In the NFL world, nobody can agree on anything. Everybody hates Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, except for the people who love him. Every call from the referees is either perfect or a slide against the team, depending on which fan base is looking at the call. From the best players to the best teams to the strategies within the same team, fans would be hard-pressed to find something universally agreed on, but Booger McFarland has managed to do just that.
Although he is new to his full-time job in the broadcast booth of Monday Night Football, Booger McFarland has achieved the unimaginable and made everybody hate the way he calls the games, but why?
A player’s nickname can follow them throughout their playing days and far beyond. Magic Johnson is hardly ever referred to by his birth name, Babe Ruth sticks over 70 years after his death, and Julius Erving is still just as likely to be called Dr. J as he is his real name. With this in mind, people might ask why someone would want their identity to be something unendearing like “Booger.”
McFarland doesn’t shy away from the disgusting nickname, and he spoke about it in 2004. He used to go by Rashad or Boo, but when somebody told the Seahawks defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes the name, he added three letters and McFarland hasn’t been the same ever since.
While this might not be his fault, the nickname might begin to form the ire that people hold for McFarland years after his career has ended, but it does not end here.
Another thing that people often point out as a point against him that is entirely out of his control is the funky fingers he showcases every week. As somebody who spent years in the NFL, Booger McFarland’s body took a beating, and his fingers were no exception. The middle finger and pinky fingers on his left hand are especially gruesome.
This might be a dive into the pettiness of sports fans, but the fingers are brought up in droves every time they are shown on social media. People joke, express disgust, and act stunned when they see the way that his fingers are bent in the wrong direction. Had he been a beloved announcer, they might not bring this up as often as they do, they might not do this, but they add fuel to the fire that may be unfair.
While everybody might pile on to McFarland in the pettiest ways imaginable, it is more than likely all due to a perceived lack of talent he has in the announcer’s booth. From speaking about how hard it is to be a quarterback, a position he never played in the NFL, to angering former players with his analysis, McFarland has a way of angering fans in a way that few people not named Joe Buck can do.
He recently showed a clear lack of knowledge when talking about the Minnesota Vikings. With things not going the Vikings way, he likened the game to the Minnesota Miracle, a play in which Stefon Diggs caught a 61-yard touchdown pass to win a playoff game against the New Orleans Saints in 2018. McFarland, however, must think that it is something else, as he recalled the play on the broadcast.
“These are the types of plays that historically go against the Vikings, the Minneapolis Miracle, fluke plays that went against this team, I’m sure Vikings fans are saying it’s about time we get one of these plays to go our way,” McFarland said. This showed an unforgivable lack of knowledge required to be part of the biggest games of the week, and it shows why fans are iffy on him.
To hate McFarland, his nickname, and his fingers are unfair. However, the annoying way in which he presents himself on games, skews the facts, and appears unfit to do the job he broadcasts to millions of people. Whether the reaction is warranted, it wears on fans in an era where opinions are shared one click at a time, and these opinions do not appear to be getting quieter any time soon.