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Episode 323: Nerdist Podcast
Chris Kluwe
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: Chris Kluwe

Punter for Minnesota Vikings, Chris Kluwe, comes on the show to talk about video games, tweeting during football games and nerd culture in the NFL!

Follow @ChrisWarcraft on Twitter!

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  1. Chelsea says:

    …. Just went back and listened to this for the first time, did Kluwe make a red wedding reference at 1:02?

  2. TraciRN says:

    Loved this one! I don’t follow sports at all, but he was on my radar from the gay rights activism. I appreciate Chris letting guests delve into ALL their passions.

  3. Jeanette D/ says:

    I know I’m late to the party, but I’m catching up on my podcasts. Chris Kluwe is an outspoken gay adjacent LGBT activist, and a fantastic person. I’ve heard him interviewed on the Stephanie Miller show a few times and he brings the sport of football to a truly respectable level. Funny and smart as hell. Glad to know he’s one of us Nerds! He’s on my laminated list!

  4. Randy Rose says:

    One of my favorite episodes of all time and I am not an American football fan at all. I was shocked that Chris H. didn’t know about Chris K.’s letter, though…

  5. Patty Marvel says:

    @MarkV – Agreed. I’m sure the podcast has a finite production and travel budget, but “Twitter Dates” are still a good idea because you know folks want THAT guest.

  6. MarkV says:

    Really enjoyed this issue. Two things I found nerdy funny – first, in the intro, Chris(H) really confirmed he doesn’t follow the sportsball by calling Chris(K) the kicker. I kept thinking “He means the punter, right?” Second was when Chris(K) said how exited he was to be made a playable character – I guess being himself in Madden doesn’t count.
    Please – more twitter dates like this. Crowd sourcing guests has been working great.

  7. Jimmy says:

    As a New Zealander, a place where rugby is as much a religion as a sport, I would second what @Josh Witten says about the nature of a tackle in rugby. There is a responsibility to look after the person you are tackling, to bring them down safely and this is reflected in the rules.

  8. Mark Rajca says:

    ohhh, so nerdy; and Exile is a great find.

  9. Kelly says:

    Yes! I live for Kluwe. He’s always great in an interview, and he is a real super nerd – musician, nerd books, world of warcraft, and a sports nerd. Super looking forward to this listen.

  10. pbnews says:

    Whoa. How did I miss this one? Can’t wait to listen – what a great outside-the-box guest!

  11. Josh Witten says:

    @Patty Marvel: As I former rugby & football player, I’ve written a couple of things ( & on the topic of football injuries, including the apparent issues baseball also has with depression/suicide. A big issue is that the rugby/football comparison is that it is an apple & oranges debate. Significant padding (there is some very thin padding allowed) in rugby would ruin the game as we know it & enjoy it. Removing pads from football would ruin the game as fans know it & love it – primarily no one could throw deep crossing routes over the middle without getting receivers killed, and that is without hits to the head. In rugby, I think the main advantage is not the lack of padding but that hits above the shoulder are illegal (punishable by ejection & football rules are converging on this) as is tackling without attempting to wrap up.

  12. Patty Marvel says:

    And just as the Kluwe conversation is winding down, this column on football injuries appears, courtesy of The Straight Dope:

  13. says:

    grand admiral thrawn. nuff said =)

  14. Josh Witten says:

    @Patty Marvel: I’m also a Cleveland Browns fan, and they have been a good example of something gone wrong, especially in contrast to the consistent quality of what is now the Baltimore Ravens organization. I’m starting to understand the mentality of Chicago Cubs fans.

  15. Kelly says:

    @BassBone I agree! I follow her on YouTube (Cool Story Chlo) and I think Chloe is teh awesome. All of my nerd worlds must collide!!!

  16. Patty Marvel says:

    Enjoyed the podcast, even though there were several occasions I was utterly confused as I’ve never heard of most of the games mentioned. But Kluwe was super enthusiastic, so I smiled and nodded right along.

    @my_leisure – Did you see what his shirt says? He’s taking it back.

    @Lillagon – Careful! Don’t let anything go “BOOM” while you listen!

    @Mark D – Agreed! Maybe they could actually get him to play a sports-based video game for schnicks.

    @Josh Witten – Thank you for the input. Seriously, I wouldn’t have known half the stuff you mentioned so I’m glad you brought it up here.

    Chris Hardwick = “One failing of the educational system is to NOT teach kids how to budget.”

    Sweet Cthulu, THIS. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought high schools should have semester- or year-long courses called “Surviving Life” or some such thing. This was also discussed on Fark a LONG time ago and the general consensus was teaching life skills should be shoehorned into the curriculum somehow. If old MST3K episodes are to be believed, our parents’ generation saw movies and even took classes about personal hygiene and “preparing for marriage,” so why NOT a general “How to Manage Without Mommy and Daddy” classes? I’ve seen a fair few college students where I work and live to realize they need to be taught certain life skills, such as how to use the farking washing machine and that leaving the bathroom sink faucet running is NOT a good thing, especially for your downstairs neighbors (fifty books were ruined) and how to NOT get your car broken into (have seen some people leave check books and cash on the dashboards of their cars where anyone can see them) and, yes, how to make and keep a budget. TRUST me, being “book smart” doesn’t mean a person is “life smart.”

