Booger McFarland Seems Irked By Freeman Photo

February 5th, 2013

It seems former Bucs defensive tackle Booger McFarland is troubled by a Bucs starting quarterback posing as former pop icon Michael Jackson.

The photo was leaked by — who else? — the four-letter. Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman posed for a photo portraying a former pop star of both questionable character and a background of fighting legal charges of disturbing personal behavior.

Throw in the fact that posing for this photo took place during Freeman’s four-game freefall when the Bucs went from playoff contenders to watching the postseason from the couch, Joe’s not surprised the four-letter leaking the photo got Bucs fans talking.

Among them is McFarland.

A two-time Super Bowl winner, McFarland briefly touched upon this subject during his daily “Five at Five” segment heard locally on the show he co-hosts, “Booger and Rich,” on WHFS-FM 98.7.

“Well, I happen to look and I saw Josh Freeman. At first, I thought it was Michael Jackson. Freeman is posing for ESPN the Magazine in their throwback edition soon to be on newsstands; he is posing as Michael Jackson. And I got to say, at first glance, he sort of looks like a young Michael Jackson. Seems to me Josh Freeman has a lot of time on his hands when you can pose as Michael Jackson on the heels of what Joe Flacco just did. I think everybody today is wondering — think in the back of your mind, come on, work with me — tell me you are not thinking in the back of your mind, ‘Joe Flacco did it. How come Josh Freeman can’t? Why can’t he go from suspect to MVP and champion?’ Mmm… maybe Michael Jackson knows?”

First off, let Joe be clear: Freeman posed for this photo during his four-game December freefall, not in the past few days.

Joe blames this more on BSPN than anyone else. Why the hell were the slick suits trying to get any athlete to pose as this weirdo? What, no one wanted to pose as Roman Polanski?

Yes, Josh is allowed to do whatever he wants on his own free time. But when you are a starting NFL quarterback, there are consequences for your choices that normal Americans do not have, good bad or indifferent.

This sort of reminds Joe of when Tony Romo and his then girlfriend (now wife) Candice Crawford jetted off for a weekend of thrashing between the sheets and sun and fun in Mexico while he and the Cowboys were struggling.

The city of Dallas nearly had an ice storm! And Romo didn’t even pose as an (alleged) pedophile.

Shame on BSPN for trying to set up any athlete like this!

49 Responses to “Booger McFarland Seems Irked By Freeman Photo”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Ugh. How can a site and a writer that has repeatedly enjoyed the humor in Freeman’s nickname “Tito” suddenly act offended and appalled when he poses for a humorous photo as Michael? Everyone, including Joe, likes to laugh about how he looks like a Jackson sibling, but as soon as Freeman actually plays it up and decides to join in the joke himself, he gets lambasted for “honoring a pedophile.” It’s absurd and unfair. Give the guy a freaking break.

  2. Joe Says:


    Joe’s pretty sure you answered your own question.

    Also, Jamie,

    Please don’t make stuff up. Joe NEVER laughed about Freeman looking like a Jackson sibling. Nor “repeatedly” enjoyed humor related to such. There are archives here, you know, to research your lies. And just because Raheem Morris called him Tito for a while as a rookie doesn’t mean anything. Nobody calls Freeman that now, and Tito, last Joe checked, is not Michael.

  3. Macabee Says:

    I liked the photo and if Freeman is having fun that’s a good sign. The last thing “Booger” should go near is a photo! Quite a contrast between McFarland and Freeman esthetically!

  4. bucfanjeff Says:

    We’re critical of the guy because he had fun at the request of ESPN?
    Oh the shame.

    Come on, Joe.

    Anybody making fun of Marshawn Lynch, Trent Richardson and LaMarr Woodley for doing the same thing?

    Maybe we would prefer cabbie punching and helmet wielding incidents?
    Maybe drugs or murders on his off days?

    I like coming to your site, but some of these “articles” are becoming more weak by the minute. Sorry.

  5. Vic Says:

    I don’t like that Freeman got involved with this garbage in season. I don’t care about other players. He’s the Bucs quarterback. Bad decision.

  6. Stranger Says:

    “‘Joe Flacco did it. How come Josh Freeman can’t?”

    Probably has something to do with a defense that held the Pats to 13 points at their house and a RB that got a first down on a 4th and 29 check down. That Jacoby Jones got a KR to start the 2nd half and their offensive line gave Flacco all the time in the world against both the Broncos pass rush and the 49ers pass rush. Something I like to call a great team effort.

