Colts punter Pat McAfee announces retirement, joining Barstool Sports –

It’s rare that a professional athlete retires at the top of his game, but that’s what Colts punter Pat McAfee did early Thursday morning when he sent this tweet:

“It was a hard decision, very, very hard because I absolutely love the Colts,” McAfee said, via WTHR. “I think that’s why I was so upset with how the (Ryan) Grigson era was going because Jim Irsay has just been a godsend for me and my family. He’s the reason the American dream has come true not only for me but for my dad, who I had a chance to give a business to. I love Irsay and I love my teammates and all the young guys we have, so it’s very difficult. But whenever you’re a creative person, whenever you can make somebody laugh, that’s real fulfillment. You’re making somebody’s day better and this is giving me that (opportunity).”

McAfee, originally a 2009 seventh-round pick out of West Virginia, is a two-time Pro Bowler, including this past season. But after meeting with Colts owner Jim Irsay for more than an hour on Monday to inform him of his decision, the 29-year-old is now moving on to life after football. McAfee will remain in Indianapolis where he will work for Barstool Sports.

“My life has been littered with terrible decisions, this is at the top of the list,” he told IndyStar Wednesday night from Houston, where Barstool Rundown is running on Comedy Central all week.

McAfee leaves the game with two years left on the five-year, $14.5 million deal he signed in 2014. And while he loved his eight years in the league, he was looking for something more beyond kicking a football.

“The NFL is really cool, and if I was a quarterback or played a position where I could have more of a grip on the game, I’d really love it. But I didn’t feel fulfillment out of punting. I didn’t feel fulfillment the way I did once I started making people laugh. Like ‘cool, I’m really impacting people.’ Now I’ll have the freedom to do that full time.”

“Whenever you find out what you’re supposed to be, that’s a cool thing. To be in the NFL, you have to focus on punting, on being great. There are only 32 jobs and it takes total focus. People think I was always out doing stuff but really, I never went out anymore, I was a homebody. It takes a lot of attention to be an NFL player, but now I want to turn that focus to something I feel like I should be doing.”

The Colts, who hired a new general manager last week, are now looking for a new punter. So while he’s leaving, he won’t be soon forgotten.


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