The Indianapolis Star – Pat McAfee is walking away from the Indianapolis Colts at age 29.
No, really. This isn’t a joke.
The two-time Pro Bowl punter met with team owner Jim Irsay for more than an hour Monday to inform him of the decision and announced it Wednesday night live on television.
The people’s punter – and very likely the city’s most popular athlete – is retiring from professional football, effective immediately, to work with Barstool Sports, a popular satirical sports website he says will soon open an office in Downtown Indianapolis. McAfee was due nearly $6 million over the next two seasons on the final years of the five-year, $14.5 million contract he signed with the Colts in 2014.
“I’m real excited to turn my obsessive-type focus towards making the world a happier place,” McAfee told IndyStar. While he says he’s not sure of what his official title will be, he’ll run Barstool’s new content-production studio based in Indianapolis.
This was far from a spur-of-the-moment decision. McAfee’s been mulling this for months, years even. It is part physical – McAfee has undergone three knee surgeries in the past four years, including one recently on his kicking knee – and part personal. He is, based on numerous conversations over the past few months, eager for the next chapter in his life.
“My life has been littered with terrible decisions, this is at the top of the list,” he joked late Wednesday night outside Kirby Ice House in Houston, home to Barstool Sports live show all week.
He doesn’t expect to return to professional football but added he plans on kicking footballs “for fun/videos and such my whole life.”
Wow. Holy fuck. I can’t believe this is real. I’m pretty sure it took me like 10 different reputable people/organizations to confirm this on Twitter last night before I realized this press conference on Comedy Central wasn’t a joke. I didn’t even believe it at first when I saw the Ian Rapoport tweet. Kudos to Barstool and Pat McAfee for releasing the scoop to Rapoport, though. I have to imagine this absolutely ruined Adam Schefter’s night. I bet he didn’t even get an hour of sleep. Dude’s going to be a lifeless turd if he’s on TV today.
As for the actual decision itself, Pat McAfee either just made the dumbest decision of his life or the smartest decision of his life. Did he really just leave $6 million on the table to become a full-time employee at Barstool? The fucking balls on this guy. I bet those balls are bigger than Trump’s. Love, love, love this. I can’t fucking wait to have a Pittsburgh guy be a regular on Barstool for once. But damn, Pat. That’s a lot of dough you’re giving up!
Believe me, I’d do some really sick shit to drop my office job right now if it meant I had an opportunity at Barstool. Fuck my decent salary or my good health benefits. Fuck my 401k. Fuck my college education that cost like almost $100k. Sign me up right now. Shit, they wouldn’t have to pay me to work there. I’d pay them! That company is going to Mars. They’re already at the moon as far as I’m concerned. But to sacrifice $6 million?! I’m not sure if Pat’s ever going to make $6 million working at Barstool. That doesn’t seem realistic when the entire company itself only sold between $10-$15 million last year.
If I’m Pat, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t mind blowing both of my knees out Teddy Bridgewater-style at the same time if I knew I was guaranteed to make $6 million over the next two years. Screw my knees. Quick backstory – a few years ago I tore my ACL and meniscus in one knee, and the recovery was fucking MISERABLE. I literally couldn’t do shit on my bad leg for like two months. I had to temporarily move back home from college so my mom could do all kinds of stuff for me like help me get in and out of the shower and tie my shoes. It was fucking embarrassing. So I know how helpless you can feel when going through that recovery. But shit, I wouldn’t mind tearing both at the same time if that meant selling my soul to the devil for a little greeny green. Excuse me, I mean A LOT of greeny green. Put me in a wheelchair. I don’t care. I’ll suck it up for a little while. Who cares if that means I’m destined to undergo double knee replacement in twenty years. I’m gettin’ paid!
I hope this works out for Pat, though. I honestly love the decision, but I’m not sure if I could make it myself. One thing I do know is that Barstool just got a hell of a lot funnier.