    Now I ask, can you imagine the team we fielded in November repeating the same thing? No? Then that’s probably why. Not because Freeman is posing as Michael Jackson with a cute baby tiger.

  7. Jamais Says:

    This is the straw that broke the camels back.

    Joe, your site turns more and more into Bucs TMZ mock ups than real reporting.

    There have been times over the years that I really have appreciated your site, but the amount of diatribes like this one; how we should all be offended about a photoshoot, and that these segments are occurring more often.. Is enough to make me just not want to come here any more. I get just as much information about the Bucs elsewhere without them trying to force feed a perspective every time something happens. I realize that this is what your site is about, an opinion based reporting segment. However, things have gotten progressively more corporate (auto playing video advertisements) and more opinionated here. It was nice Joe, all the best. But I’m done visiting.

    Don’t let your mouse hit you in the ass. Seriously, Joe delivered numerous Bucs-related interviews live from New Orleans with more to be published, and Joe digs out all things Bucs like nobody else and brought more reporting from One Buc Palace in 2012 then ever before. Sorry you believe Joe should be silent on the franchise QB’s photo shoot for BSPN, shot on Dec. 4. –Joe

  8. Jamie Says:

    Lies? How predictably vitriolic of you Joe. It takes two seconds to research your archives and find instances where you didn’t just refer to Raheem enjoying calling Freeman Tito, but you actually refer to him as such yourself. Apparently you thought “Tito” was a good enough nickname two years ago. Sorry you can’t add, Jamie, that goes back to 2009, not two years ago, when it was revealed Raheem had called him that. Joe typing quickly in a live game notes hardly constitutes what you referred to. Thanks for researching. ==Joe

    As for Tito not being Michael, you’re exactly right. He isn’t Michael. He’s not one of the most famous celebrities of all time, unlike Michael. He’s not immediately recognizable. That’s why Freeman posing as Tito wouldn’t be funny. But pose as Michael? It’s hilarious and instantly recognizable.

    And yeah, Michael Jackson wasn’t a great guy. No one’s saying that. But if I were to dress up like Barry Bonds, that wouldn’t mean I think taking steroids is ok. Don’t you think Josh is capable of a little self-aware parody?

    Ease up off the guy, Joe. Maybe have a Caybrew and try to relax a little.

  9. crazy Says:

    I would have thought Freeman would rather have done an interview than play dress-up, but then maybe that explains his priorities.

  10. BigMacAttack Says:

    Freeman has on field issues, but I don’t see this as a big problem. Now my neck is pretty freakin red and I am from Texas, but this photo doesn’t bother me. I actually think the photos were excellent in quality. Josh really pulled it off in spades. I think Josh is really good kid and he’s smart. He probably got paid a nice piece of change for this and I’d bet he had the blessing of his employer to do it. The Bucs need more exposure and maybe this helps. I understand the pedophile argument and Michael Jackson turned into Whacko Jacko, but when he was young he was one of the best of the best. I’ve been a musician (drummer) since I was 12. I appreciate Michael’s artistic ability and I won’t judge him because I never saw enough evidence to judge him. Besides, what kind of mother lets there child spend the night with a grownass

  11. Jerrjenn2 Says:

    At first it was funny, but now it’s starting to piss me off.

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    Oops man?

    I think the photos are fantastic and in very good taste. Nevertheless Josh needs to get it together this season or he will be pursuing a career in modeling.

    Excuse me now, I have go watch Project Runway.

  13. Jamie Says:

    You’re right, Joe, my typo calculating when you published the articles in which you personally used the name “Tito” to refer to Freeman totally invalidates my argument. I could argue that the less-edited format of your mid-game comments actually reveals your true feelings toward the name better than a more rigorously edited article.

    For whatever reason, you thought at the time that it was funny to call him Tito. JOE WROTE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN 2009 TO LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE JOE THOUGHT THE TITO NICKNAME WAS FUNNY. STOP TYPING THAT! –Joe

    That’s fine, no one thinks that’s a bad thing. What’s unfair is to criticize him for buying in to the joke that you and other members of the media have made. AGAIN, JOE WROTE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN 2009 TO LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE JOE THOUGHT THE TITO NICKNAME WAS FUNNY. STOP TYPING THAT! –Joe

    Thanks for the sneering sarcasm. ==Jamie

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    Joe I will always respect your opinion and will always be loyal to your site. Your going to have beat me off with a bat, or ban me. Keep it coming because you have brightened many a gloomy day for me over the last 4 years.

