Former NFL lineman says players would drink whiskey in the locker room prior to cold games to stay warm

It is that time of year when the weather will start to play a huge role in NFL games. As the temperature falls, players will do anything they can to stay warm, and apparently that includes drinking whiskey in the locker room.

Anthony “Booger” McFarland played eight seasons in the NFL as a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts, winning two Super Bowls along the way.

McFarland, who now works for ESPN, was asked on “Mike & Mike” what he would wear during especially cold games. While explaining that he once wore a onesie under his uniform during a game in Green Bay in which the temperature was minus-15, he also noted that players would bring whiskey to the locker room and just add it to the pre-game meal table. 

“When I came into the locker room, you came in, you’ve got the little food stations, they had the chicken broth, and they had, next to that, the players had brought in a little whiskey,” McFarland said. “So I took a little shot of whiskey.”

Booger grew up in the south (Louisiana), went to college at LSU, and spent the first 7.5 seasons of his career playing half of his NFL games in Tampa. But for the first three years of his NFL career, the Bucs played in the old NFC Central and that meant annual trips to both Chicago and the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

When host Mike Greenberg seemed taken aback by the comment, McFarland went on to explain that the whiskey keeps you warm inside.

“Yeah, the whiskey kinda warmed the inside up,” McFarland said. “Even though I don’t drink … when you give a shot of kind of firm whiskey, it kinda burns a little bit.”

It is unclear if players still drink whiskey in the locker room prior to cold games, but it has only been ten years since McFarland was an active player and there has been nothing to indicate that the NFL has clamped down on the practice.

You can see McFarland’s comments here:


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