Is the NFL ready for Pat McAfee?
The former Indianapolis Colts punter will make his NFL broadcasting debut this weekend as an analyst for Sunday’s game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.
McAfee made the announcement during his podcast this week. The former Pro Bowl punter surprised many Colts fans in 2017 when he decided to retire from football. Since then, he’s become a popular media personality who’s worked with Barstool Sports and performed stand-up comedy routines. He also said he’s been offered a multi-year contract with the WWE.
McAfee knows he’ll have to remain neutral during the broadcast. He considers Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers a friend and has a connection with Packers interim coach Joe Philbin, who was a coach with the Colts during McAfee’s last season with the team.
“I’ve gotta be impartial, I’ve gotta be 50/50,” he said during the podcast. “I’m pulling for the Lions just as much as I’m pulling for Aaron Rodgers, who’s a really good friend of mine. … Joe Philbin was a coach of mine.”
For Sunday’s Lions-Packers game on FOX, McAfee will work with play-by-play announcer Justin Kutcher, color commentator Robert Smith and sideline reporter Sarah Kustok.
McAfee is taking the gig seriously—but expect him to have some fun during the broadcast.
“I have a different attitude towards it,” McAfee said of NFL broadcasts. “I think it should be a show — I think they’ve started to make it too serious.”
McAfee said he didn’t watch many NFL broadcasts during his playing days because playing football was his job. Now that he’s no longer on the field, he thinks the broadcasts could use a shot in the arm.
“Now that I’m watching it on a routine basis, I feel like there’s something that we can do to make it a little more enjoyable.”