Punters. Technically, they’re NFL players. Technically. But not really. When the 11 men on offense don’t succeed, the punter is sent out to catch a ball and then kick it with all his might. If he’s somewhat athletic, sometimes the team will even let him hold the ball so the kicker can kick field goals.
They’re rather important pieces to the game of football, but they’re not really football players. Still, they have Twitter, which means they’re free to say whatever they want about the real football players.
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, he of six years of NFL experience, did that on Tuesday, calling out Peyton Manning, Vincent Jackson, Logan Mankins and (incorrectly) Drew Brees for perptuating the lockout.
“Sigh, and once again greed is the operative byword,” Kluwe wrote on his account, @ChrisWarcraft. “Congrats Brees, Manning, Mankins, and Jackson for being ‘that guy’. #douchebags”
The comment came in response to reports Tuesday that Manning and Jackson were requesting free agency and exemption from the franchise tag as part of a potential settlement to the ongoing Brady v. NFL case. Brees would not fall under that category, as he’s signed through the 2011 season. A report later on Tuesday said that Manning and Jackson both “softened their stances” after hearing “backlash.”
When it comes to Tom Brady, though, don’t worry. He’s cool to Kluwe.
“Tom’s safe from my wrath… for now,” he tweeted.
Yahoo’s Mike Silver also questioned whether going out and insulting players was the best strategy, Kluwe responded, “Would you prefer I went James Harrison on them?”
He’s got a point there.
Should punters be allowed to talk about future Hall of Famers?
“I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks … to my dear fans, whether you like me or not, whether you are Chinese or foreigners. The care from all of you gives me enough confidence and your criticism helps me improve myself.”
–Yao Ming, during his official retirement announcement
Don’t worry. It takes a lot more than a regular-season loss in Baltimore to get Eck worked up.
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