Perhaps no teammate was more affected by Donovan McNabb’s quick stint in Minnesota than punter Chris Kluwe.
Kluwe famously agreed to give up his number 5 jersey to McNabb and made up a contract to spell out the terms of the late July agreement: “I, Chris Kluwe, hereby relinquish #5 to Donovan McNabb in exchange for the following:
- 5 mentions of my band Tripping Icarus in non-consecutive press conferences
- $5,000 donation to Kick For A Cure to benefit Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
- An ice cream cone”
Kluwe received a few mentions of Tripping Icarus in the weeks following the Vikings’ trade for McNabb, but
Kluwe said he is still waiting for McNabb to make the donation to the Kick for a Cure Foundation that the punter supports.
“That would be the major thing. Tripping Icarus got the publicity we needed. That was fine. Two mentions is more than enough. The $5,000 for Kick for a Cure would definitely be appreciated by them,” Kluwe said.
Kick for a Cure supports patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in the San Diego area, making houses more accessible for those afflicted by installing wheelchair ramps, making vehicles wheelchair-accessible and providing other services.
Kluwe, who is from Los Alamitos, Calif., said he got involved with that charity through a high school friend who suggested it to him.
“I’m pretty involved with it. They have an annual soccer tournament and I’ve been out to that. I think they were talking about doing a PSA (public service announcement) deal,” Kluwe said. “Clay Matthews did
one similar for standard Muscular Dystrophy so they wanted to do something similar with me.”
At the end of each season, Kluwe donates $500 for every punt he lands inside the 20-yard line. So far this year, he has 19 of them.
Surrendering his number 5 jersey to McNabb is causing another issue for Kluwe, who has worn number 4 this year. After McNabb was released on Dec. 1, Kluwe wanted to reclaim number 5, but an NFL policy is preventing him from doing that.
“I think the NFL’s policy is you have to wait another year after the year you change your number. So I’d have to go all of 2012, but I think you can make an appeal and I’m planning to because the ruling is so that guys don’t change their numbers every year and the league gets stuck with jerseys they can’t sell,”
Kluwe said. “Since I don’t have any jerseys in the store, I’m going to be like, ‘Look, why can’t I just change my number?’”
Kluwe is hoping that rule won’t have to apply to him scine he doesn’t believe any stores carry his jersey. Everyone he knows that has his jersey had to order it as a customized item online.
“Plus, this way, now you get to unload all the Donovan jerseys and people can tape over those,” Kluwe said with a chuckle. “It will be a win-win.”
Kluwe plans to make his appeal to the NFL after the season.
McNabb made $5.05 million this year after renegotiating his contract to join the Vikings.