Professional football fans flock to NFL Training Camp sites by the thousands as clubs prepare for the 2013 season. Many are die hard loyalists from years of family tradition rooting for the Steelers, Giants, Eagles, or Raiders. These ties run deep regardless of who the players are wearing the cherished colors and logo of their favorite teams. Others are drawn to the individual superstars of pro football through their own competitive juices in participation with Fantasy Leagues or from college football allegiances.
Whether because of team ties or player points (Fantasy that is) it seems all fans can’t gain enough insight into the game and those that play it. There’s as much a following of the athletes off the field and in their private lives through various social media avenues and 24/7 coverage, as there is of the 60 or so minutes of work they put out on the field every Sunday for our rabid football loving pleasure. And what fans are finding is that the NFL player pool is made of a wide range of very thought provoking, insightful, articulate, civic minded, goal driven, entrepreneurial individuals. These men understand the power of the platform they have as NFL players and seek to use this popularity for the greater good – whatever the cause.
Oakland Raiders’ punter Chris Kluwe has written a book reflective of such a player understanding the role that professional athletes can play in encouraging societal debate concerning any and all topics. Alison ‘Conig’ Hubbard, a blogger covering the NFL & her own favorite team the New York Giants, gives her take on Kluwe’s recent literary efforts. The Football Educator recommends this read.
By Ali Conigliaro-Hubbard at Hergame
What If NFL Players Were Human Just Like You & Me? Oh, Wait…
Some of you have learned that I am a thinking football fan. I spend an awful lot of time observing (oddly 365 days a year) what happens in and around the game I enjoy so much, and observing the people who surround it – players, coaches, back-office, reporters, fans… So I decided to write about a thinking player. I am certain there are many bright, introspective players with a great deal to offer the world – more than we ever hear about in the media. Here’s one who not only fascinates me, but who has successfully put his thoughts and observations down on paper.
A book review…
While most know my Big Blue allegiance, I can appreciate most NFL teams (except for a couple that I will just choose not to mention – if you know me, you know which ones). But I am not a Vikings fan. I live across the Bay from theRaiders, but I’m not a Raiders fan either. But I am, hands down, a huge Chris Kluwe fan. Some of you may know him in the social-sphere as @ChrisWarcraft. Some of you may know him as the guy who wrote ‘The Letter’ to the Maryland State Delegate Emmett Burns backing up the opinions of Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo on same-sex marriage and equality, and condemning Burns in his ridiculous efforts to shut down Ayanbadejo’s right to free speech. As a result of the response he received after writing this eloquent letter, Kluwe has written a book (yes, and it’s very clear that he wrote every word of it). (In case you’re not familiar with the letter referenced here, it is re-published on page 10, and then again, sans traditional swear words on page 14 – after which reading, I found myself wheezing with laughter – I had to get up and find the tissues I was crying so much at the hysterical, mad, brilliance of the 32-year old behind this book).
By trade, Chris Kluwe is currently an NFL punter, previously for the Vikings, and now the Raiders – but as I have learned after absolutely devouring his book, ‘Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies’, he is a multi-dimensional, intelligent thinker, who has an incredible way of communicating what’s on his mind as it relates to some of the most critical issues affecting our world: free speech and equality, discrimination, guns and the 5th Amendment, religion, the value of money, the choices we make for short-term gain that effect long-term global stability, sustainable energy, how to save the world from extinction in case of a catastrophic, Earth-shattering, cows-fly event, and more. At a time when we spend so many cycles judging the negative stories about a select few of the players who happen to make poor choices, with this book, Kluwe sets an example and takes a courageous and thought-provoking stand for the world.
A blog about the love of professional football from a girl’s perspective.