The two-time Super Bowl champ has quietly become one of football's best broadcasters
With Jason Witten's un-retiring and leaving "Monday Night Football," Anthony "Booger" McFarland, 41, is moving from his role as a sideline analyst to the booth. For a program that has historically made splashy hires, McFarland is one of its most low-key choices.
However, just because it hasn't been the hot topic of conversation doesn't mean it won't work. McFarland has quietly followed up a stellar NFL career by becoming one of the best broadcasters in the business. Here are five facts you may or may not know about him.
1. The origin of his nickname is not gross
Everyone went to high school with someone nicknamed "Booger," usually for disgusting reasons. Here's how this Booger got his nickname. As a kid growing up in Louisiana, McFarland was very mischievous and his frustrated mother started calling him "Booger." His behavior improved as he got older, but the name stayed with him.
2. He's very fast for his size
After being named All-American his senior year at LSU, McFarland entered the NFL Scouting Combine at six feet and a half-inch tall and weighing 299 pounds. There, he showed how agile and fast he was in the "Underwear Olympics." McFarland did the cone drill in 7.98 seconds and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds. It was definitely one of the reasons why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked him in the first round (15th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft.
3. Super Bowl XLI was his last game
McFarland won Super Bowl XXXVII with Tampa Bay and was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in 2006. He sacked Rex Grossman in Super Bowl XLI as the Colts beat the Chicago Bears 29-17 and McFarland got a second ring. That offseason, he suffered a career-ending knee injury and had to retire.
4. He was one of the SEC Network's first analysts
After retiring, McFarland co-hosted a radio show in the Tampa area. It was canceled in 2014 and he joined the newly launched SEC Network as one of its first analysts.
5. His hands went viral
McFarland joined "Monday Night Football" as a sideline reporter and field analyst, commenting on the game from his crane-like "Booger Mobile." He talks with his hands and a national audience saw his many fingers that were bent different ways from years of battling offensive linemen. And a few people Tweeted about it...
Booger McFarland’s hands... ð³ pic.twitter.com/pEnKUshWTr— CFB Kings (@CFBKings) October 23, 2018
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.
(Photo courtesy of ESPN Images)