One of the first things I do after getting out of bed is check my phone to see if anything major took place in the world while I was asleep. On most days, there's usually nothing terribly groundbreaking, it's going to rain, people are mad about something political, blah, blah, blah. But today was different. Not world changing different in terms of it's impact globally, but sports world changing different, especially for us Indianapolis Colts fans as we woke up today to see that punter Pat McAfee has decided to step away from the game at the age of 29.

Drafted with 222nd overall pick in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft, McAfee quickly became a fan (and personal) favorite with not only his ability to launch a football a ridiculous distance with his leg (nicknamed "Boomstick"), but his larger-than-life personality, and the way he ingrained himself into the Indianapolis community. One could argue that after Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Johnny Unitas, and a few others, McAfee will always be considered one of the faces of the Colts franchise. Something that you typically don't associate with a punter.

He shared his decision to hang up his cleats in a lengthy post on Twitter just after midnight eastern time.

In the event you don't feel like reading the entire thing, allow me to sum it up: After eight years of football and three knee surgeries (with more likely if he continued to play), McAfee felt the time had come to move on to the next chapter of his life if he wanted to continue walking like a normal person. His next venture will be with Barstool Sports, an online sports media company who take a comedic spin on sports news.

Shortly after the announcement, the company tweeted a mock press conference video featuring McAfee making the announcement and taking questions from Colts teammate, Adam Vinatieri, and Carolina Panthers' tight end Greg Olsen.

(Warning: Contains NSFW Language)

As much as I hate to see him go, I understand McAfee's decision. Professional football is a tough sport that takes a tremendous toll on a player's body regardless of what position they play. There are so many stories of former players dealing with aches, pains, and lingering injuries later in life due to the physical pounding their bodies took on the playing field. In retiring, McAfee clearly took a step back and thought about the bigger picture, deciding to step away now before those aches and pains forced him out.

The NFL tweeted a video package Thursday morning, highlighting a few of McAfee's bigger moments on the field.

My personal favorite, and one briefly highlighted around the 14-second mark of the video above, is the hit McAfee laid on Denver Broncos punt returner, Trindon Holliday during a home game in 2013.

It will certainly be odd to watch the Colts line up on kickoffs or fourth down without number 1 ready to unleash the "Boomstick," but in the eight years we did get to watch him work, McAfee certainly left a lasting impression no Colts fan will soon forget.

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