Pat McAfee stopped by "Busted Open" today to talk about his upcoming WrestleMania match, the pressure he is feeling, and how his chemistry with Michael Cole came about.
Pat McAfee was asked to tell about the most pressure he ever felt in one particular moment on a football field and compare that to what he’s about to experience going into WrestleMania and having a match in Texas Stadium?
McAfee responded, "I kicked off a Super Bowl. That was something that you hear about, and obviously there's hundreds and hundreds of millions of people watching around the globe. The opening kickoff is that sequence where everybody's taking photos.”
“I believe the Saints won the toss. I was playing for the Colts. It was my rookie year, so I'm 22 or 21 years old, and my family is there. It's in Miami."
He continued, "They win the toss. They elect to receive. I'm like, 'Well, here we go. I'm kicking off the damn Super Bowl.' When you're walking out there, I see the ref. The ref is even nervous. His eyes are big. He gives me the ball. I put it down. The sky cam is right in my face. That thing zooms out. I'm like, damn, my face just got a close up to hundreds of millions of people.”
“But then whenever I go back for my steps to kick off the Super Bowl, I look to my right. There's 10 guys, five on each side of me. We're about to do this thing. The guy who's on my right closest to me, his eyes are taped open. I mean, you're talking like, wide open, almost like you just saw a ghost. I look to my left and that guy's eyes are wide open. Then I kind of take a look around, and I'm like, 'Damn, I'm in the Super Bowl.' So as I take my steps towards the ball, all the flashes start going.”
“I kick it, not a bad kick. But I think at that moment, it was the first time I ever felt like, 'Oh my God. This is a massive moment.'"
"That's exactly what I'm expecting this weekend. This is something that's going to live forever. I know that in the WWE Universe on the WWE Network, it's going to be something my kids will hopefully see some day. That is something that I understand, and I've always enjoyed those moments."
McAfee was asked if he feels his chemistry with Michael Cole happened instantaneously.
"We got to remember that Cole was the one that called me and gave me the kickoff panel opportunity for NXT, like four years ago. So Cole and I have known each other for four years at this point, whenever I get in there and get to do my job.”
“People say, like, 'Hey, you're a natural', which I appreciate. I've been watching wrestling, listening to the commentators for like 25 years now at this point. So I don't want to say that I was just able to drop in and just do it. I feel like I've been preparing for a lot of these things for a long time.”
“I feel like I knew that it was inevitably going to come that I was going to be into the wrestling business. That's why I bought a ring my second year in the NFL, and I have it. So I was very fortunate that I'm a communicator. My brain normally does pretty well with speaking, but also that I was such a big fan. I've watched it for so long.”
“Then I would go back and watch some film before I got into Smackdown commentary on (Bobby) Heenan, on (Roddy) Piper when he was doing it, on the King (Jerry Lawler). I mean, there's just a lot of things that I would listen to. Why are they saying what they're saying? How are they saying what they're saying? What are they trying to do with their words? Why are they trying to do that with their words, and now I have to do that in my way."
"So I feel like I've been very fortunate that I've gotten to see a lot of greats do their job, and I'm in there as well. The blueprint has kind of been laid."
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Busted Open Radio can be heard on SiriusXM's Fight Nation (Channel 156), Monday through Saturday from 9 am to Noon eastern.