Remember our Nov. 1 cover story on Chris Kluwe, the Minnesota Vikings punter out of Los Alamitos High and evolving national, straight advocate for marriage equality? Andy Mannix, the writer of that fine piece, just won GLAAD's 2012 award for Outstanding Newspaper Article.
Mannix is actually a staff writer with our Voice Media Group sister paper City Pages of Minneapolis, which originally published the piece. But we here at the rainbow-colored Weekly World HQ still could not be prouder.
According to the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the Washington, D.C.-based trade group for newspapers and media sites like this one, "Game Changer" beat out competing articles from the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Boston Globe, New York Times and Windy City Times.
Kluwe's rise to national prominence on behalf of LGBT people began last September, when he read about a letter Maryland Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. wrote to Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti regarding linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo appearing in ads advocating gay marriage. Warning it's inappropriate for players to take controversial political positions, Burns called on Bisciotti to make Ayanbadejo stop. Kluwe responded by writing an open letter to Burns via Deadspin, to whom the cerebral athlete contributes.
Kluwe's letter began: "I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland's state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level." Arguably, the paragraph that received the most attention (and joyful repeats) began: "I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster." (Did someone go on to create lustful cockmonster t-shirts? Indeed someone did.)
By the way, Kluwe is also rising to national prominence as a total nerd–and he couldn't be prouder. Mannix's piece begins with the chiseled athlete wearing a World of Warcraft cap backwards, Kluwe's Twitter handle is @ChrisWarcraft and he and his wife own the Mercenary Market hobby store at Fairview Road and Wilson Street in Costa Mesa.
This past weekend as I was mowing my back lawn–which I call the "Back 40" because it's a 40-square-foot patch of brown-green–I heard in my ear buds Kluwe being interviewed on The Nerdist. Nearly all of the conversation concerned gaming, and it wasn't until near the end of the podcast that host Chris Hardwick discovered Kluwe's LGBT advocacy side. As I was wondering where the hell Hardwick's been, I also imagined Kluwe may have found it refreshing to punt one obsession away so he could talk about another for a change. A game change . . . get it? Oh, never mind.