'Monday Night Football' crew's rough season continued with more flubs and weirdness

It hasn’t been the smoothest of seasons for the “Monday Night Football” crew. And just a day after it was reported that the crew of Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten and Booger McFarland would be back for 2019, their “MNF” broadcast again featured notable (and avoidable) flubs.

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Booger compared stats to bikinis

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Color commentator Booger McFarland, seated upon his sidelines crane contraption, had a regrettable moment in the first quarter of the New Orleans Saints-Carolina Panthers game on Monday night. While trying to explain the meaning of Cam Newton’s stats, he decided to compare stats to … bikinis?

“Stats are like bikinis. They show some things, but not all things.”

McFarland’s analogy wasn’t wrong — stats don’t tell you everything about a player — but using bikinis to make his point felt forced and creepy. Especially since there are tons of things he could have used instead! Stats are like windows, because they give you one view of a player, but they don’t show you everything. Or stats are like a store display, because you see some things, but not everything is out there.

In fact, following his logic, stats are like clothes in general and not just bikinis. But at least we know what McFarland is thinking about when he’s watching the game from the “Booger mobile.”

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” booth continues its 14-week history of flubs and weirdness. (AP)
ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” booth continues its 14-week history of flubs and weirdness. (AP)

Jason Witten has another brain-to-mouth communication breakdown

Rookie broadcaster (and former Dallas Cowboys tight end) Jason Witten hasn’t blossomed in the role of color commentator like his former teammate Tony Romo. Witten has potential, but like a good steak, he needs a little seasoning to reach his full potential. Which means viewers are continuing to hear Witten serve up confusing statements like this:

Since Newton is a quarterback and doesn’t usually catch the ball, Witten obviously didn’t mean that Newton is good at running after a catch. And to his credit, he corrected himself later on.

These kinds of mistakes have become common with Witten. He has struggled with football analysis (like when he labeled something as “play-action” that clearly wasn’t) and with simple turns of phrase (he once said that Aaron Rodgers had pulled a rabbit “out of his head”).

Witten played in the NFL for 15 seasons so there’s no question about his football knowledge, but sometimes there seems to be a communication breakdown between his brain and his mouth.

Booth gets chance to improve

Reportedly, the booth of Tessitore, Witten and McFarland will be returning in 2019, and they have their work cut out for them. Witten has admitted that he has made mistakes and that he’s focusing on improving.

The biggest criticism of McFarland hasn’t been his broadcasting, but where and what he broadcasts from. Instead of being in the booth, McFarland sits on a crane contraption with a TV on the back that’s parked on a sideline, and it blocks the view of paying customers in the stands. ESPN likes the unique field perspective that the “Booger mobile” provides fans watching from home. So while we may see Witten improve next year, the “Booger mobile” is probably here to stay.

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