The narrative in the story of Chris Kluwe vs. the Vikings has shifted somewhat to a cross-examination of Kluwe and a section of the report summary released last week that involved the former punter tearing a hole in his shorts and making a joke about former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky in front of Vikings conditioning coach Tom Kanavy (a Penn State alum).
To us, this represents an interesting dynamic in the whistle-blowing from Kluwe, since it could be viewed that he loses ground as the arbiter of right and wrong in his accusations against Mike Priefer when it becomes known that he, too, can act in such poor taste.
On the other hand, this is a completely separate issue from anything Priefer did or didn’t do — and shouldn’t cloud the picture when it comes to the overall question of the culture that permeated the Vikings.
Kluwe recognizes as much, but he also still can’t appear to get out of his own way when it comes to the Penn State issue, which he does not deny. Given a chance to flat-out apologize for it because it was in poor taste — cutting a hole in your shorts and portraying yourself as a victim of child abuse is 100 percent in poor taste, regardless of how you try to frame the intent of the joke — Kluwe got about halfway there in an interview with SI Now before attempting to ascend back to a position of higher moral ground. Per SI:
“I realize that a lot of people found my joke in poor taste, which I’m sure was the entire purpose of the Vikings leaking it. Character assassination is a tried-and-true tactic for any sort of harassment lawsuit. But it’s something where I was making fun of the culture at Penn State, and if it offended people, then I apologize. I’m sorry for that.”
Nope. That’s not an apology. That’s a half-apology, sorry if you took it the wrong way apology, which is the worst kind. He continued:
“But to make it seem like I was making fun of victims of child abuse, I mean, that is horrific. And really that kind of upsets me from a personal perspective, that the Vikings would try and spin it that way, because that’s insulting.”
Stop. Kluwe is clearly a smart guy. We’ve talked to him on multiple occasions and found him thoughtful, engaging and obviously well-spoken when it comes to putting thoughts together. We are also not numb to the idea that words or actions in private can take on a different, darker tenor than what we say or do publicly. If 100 percent of everything we ever said was part of a long official record, most of us would be in trouble.
But this Penn State “joke” is not a subjective matter any more than Priefer’s alleged “nuke the gays” comment is.
They are still two different issues, and we should do our best to separate out Kluwe’s holier-than-thou half-apology from the heart of the matter, but he didn’t do himself any favors in that interview.
Ah, now there’s a classic misleading headline!
Well, there is at least some shred of truth to it. The top-selling NFL jerseys since April 1 were released today, and you’ll never guess who is number one.
OK, of course it’s Johnny Manziel.
Travel down on the list a little, and you’ll find Vikings rookie Teddy Bridgewater at No. 13, while running back Adrian Peterson is at No. 14. So in the roughly four months or so of tracking, Bridgewater’s jersey is more popular than Peterson’s.
It’s a bit of an unfair fight, of course, since the countless fans who already have Adrian Peterson jerseys presumably weren’t in any particular rush over the past four months to get brand new AP jerseys, while no no Bridgewater/Vikings jerseys existed before April 1 (except in the mind of Star Tribune football writer and Bridgewater No. 1 fan Master Tesfatsion).
Both Vikings, however, trailed the “12th Fan” jersey from Seattle, which was the 10th-best seller and proved beyond a doubt, once again, that our society is crumbling around us.
This story came out yesterday — insomuch as you can call something a college basketball coach said on a radio program a “story” — and we hesitated about posting on it.
But after sleeping on it (not literally, that would be weird), we begrudgingly decided the item about Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski saying he would trade for Kevin Love if he was the Cavaliers is at least interesting from a couple of standpoints.
As much as Krzyzewski is mocked by the anti-Duke crowd, nobody would argue that he has had a massive amount of success as a coach. He knows hoops, and he has coached Love twice on an international level, including at the 2012 London Olympics.
He is also a college coach with a tremendous amount of respect for the game at that level, so when he says he would trade No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins for Love without “one second of hesitancy” it holds some water. Coach K told John Feinstein on CBS Radio:
“He’s a double-double guy, but he’s a double-double guy that can spread the court. There aren’t many double-double guys, if any, who spread the court. He can go inside and outside…. No pun intended, but I love Kevin Love.”
He also outlined the LeBron factor — James will turn 30 this year and should prefer a sure thing to partner up with in Cleveland.
“You do not want to waste any year of a great player’s career,” he said.
This could just amount to one guy’s respected opinion. Or it could also be the culmination of whispers he is hearing from plugged in basketball folks. James was also on that 2012 Olympic team. It wouldn’t even be shocking if Krzyzewski was doing his pal LeBron a favor by advancing the cause of a Cleveland trade.
So if a respected basketball mind is advocating the trade for the Cavs, why do we still like it for the Wolves? Because it’s a deal that clearly benefits both sides.
If Wiggins does sign this week, as has been reported, a deal cannot officially happen for 30 days thereafter. If the rumored deal of Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick is realistic, we hope Flip Saunders, the Cavaliers and all the fans involved have enough patience to see it through.
One of the curious parts of any proposed Kevin Love-to-Cleveland deal is slated to change this week because the Cavaliers are reportedly going to sign No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins to his rookie contract.
This can impact a Love/Wiggins deal in many ways. First off, per NBA rules, Wiggins cannot be traded for 30 days after signing his rookie contract. Second, once he is signed, he will have a defined NBA salary cap number that will impact any trade as well.
So is this good news or bad news when it comes to a potential trade between the Wolves and the Cavs?
Well, it depends on how you look at it. Even if Wiggins is signed, the teams could agree to a deal in principle behind-the-scenes and wait to make it official once the 30 days have passed. So Wiggins signing certainly doesn’t make a deal impossible. That said, it might have been more convenient had he signed immediately after the draft, since his 30 days would be pretty close to over by now.
The complication is probably more in the perception. Let’s say Wiggins signs on Friday; it’s going to be late August before he could officially be traded — and late August before the resolution of any movement with Love. The longer this plays out, the worse it is for both teams.
We also have to consider the possibility that Wiggins signing is an indication that Cleveland is not going to trade him. … And we also must wonder whether leaking information that they plan to sign him this week is an attempt to speed up trade talks.
Until he signs, or at least until we have definitive word that the Wolves and Cavs are serious about a deal, everything is status quo.