Pat McAfee

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Pat McAfee
No.1 Indianapolis Colts
McAfee with the Colts in 2014
No. 1
Position:Punter, Kickoff specialist
Personal information
Born: (1987-05-02) May 2, 1987 (age 34)
Plum, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:233 lb (106 kg)
Career information
High school:Plum (PA)
College:West Virginia
NFL Draft:2009 / Round: 7 / Pick: 222
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Punts:575
Punting yards:26,669
Punting average:46.4
Longest punt:74
Inside 20:193
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Patrick Justin McAfee (born May 2, 1987) is an American businessman, sports analyst, podcaster, professional wrestler, professional wrestling color commentator, and former football punter and kickoff specialist. McAfee is currently signed to WWE, where he is a color commentator for the SmackDown brand.

He was a placekicker at West Virginia and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Over his eight-year career in the National Football League (NFL), McAfee made two Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in 2014. Since his retirement from football in February 2017, McAfee has been an football analyst. He was a guest host for Fox Sports' college and NFL broadcasts in late 2018, before being announced as part of ESPN's Thursday Night College Football team in July 2019. In addition, he makes regular appearances for Get Up! and College GameDay. He currently presents The Pat McAfee Show on Sirius XM's Mad Dog Sports Radio, after a previous stint on DAZN and Westwood One. His show is also available via live YouTube broadcasts, where the show is also archived.

McAfee served as a guest commentator for WWE's NXT TakeOver events in 2018,[1] before signing a contract with the promotion in February 2019.[2][3] During 2020, he feuded with Adam Cole, making his WWE NXT in-ring debut at TakeOver XXX in a loss to Cole. He won the 2020 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Rookie of the Year award following his feud with Cole. In April 2021, McAfee was moved to SmackDown, becoming a color commentator on the Friday Night SmackDown program.

Early life[edit]

McAfee was born to Tim and Sally McAfee on May 2, 1987 in the Pittsburgh suburb of Plum, Pennsylvania. He attended Plum High School, playing soccer, volleyball and football; and received collegiate interest for all three. As a senior, he borrowed $100 from a friend and played poker at an illegal club, turning it into $1,400. He used the funds to finance a trip to Miami to participate in the final day of a national competition highlighting the best field goal kicking prospects in America. McAfee made nine consecutive field goals, starting at 25 yards and moving five yards out each time. He narrowly missed a 70-yard field goal, with the ball missing to the right but with enough distance to make it. After returning home, he was approached in the school's lunchroom by Tony Gibson, West Virginia's recruiting coordinator, who offered him a scholarship.[4]

College career[edit]

Freshman season (2005)[edit]

McAfee earned the starting job at West Virginia as a freshman. He was 11-for-18 as a freshman on field goals, and had 70 kickoffs for the season, with 20 touchbacks. McAfee's most memorable moment came against Louisville in a 46–44 triple overtime win, which was reached after a successful McAfee onside kick. The onside kick gave running back Steve Slaton the chance to tie the game with a one-yard touchdown run.[5]

Sophomore season (2006)[edit]

Although they had losses to Louisville and USF, the Mountaineers won 10 games and were victors in the Gator Bowl over Georgia Tech.[6]

Junior season (2007)[edit]

McAfee started his junior season with a missed extra point against Western Michigan, ending his streak of 106 consecutive extra points. He finished the season in the Fiesta Bowl with a 2-for-4 performance, having one kick blocked by Oklahoma. He was named to the ESPN All-Bowl Team following the bowl season.[7]

McAfee missed two relatively short field goals in WVU's 13–9 loss to a Pitt Panthers team with only four wins; ultimately taking the Mountaineers out of the BCS National Championship Game. He was named to the 2007 Lou Groza Award semi-finalist list for the best collegiate kicker. McAfee earned Big East Special Team Player of the week honors three times in 2007 and was named second-team All-Big East. He earned West Virginia's Scott Shirley Award for the second consecutive year.

Senior season (2008)[edit]

McAfee began his senior year in a 48–21 season-opening victory over Villanova in which he kicked two field goals, including a career-long of 52-yards, six extra points, and two punts. In the following 27–3 win over Marshall, McAfee became the school record holder for all-time scoring with a field goal, passing Slaton. He went two for two on field goals to move to third place for the Big East record of career field goals made in a 34–17 victory over Auburn.

Against Cincinnati on November 8, the Mountaineers trailed by 13 points with 1:11 left in regulation, but reduced the deficit to 3 points with a safety, touchdown, and two-point conversion, all in less than a minute. McAfee's onside kick was recovered with 18 seconds remaining. He then tied the game as time expired with a 52-yard field goal, but the Mountaineers would lose in overtime.

