After two years of analyzing Monday Night Football games, Booger McFarland has been moved out of the booth by ESPN. Despite the network very publicly courting replacement candidates, he and play-by-play partner Joe Tessitore were informed last week that the network was moving in a different direction.
McFarland spoke to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post on Thursday and said that he can’t say for sure what his next assignment will be. He does know that he is staying with the network though.
“I have a couple of years left on my contract so I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “So I’m assuming that we get through this pandemic and everything that is going on with that, we will figure it out.”
Marchand wrote that he has been told ESPN has a “prominent studio role” in mind for Booger. The details are still yet to be worked out.
While it is likely that the role would be on one of ESPN’s NFL studio shows, a return to the college football world probably shouldn’t be ruled out. Prior to moving to Monday Night Football, McFarland was a studio analyst on the ESPN-owned SEC Network. He also made regular appearances on College Football Live and ESPN Radio.
As for his time in the Monday Night Football booth, McFarland says he wasn’t a fan of the hype around the debut of the new broadcast team in 2018. Producer Jay Rothman said McFarland would be “football’s Charles Barkley” while comparing play-by-play man Joe Tessitore and fellow analyst Jason Witten to a combination of Brent Musburger and Frank Sinatra and Captain America respectively.
“For me, I always try to approach things and I’ve always learned that the best approach is the humble approach,” McFarland said. “That is the way I go about things. Unfortunately, you can’t control what other people say.”
McFarland was not initially in the booth. During the 2018 season, he was on the sidelines in a mobile cart dubbed the “Boogermobile.” He told Marchand that it was a set up that made it hard to create a rapport with his new partners, because three people cannot develop chemistry or understand each other’s timing “with one of the people 75 yards away.”
While it’s clear he feels like some things were mishandled, McFarland does not have negative feelings about his Monday Night Football experience. The criticism was something he expected and he hopes whoever takes over the booth next season is ready for it.
“Obviously, it is one of the top jobs, if not the top job, in the industry. Overall, regardless of the outcome, it was a very good experience.”