The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

August 4, 2011

McAfee shows off leg, tries to right his wrong

ANDERSON, Ind. — You can call Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee many things. Just don’t call him a liar.

McAfee can be seen kicking and making a field goal from 75 yards in a YouTube video that’s been viewed more than 64,000 times.

Deadspin, a tabloid-like website, claimed the McAfee video was doctored. At Wednesday night’s practice, the Colts third-year punter out of West Virginia decided to duplicate the feat at Anderson University’s Macholtz Stadium. He not only made the kicks from the ridiculously long distance, he made them easily.

To put the 75-yard kick into perspective, the NFL record for the longest field goal stands at 63 yards. That mark is shared by two men. Tom Dempsey set the record as a member of the New Orleans Saints in 1970 on a kick that beat the Detroit Lions 19-17. Playing for the Denver Broncos, Jason Elam equaled the feat in a 37-24 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1998.

“I did one on a YouTube video and a couple of websites wrote an article that it was fake,” McAfee said. “I figured I come out here, do it, get it over with and be on my way. So I hit it from 70 and 75.”

McAfee’s long-range kicking exploits on the Internet were borne of place kicker Adam Vinatieri’s status as a free agent after last season.

“I was working hard on field goals this offseason because (Adam) Vinatieri’s contract was up and I didn’t know what was going to happen there,” McAfee said. “We re-signed him. Obviously, he’s one the greatest of all time, and I would never want to compete with him. He’s one of my close friends. But I’m ready to do it whenever I have to.”

McAfee may best be remembered for an “alleged” late night swim in a Broad Ripple canal last year. McAfee was arrested on a public intoxication charge and suspended for one game by the Colts.

He acknowledges he made a mistake and is doing his best to move past it and turn a negative situation into a positive.

He even sells T-shirts on his website adorned with the slogan “I swam with Pat McAfee,” with all the proceeds going to charity.

“Everyone else in the world got to crack a joke at me, so I might as well take one at myself. A lot of people tried to take my incident and turn it into a huge negative. I made a mistake. But I like to do my job and have a good time but I also have a good heart,” McAfee said. “I’m a very charitable person. I’m growing my hair out for Locks of Love. I work a lot with the Boys & Girls Club. I get into Riley (Children’s) Hospital.”

Charitable causes aside, McAfee also has designs on making himself tougher by working with the Colts linebackers during practice. The Colts punter can be seen running the ball at the linebackers as they work on their techniques.

“That’s just one of my things. Ever since I got here I like to stay active. A lot of kickers and punters just hang out on the sidelines cause there isn’t much to do. As soon as Coach Murph (linebackers coach Mike Murphy) asked me if I wanted to come help, I said absolutely,” McAfee said. “It’s kind of evolved into me trying to kind of cut-block them. It’s a good time, I stay active and also I stay tough. It helps me to be tougher than most and ready to make a play if I have to.”

With the Colts’ record of success over the last decade, they’re constant contenders to make the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLVI just happens to scheduled to take place in Lucas Oil Stadium in February.

“Everybody talks about it. Every year you go into a season talking about the Super Bowl, which is what ultimately if you play in the NFL your goal should be to win a Super Bowl,” McAfee said. “Here, we worry about the AFC South first, getting to the playoffs and handling our business. (The Super Bowl) being at home, I don’t think it adds that much more pressure because we’re such a very professional team. We just handle our business. We do this, do this and we see where the cards lay at the end. Hopefully, we will be there in February. Cause I don’t have a ring, I want one and I know everyone else does as well.”

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