When defensive tackle Anthony “Booger” McFarland was drafted in the first round by the Buccaneers 1999, he was an understudy to eventual Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. Now, 20 years later-post playing career, McFarland has worked his way up the ESPN TV chain and will now be part of the re-vamped Monday Night Football.
“The Athletic.com” media insider Richard Deitsch broke the story Sunday night that McFarland will be part of the crew that includes new play by play man Joe Tesstitore, and recently retired Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten in the booth.
Tesstitore is replacing Sean McDonough, who had been the play by play man for the last two years with Jon Gruden. Gruden, as you likely heard something about, has gone back to the NFL sidelines after nine seasons with ESPN to coach the Raiders this season.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 7, 2018
Back to McFarland, he spent eight seasons in the NFL, and was part of two Superbowl winning teams with the Buccaneers in 2002 and the Colts in 2006. As Deitsch reports, McFarland will be in the role of “field analyst” on the sideline, which is something ESPN had been auditioning others (Matt Hasselback and Louis Riddick) for a possible role on the broadcast too. ESPN will continue to use Lisa Salters in the role of “field reporter” on injuries and other information.
This role for McFarland will be similar to the role that Tony Siragusa made prominent on the Fox NFL broadcasts early in this decade with a former player giving insight down on the field and even using a field level widescreen TV to diagram plays, etc.
McFarland, a former LSU standout, has had a fast rise on television, starting first as part the inaugural season of the SEC Network, an ESPN Production, as a studio analyst in 2014. Last season he was promoted to the ABC college football Saturday afternoon and evening studio shows in New York with former Texas coach Mack Brown.
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