In the last two seasons, former NFL defensive tackle Booger McFarland served as part of the broadcast team for ESPN‘s Monday Night Football coverage. McFarland was one of the most criticized team members that dealt with much scrutiny over the years. Although his stint with the position came to a close much earlier than he had hoped, McFarland has some crucial things that he learned from his brief experience in that role for his broadcasting career.
Booger McFarland’s Monday Night Football experience
Following Jon Gruden’s departure from the broadcast booth for ESPN’s Monday Night Football coverage, it put the company in a bind to find their next crew.
Not too long after that, the next team was put together as it saw former NFL defensive tackle Booger McFarland get the job to join the new three-person crew. McFarland had served his time as a co-host on a sports radio show in Tampa Bay, Flordia. He had worked his way into a part-time guest analyst role on ESPN’s Mike & Mike.
McFarland first held the spot as a sideline reporter for the Monday Night Football telecasts next to former Dallas Cowboys star tight end Jason Witten and veteran broadcaster Joe Tessitore for the 2018 season. McFarland had what was deemed the “Booger Mobile” in his year, but that was shortlived as it received criticism for blocking the view for fans near the field. It was modified, but it didn’t make it through to the 2019 campaign.
He was then promoted to a color analyst for the crew after Witten decided to unretire. McFarland’s stint with the Monday Night Football broadcast team lasted only two seasons as ESPN chose to move in another direction.
Booger McFarland’s biggest lesson that he learned
Throughout his tenure in the position, Booger McFarland was often highly criticized for his broadcast style.
Many of his calls were deemed as being obvious statements that sometimes didn’t fit into the mold of the conversation. Nonetheless, the experience that McFarland had helped him realize that there is much scrutiny that comes with the job that requires plenty of patience to navigate it. (H/T The Athletic)
I think I learned a lot. You’re always going to be scrutinized. A lot of people talk about wanting to be the man in the arena. When you are the man in the arena or when you a part of a group and your broadcast team is in the arena, you’ve got to be able to deal with everything.
There was never any shortage of criticism that he faced on social media that saw many bash him. McFarland never publicly allowed that to get him to his credit, which he even poked fun during broadcasts.
Beyond that, McFarland quickly realized it’s not an easy job to handle, and there comes plenty of responsibility and thick skin needed to work in that role.
Who will ESPN choose for their Monday Football crew?
With ESPN moving in another direction with their broadcast team, it has put many different names in the mix for the crew.
However, notable candidates such as Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees passed up on the opportunities despite lucrative offers. Other names such as Kurt Warner, Louis Riddick, Mina Kimes and Nate Burleson have been mentioned as possibilities for the role.
There is still plenty of time before ESPN has to make a decision, but there are several more qualified candidates out there to replace the previous team. Whoever steps into the booth next season, McFarland’s experience and advice can be used as a guideline as to what to expect with the position.