By Doug Podgorny, @DJPodgorny
All day Wednesday, Barstool Sports built hype around a big announcement that would take place on their Comedy Central weeklong special, The Batstool Rundown. Now that the dust has settled, it appears that the comedy/sports blog lived up to the hype.
During the show, Pro Bowl punter Pat McAfee took the podium to announce his retirement from the NFL.
With help of fellow NFL icons Adam Vinatieri and Greg Olsen (and a brief cameo from Ian Rapoport), McAfee explained his post retirement plans: join Barstool as a full-time contributor.
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While McAfee’s official role in the company is not yet clear, he alluded to opening an office in downtown Indianapolis that will be fully equipped with TV and radio studios.
McAfee described his love for the state of Indiana and determination to stay local for his new position in his farewell letter to Colts fans:
Coming off a career year, the 29-year old’s unexpected retirement took social media by storm.
McAfee has built a reputation among teammates, fans, and the media as one of the biggest personalities in the NFL. His on-field antics – including killer post-punt dance moves and the occasional big hit on kickoffs – garnered national attention. McAfee was active off the field as well, serving as a regular guest on local radio shows and developing a career as a stand-up comic.
While the partnership of McAfee and Barstool Sports is certainly a natural fit, it does not make the news any less shocking. A move of this magnitude is unprecedented among a player in the peak of their career. While McAfee has not ruled out a return to the field, all indications seem to point to a permanent retirement.
For Barstool Sports, this move could not have come at a better time. This week has been by far the biggest week in the company’s history with the debut of their television show and national attention surrounding their ban from Super Bowl media participation. The buzz of McAfee joining in such dramatic fashion only amplifies the recent exponential growth of Barstool.
How this massive addition will shape out for both parties remains to be seen, but McAfee offered these encouraging words: