By Anthony “Booger” McFarland

They were once teammates and always friends. Booger McFarland and Derrick Brooks got together and talked about Brooks’ Hall of Fame induction this weekend and what that will mean to him.

Brooks shared a story about how his stepfather came into his classroom at school and “whooped” him for being disruptive in class. That’s when Brooks learned a valuable lesson.

“I had to look outwardly and learn it wasn’t about me,” Brooks told Booger. “I think I kind of learned that day the word respect meaning it’s way bigger than Derrick Brooks.”

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Off the field Brooks has been involved in several charities in the Tampa Bay area. He told Booger that he realized that people care far more about you giving your time than just your money.

On the field, Brooks said the moment he knew he could be a great football player was when Tony Dungy came to Tampa and implemented his 4-3 defense.

“That’s when I think the switch turned on,” said Brooks. “You started to see where I was able to make more plays.”

So what’s Derrick Brooks favorite moment as a Buccaneer? He shared two with Booger saying one was when he and Warren Sapp saw everyone trashing the Bucs on TV while they were at a hotel in San Diego preparing to play the Chargers in 1996. The team went out and had a great comeback to win on the road and that’s when they knew the franchise had turned around.

Another favorite moment for Brooks was when they beat the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game their Super Bowl season to close down The Vet.

“The silence in that stadium is probably the best sound I’ve heard since hearing my babies cry when they were born,” Brooks told Booger.

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Bob Rosato/Getty Images

Bob Rosato/Getty Images

When Brooks’ son introduces him on Saturday in Canton, 55 said that he hasn’t planned for the moment at all. He wants to give everyone some raw emotion but admitted there “may be some peppers” that are around him and cause him to tear up.

Finally Booger asked Brooks a question that you don’t often get to hear the answer to: What is Derrick Brooks’ biggest regret?

For Brooks it took him until he got the call from the Hall of Fame to realize it.

“I’m probably guilty, Booger, of not appreciating my career as much as I should when I played.”


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