Pat McAfee, esteemed NFL punter, raconteur and bon vivant is bringing his sweet music to FOXSports.com. We’ll be giving him his own space every now and then to preach on whatever tickles his fancy. Remember to check out his charity at PatMcAfeeFoundation.org.
By Pat McAfee, FOXSports.com
Hello again, beautiful people of the Internet.
I disappeared into the land of training camp for a few weeks, so I apologize for my absence. Training camp was fun — thanks for asking — but just about every person I know who has to leave their house for an extended time for work, is excited to get back home.
Going into this camp, I wondered about what there was going to be as far as entertainment off the field. Last year, every night we’d watch the Olympics. NBC delayed showing all of the content until evenings, and for players at training camp, it was perfect. Get back to the room around 10 p.m., watch America beat the hell out of some other country until 11 and then pass out. This year, I knew there was going to be no Olympics, so how did I spend that hour? Shark Week was cool, but that got old. You can only watch Great Whites demolish seals for so long, or watch folks hop into cages and ask, “Are Sharks really dangerous?” Uhh … yeah dumbass, that’s why that cage exists in the first place.
But then a few things happened that seem to be happening a bit too often these days as some negative stories hit the NFL by storm. One was a video, which was extremely disappointing to watch. And the other was about a superstar tangling with the substance of abuse policy/program the NFL has in place. I know all about embarrassing myself to the nation with some poor decisions, but it’s not my place to talk about what happened in that video. What I can talk about though, because I went through it, and made it out of it, is the substance of abuse program. Not many get out, and here’s what it is.
A week after I got arrested for public intoxication in 2010, I was shipped by the NFL to Chicago. I went to meet with numerous psychiatrists, psychologists and whoever else they thought could help the NFL figure out whether I was a full-blown alcoholic, or if the night I got into trouble was an anomaly. I was tested for seven hours and got the same question about 30 times in different forms. I had to take a written test, a memory test, answer “What would you do here?” questions, you name it, they asked it.
I was informed that day that I was in Stage 1 of the substance abuse program. They would see how that goes, then get ahold of me in 90 days and tell me what the next move was. Stage 1 consisted of this: Keep Reading…