Chris Kluwe – Everything You Need To Know

Chris Kluwe was born on December 24, 1981. He is a former American football punter, turned author and writer. All throughout his life, Kluwe has been playing football.

Chris Kluwe - Everything You Need To Know

He started playing football when he was in high school at Los Alamitos in California. 

Then, when Kluwe went to the University of California, he played college football for the UCLA Bruins. After university, Kluwe was signed, then in 2005 he started to play professionally.

Kluwe has played for the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings. 

In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about Chris Kluwe.

Early Career

High School

Chris Kluwe has been playing football for all his life. To begin with, Kluwe started playing football for three years in high school and one year as a pitcher in baseball.

He was then asked to play in the California vs Texas Shrine game. It is known that during this game, Kluwe managed to kick a 57-yard shot with no time left, that helped his team win the game. 

During his time in high school, he was also selected to play on the first team for the USA Today, as a punter. In this position, he achieved an average of 46.6 yards as a punter.

Then he moved to a placekicker and managed to complete 39 out of 41 PAT’s and 16 out of 22 field goal attempts. 

Before his senior year at high school, we know that Kluwe won a puting competition.

He won with a punt that was 63 yards long and with a 4.98 second hang time. 


After high school, Kluwe went to the University of California and became one of the top punters for the Pac-10 Conference.

Then in 2005, Kluwe graduated from college with a double major in history and political science. In addition to that, he set records for the university of total number of punts in a season during 2003 and total punt yards. 

During Kluwe’s senior year of university, he was ranked as third in the Pac-10 and twelfth in the NCAA.

On top of that, in his senior year, Kluwe was recognized and was put forward for the Ray Guy Award. This award is held every year, and recognizes the best punters. 

NFL Career

Seattle Seahawks

In 2005, Kluwe was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. He knew that both the St Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks could possibly draft him in the later rounds of the season.

Yet, once the draft was completed, Kluwe then signed as a free agent with the Seahawks. 

The NFL rules stated that the Seahawks had to put Kluwe on a waiver wire for up to 24 hours before signing him to a practice contract.

However, the Seahawks waited until the very last seconds before adding Kluwe to this waiver, as they were aware that another three teams have had their eyes on Kluwe as a punter besides them.

This was true, as only the next day, Kluwe was claimed off the waiver by the Vikings. 

Minnesota Vikings

Kluwe is known mainly for his time that he spent at the Vikings, as he played 8 seasons with the team and set 8 records as well.

In just his first season with the team, he managed to achieve 71 punts and was ranked 2nd in the NFC and 6th in the league for punting. 

Then in 2007, Kluwe extended his contract with the Vikings until 2013 for an $8.3 million deal. This made him one of the highest paid punters in all the NFL.

You could always see Kluwe sporting the number 5 on his jersey.

Between 2005 and 2012, Kluwe managed to achieve 1 different punting record for the Minnesota Vikings.

These included the career, game and rookie game average punt, punts per season and net yards in a career  and season.

Yet in 2012, after a poor performance in a game, the Vikings brought in several new punters that could possibly replace Kluwe. In the 2012 season, Kluwe’s punting average had dropped to 45 yards.

Therefore, during 2013, Kluwe decided to have minor surgery on his left knee to prepare for an injury that he had been dealing with since 2007.

As Kluwe’s average began to drop, he was eventually dropped by the Vikings.

Chris Kluwe - Everything You Need To Know

Oakland Raiders And Retirement

In the middle of 2013, after being released from the Vikings, Kluwe signed up with the Oakland Raiders. He signed up with a veteran contract with a minimum of one year playing for them.

However, by September of the same year, Kluwe was relieved he was dropped by the Raiders. 

The next anyone hears from Kluwe is in January 2014, where Kluwe declares that he has retired from football.

He didn’t want to try a play again and didn’t think he had much of a chance wither due to criticisms of the Vikings and his outspoken views on same-sex marriage.

After NFL

Chris Kluwe has remained busy after retiring from football. In 2009, Kluwe formed a band when he was the bassist of with his friends Matthew Marshal, Jesse Revel and Andrew Reiner.

The band was known as the Tripping Icarus, and they were a progressive/alternative metal band. As far as we are aware, they have recorded an LP which was supposed to be released in 2011.

However, in 2010, the band’s producer was killed in a terrible car crash.

Just before the 2011 season began, Donaovan McNabb joined the Vikings. Kluwe offered McNabb his number five jersey in response to him mentioning his band at least 5 times in various press conferences.

In addition to donating around $5,000 to Kluwe’s charity. 

Kluwe has become a really keen writer. In 2013, his book named  Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies was published. This was a series of essay on multiple topics.

Then Kluwe wrote a book called Prime : A Genesis Series Event with his friend and bandmate Andrew Reiner. Finally, Kluwe wrote his own novel that was published in 2020 by Tor, named Otaku. 

For the 2017 football season, Kluwe was hired to be a coach for the Edison High School football team. It is unknown whether he is still coaching today.

Personal Life

Kluwe life doesn’t just revolve around football. He is also married and has two daughters. One born in 2008 and the other in 2010.

Alongside that, Kluwe used to write a blog that appeared on the St Paul Pioneer Press. However, he stopped writing for the website when the website published their support of the  Minnesota Marriage Amendment.

This amendment would have banned same-sex marriage. A topic that Kluwe has often spoken about.

In September 2012, Kluwe released a letter on Deadspin, a sports website, defending the opinions of  Brendon Ayanbadejo from the Baltimore Ravens and his views on same-sex marriage.

Ayanbadejo supported same-sex marriage, and  Kluwe released the letter as a response to Matt Birk’s video that said he supported the ban on same-sex marriage. 

In this letter, Kluwe gave six different points on why he disagreed with what Birk had to say. This then led to Kluwe being featured in the Last Barrier documentary.

In this, he spoke about his opinions of equality. It is due to these options, that Kluwe has said are the real reasons why he was released from the Vikings before his contract was up.

However, the team countered and said that Kluwe was released due to his football performance and nothing else. 

Alongside that, Kluwe is a huge gamer, with interests in Guitar Hero 2, World of Warcraft and League of Legends. Yet, Kluwe may be a good gamer and an excellent football player.

Kluwe has admitted that he is actually terrible at sports games. With that being said, Kluwe has recognized the power and popularity they have nowadays.

While promoting the MOBA League of Legends, Kluwe has claimed that he believes eSports will only grow and one day they will begin actual sports like football and baseball. 

Final Thoughts

Chris Kluwe has had a very successful career as a football player and punter. He is mainly known for the eight seasons that he played for the Minnesota Vikings, as he set various records with them personally and for the team.

Football has been a huge part of Kluwe’s life, as this love started in high school, and then he became one of the most successful and sought after punters in the NFL’s history.

Once football was over, Kluwe turned his attention to writing and has made a name for himself as an author.

Yet with that being said, Kluwe has always chosen to tell important stories and speak up for what he thinks is right. 

We hope you enjoyed this article, and now know everything you need to know about Chris Kluwe.

Christopher Anderson
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