Sunday, December 22, 2013

Swashbuckler Sunday: Booger on the Radio

" All right, Cincinnati, it is time for this town to get down! You've got Johnny...Doctor Johnny Fever, and I am burnin' up in here! Whoa! Whoo! We all in critical condition, babies, but you can tell me where it hurts, because I got the healing prescription here from the big 'KRP musical medicine cabinet. Now I am talking about your 50,000 watt intensive care unit, babies! So just sit right down, relax, open your ears real wide and say, "Give it to me straight, Doctor. I can take it!...[music begins playing]. I almost forgot, fellow babies....BOOOOOOGER!!!"~ Dr. Johnny Fever, WKRP in Cincinnati

Unless you're an old fart like me (only 44, but to many younger folks, that's considered old), or watch older tv programming on Hulu, you may have no idea of what the call letters WKRP are- or who Dr. Johnny Fever was. The character, played by Howard Hessemen, was a disco-jockey on the late '70s/early '80s sitcom WKRP In Cincinnati. Prior to his gig at the struggling radio station, Fever (known as Johnny Sunshine at that point in his radio career) was fired for saying "booger" on the air while working at a popular L.A. radio station. Though he eventually won a cash settlement from the station for wrongful termination, his career path began to spiral, and he eventually lands in the Queen City- or as he call it, "rock bottom." After a new program director is hired, and a new station format (ROCK AND ROLL!) is in place, Johnny experiences a 're-birth'- this time as "Dr. Johnny Fever."

Anthony "Booger" McFarland is a radio personality on CBS sports 98.7 The Fan, in Tampa, who also happened to play in the NFL once upon a time for the Buccaneers and then later, the Indianapolis Colts. Drafted 15th overall in the 1999 NFL Draft, Booger was a nine-year veteran and two-time Super Bowl champion. Over the course of his career, McFarland registered 22.5 sacks, 175 tackles, 79 assisted tackles, 1 interception and 6 fumble recoveries. While his performance on the field certainly didn't hurt his popularity, it was his large personality that made him a fan favorite in Baton Rouge, where he played college ball, as well as in Tampa. As far as his nickname, Anthony received it at two years old from his mother. Apparently he was a rambunctious child. "Just a bad kid, man...a bad kid," Booger once told ESPN's Chris Low. And when it came to Saturday and Sunday, McFarland was, as Low described him, "a bad man on the football field."

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