McAfee's drunken swim no laughing matter for Colts brass

October 20, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

There’s a fine line between comedy and tragedy. And though I’m sure no one is laughing in the Indianapolis Colts’ front office today, most would have to admit, the story of Pat McAfee taking a drunken swim in the pre-dawn chill shortly before 5 a.m. this morning in the Broad Ripple canal has its humorous elements.

Like McAfee telling police he was wet because it was raining. But it wasn’t raining, and McAfee’s shirt was in the canal. Certainly the Colts’ second-year kicker isn’t an accredited meteorologist. He’s not even a very good liar. Indianapolis is darn near in the midst of a drought for crying out loud.

Of course, no one would be laughing if McAfee had died of hypothermia, which is a distinct possibility if he had stayed out much longer soaking wet in the 43-degree air. It would have been equally sobering had the 23-year-old gotten into a car, driven drunk and hurt someone. For the record, McAfee told police he was waiting for a cab or a friend to pick him up. Then he asked police if he could walk home.

Indianapolis’ police reported that McAfee’s blood alcohol content was .15, well over the .08 designation for being legally drunk.

While McAfee’s behavior doesn’t rise to the level of beating up a girlfriend or firing a weapon in public, most would agree drinking alcohol to the point of making really stupid decisions is no laughing matter. And when you’re a public figure who plays a game watched by countless youngsters each week, that makes the matter even more serious.

This isn’t the first time a Colts player has run afoul of the law. The team has at times distanced itself from such players. Other times, they’ve given their scofflaw team members a second chance.

He obviously doesn’t mean as much to the Colts as Peyton Manning or Dwight Freeney, but McAfee is a promising, young kicker. Colts owner Jim Irsay and President Bill Polian have an interesting decision to make this week.

We’ll see how Colts fans will react. Winning has a way of soothing city residents’ ire over such incidents. But make no mistake, a number of high-profile misdeeds by professional athletes in this city has made sports followers hyper-sensitive to such things.

While the fans might forgive—as long as the team is winning—they won’t soon forget. A bevy of bad will simmering just below the surface of a Super Bowl contender could come back to bite the team when they’re not so good.

One thing is certain. Irsay and Polian know how hard it is to build a team’s image, especially in a relatively conservative city like Indianapolis.

And you can bet they won’t be laughing this incident off.

  • Aw, come on
    There's a world of difference between drunk in Broad Ripple and driving drunk or discharging a weapon. One is just stupid, the others are dangerous.

    This incident likely violates some aspect of the NFL's personal-conduct policy, so I'd suggest the Colts do exactly what the league rules call for. I don't think they should cut him, but he should be on not-so-secret probation with the team. Maybe also sit for a week of suspension.
  • Moronic
    Every time I read something from you, I get that much more stupid.
  • dumb down
    Hey RNR, don't overestimate yourself. You're about as dumbed down as is humanly possible. So worry not and read on.
  • RE: RNR
    And you keep reading and commenting because...?
  • Ah to be 23, Stupid & Invincible
    Give the kid a break. Hell, the ribbing he's gonna have to endure from his teammates alone is going to be punishment enough.
  • Really!?!
    He is young! Teaching him how silly his actions were, yes, but extreme punishment, no! Public humiliation, fines and jail time is punishment served.
  • Give him a break
    He's young and he didn't hurt anyone. Give him a break. The colts would be crazy to come down too hard on the guy although clearly he has to take some responsibility for bad decisions.
  • I wonder ... Pacers
    I wonder if we'd all be saying the same thing about this incident if it was a member of the Indiana Pacers who decided to take a dunk in the canal.
    • Big difference
      The incidents involving Pacers' players endangered themselves and others. Some of the incidents were felonies. McAfee did not drive his car while drunk. He did not shoot a gun. He did not assault anyone else. There's no comparison.
    • Story non-story
      I'm sorry but I think this is a story being blown way out of proportion. Yes, I know the young man (emphasis on young) was totally inebriated. Yes, he endangered himself and possibly others by his drunkeness.

      But he's also a mere 23 years old and who among us didn't do stupid things and make mistakes at that age?

      McAfee will be punished in some way by the Colts and the NFL and learn from his mistake. Just like many of us did.

      For those who didn't, how's that glass house you're living in?
    • one of hundreds
      1. It would be irresponsible if he had practice today at 9am, but it is a bye week.
      2. He is one of probably at least 10 drunk people per week that decide to take a dip in the canal when intoxicated(though probably the only one on a Tuesday night).
      3. The fact that he was on College Ave. is disturbing. To get in trouble in the middle of all the debauchery in a given night in broad ripple shows he's on the fringe, and needed a slap on the wrist.
      4. My roommate has done MUCH worse in that canal at 5am.

    • As Peyton will say
      Just another liquored up kicker :-)
      Pat, these little incidents are what ruins careers- learn from it now before you are a hasbeen-
    • If only that was the worst thing....
      that I'd ever done in Broad Ripple! My goodness this town is uptight.
    • call him a cab
      i was in ripple at 1:30 picking up friends after a party i cant believe she never saw a drunk in ripple at 5:30 in the morning before.scared or looking for attention.

    Post a comment to this blog

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow

    2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Sincerely: James Franklyn.

    3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

    4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

    5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!