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Ode to Booger

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Booger is a cool cat, and if he is not re-signed I'm going to miss him.
I'm sad Anthony "Booger" McFarland was cut. Sure, I understand it from a football operations perspective, and likely so does Booger. His cap hit was ridiculous, and next year it ballooned even more. Add to that the very real possibility that his torn ACL is still not healed (a full seven months after the injury), this making his involvement in training camp doubtful, it made sense to part ways with the best DT this franchise has ever known in Indy.

Yes, I said it. Booger was the best DT this franchise has ever known; better than Siragusa; better than Ellis Johnson.

I still hold out the vain hope that he will re-sign with Indy at a reduced salary, but teams like Chicago, who are desperate for quality cover 2 DT help, will fork over big bucks for Booger. The McFarland trade was, in my not-so-humble opinion, the best move Bill Polian has ever swung as a GM in his NFL career. It tops drafting Manning #1 overall. Adding Booger, and getting him for only a second round pick, was the first step in solidifying the Colts defense. Despite all the peaks and valleys (especially that December 2006 Jacksonville game), Booger was always a constant. Like his mentor, Coach Dungy, he was stoic, calm, and rarely rattled. He came to work, played hard, and displayed great leadership. In the wake of the Corey Simon fiasco, Booger was exactly what the team needed: A calm, workman-like presence. One of my favorite images of Super Bowl 41 was seeing Booger dump Gatorade on Dungy as the final seconds ticked away. Booger spent much of his career in Tampa Bay with Dungy, and he was part of the Jon Gruden team that won it all in 2002, the year after Dungy left. He played only half a season for the Colts, and in that time he developed into a locker-room leader. Young guys, like Darrell Reid and Raheem Brock, loved Booger. Like them, I'm sad to see him cut.

It is still a strong possibility the Colts will re-sign Rob Morris, even with Tyjuan Hagler essentially winning the starting SAM spot. This is why football players want all that guaranteed money, folks. Booger and Rob were linchpins for the defense in 2006. They had their starting spots locked up, and seemed ready to dominate in 2007. Both got hurt early, and now both are out on the street with people questioning whether they will ever play again. That is how fast it can end, folks. It's one of the reasons why I don't mind seeing players like Edgerrin James fly off to Arizona and get paid, and it's also why the whole New England "take less money to win" jargon is yet another false, pretentious slogan to fart out of the Boston area.

I hope Booger and Rob have some playing years left, and that they find their way back to Indy. It's a long shot, but I still hope.

Update [2008-2-28 12:11:2 by BigBlueShoe]: Bucs fans are mocking my assertions about Booger, saying they can't believe the got a second rounder for Booger. Again, these message board quotes re-affirm my belief that Booger was very unappreciated and Bucs fans rival Patriots fans in stupidity level. The one exception is JScott. He's good people. With Booger, Tampa Bay had a great defense. Without him, they've won ZERO playoffs games, and allowed teams, like the Colts, to run the football on them at will. BTW, the second round pick they got from the Colts was used on a guy named Sabby Piscitelli, who plays safety. Piscitelli had a whopping 3 tackles in 2007, and will likely never see the field anytime soon because 4th round pick Tanard Jackson seems to have won the job.

So, Booger McFarland helped Indy win a Super Bowl, and Tampa Bay got a guy who looks like a second round bust.

Advantage: Indy.