like this. There needs to be MORE

  24. Asonova says:

    GIF or JIF who cares. Say it how eve you want. I will always say it with a hard G. As they often discuss on the podcast, once something a released to the public it often takes on a life of it’s own that differs from the creators original intent. That doesn’t it make it invalid or wrong, any more than the many different ways words are pronounced differently all over the country.

  25. JG75 says:

    This “gif” shit is stupid. The guy who MADE it..says it with a soft g…like “gee” so it’s pronounced “JIFF” regardless of what bullshit excuse you want to use to the contrary…

    what about Colonial? Chris? Huh? You going to argue that it’s pronounced “Co-low-nial” instead of “Kernel” because of it’s spelling also?


    It’s a soft G…it’s “Jiff” not a hard G like in “Great” or “Good”…it’s “Jiff”

    Your reasoning is not only flawed but kind of arrogant in the way you argue it.

    There’s plenty of words pronounced differently then they sound…Xerox…island…do I really need to fucking go on?

    Jiff people. Argue if you want. You’re wrong.

  26. Matty says:

    It’s a hard G. I don’t care if he’s the inventor, he got to name it but he doesn’t get to decide how it’s pronounced if the majority of folks disagree (AND THATS THE BOTTOM LINE)

    And it wouldn’t be “JFEG” because “graphics” has a PH. If the format was called JPHEG then yes, we would pronounce it “JFEG”.

    Perhaps you should study some linguistics?


  27. Glenda says:

    That podcast went by way too quickly! Chris Kluwe is one of my favorites of your podcast guests; it’s always extra fun when your guest is quick-witted enough to keep you guys laughing. Would love for Kluwe to become one of your threepeat guests sooner than later.

    Hardwick, re: your suggestion to Kluwe about getting his girls Animal Crossing — my son learned to read from playing the A.C. GameCube game back in the day, so I have a special fondness for the A.C. games. Over the Christmas holidays, we were on a car trip with our son and nieces and nephews, six kids in total, ranging in age from 18 down to 8, and every single kid, as well as myself, had an Animal Crossing game. They can all outplay me on most games nowadays, but at least I can still do the Animal Crossing!

  28. rhzunam says:


    Who made you the decider on what is nerdy and what isn’t?

  29. NotMF says:

    I’m right there with you on the gifs Chris and Chris! Long live the hard G!

  30. Alexandr says:

    HELL YES. Chris Kluwe was an awesome guest on both Indoor Kids and Nerdist proper. I’m so glad to see him back and owning more bones hardcore.

  31. Chris Hardwick says:

    @Ethan: you can’t be truly dismissive of something you have not yet experienced for yourself. Listen to it. It’s about strategy and video games and standing up to intolerance when people try to keep you down because of who you are. It may actually apply to nerds more than most of the other shit you’re smashing your hands into on the internet currently.

  32. Victoria says:

    Great interview. Although his views may not have been his sole NFL undoing I’m sure it played a part. Good for him to stay true to who he is as a person and to do it respectfully and to be open minded. Ethan it applies to nerds because after listening to him talk for 5 min you can tell that he is one. Just because he can lift a weight or put on a pair of cleats doesn’t change his interests or how smart he is.

  33. Ethan says:

    And this applies to nerds how?

  34. WM says:

    It’s pronounced “JIF.” Doesn’t matter that he’s a programmer and not a linguist. He invented it and he gets to name it. That’s how that works.

    If your pronunciation is based on the hard “g” in “graphic,” you better be saying “JFEG” instead of JPEG.

    Now stop whining about it.

  35. vjj says:

    It’s too bad his views have cost him professionally. I think it’s pretty obvious the Vikings let him go because they hated his political positions.

  36. Al says:

    Kluwe’s progressivism may have contributed to his release, but he makes it seem like it was obviously and indisputably the primary cause. His replacement is similarly talented and at half the salary. He may seen vulgarity and bigotry, but the timing of events may have been coincidence. The alternative economic explanation seems just as reasonable.

  37. Scully says:

    I feel like Y is making a resurgence on the scene. Could this be because the rights are going to back in the creators hands soon?

    *shifty eyes* >.>

  38. Jake says:

    @Morgan, I’m assuming this is the new pup from Chris’s Instagram:

  39. Tom Steele says:

    I really hope he lands with a team, what happened to him was just wrong.

  40. Morgan says:

    But what kind of puppy is it?!