Pat McAfee is too boisterous and authentic to fail. This has been plainly obvious to anyone paying any modicum of attention over the past few years. He's also too original to box in. Too wild to tame, not unlike an actual colt.
And look, it took me awhile to truly appreciate that. I underestimated just how much his energy resonates and how much of a Swiss Army Knife he can be at a minute's notice. No matter what venue he's performing in, he becomes the focal point. Though that can be a bit annoying to taste, it's true.
On an ESPN broadcast. As a podcast guest. An actual freaking wrestling match. McAfee, like a beloved Midwestern light beer, is just so damn natural.
More importantly, all indications from the outside are that he also possesses one of the most important traits a person can have: a degree of self-awareness. McAfee is a unicorn and as such will have a different career path than pretty much anyone who has materialized on television or radio set or website. He clearly gets that and has made decisions that have given him as much freedom to be himself and explore the space.
His latest manuever is to leave CBS Radio for SiriusXM and to continue streaming his show on YouTube. He addressed the changes today while looking forward.
At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, we might have already passed the stage where McAfee needs an entity more than they would need him. It's quite possible that we look back at his flirting with the Monday Night Football booth gig and realize how good of a thing it was that he didn't get it — as it could have stifled his creativity and capacity to spread his wings flying after other pursuits.
That's a hell of a thing to say about someone who is 33-years-old. But this combination of Every Man and Talented Man does not grow on trees. It feels just as likely that he'll eventually build his own media empire as it is that he'll be the trellis in an existing one.
McAfee has made all the right moves and set himself up for prolonged and inevitable success. He is, quite simply, so damn good at this. And that. And the other thing.