    Keep up the good work guys. Mucho apprecianado.

  15. SombreoBro Says:

    “Joe I will always respect your opinion and will always be loyal to your site. Your going to have beat me off with a bat, or ban me. Keep it coming because you have brightened many a gloomy day for me over the last 4 years.

    Keep up the good work guys. Mucho apprecianado.”

    You told Joe to beat you off with a bat.
    The King of Pop suddenly seems almost innocent to me.
    Hee Hee Hee…………………..(grabbing crotch)
    I know, I couldn’t help it.

  16. Rrsrq Says:

    BTW, Michael Boley cut by Giants today, upgrade over Quincy Black, familiarity with DC and only 30, 3 int’s last year, not bad in coverage. Thoughts anyone

  17. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Wow…you know it’s the football dog days between the SB and free agency/draft when people are becoming righteously indignant over something as meaningless as this.

    So let me get this straight…Freeman is supposed to wait until the Bucs are on a winning streak before he’s allowed to have fun? Seriously? What’s he supposed to do while they’re losing? Go straight home after practice and hide from the world? Eat dinner and go straight to bed because he’s been a bad boy? Some of these comments are pathetic.

    He’s paid to practice and play games, people. You don’t own him 24/7 like he’s some slave. When practices or games are over he’s free to do whatever the hell he likes. He can fly around the world stopping at every hotspot along the way if he damn well pleases and there’s not a frigging thing he owes to you or anyone else as a result.

    ESPN didn’t set him up. He didn’t set himself up. Last time I checked this is still a somewhat free and capitalistic society. ESPN can market however they choose, Freeman can market himself however he chooses, and they can do that in whatever timing they so freaking choose. Get over yourselves and get a f-cking life already.

  18. lightningbuc Says:

    Don’t think this photo shoot will do anything to dispel the rumors that Freeman is a “little light in the loafers.”

  19. Dave Says:

    Maybe if Freeman had a defense that performed as well as the Ravens,
    we could then judge Freeman.
    Compare when all else is equal and stop

  20. Rey Says:

    Seriously? Why is this even a big deal?

    I personally enjoy seeing Josh getting out there and not being this stern guy that we see at the podium. I can’t believe you’re taking the time out of your day to write this.

    He wasn’t out at a bar or a club during this time.

    I don’t think anyone questions his work ethic.

    He portrayed an icon for ESPN and looks like he had a good time doing it.

    Good for him.

  21. Mr Lucky Says:

    The photo shoot, what I saw in the video, didn’t bother me.

    I thought the picture(s) were pretty close to the original MJ photo’s.

    What DID/DOES bother me is that Freeman was doing this during the Bucs losing streak.!!!!

    If this had happened during the off-season – no problemo

    That it happens DURING the season – totally inappropriate.

  22. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Must be the offseason. Getting upset over this is so catty, especially those griping at its timing. Like Sex in the City catty. This small shoot is so insignificant, how could it have possibly affected his play? Would people be pissed if he spent the same amount of time at his house watching TV? Both have the same impact, which is zero.
    Players still need personal time and some fans are griping like jealous little girls. It is more sad than funny.

  23. Curmudgeon Says:

    Wow, it’s really offseason… I mean it’s REALLY REALLY offseason. Booger picked one and Joe ate it… Bon appetit!

  24. Curmudgeon Says:

    Sorry to say but Joe is scraping the bottom of the barrel when this crap goes on the site.

    Bottom of the barrel? The face of the franchise is out there begging for attention playing dress up with a major news outlet, and Joe offering the news and an opinion is “scraping?” Your chosen commenter name is appropriate. –Joe

  25. rachelWatson'sthong Says:

    As much as Mama’s boy Booger played golf and didn’t produce on the field he has no room to throw stones. His SB rings ,to me, are the equivalent of the office help of a Super Bowl winning team receiving their “Super Bowl” rings. Booger is great on the radio. He was never great on the field.

  26. skeeter Says:

    During the losing streak! Are you kidding me! Not to mention how f-ing gay this is. I’m embarrassed as a Buc’s fan.

  27. Kyle Says:

    This really doesn’t seem like a big deal at all. I liked when Felix Hernandez and Luke French were made up to be Jules and Vince from pulp fiction, believe me I dislike espn with a passion but I really find this funny. As for freeman being MJ I think you’re blowing things out of proportion.

  28. Fatmosh Says:

    Joe stirring the pot again. Nothing to see here.

  29. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    This photo shoot should have taken place during the off-season and not during free-fall of December 2012. It would appear his priorities are not the the right place.

