There are some things in life that are particularly memorable the first time you encounter them: the taste of bacon ice cream, the sight of a wild sea turtle swimming in the ocean, the exquisite pain of angry honey bees stinging you in the face. While it may not prove as notable as these wonders, I recently experienced another personal first: a book by an NFL punter.
Chris Kluwe is a UCLA graduate – double majoring in political science and history – who has been punting professionally since 2005 for the Minnesota Vikings before moving to the Oakland Raiders earlier this year. He led the rather anonymous life of a punter until he wrote an open letter defending same-sex marriage to a Maryland politician which gained such notoriety that he decided to publish an entire book of his rants, diatribes and random thoughts, entitled Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.
Bear with me while I fill in a bit more of the back story as it was this one scathing essay that prompted me to buy the book.
Emmett C. Burns Jr is a Maryland state delegate who in August 2012 was compelled to write a letter – on Maryland State letterhead no less – to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens complaining that linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo had made statements in favor of same sex marriage. He instructed the owner to “inhibit” any further such statements from his employee. Kluwe caught wind of this outrageous attempt at free speech suppression and posted a hilarious, profanity laced response on the sports website, Deadspin, prompting him to become a hero for gay marriage advocates everywhere.
Kluwe’s letter, a cleaned up G-rated version of the same letter – even funnier – and sixty additional short essays on topics as varied as John Galt, time travel and groin injuries are included in this unique collection. A voracious reader and unreformed Kurt Vonnegut fan, Kluwe writes like he’s had one too many cans of Red Bull, displaying his unlimited obsessions with sports, science fiction and video games.