McAfee finished his senior year with a career-best 44.7 yards per punt average, a Big East-leading 23 punts inside the 20-yard line, and a career-high 2,639 yards with a 65-yard long. He was named a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, losing out to Matt Fodge.[8]

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft[edit]

After his senior season at WVU, McAfee was invited to the 2009 Senior Bowl in Alabama, joining Mountaineers Pat White and Ellis Lankster. He started the Senior Bowl as the South team's kicker. McAfee performed in the 11th annual State Farm College Football All-Star Challenge, winning the "round the world" kicking competition. As he was not invited to the NFL Combine, he had team workouts with the Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, all as a kicker.[9]

Indianapolis Colts[edit]

McAfee was drafted in the seventh round (222nd overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. McAfee was signed before training camp. He handled punting and kick-off duties for the Colts in 2009, as well as holding for extra-points and field goals, a position he had never played before. In 2009 McAfee helped Indianapolis win the AFC South, the AFC Championship, and helped the Colts reach Super Bowl XLIV.

McAfee maintained a 46.6-yard punting average for the 2011 regular season, a mark he would better the following season by posting a 48.2-yard average on punts.[10]

On January 4, 2014, McAfee tweeted a photo with Colts teammate Andrew Luck in the background, almost completely nude.[11] McAfee, who was taking a picture of kicker Adam Vinatieri being interviewed in the locker room, apologized for the incident and was fined $10,000 by the Colts organization, according to his interview with The Bob & Tom Show.[12] On March 7, McAfee announced he had signed a five-year contract to remain with the Colts.[13]

McAfee was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September 2014. He led the NFL in punting average (45.6 yards) and touchbacks on kickoff (24), and converted the NFL's only two successful onside kicks in the first four weeks of the season.[14] In week 6, McAfee converted his third onside kick of the season, recovering the ball himself after it traveled the necessary 10 yards.[15] On December 23, 2014, McAfee was selected to play in his first Pro Bowl,[16] and on January 2, 2015, he was selected by the Associated Press as the First Team All-Pro punter.[17]

On December 20, 2016, McAfee was named to his second Pro Bowl.[18]

On February 2, 2017, after eight seasons, McAfee retired from the NFL and stated he intended to join Barstool Sports as a contributor. He cited his recent knee operation (his third in four seasons) as a factor in his decision, as well as his fractured relationship with Colts' general manager Ryan Grigson.[19][20]

During the 2020 NFL season, despite being out of the NFL for four years, fans began making a push for McAfee to come out of retirement to play for his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, who struggled with their punting during the season. McAfee himself added to the rumors by immediately tweeting a video of him punting after the Steelers released Dustin Colquitt without immediately signing a replacement.[21] The team ended up re-signing Jordan Berry, who had been the team's punter for five years prior to the signing of Colquitt.

NFL career statistics[edit]

Legend
Led the league
Bold Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team Punting
GP Punts Yds Net Yds Lng Avg Net Avg Blk OOB Dn Ins20 TB FC Ret RetY TD
2009 IND 16 64 2,837 2,416 60 44.3 37.8 0 0 7 21 6 15 36 301 0
2010 IND 15 65 2,731 2,302 66 42.0 35.4 0 3 8 21 7 22 25 289 1
2011 IND 16 88 4,098 3,488 64 46.6 39.2 1 8 11 21 3 18 48 550 1
2012 IND 16 73 3,520 2,985 64 48.2 40.3 1 10 9 26 8 14 32 375 1
2013 IND 16 76 3,499 2,963 65 46.0 38.5 1 8 15 27 7 17 29 396 1
2014 IND 16 69 3,221 2,956 61 46.7 42.8 0 7 5 30 3 19 35 205 0
2015 IND 16 85 4,052 3,546 63 47.7 41.7 0 7 13 28 6 23 36 386 3
2016 IND 16 55 2,711 2,392 74 49.3 42.7 1 7 5 19 9 17 17 139 0
Career 127 575 26,669 23,048 74 46.4 40.1 4 50 73 193 49 145 258 2,641 7

Postseason[edit]

Year Team Punting
GP Punts Yds Net Yds Lng Avg Net Avg Blk OOB Dn Ins20 TB FC Ret RetY TD
2009 IND 3 12 550 514 56 45.8 42.8 0 0 0 3 1 7 4 16 0
2010 IND 1 4 153 138 46 38.3 34.5 0 0 1 1 0 2 1 15 0
2012 IND 1 4 194 137 53 48.5 34.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 57 0
2013 IND 2 6 310 268 58 51.7 44.7 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 42 0
2014 IND 2 8 375 296 68 46.9 37.0 0 1 1 1 3 0 3 19 0
Career 9 34 1,582 1,350 68 46.2 38.7 0 1 2 5 4 9 18 149 0

