In this year's NUVO Best of Indy voting, Colts punter and kickoff man Pat McAfee has won Best Twitter Feed, Local Personality You'd Want at Your Next Dinner Party, Local Personality You'd Want at Your Next Kegger and he's a runner-up in the Best Local Athlete category. He's also a member of the winning outfit in Best Pro Sports Team, the Colts. We asked our Best-Of cover man about some of his personal Best-Of picks, both local and national.
"I didn't eat anything for two weeks before this photo shoot," he tells me and NUVO photographer Michelle Craig. "I'm on the model's diet."
McAfee, winner of multiple NUVO Best Of Indy awards is sharing story after story as he's posing for our cover shot in the living room of his super-secret Patcave. One highlight: A tale about being invited to a party for a magazine called Supermodels Unlimited — and then insisting to the editor of said publication that he a) bring three friends and b) be allowed to walk the catwalk with his buddies, one of whom eventually found himself being hit on by a Real Housewife of New Jersey. That's McAfee in a nutshell — expansive, hilarious and gregarious. He's also incredibly down-to-earth for a guy with a massive personality and a rep as maybe the best at his position currently working in the NFL.
What's your favorite craft beer?
I'm not really much of a craft beer guy. I don't really drink that much anymore. I'll have a Sun King now and then. I used to get sent a LOT of beer. They'd send me free stuff, right to the complex. Templeton Rye even sent me free stuff. But again, I don't drink much anymore.
Favorite place for a quick bite?
The Barking Dog if I'm just having a sandwich.
For a bigger meal?
Sullivan's. That's my place.
Who's your favorite athlete?
Growing up, it was Randy Moss. Moss, Deion Sanders, anyone who's completely and totally confident in their abilities.
How about locally?
George Hill. First, he's a very tall man. He's athletic, he's dyed his hair blonde and he's worn a McAfee jersey. Those things make him all right in my book.
What's better, a good punt or a fake punt?
Wow. A successful fake punt is pretty awesome. But football's all about field position — and a good punt with the right coverage ... (PROCEEDS TO NAME EVERY SINGLE MAN ON THE COVERAGE TEAM FROM MEMORY IN 3.5 SECONDS) — I'm nothing without those guys. When there's a successful fake punt, though, you're handing the ball back to arguably the best quarterback in the game.
If you were going to show off Indy to an out-of-towner, what would you pick?
Indy's the cleanest city I've ever seen, but it's the people that make the state of Indiana so great. It's why my parents moved here and became full-time Hoosiers. It'd be tough, but I'd show off the people — Indiana is full of great humans.
In my first year in the league, guys said I should get into golf, since there were so many parallels — but I'm just getting into it now. I've got a simulator. So my favorite course is in my house. Indiana's got some great courses — really underrated, and not just the famous ones — but my personal favorite's in my extra bedroom.
Do you do anything else in your downtime?
Sure, that makes sense, since you've done standup and all. (NOTE: Pat recently made his standup debut — at the Palladium.)
I've got like three screenplays ready to go.
Do you have any favorite comedians besides Pat McAfee?
Does Jim Gaffigan count as local?
Why not? He's from Indiana.
He's great. We've become friends. He's hilarious, he's clean —
And he opened for the Pope.
Right? Right? Who DOES that? Man, that must've been tough. There's a lot of funny people in Indy — Jeff Vibbert. He opened for me.
What's a great night on the town for you?
A comedy club — Crackers or Morty's — some great food and then relaxing with my girlfriend. Laugh some, eat some, relax some here at home.
(There's a pause as I'm organizing my notes.)
I really like pizza.
Pepperoni with ranch dressing. I grew up with a kid named Della Sala, and Della Sala's pizza in Pittsburgh is still number one in my heart. But I'll keep looking for something similar here in Indy.
McAfee has just released a DVD of his standup (caution: the language ain't for the kids ) available at patmcafeeuncaged.com. His charitable organization, The Pat McAfee Foundation (thepatmcafeefoundation.org), is "dedicated to providing scholarship assistance to the sons and daughters of US Military Personnel."