To the extent that kicking a ball in the NFL makes a guy an “pro athlete,” then Colts punter Pat McAfee is a “pro athlete.”
And to the extent that MLS soccer is a “pro sport,” McAfee could be the next NFL player who is a two-sport pro athlete.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that McAfee was an “invited guest” at the Columbus Crew’s pre-preseason practice on Tuesday. Coach Robert Warzycha told the Dispatch that McAfee “showed us he is a pretty good player,” and will participate in camp for the next few days.
“He wanted to be in a pro environment and try it out,” Warzycha said. “I don’t think we would close the door to anybody just because they play a different sport. We’ll see what happens next. I don’t think we’ll take him to Phoenix [for preseason camp] but he can play and he knows the game. He kicked the hell out of a few balls.”
Who knows? If there’s a lockout, maybe McAfee will make himself available to the MLS. Or maybe it’s just a hobby.
If it’s a hobby, it’s better than swimming shirtless in a canal on a 39-degree morning, after drinking copious amounts of slightly more potent liquids. (McAfee avoided prosecution by agreeing to a diversion program.)
That said, McAfee remains under contract. And given the injury risk arising from running around on a pitch with pro-level talent, the standard player contract contains language that could cause the Colts to conclude that it’s just as bad to be “liquored up” as it is to be “soccered up.”