Post-playing career[edit]

Barstool Sports[edit]

Following his retirement from football at the close of the 2016 season, McAfee joined Barstool Sports, where he developed the "Heartland" division of the company in Indianapolis and hosted The Pat McAfee Show on SiriusXM channel Barstool Power 85. McAfee announced his separation from Barstool Sports on August 31, 2018, citing a lack of transparency with the business operations of the company as his reason for leaving.[22]

Pat McAfee Inc.[edit]

"The Boys"
  • Tone Digz (Anthony Diguilio)
  • Nick Maraldo
  • Ty Schmit
  • Boston Connor (Connor Campbell)
  • Zito (Jose Perez)
  • Foxy (Evan Fox)
  • Gumpy (Kyle Cathcart)
  • Jason McAfee
  • Billy Tubes (Bailey McComas)
  • Mitt (Emmett McMahon)

Upon departing from Barstool Sports in 2018, McAfee incorporated a small business, Pat McAfee Inc. (PMI), from his original office in Indianapolis. PMI continued to operate McAfee's charity, The Pat McAfee Foundation, and began selling merchandise. At first, PMI produced four podcasts, The Pat McAfee Show 2.0, That's Hockey Talk, Heartland Radio 2.0, and Good Bettor Bets. The former two are still in operation as of 2021, with The Pat McAfee Show 2.0 re-running clips from his daily show on Sirius XM, while That's Hockey Talk is co-hosted by former NFL center A. Q. Shipley. Heartland Radio 2.0 evolved into The Pod after the departure of former host, Todd McComas, while PMI's gambling podcast, Good Bettor Bets, re-branded into Hammer Dahn with the addition of former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi as a co-host.

In March 2021, PMI brought back The Best Wresting Show., formerly known as Wrasslin' With Sports Entertainment, a wrestling podcast that had aired one episode in 2019. It is hosted by former WWE employee & current PMI executive producer, Mike Mansury, and Pittsburgh-based radio commentator & former World Championship Wrestling commentator Mark Madden. McAfee himself is a frequent guest contributor to Madden's daily radio show on WXDX-FM. The podcast was short lived, as Mansury left PMI to focus on independent work in May of the same year.

After a brief stint hosting a radio show on DAZN and Westwood One, McAfee and PMI began hosting a daily radio show on Sirius XM in 2020. The daily show is hosted by McAfee, and he is joined by A. J. Hawk during the final two hours of the show. McAfee's employees, affectionately known as "The Boys", produce and provide commentary during the show.

In 2021, McAfee announced plans to move the base of operations for PMI to a former United Methodist Church in Lawrence, Indiana.[23]

Fox Sports and ESPN[edit]

On November 24, 2018, McAfee made his college football broadcasting debut on Fox, calling a college football game between Baylor and Texas Tech. On December 30, McAfee made his NFL broadcasting debut on Fox, joining Justin Kutcher, Robert Smith, and sideline reporter Sarah Kustok for the LionsPackers game.[24]

On July 29, 2019, Adam Schefter announced via Twitter that McAfee would be joining ESPN as the color analyst for their Thursday Night College Football broadcasts, alongside Matt Hasselbeck. The news came after McAfee had auditioned for on ESPN's Monday Night Football after Jason Witten's return to the Cowboys, though ESPN decided to retain its booth as-is.[25] In the same year, McAfee began making regular appearances on Get Up! and College GameDay, after appearing on the latter show as a celebrity guest picker.

DAZN and Westwood One[edit]

On August 7, 2019, it was reported that McAfee would begin to host a two-hour, weekday radio show, The Pat McAfee Show, beginning September 9, 2019, syndicated by DAZN and Westwood One. The deal with DAZN also includes McAfee streaming his podcast on the service three times per week, and appearances in NFL-related shoulder content in regions where DAZN holds streaming rights to the league (primarily Canada and Germany).[26][27] They parted ways in August 2020 due to McAfee's disdain for FCC regulations on terrestrial radio.

Sirius XM: Mad Dog Sports Radio[edit]

In September 2020, The Pat McAfee Show moved to Sirius XM's Mad Dog Sports Radio from 12 PM to 3 PM on weekdays. The show is also broadcast live on YouTube. Former NFL linebacker, and consistent collaborator, A. J. Hawk co-hosts the second and third hour of the show with McAfee. McAfee's former teammate Darius Butler co-hosts the show on Fridays when it is broadcast from Tampa, FL.

