In the later stages of May, with literally nothing happening on the football field, NFL enthusiasts like to mock things. Future drafts, depth charts, general managers...you name it, and someone is probably mocking it right now.
So why not mock out an interview with one of the newly selected Colts players? Seems like a good idea to me. Certainly nothing could go awry in a fake interview that I'm conducting with myself, in the cozy comforts of my office, right?
Let's find out.
Before we get started, I'd like to thank to the generous members of the imaginary Colts media department for granting me fictional time with their 6th round draft pick, punter Pat McAfee.
Q: I know you don't want to hear this, but I have to ask. You're a kicker from West Virginia. You've been described as being a bit loud and animated at times. You have blonde frosting in your hair...you're not the next Mike Vanderjagt are you?
A: Oh, you're talking about Mike Vanderjagt, thought you were never going to bring that up. That guy has just ruined the image of West Virginia kickers forever. I'm really nothing like that guy. He's just an idiot. A drunken idiot kicker. I consider it an honor and a privilege to play for the Indianapolis Colts, and I would never want to jeopardize it by doing something stupid like he did.
Interviewer's Note: I didn't make that answer up. That was a direct quote from the mouth of the real Pat McAfee during a local sports radio appearance. Just figured I'd lead with his own words so you get an idea of what kind of personality I'm about to interview...in my mind.
Q: You handled all of the kicking duties while in Morgantown, but were primarily known as a field goal specialist. Was it weird to be drafted as a punter?
A: You know, it was a little bit, but my leg is my asset. No matter if I'm booting extra points, kicking off, punting...whatever. I can kick things far, and I'm willing to do whatever the Colts ask of me. Plus, I get to tackle people when I'm punting, so I really like that aspect of it.
Q: Tackle people? Don't you know what happens when punters attempt to make tackles? Didn't you see Brian Moorman get the snot knocked out of him by Sean Taylor in the Pro-Bowl a couple years ago?
A: Sure I saw it. But he had it coming to him. You gotta keep your head on a swivel when you’re out there. And Moorman's about the size of my little sister anyways. Have you seen what I'm working with (pulls up his sleeve and kisses his surprisingly bulging bicep)? Hell, I'm the same size as Gary Brackett, and don't tell him I said this, but I might be just as fast. I ain't scared of going head on against one of those puny little returners.
Q: Yea, I heard a story about you wrestling semi-professionally against some dude name "War Pig." That true?
A: Well, if you consider rolling around a ring with an overweight guy wearing a camouflaged apron and a rubber pig mask at the South Charleston Community Center semi-professional wrestling, then yes, that's a completely true story. I won too, by the way.
Q: Really? What was your finishing move?
A: I kicked him in the balls.
Q: That certainly seems appropriate. Any thoughts of pursuing your wrestling talents further?
A: No brother, I'm a professional punter now. That's all I'm thinking about these days.
Q: Good answer. With the plethora of kicking duties that you were responsible for in college, what's it like to now be focusing solely on punting?
A: Good question. I'm actually pretty pumped about it. It's really hard to perfect one aspect of your kicking game when you're spending some of your time kicking with a holder, some of your time kicking off a tee, and some of your time drop-kicking the ball. To be able to concentrate just on my punting responsibilities will do wonders for me.
Q: And you didn't even punt in a regular Americanized football style did you?
A: Nope. At West Virginia we used a rugby-style punting formation and style. It's definitely a different animal because you're kicking the ball on the run and the timing and trajectory of the punt is totally different. But like I said before, my leg was made for kicking things. Doesn't matter the circumstance, style or formation. It's all about putting your foot on the right spot of the ball and letting your leg velocity do the rest.
Q: So is there any chance you challenge Adam Vinatieri for his field-goal duties?
A: Are you kidding me bro? Vinny's the best. He's my idol, man. That dude could beat me out wearing a full body cast kicking a flat football. I'm just thrilled with the opportunity to learn some tips from the master.
Q: But you hold the record for the longest field goal ever made at Heinz Field. You're telling me there's no desire to make a little competition of it?
A: I'm telling you, I'm a punter now. 100 percent. And that kick in Pittsburgh? It was only 51-yards. Vinatieri could do that in his sleep. It does say a little about the quality of kickers the Steelers have fielded over the years though doesn't it?
Q: Pat, I haven't even seen you play yet, but with comments like that, you're quickly becoming my favorite player. Is it weird that I just told you that?
A: No, not at... (interrupted)
Q: And while I'm here, I sent you a friend request on Facebook over two months ago and you still haven't accepted my invite, what gives?
A: Ummmm...alright, now you're starting to weird me out.
Q: Sorry, I just thought, you know, that maybe we could be online friends, that's all. No big deal.
(lengthy awkward pause)
Q: Anyways...back to football talk. I understand you were actually an elite soccer player in your high-school days. Good enough, in fact, that you played on the Olympic Development Team. What was that like?
A: I thought you said "back to football talk?"
Q: I did. Futbol. That's what they call soccer over in Europe you know.
A: Yeeeaaa... (frantically searching for a Media Relations guy to save him). Yea, I was a pretty good soccer player, but it just wasn't for me. I thrive in the intensified atmosphere on a football field. The crowds, the pads, the "Nine Inch Nails" in the locker room, I love that stuff. Soccer just couldn't satisfy my thirst for watching violence up close.
Q: Did winning the Punt, Pass and Kick competition in 2003 have anything to do with your decision to devote all your time to football?
A: Nah, I had already made up my mind by that point. That was a pretty cool experience though.
Q: Bigger thrill, winning that competition or being drafted by the Colts?
A: C'mon man, having the Colts trade up to get me in the sixth round was the highlight of my life. Nothing could ever top that...except for winning a Super Bowl, obviously.
Q: Not even beating "War Pig" in a rematch?
A: Not even close...hey, what time is it?
Q: Time for my next question, Pat. If you could be any breakfast cereal, what would you be? Captain Crunch? Fruity Pebbles?
A: Alright, I really think it's time for me to head out to the field now...
Q: Hold on, hold on, I'm just kidding...just kidding. I do have one final, super serious query for you.
Q: Do you think there's any way that you could maybe, possibly, beat up Mike Scifres? After his other-worldly performance against the Colts in the playoffs last year, it would certainly ingratiate you to Indy fans if you sucker-punched him in a bar or something. I'm just saying...
A: You know what, Chris...I'm going to call security now. Please, don't ever, EVER, talk to me again.