    As for the picture itself, this picture does not strike fear in the heart of the opponents and not really the persona I would like the leader of the Bucs to have.

    I regards to Joe reporting of all things Bucs……FEED….ME…. MORE!

  30. Curmudgeon Says:

    Yes… Scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is garbage!

    Think what you want. The franchise QB posed for a major magazine and pretended to be a controversial character, and it’s your opinion that’s worthless news. OK. –Joe

  31. Eric Says:

    It’s just an attempt at humor, and it worked. Calm down people this couldn’t possibly have anything to do with his quarterbacking. Namath was laying around with a mink coat by the pool before beating the colts.

    Total non-issue.

    But I’m glad joe brought it up, it’s hilarious.

  32. PRBucFan Says:

    I’m sorry but as of now Freeman and Flacco don’t even belong in the same sentence.

    One is the epitome of consistency one is the epitome of consistent inconsistency.

    One can react to pressure greatly as seen in the Superbowl when on numerous occasions he evaded pressure to make plays down field and the other seems to crumble in similar situations.

    The are in different worlds at the moment.

  33. Max Says:

    98.7 the fan is awful. Bring back the smooth jazz, not the loudmouthed nobody’s.

  34. BucRican Says:

    This is not a problem no matter when Josh did the photoshoot. Plenty of athletes do publicity during the season. Joe is just trying to stir up some crap because there’s nothing else to talk about. I don’t really care for this type of coverage that turns anthills into mountains and I don’t think much of the readership does either.

    For every one person like me that posts a comment to this effect, there are five more that just stop following this site without saying a word. Your tactics may up your site traffic in the short term, but it’s going to damage your reputation in the long term.

    @BucRican – Joe follows a simple model, the same one since 2008. Joe writes about Joe believes is interesting. The day Joe starts to worry about who might stop reading is the day Joe will close up shop and sell the website. Joe had 5.3 million actual visits here in 2012. You can’t please everybody.–Joe

  35. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Flacco is the epitome of consistency? The biggest knock on him his entire career has been his inconsistency.

  36. Have A Nice Day Says:

    You can change the name to Josh Freeman and it still fits perfectly. Both of them have played very similar the past few years.

    And one season ago, this is what they were saying about Flacco:

    “Inconsistency has been a word often used to describe Flacco’s erratic play.” Huffington Post Sports

  37. Snook Says:

    I already had one foot off the Freeman bandwagon and was leaning towards jumping off entirely.

    This photo sealed the deal.

    What a tool.

  38. Snook Says:

    Which QB’s photo looks gayer?




    Sadly, Freeman wins.

  39. Christopher Says:


    This is when ESPN asked him to do it. This is the timetable ESPN set up so they could release the issue when they wanted to. Did he fly off to NY to do it? That *might* be cause for concern. But I’m sure this photo shoot took all of 4 hours at the very, very most…4 hours Freeman would’ve spent playing video games, as he probably has the playbook down now. Did he miss a team meeting? A practice? No? Then what is the issue?

    & “controversial figure”? Jackson became a white/black hybrid, whether by disease or choice, & Freeman is of mixed race, so this was an interesting choice by ESPN. It’s also the album cover of traditionally the best selling album of all time…this wasn’t some super *homage* to Michael Jackson…this was establishing a theme of album covers.

    & Michael Jackson was semi-exonerated in the court of public opinion, because 1)he was never convicted 2)the outpouring of public love & sympathy after his death. *Some* people privately (maybe even me) think he might’ve messed w/some kids, but again, *the best-selling album cover of all-time during an album-cover theme, w/a guy who could remotely look like the subject on the album cover*.

    Look, if you’re a NFL QB who @ that time still was seen as a guy who’d be the face of the franchise for 10 years…& this took 2-4 hours out of an idle afternoon (Aren’t Tuesdays the day players are allowed to get away from it all? Or is that not allowed according to you?)…& you can do something that will up your national profile even more playing on a team with almost zero national exposure…you do the photo shoot.

    & look, think of it as providing Freeman even more impetus to play well next year, because if he doesn’t, he’s now a possible backup on another team, & he might be more famous for looking like a classic album cover in a magazine once…

  40. Architek Says:

    I am lost for words, Schiano better ship this guy out of Tampa since football and consistency is not priority.

    BTW, story broke about Pats not liking Talib work ethic and them not offering multi year deal.

