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Colts P McAfee 'embarrassed,' ready to play after suspension

INDIANAPOLIS -- Colts punter Pat McAfee spent more than three minutes apologizing to Colts fans Wednesday.

Now he's ready to go back to work for them.

In his first public comments since being arrested two weeks ago for public intoxication, a contrite McAfee repeatedly called the episode embarrassing and promised it would not happen again.

"Obviously I made a dumb decision on a night when things got out of control," he said. "I will never put my team or my family through this kind of embarrassment again."

McAfee was picked up by police in the trendy north side neighborhood of Broad Ripple at about 5 a.m. on Oct. 20. Police believed the second-year player from West Virginia, who was soaking wet, had been swimming in a canal. Though he was not driving, he had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 and when police questioned McAfee, he told them "I am drunk."

His answers to a series of questions from the police became regular fodder for jokes on local radio talk shows.

But to the Colts, who have had four players arrested on alcohol-related charges since January, and McAfee, it was no laughing matter. McAfee used the verb "embarrass" nine times during his short interview with reporters and called it a humbling experience.

Colts President Bill Polian went even further -- suspending McAfee for Monday night's game against Houston.

"I've put our team in a horrible light, in a horrible fashion and I was embarrassed as much as they were and whatever they decided, that's their job," he said. "My job is to play, and I was willing to accept any penalty because I was the one that made the horrible decision."

With McAfee out, the Colts brought in free agent Jeremy Kapinos to punt, kick off and hold for kicker Adam Vinatieri in a 30-17 victory that gave Indy sole possession of the AFC South lead. Kapinos was waived earlier Wednesday.

Since the arrest, the usually brash McAfee decided to keep a low profile while he mended fences.

He said he had already apologized to his family, his friends, his teammates, Colts coaches and the organization, and though neither McAfee nor coach Jim Caldwell divulged details of what was said, Caldwell believed McAfee was sincere.

"I can tell you that he's handled himself in a very professional manner," Caldwell said. "He's a first-class guy, so we're happy to have him back."

McAfee was most upset explaining the episode to his mother, who McAfee said had raised him to be an "outstanding citizen."

But with support of his parents and the dozens of fans who sent messages to him on Facebook and Twitter, McAfee said he managed to survive an ordeal he never wanted and doesn't intend to endure again.

"I've always said if you're a professional athlete, you have a chance to be on a pedestal whether you like it or not, you can use it the right way or the wrong way and in this situation, I was a complete letdown to a lot of people and a lot of fans and most importantly the kids that look up to me," McAfee said. "I'm going to continue the good things that I do for this community and the good things that I do in this city because I really do I love this city, I love this team and I love our fans more than anything."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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