WASHINGTON, D.C. – When ESPN’s new Monday Night Football team makes its preseason debut tonight – the New York Jets versus the Washington Redskins (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), field-level analyst Booger McFarland will have a unique vantage point in the stadium – and arguably the best seat in the house.
McFarland will be sitting atop a camera cart some nine feet off the ground analyzing the game. He will be driven up and down the sideline based on where the line of scrimmage is located. A monitor at his elevated position will let him call up the game feed and a variety of camera angles, as well as in-game statistics, with the touch of a button.
ESPN producer Jay Rothman and director Chip Dean will seamlessly integrate McFarland into the game telecast as an extension of the broadcast booth where his fellow commentators Joe Tessitore and Jason Witten will be located. The trio of announcers will be able to easily converse while monitoring each other with the help of point-of-view cameras mounted on the cart and in the booth upstairs.
MNF will be the first football telecast to regularly utilize this unique field-level position.
ESPN senior Remote Production Operations specialist Eddie Okuno began working on the cart project in June.
“Once we had our first design, we met with Booger the week of The ESPYS in North Hollywood,” said Okuno, a 15-year MNF veteran. “It was like a custom-fitting for a suit. We asked him for his feedback about what he’d like changed. We went through everything, down to his chair being extended two inches and his monitor being shortened.”
He added: “There has been a lot of great effort and a lot of great, creative design with this. It’s going to be very engaging.”