Two very disparate signings in pro football in the last month. First, punter and outspoken gay rights advocate Chris Kluwe has signed with the Raiders (after being let go by the Vikings). The former UCLA star has been a pro ball player eight years, the Raiders are his third team. Whether or not his views on same sex marriage had anything to do with Minnesota letting him go is not clear (The Vikings MVP running back Adrian Peterson is not an equality advocate) . Maybe they didn’t like his band. Who knows?
Of far more note and unlikely pairing is the newest member of the New England Patriots, Tim Tebow. Signed as a possible third string quarterback (or possible halfback or replacement for the Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski), the poster boy for the pro-life movement and the “libertine” present QB Tom Brady would seem to be an odd couple. Given that Tebow’s last coach was a foot fetishist and wife swapper, I think Brady’s activities will seem mild by comparison.
Fact is this: If Kluwe is an upgrade on the generally dreadful Raiders and Tebow is the missing ingredient for the NFL’s recent champions of the “near miss”, what they think or stand for off the field is irrelevant. Raiders fans are among the most devoted in the world (among other things) and the last few years have been brutal in Oakland. The Patriots collapse in the last AFC championship game (and the crap out against the Giants twice) has re-ignited that old sorrow from the bleak, pre-Brady era. As a QB is by nature more significant than a punter, Tebow will be under massive scrutiny. But he has the best coach in the world and New England sports fans (that hated him a week ago) loving him now (kind of).
Training camp for both teams did get a whole lot more interesting though!