    As for using the Cleveland Browns as an example of something gone wrong, go ahead and use them. It’s not as if anyone is paying attention to them anyway.


    In Cleveland and Watching Roller Derby ‘Cuz They Don’t Break My Heart,

  17. BassBone says:

    Is it just me or should Chloe be a guest on the podcast? She seems hilarious.

  18. Josh Witten says:

    @Marz: Sometimes it feels like knee injuries are contagious. Rugby, especially in the US is weird, because as you play at higher levels contributors to some types of injury (like dirty play & crap fields) are reduced, but others (like opponent athleticism) go up. Typically, I felt better after high level matches. Yet, those are also where I suffered my worst injuries – I had a sterno-clavicular joint separation like Roethlisberger.

    Kluwe made a good point about the weird priorities of some sports doctors. When I sprained my MCL, an NFL team’s orthopedic surgeon told me I could play again (my PT disagreed) and not to worry because if I blew out my knee they could rebuild it. His medical advice wasn’t wrong, but his priorities did not match up with mine. If nothing else, getting a knee reconstruction would have seriously disrupted my PhD thesis work.

  19. Marz says:

    @Josh Witten I love your comment there and you are very lucky to have avoided the major injuries! Also a rugger here but not as fortunate seeing as I tore my ACL a bit over a year ago (back playing this past fall!) and for others have 5 teammates currently with torn ACLs.

    As for the podcast in general I adored that two of my favorite topics came up: Rugby and Minneapolis! Also Kluwe is an all around cool character (Colbert Report, The Ellen Show and The Nerdist!?!) plus anytime people talk about their passions is bound to be a good time.

    Thank you!

  20. Daniel says:

    Chris, is the court jester game you’re thinking of called Pandemonium? I loved that game growing up. Haven’t thought about it in 15 years.

  21. Josh Witten says:

    Nice to see someone from the nerd/sports overlap. There are more of us than there seems, I think, because it’s not always easy to be sporty amongst your fellow nerds nor nerdy amongst your fellow jocks. I have a PhD in molecular cell biology and played rugby in England and in the United States at highly competitive levels and thought I could address the question you asked Chris Kluwe about physical punishment in rugby.

    There are a lot of issues related to the physical damage from rugby – though the data seem to suggest rugby is, at worst, no harder on the body than football. In modern, professional rugby there is a lot more direct, “head-to-head” contact than there used to be. The lack of pads & hard headgear forces rugby players to tackle differently than football players – avoid using your head & limiting how hard you hit to the physiological limitations of your shoulder. The rules make tackling without wrapping up the ball carrier illegal, which rules out much of the dangerous tackling seen in the NFL. You are also not allowed to hit people without the ball in open play. So, there is actually a lot less incidental contact from moment. Because play is continuous (does not stop with the tackle) you don’t get as many players concentrated in one place or “pile-ons” which can cause a lot of injuries from guys rolling over on knees, etc. Similarly, the offsides rules tend to keep the players facing each other, which reduces injuries from guys getting tackled into the backs of each other’s legs.

    Rugby players do get injured, but the nature of the injuries is different. Anecdotally, I played intensely for 12 years and have had numerous injuries, but none that required surgical intervention or more than 6 weeks of rehabilitation. Of course, I can anecdotally point to much worse injuries that I have witnessed. Jonah is correct that badly coached, amateur rugby (like that on most US college campuses) does look more like a fight than a game. You just need to watch better rugby.

    Doubt you (or anyone else) cares this much about rugby, but I thought I could provide some knowledgable perspective on the question and I love talking science, rugby & the science of rugby.

  22. Alexabix says:

    Best intro ever… “Who are you?!”

    @my_leisure: Can’t unsee it now! xD

  23. kineticfetus says:

    When Chris Kluwe mentioned Path of Exile I was like this guy is pretty cool, but when he mentioned Chrono Trigger I was like yep this guy is awesome

  24. Mark D says:

    Chris please find a way to connect this dude with Kumail and Emily. If ever i heard a natural guest for the indoor kids this is it. I can already see the headline “gaming meets gridiron!” keep up the amazing work.

  25. Vanessa says:

    NiGHTS into dreams reference! THIS!

  26. Jacky Dan says:

    I have to be honest when I first saw that you had a football player on the podcast I was a little hesitant about listening due to some of the stereotypes I had of high school players. But I am so glad that I did. Kluwe really knows his stuff and is awesome to listen about gaming to especially on my commutes home.

