This story by Mike Asti was initially posted on our partner site WV Sports Now.
It’s very possible his career since retiring from the NFL has actually been more impressive than his time punting for the Colts, but that’s certainly no slight to his 8-year run in Indianapolis. And his work in the NFL is now being recognized 6 years after he punted his last ball.
Plum Borough area native and West Virginia product Pat McAfee has been named among the 129 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2023. To show just how exclusive this honor is, McAfee is one of only 10 punters or kickers on this list.
As expected, McAfee addressed just how special being included as a nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame really is in his own unique way. “Don’t vote me in, but this is cool to even be acknowledged,” said McAfee during a segment of his critically acclaimed “Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) September 20, 2022
McAfee also added “did not play long enough” as why he does not feel he deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And for as cool as to even be recognized at this level of the nomination process, McAfee is likely right that his career length will be held against him when it comes time to narrow these nominees down to 25 in November and then cut that down to the list of finalists to be considered.
The boisterous punter, who also kicked field goals at WVU and is the university’s leading scorer, shockingly decided to retire after the 2016 season. McAfee later explained that he was probably looking at a surgery for an injury in order to keep playing back then, which played into his decision to embark on building his media empire at just 30-years-old. McAfee did earn NFL All-Pro honors once and was named to the Pro Bowl twice in his 8-year career. He also punted and kicked off for the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
When he retired from the NFL, McAfee did so to join Barstool Sports, but has since found tremendous success independently. In addition to hosting a daily talk show that receives millions of views from YouTube alone, McAfee also has a contract with WWE that has awarded him the opportunity to turn just first being a commentator to actually wrestling, most notably at this past WrestleMania. He recently signed on with ESPN to be a full-time member of their iconic College GameDay crew.