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One thing you can say about Colts punter Pat McAfee: He’s never at a loss for words. He had plenty to say when he sat down recently for his December 2012 IM profile (“Kickin’ It with Pat McAfee”)—so much so, in fact, that we couldn’t get it all into the article. Here are a few of the tastier morsels we were able to forage from the editor’s cutting-room floor.
“So coming out of college, I was a kicker and a punter, and when I worked out for teams, like the Colts, they were like, ‘Have you ever held before?’ I had kicked field goals—I never held. But I lied my ass off. Right to ’em. When they asked, ‘Have you ever held?’ I said, ‘Absolutely!’”
On getting the job
“There I am, just a young rookie who’s never held before, trying not to poop my pants.”
On his rookie year
“If you look at film of me as a rookie and film of me today, it’s night and day. I must have been laughed at by other punters when I was a rookie. But they can all go to hell.”
On the Colts’ 2011 season
“Man, we punted a lot last year.”
“The only time you’ll really see me in a bad mood is if I hit a shank.”
On NFL broadcasters
“Most announcers don’t know shit about punting.”
“They called last year ‘The Year of the Quarterback.’ Every year is the year of the quarterback.”
“Your teammates respect you so much more if you’re willing to make a tackle. A lot of kickers kind of flake out. I look at them and I think, ‘How do your teammates respect you?’ A big thing for me is earning my teammates’ respect. And I think that’s a good way to do it. As long as you don’t look like a girl out there.”
On his kickoff technique
“I just try to kick the hell out of the ball, to be honest.”
On his future in the league
“I want to be the first guy that punts, kicks off, and kicks field goals. I still work at it. I still practice it. [Colts kicker] Adam [Vinatieri] still helps me with it. I have the privilege to play with the greatest of all time, and when he’s ready to stop, I’m excited to hopefully step in and fill his shoes. If I can do it—and I think I can. I’m very confident I can. I’d be the first guy to ever do it.”
On his youth
“I was a bit of a douche in high school. I was pretty good at sports. In soccer I was on Olympic development teams, and then I picked up kicking. I was picking things up very easily. I kind of let it get to me when I was younger, because I had that attitude where, I don’t want to say I’m better than you—but I was a douche. I had people from other schools chanting at me. I think they still hate me to this day. They made fun of my mom at games. They called me fat. They called me gay. I kind of had that attitude like, go to hell, everybody. I was pretty cocky. I’m definitely happy that I grew out of my douche phase. Shaved body. Tanned. Earrings. I dyed my hair white a couple of times. I was the guy that you would love to root against.”
“I want to celebrity box one day, just because I think it’s hilarious, and [Colts safety and pro boxer] Tom Zbikowski said he’s going to be my trainer. One day hopefully you will see Zbikowski in my corner, and me knocking out some celebrity.”
On the secret of comedy
“You have to point out what the majority of people are thinking. So let’s say I have a zit on my forehead, right here (which I did yesterday)—if you point it out before everyone else has a chance to point it out, it’s comedy. If you don’t, it just looks like you’re defensive about it.”
On staying cool
“I’m pretty easy-going. I have a big I-don’t-give-a-damn bone in my body.”
On Twitter amateurs
“We’ve got a guy on our team, Matt Overton, who’s real thirsty for retweets. He tweets at everyone—Justin Bieber, Tim Tebow. He looks desperate.”
On Twitter courtesy
“I follow some other players, who I have more followers than, and if they don’t follow me back, it’s like a slap in the face. I get real mad about it. To hell with them.”
On hanging with celebs
“Some things aren’t as cool as you think they’ll be. I thought meeting a celebrity would be cool, until I went to the Super Bowl and met a couple of celebrities, and I was like, ‘These guys are douchebags.’”
Photos by Wil Foster; hair and makeup by Amanda Schroeder.
This article appears as a companion piece to our Pat McAfee "Best of Indy" feature profile in the December 2012 issue.
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