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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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June 25th, 2013
02:35 PM ET

Web exclusive: NFL player Chris Kluwe on the perks of punting

Watch "The Lead" on CNN at 4 p.m. ET for our full interview with NFL player and author Chris Kluwe.

Chris Kluwe is a record-breaking NFL punter, and now the author of a new book "Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities." The title comes an open letter Kluwe wrote in response to Maryland state delegate Emmett Burns, who criticized an NFL player for supporting same-sex marriage. After Kluwe's father protested the amount of profanity in the original letter, the NFL player posted another on his blog, swapping out the cusses for over-the-top euphemisms, like beautifully unique sparkle pony.

The book is a collection of essays, including a tongue-in-cheek piece about the day in the life of a punter, which includes having breakfast and lunch made for him, sitting through meetings, and, as he writes, "Then comes the worst part of the day: practice. I actually have to put on my cleats and go punt a football for THIRTY MINUTES."

Do NFL punters really only practice for 30 minutes a day?

"Sometimes we go 40, you know, though we got to get a massage after those days," said Kluwe, with a laugh.

In all seriousness, however, the Oakland Raiders player said punters can't punt for more than 35 minutes, "otherwise your legs are pretty much going to fall off, especially as you start getting older."

The essay, said Kluwe, is a self-deprecating look at all the hours that go into becoming a star punter.

"People don't really see that. You just kind of see the 4, or 5 plays that are on the field. But there have been thousands of hours of practice, from high school through college, all the way still into the pros," said Kluwe.

"At this point, it's mainly more keeping fundamentals and technique," said Kluwe.

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