  41. PRBucFan Says:

    @ HAND
    Taken from Hawaiian
    “Go ahead and look up Flacco’s stats, since he only the last two years he became a good QB. Let me know where his numbers spiked up. He is the model of consistency, year after year. It’s almost scary how similar his numbers are each season. Completions, completion %, yards, TD, INT’s, and ratings are eerily similar every single year. Freeman literally throws more picks in November than Flacco throws all season.”

    So, i did some digging myself and apart from his rookie season in 2008
    where he had 257 completions for 2971yrds with 60% 14Tds/12Int/80.3 Rating
    The next three seasons were indeed “eerily similar” and even than apart from his yards his completions only slightly were lower, along with his TD’s during that rookie season.
    Regular season:
    2009, 315 for 3613yrds with 63.1% 21Tds/12Int/88.9 Rating
    2010, 306 for 3622yrds with 62.6% 25Tds/10Int/93.6 Rating
    2011, 312 for 3610yrds with 57.6% 20Tds/12Int/80.9 Rating
    2012, 317 for 3817yrds with 59.7% 22Tds/10Int/87.7 Rating

    I would say that these stats are quite “consistent”, than again that may be just me.
    I feel like from these you can pretty much tell the kind of play Flacco is going to give you year in and year out.

    I don’t discount what you provided, nor that there has not been anything written about him saying otherwise. I am merely speaking to what I see in those numbers.

  42. Ladyz Says:

    I don’t know who “doesn’t get it” more, MJ worshipers or Freeman die-hards. The main issue I have with this moronic act is that Freeman allowed himself to be distracted yet again by a party atmosphere when he should have been about football 24/7. He just doesnt take the game serious. He’s more interested in being a Pritty Boy Socialite. Of course this is just my opion. Then again, Boomer seemed to have some interesting info on CBS radio right about the time this was all taking place.

    As for those threatening to leave this blog, I loved it when Joe said,”don’t let your mouse hit you in your ass”. A classic Joe, if I’ve ever heard one.

    Joe, I know I speak for hundreds if not thousands when I say thanks for exposing this story. Those of us who love the Bucs, want a quarter back who is serious about bringing a championship to Tampa Bay again soon. Thanks again Joe.

  43. 4everBucsFan Says:

    Just thought I’d share this,

    The concept of the music issue and recreating album covers with athletes was the idea of ESPN The Magazine contributor Stacey Pressman. Originally, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was a candidate to pose as Michael Jackson. But while having dinner with Bucs fullback Erik Lorig and his sister, Elise, a friend of Pressman, they suggested Freeman.

    Rick Stroud, TBT

  44. rachelWatson'sthong Says:

    Max, I think 98.7 is leading the pack these days. 620 has the best morning show then after that it’s all 98.7 until the Fabulous Sports Cow comes on. Then it’s time to change the channel again. Too bad 1010 doesn’t have a better signal.

  45. jarrett Says:

    pr did you also notice flacco has never had more than 25 tds in a year, freemans done that twice. never had 4000 yds either. flacco is inconsistent as hell, last year on the road he sucked.

  46. jarrett Says:

    joe flacco had 7 games with less than an 80 qbr, so stop with this consistent crap. Played on good team and got hot at right time. flacco is good and better than freeman at the moment, but they are comparable dont kid yourselves.

  47. BigMacAttack Says:

    Say what you will about Flacco, he was clutch when it counted, during a playoff run. His receivers were awesome and he was in tune with them for big plays, left and right. Flacco has a ring and how many other current QB’s in the NFL can have one? Both Mannings, Rodgers, Brees and Brady. That is the only 5 I can think of, maybe their backups but really, does that count

  48. Capt. Tim Says:

    Unless you are a total moron( many posters here qualify), we weren’t in the playoffs because we had the god awful worst secondary in the league- damn near the worst in the history of professional football. They ducked to a degree that was laughable thru out the league. Same reason we have kept losing for years.
    We should be carrying Josh the the Streets, celebrating his winning any games with such a damn porous secondary!! I don’t care if he dresses up like Mickey Mouse! Our offense was good enough to win plenty of games. If management had addressed this miserable secondary- plus the inexcusable lack of depth on this team- we would be in the playoffs!!! Reguardless of any irrelevant photo shoots.

    Anyone who isn’t a total moron would know that.

    Cue the morons

  49. PRBucFan Says:

    I don’t care about the 25 TD or the 4000 yrds that has nothing to do with the point that I was making. But thanks anyways.

    7 games and? Your not arguing against me your arguing against the proof I presented.

    At the moment you’d look stupid to compare the two.