Other appearances[edit]

In 2016, McAfee performed in stand-up events around Indiana.[28] McAfee was a regular on the nationally syndicated morning radio program The Bob & Tom Show, itself based in Indianapolis. He has described co-host Bob Kevoian as one of his best friends during an interview on the Off the Air Podcast hosted by sports commentator Chick McGee.[29] In 2018, McAfee made his professional baseball debut for the Washington Wild Things as a right-fielder and guest first base coach. He made a putout in the outfield and went 0–3 at the plate, reaching second base on a throwing error before being replaced with a pinch runner.[30]

He was a sideline reporter for the XFL for some of its games in 2020.[31]

McAfee is a co-host on the sports gambling podcast Hammer Dahn, which is produced by his business, Pat McAfee Inc. He makes occasional appearances on PMI's other podcasts, The Pod and That's Hockey Talk.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

A month before the NFL Draft on March 22, 2009, McAfee was involved in a match against The WarPig at an IWA East Coast show in South Charleston, West Virginia. WarPig controlled much of the match but, McAfee hit him with a low blow and a superkick, securing an upset victory.[32] Nine years later, in March 2018, McAfee was present at an NXT show in Indianapolis, where he prevented Adam Cole from winning by disqualification in his match against Aleister Black. Instead, McAfee's distraction gave Black enough time to recover and hit Cole with his finisher, Black Mass.[33]

In June 2017, McAfee briefly trained as a professional wrestler with Rip Rogers, which was filmed for Barstool Sports.[34][35]

WWE[edit]

Early appearances (2018–2020)[edit]

During 2018, McAfee began appearing on WWE programming as a pre-show analyst for the company's NXT TakeOver events, beginning with NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, where he continued his mini-feud with Adam Cole. He later appeared at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II,[36] NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4[37] and NXT TakeOver: WarGames. In December, it was reported that he had formally signed a multi-year contract with WWE,[1] and officially signed the contract in February 2019.[2][3] He then began hosting live watch-along of WWE's pay-per-views on YouTube, beginning with Fastlane, alongside a number of WWE wrestlers.[38] In the buildup to WrestleMania, McAfee, his crew and various special guests travelled venue to venue in an RV, that his friend Zito got stuck under an awning at MetLife Stadium, which was filmed for Pat McAfee's Road to WrestleMania.[39] Backstage at the event, McAfee got into an argument with Michael Cole, when Cole had criticized him for wearing tuxedo shorts. McAfee threatened to quit on the spot and was sent to another room while the situation was dealt with. After Vince McMahon was shown an image of LeBron James at the 2018 NBA Finals, and that the outfit was similar to the one McAfee was wearing for WrestleMania, McMahon approved and McAfee was allowed to co-host the second hour of the pre-show, alongside Charly Caruso.[40]

McAfee made a guest appearance on the November 1 episode of SmackDown, as part of an on-air staff filling in for Cole and Graves (who were not able to make it back from Crown Jewel on time), where McAfee fully supported NXT's invasion of the show, and ultimately stormed the ring alongside the rest of the NXT roster at the end of the broadcast as they declared war on both Raw and SmackDown.[41][42][43]

The Kings of NXT (2020–2021)[edit]

On July 23, 2020, Adam Cole was a special guest on McAfee's radio show. He appeared after the show ended on radio, with the interview being a YouTube exclusive. The interview took a turn when McAfee laughed at Cole, when he declared himself the "king of NXT". Cole also got frustrated with McAfee constantly interrupting him, and inferring that his 403-day title reign would not have happened without the Undisputed Era, who McAfee considered more talented than him. When McAfee mocked his height, Cole cursed him out, broke his recording equipment, pushed his producer and friend, Ty Schmit, and stormed out.[44] On July 27, after Cole had made a public apology, Triple H appeared on the show, and invited him to come to an episode of NXT to talk things out with Cole.[45][46] On the August 5 episode of NXT, McAfee arrived and was shown to have made up with Cole, and later acted as a guest commentator for a tag team title match between The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly) and Imperium (Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner). Cole noticed him at the commentary table and after again being mocked for his height, threw water in McAfee's face. The distraction was enough for Barthel and Aichner to take advantage, hitting Fish with a European Bomb (Doomsday uppercut) and the pin to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship. A post-match confrontation between the two men, resulted in McAfee punting Cole's head, and being thrown out of the building, cementing his heel turn.[47] The next day, on Get Up!, Triple H challenged McAfee to a match on Cole's behalf at NXT TakeOver XXX,[48] which he accepted.[49] On the August 19 episode of NXT, McAfee (flanked by former NFL players Darius Butler and A. J. Hawk, as well as co-host Nick Maraldo)[50] cut a promo on Cole and the Undisputed Era. Security came into the ring to keep the two men apart, but Cole quickly dealt with them, and then cornered McAfee, by saying that he was going to make him his "bitch".[51] At NXT TakeOver XXX, McAfee impressed in the match. Highlights included hitting a senton from the top rope and onto the Undisputed Era, and later, with a backflip off the top rope, landing on his feet and leaping back to the top, then hitting a superplex on Cole. Towards the end, McAfee went for an axe-handle, but was superkicked by Cole, who followed up with a Panama Sunrise to win the match.[52]

