Pat McAfee thinks the CFL is ‘state fair football’ but wants people to have ‘a little f***ing respect for Jerrell Freeman’

Photo courtesy: Indianapolis Colts

The CFL came up as a topic of conversation on The Pat McAfee Show recently and it was amazing.

McAfee said he enjoyed watching the CFL during his eight-year career with the Indianapolis Colts (2009-2016). The punter played at West Virginia and had a number of NCAA and NFL teammates who went on to play in Canada.

He sees the CFL as a developmental league that players can use to earn a second shot at the NFL.

“(The CFL) was a good place for guys who maybe weren’t getting a look at the NFL,” said McAfee. “Rebuild your resume, play this fun-style, state fair-style of football up here and then you can come back down (to the NFL).”

Though many Canadians cringe when the CFL is referred to as a “feeder league,” several players have enjoyed long NFL careers after playing in Canada. One of them was Jerrell Freeman, who signed with the Colts after becoming a star with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Photo courtesy: Indianapolis Colts

“Jerrell Freeman was a guy we signed from up there in Canada and he led the NFL in tackles for awhile. I think he was a 28-year-old rookie in the NFL,” said McAfee.

The linebacker played three seasons in Saskatchewan and was named a CFL all-star in 2011 after recording a league-best 105 tackles. His performance drew the attention of NFL scouts, leading to a contract offer from the Colts.

Freeman played four seasons in Indianapolis (2012-2015) as a full-time starter, making 478 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, nine forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and four interceptions. He never officially led the NFL in tackles, though he came close to doing so in multiple seasons.

The native of Waco, Texas finished his career with two seasons in Chicago, though he appeared in just one game in 2017 due to injury.

McAfee’s co-host mentioned Cameron Wake as an example of a CFL player who enjoyed a long NFL career, but the host was having none of it. He stood up for his former teammate.

“Have a little f***ing respect for Jerrell Freeman,” he said.

The uprights being located at the front of the end zone in the CFL is something with which McAfee takes issue — or, at least, finds odd.

“You gotta f***ing dodge it, dude,” he said, referencing the the location of the uprights. “It’s state fair football up there.”

McAfee was a two-time Pro Bowl selection who retired to pursue a career in broadcasting. The three-down league should hope he continues to discuss the CFL in the future in his unique, colourful style.