With that in mind, perhaps it makes some semblance of sense that McAfree revealed recently he’s going to give the world of stand-up comedy the old college try.
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The punter will perform two stand-up shows this coming weekend in the Indianapolis area, presumably because of the hope that a hometown crowd will be much more forgiving if his comedic chops are a little rough around the edges.
But why now, with his NFL career still in full swing?
“This is kind of been 28 years in the making almost,” McAfee said. “A lot of NFL players like to play video games or binge-watch moves in their spare time. I’ve always enjoyed chitchatting with my friends and making them laugh.”
The shows, which are both sold-out gigs in front of 1,600 people, will benefit the Pat McAfee Foundation, which provides academic scholarships to children of U.S. military personnel.
When asked if he’s worried about bombing, something that can occur to even the savviest and experienced stand-up acts, McAfee said his experience as a punter will serve him well.
“I’ll have 1,300 people letting me know I suck,” McAfee said. “But if I mess up my kicking job, I have 60,000 people letting me know immediately that I did not do well. Punting the football is much more pressure. It’s fulfilling when you help your team win. I don’t think the pressure of stand-up comedy is near what it is in football.”
Perhaps McAfee can riff on how he once almost accidentally tweeted a naked photo of teammate Andrew Luck. Just no “Long Luck Dong” jokes, though. That’s bush league.
While McAfee’s NFL colleagues are known to engage in much riskier offseason pursuits like climbing on the wing of a plane in flight, the fact that the punter instead will spend his time away from the field with a much safer endeavor is encouraging.
At the same time, hecklers can be a cruel bunch, but a blown-up ego beats blown-up hand resulting from a firework accident every time.