Until last night I had no idea who Nate Jackson was. Turns out he’s a former fringe NFL player who now writes for Deadspin. And he doesn’t like punters, especially opinionated ones like Chris Kluwe.
In a piece for Deadspin, Jackson made known his anti-punter and specifically anti-Kluwe sentiments. Jackson’s position boils down to this: Nobody likes punters, so punters should keep their mouths shut about greedy players. Jackson writes:
"Punters are at the absolute bottom of the totem pole on an NFL roster, the very last man. If the team plane crashed on a deserted island, he’d be dinner as soon as the food ran out. Most of them know this and understand that it’s in their best interest to keep quiet.Punters don’t get to call other players douchebags. Again, every other kicker in the league knows this, and keeps it all in perspective. Kluwe’s job, juxtaposed with the duties of his teammates, screams douchebaggery. And now Kluwe has compounded his lack of status by exposing himself as a turncoat.If it is his goal to slide into a post-punter career as a presumptuous and accusatory football analyst, then he has set himself up quite nicely, making fast friends with the likes of Mike Florio and Jim Rome. But if his intent was to offer something resembling leadership, he has failed miserably."
Kluwe being Kluwe, you knew a response would soon be forthcoming. Now it has arrived, also via Deadspin (those guys sure know how to milk a feud). Kluwe’s piece is generally less professionally written than Jackson’s and also more riddled with profanities. That Kluwe sure likes his bad words. Here’s Kluwe firing back at Jackson over the notion that punters don’t matter and should keep their yaps closed:
"Let’s be honest here. Yes, I am a punter. Yes, I don’t run routes, or zone block, or cover receivers. Apparently, though, neither did you, which is the only explanation for your total lack of statistics. You, more than anyone else, should know what goes on during special teams, and yet your description of a special teams practice, while venomously hilarious, is quite inaccurate (or maybe you guys had a really crappy punter and you’re spot on, in which case, my condolences).You talk about me like I’m some kind of disease, like punters are some kind of infection that should be excised for the good of the game and how dare we raise our voices when our betters are talking. According to you, punters should be happy to sit in the corner and be treated like s**t because we do something different, something that the other 54 members of the team can’t do.Wait, let’s parse that last clause for just a second — “something that the other 54 members of the team can’t do.” Huh. Would you look at that. Tell me, Nate, how well can you punt a football? What’s that you say? You CAN’T punt a football?Then why in f**k would you think that, just because I can punt, my opinion is somehow less valid?"
So if I understand this right, punters should shut up because they’re punters, and Nate Jackson should shut up because he was a not-very-good receiver. This, friends and neighbors, is how crazy the lockout has made the world. We’re now following internet tiffs between punters and marginal offensive players.
I wonder what ballboys think about this. Does Deadspin have any head coach microphone wire straighteners on their staff? The only way this gets worse is if someone invites Brad Childress to chime in. Then I will just quit entirely.