Winter is coming, the temperature is dropping, and for NFL players, the show must go on. That means playing in freezing temperatures and keeping warm by any means possible, including downing a bit of whiskey in the locker room before games.
That’s according to Anthony “Booger” McFarland. McFarland played eight seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts, and that meant playing games in notoriously cold locations like Green Bay, Wisconsin. Whiskey, McFarland recently told ESPN’s “Mike & Mike,” keeps you warm on those coldest of the cold days.
McFarland first encountered the warming joys of pregame whiskey at a game where it was minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
“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.”
Now, we don’t necessarily condone combining drinking and sports (unless you’re running a beer mile). McFarland grew up and went to school in Louisiana, though, and it doesn’t get too cold in the South. Cold can be incredibly shocking for people who aren’t used to it, so you can forgive him for trying out some of the Northerners’ life hacks.
“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.”
McFarland was a first-round draft pick and won two Super Bowls. That was 10 years ago, and as Business Insider notes, there haven’t been any rule changes against a little bit of liquid courage before a cold game. So maybe you should take it from McFarland himself: A bit of locker room whiskey will make the cold go away.