On the October 21 episode of NXT, McAfee returned, interfering in the tag team title match between Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) and Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan; with the latter being a replacement for the Undisputed Era. McAfee, wearing a silver facemask, shoved Fandango off the top rope, before hiding under the ring. Burch hit Breeze with a low blow while the referee was distracted, then he and Lorcan hit a aided whiplash maneuver on Breeze to win the match and become new tag team champions. Post-match, McAfee revealed himself and Burch and Lorcan aligned themselves with him, resulting in their heel turn.[53] On October 28, at Halloween Havoc, McAfee confirmed that this was still part of the feud between him and the Undisputed Era, and that, in kayfabe, he had hired Ridge Holland to take out Cole at NXT TakeOver 31. Following Holland's legitimate injuries in a match with Burch, McAfee hired him and Lorcan to take out Fish and Roderick Strong, which gave O'Reilly no choice but to hand them the Undisputed Era's title shot. O'Reilly came out from the back and was joined by Pete Dunne. However, Dunne turned on O'Reilly and joined McAfee's stable, unofficially dubbed "The Kings of NXT".[54] In the next few weeks, McAfee was used in a managerial role, where he called out the absent Undisputed Era and instructed the other members of the stable in beatdowns of Breezango and the pairing of Killian Dain and Drake Maverick.[55][56] On the November 18 episode of NXT, McAfee interrupted Finn Bálor mid-promo, and the show ended in chaos as the Undisputed Era made their return.[57] Off-air, general manager William Regal came out from the back and sanctioned a WarGames match between the Undisputed Era and Team McAfee.[58] On December 6, at NXT TakeOver: WarGames, in which McAfee notably hit a Swanton Bomb off the cage, ended in defeat when O'Reilly hit a diving knee drop through a chair on Lorcan, pinning him to win the match.[59]

On the February 17, 2021 episode of NXT, McAfee made an appearance in a pre-recorded video, bragging that he was right about Cole all along, in the fallout from NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day.[60]

Move to SmackDown (2021–present)[edit]

On April 16, 2021, WWE announced that McAfee had been moved to the SmackDown brand, serving as color commentator alongside Michael Cole.[61]

Philanthropy[edit]

McAfee visits Camp Atterbury with Wish for Our Heroes in 2012

The Pat McAfee Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with the goal of providing assistance for the sons and daughters of military personnel. McAfee worked closely with his father, Tim McAfee, to establish the foundation.[62]

In May 2016, McAfee created a company named Shirts for America, to serve as a sponsor for Indycar driver Conor Daly for the 2016 Indianapolis 500 and to support both the Pat McAfee Foundation and Wish for Our Heroes.[63]

In November 2011, McAfee chopped off his signature locks for Locks of Love, an organization that provides hairpieces for children who are suffering from long-term illness and are poor.[64]

In 2020, McAfee donated $200,000 to the Barstool Fund, a charity started by Dave Portnoy to provide relief to small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 regulations.[65][66]

Personal life[edit]

On October 20, 2010, McAfee was arrested and charged with public intoxication, a Class B misdemeanor. McAfee had been allegedly found shirtless and wet, and alleged to have swum in a canal in Broad Ripple, a popular nightclub area, at approximately 5:15 that morning after being reported by a woman who found him near her car. Police reported that he tested with a blood alcohol content of 0.15.[67] The Colts later issued a one-game suspension to McAfee for his actions.[68] Two weeks after being arrested, McAfee issued an apology for his actions. "Obviously I made a dumb decision on a night when things got out of control," he said. "I will never put my team or my family through this kind of embarrassment again."[69]

On February 5, 2016, McAfee became a Guinness World Record holder by successfully kicking a 40-yard field goal while blindfolded.[70] The record was surpassed two years later when Davis Brief, a fan of McAfee's, kicked a 45-yard field goal while blindfolded on September 23, 2018.[71]

McAfee became engaged to his girlfriend, Samantha Ludy, in February 2019.[72] The two were married August 1, 2020, at Coxhall Gardens in Carmel, Indiana.[73]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

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