Colts' Pat McAfee goes from booming kicks to getting booming laughs on comedy tour

INDIANAPOLIS -- Colts punter Pat McAfee's offseason has consisted of a vacation to Mexico, a USO tour to the Far East and a standup comedy tour around the state of Indiana by bus.

Yes, a comedy tour with McAfee as the only act.

Four towns. Four sold out venues with the crowd ranging between 1,500 and 3,500 people. All to see a punter. The same punter who embarrassed himself in 2010 when he was arrested for swimming drunk in an Indianapolis canal.

"Funny isn't it?," McAfee says. "Don't worry I make fun of myself about that incident."

That's what makes McAfee entertaining. His routines, which are 90 minutes long, aren't scripted. They're real life stories. He often jots down notes when something interesting happens in his life. Those moments usually end up in one of his routines. He said he has enough stories that he could do about 100 different sets without repeating any of them.

His jokes range from talking about Peyton Manning to ex-girlfriends. McAfee uses profanities and even sips wine out of mason jars during his performances that often have a diverse audience.

He's being Pat McAfee.

"The reason why people know me in Indianapolis is because I was arrested for being publicly intoxicated, so people kind of understand what they're getting with me," McAfee said. "I'm a blue collar American who enjoys life and who just happens to be good at punting footballs. Not everybody expects all the stories they're going to hear. But I think once they sit down people seem to really appreciate what I'm saying. You would think doing comedy would be nerve wracking, but punting and kicking footballs gets me more nervous."

Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were two-sport standouts in the NFL and Major League Baseball during the late 1980s and early 1990s. McAfee also wants to be a professional in two different areas. But he doesn't want to swing a baseball bat or shoot 3-pointers on the basketball court. McAfee plans to be the NFL's best punter and one of the best standup comedians.

"I'm not there yet because I need more practice in comedy," he said. "But I truly think I have the ability to knock them both out. That's my goal. Deion Sanders played two sports and Bo Jackson played two sports. I'm not athletic enough to do two sports, but I think I'm good enough to do two professions and do them pretty well at a high level."

McAfee has always thought of himself as being the funniest in the room. But it wasn't until his friends on the nationally syndicated radio show "Bob & Tom" invited the punter to take part in a comedy show on the Butler University campus in April 2015 that McAfee knew he had something special. It was the "first time in my life I ever said this is what I'm supposed to be doing."

McAfee was only supposed to be on stage for 10 minutes, but 10 minutes turned into more than 20 minutes. He walked off to a standing ovation and he immediately pumped his fist in excitement once he was back stage. Part of the proceeds from McAfee's shows goes to the "Pat McAfee Foundation," which awards scholarships to children of military personnel.

"He is the ultimate story teller because he's lived a colorful life," said Bob Kevoian, co-host of the "Bob & Tom Show." "It seems like funny things happen to him. All I did was have him tell the stories over and over again and we created punch lines for them to go with the story. But 99 percent of what he says on stage is all true. He's a master at being able to express his life."

McAfee has done nine shows in the past year, including a New Year's Eve performance in downtown Indianapolis, and he's in the process of working to line up future ones.

The same way McAfee has mastered the art of punting (47.7 average in 2015) and kicking off, he plans to continue his quest to earn a reputation of being a funny comedian across the country.

And if not?

"If people decide not to laugh at him, I'll just walk back (in the team's facility) and kick balls further and further," McAfee said. "I've told so many stories to so many friends of mine. I have friends in Pittsburgh, in West Virginia and in Indy. That's three different demographics of people and they all laughed, so I assumed that if I find something funny and all my friends find something funny, I hope people everywhere will find it funny. It's worked out so far."