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Posted on 10.09.2013

This is a theory about how Indianapolis Colts punter Pat Mcafee has emerged as  an influential character in one of the Midwest’s premiere cities in just a little over four years.
First, he has talent. No one can argue that Mcafee can boot the ball with his #Boomstick. Boomstick is a slang term for a 12-gauge  shot gun and a nickname Mcafee’s right leg has earned for the power he puts behind the ball. Check out YouTube to see him boot a 75-yard field goal at the Kohls Kicking Camp. The ball rifles off his foot, as proven by the 123 touchbacks he has tallied from 2009 to 2012. Last year, his 47.9 yards-per-punt average landed him 29th all time in the single-season records book.
Mcafee also has proven he can do much more than just kick. He has put a few vicious hits on returners. Unafraid to throw his body at a return man in order to save a touchdown, Mcafee has tallied  14 tackles so far in his short career.
Next is timing. Everyone from Indianapolis remembers the embarrassment of the 2011 season. There were few members of that team for whom a fan would feel confident purchasing and wearing a jersey because of the uncertainty of a contract or the frequency of injury.  With the Colts’ struggling offense, Mcafee was on the field more than the average punter. He amassed more than 4,000 total punting yards in that season, as well as seven tackles. He was a pocket of brilliance in a fairly empty season. As a result, his became one of the most well-known names on the team.
In addition to his timing as a Colt, Mcafee came in during a pivotal point in social media. Twitter emerged in 2006, shortly after Mcafee turned 19. His age group was the target audience for this new type of social media, and Twitter began gaining popularity around the same time as Mcafee. Now Mcafee has more than 132,000 followers on Twitter. In case you were curious, the NFL punter second in Twitter followers has less than half that many. He’s also on top of the Colts’ players chart in Twitter followers, edging out Robert Mathis by a mere 70,000.
Mcafee also can brag that he has his own web show on the website of this city’s metropolitan daily. The IndyStar hosts an hour long  “Pat Mcafee Show” out of Kilroy’s in Broadripple on Tuesday nights.
Next, Mcafee has fun. Whether he’s dancing to the music before his kickoff, riding unicorns into Kilroy’s for the “Pat Mcafee Show,” or perhaps wading in the canal, Mcafee is always upbeat. His Twitter bio reads, “Welcome to the party.  Life’s good brother. #Boomstick.”
And Mcafee lives up to that, sometimes having a little too much fun. One example of this is the canal incident of 2010, an incident that could have permanently damaged his reputation. But all publicity is good publicity, right? Although this century-old proverb may not be true in all situations, the media spotlight suddenly cast upon the young punter seemed to have helped him grow. Thanks to his knack for public relations, he quickly restored his reputation and is now able to look back on that and laugh.
Finally, Mcafee cares. He cares about his fans, frequently interacting with them via Twitter and at events in Indianapolis.
He cares about his teammates, developing an especially close relationship with his long snapper Matt Overton.
He cares for those who need it. The second half of his Twitter bio encourages his followers to “Checkout/donate to my foundation.” The foundation is a not-for-profit started by Mcafee to provide scholarship money for the sons and daughters of military personnel. Overton assists Mcafee with this organization.
Although it was initially uncertain whether the #Boomstick would be able to go the same distance as our previous punter, Hunter Smith, Mcafee has firmly established himself as a positive influence in the Indianapolis community. His reputation and relationship with the public will continue to grow, as long as he sticks to his current tactics.


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