  27. Kineticfetus says:

    I think Chris was talking about Nights

  28. JetpackBlues says:

    And just when I thought Gridiron season was over, in stops what I’d consider the antithesis of anything Nerd. Athough Kluwe is the only person on the field that the word ‘football’ actually applies to. And he definitely folded in well with the guys.

    Yea, to Hell with Emmett C. Burns. I fail to understand how the 10th District elected his ignorant ass. And how he’s still in the House of Delegates.

    Well, I do know why he got elected, but I’m not going to go into it here. Or how I feel about #52.

    Chris’ open letter, lighting Burns up, was what Old Politics needs more of in this day and age. Although with more mature words. I’m sure Burns had to get an aide to look up words like “fromunda” for him.

    “Did you just feel a twinge in your Sub-Reddit?”

    Fucking gold.

  29. vismund says:

    awesome always been a big fan of chris warcraft coolest player on the vikings

  30. Patty Marvel says:

    DUDE! You got him on the podcast!!!!! I’m so happy! Ever since I saw Chris Kluwe on “The Colbert Report” a few weeks ago, I thought he’d be great for Team Nerdist to chat with! And no matter what your stance on same-sex marriage, you’ve gotta love a guy who comes up with phrases such as “Lustful Cockmonster.” That should be a band name, like Pansy Division.

    Anyway, here’s Chris Kluwe on Colbert:

    And here’s his pro same-sex missive, in which he takes a lawmaker to task for trying to curb a football player’s First Amendment rights:

  31. LJ says:

    Yeah! If you Tweet Chris Hardwick, Chris Kluwe will come. I would think this one ranks up there with Neil Tyson on the nerding out level.

  32. Curtis says:

    Dune reference in the first 2 minutes. Sold.

    Also, while I hate to do the selfless promotion thing, if anyone is interested in it I talked with my buddy Jeff Robinson who spent almost 20 years in the NFL on my podcast (here and he talks about the tough toll that it takes on someone’s body. Kluwe isn’t wrong about being an old man at 31, that’s for damn sure.

  33. Nick says:

    I gotta admit I’m a football fan but I only know about this guy from Reddit. Surprised you guys didn’t talk about chris Rick Rolling the NFL commissioner during his AMA.

    Link for those interested

  34. Atticus says:

    @3ToF *light applause* I tipped my waiter.

  35. Jorge says:

    I loved this entire podcast, top-to-bottom, inside-and-out. Just. Perfect.

    @nerdist: If you’ve had the time, I bet you’ve read Kluwe’s letter already – but if you haven’t, it’s the best! That’s how I heard of Kluwe in the first place, and I’ve been following him ever since. As a fellow non-sports guy, he makes we want to watch some football too.

  36. Lillagon says:

    surprisingly delightful
    and if I hadn’t been listening to in class (no fear, its lab time so just working on stuff) I would have totally laughed out loud.

  37. siamesesin says:

    It’s really awesome when someone who can do everything like Kluwe is also really nice about it. Aggravating as hell, but still pretty awesome.

    Thanks for putting this one up-been looking forward to it for ages!

  38. Jake says:

    Great episode. It’s been a while since somone with a more modern-nerd sensibility has been on and it’s great to hear you guys nerd-out.

  39. Kluwe is an interesting cat for sure, and I always enjoy him when he is being interviewed. Awesome to see a little journey into the sports world on Nerdist.

  40. Eddy says:

    This will help quite nicely with my football withdrawal.

  41. Leah says:

    When looking at the venn diagram of super nerds, crazy sports fans, and females there is a small but powerful collective of women at the center. I am one of them.
    I cannot begin to tell you how ecstatic I am to see this podcast up. Because I knew Chris from the sportsball, and then he popped up on Deadspin with the lustful cockmonster rant, and he’s nerdy, and wore flip flops on the Colbert Show in WINTER, and trolled the shit out of Roger Goodell on Reddit. I JUST CAN’T WITH THIS GUY!

    Thank you, Nerdist. Thank you.

    (I’ll have intelligent commentary about the episode I swear it’s just… I have to bask in this awesome for a minute.)

  42. Three Toes of Fury says:

    PS: @my_leisure: awesome call on the Clerks 2 uniform reference!! he even looks a little like the guy working @ moobies

  43. Three Toes of Fury says:

    a nerdist podcast with a sports type person!? this one should be interesting….of course when it comes to knowledge of football, i havent got a Kluwe.

    Ha ha! thank you thank you! try the quiche!

    Peace & “4th Down, punt or play tell!!”

    3ToF, always getting tackled during touch-football games.
    (which…i better than “always getting touched during tackle-football games….HA HA! thank you again! tip your waitstaff and enjoy the 10 cent wings!!)

  44. my_leisure says:

    I’m sorry but when I first saw that picture I though he was dressed as a Moobies employee from Clerks 2.

  45. Bert says:

    I wanted to go to the Nerdist tapings, but I was at Gallifrey One. #nerdworldproblems