Sports radio and TV personality Michael Felger, 48, is a co-host of Felger & Mazz on the Sports Hub (98.5 FM) and an on-air personality for NBC Sports Boston. A former Boston Herald sports columnist, he is originally from Milwaukee and graduated from Boston University in 1992. His wife, Sara Underwood, is the morning anchor on Boston 25 News (Ch. 25). Born and raised in Palo Alto, California, she went to UCLA and worked at WBZ-TV (Ch. 4) before joining her current station in 2008. They live in Wellesley with their two daughters.
Jonathan Soroff: Do you guys ever fight over sports?
Sara Underwood: We don’t talk about sports.
Michael Felger: She doesn’t know if it’s puffed or stuffed.
Do you ask him a lot of questions?
SU: If I do, he says, “Do you really want to know, ’Wood?”
MF: And the answer is: She doesn’t.
Which of you is the better reporter?
SU: Michael, by far.
MF: I suck as a reporter!
SU: You’re one of the smartest people I know! He has an encyclopedia in his head, full of all the sports knowledge.
MF: That’s not being a good reporter. I’m a good shit-talker. She reads off a teleprompter, and I talk shit.
So are you purposefully provocative on the air?
MF: Yes! What’s the point of going on the air and doing a show if you’re not going to be provocative? I’m purposefully provocative, but that doesn’t mean that I’m making it up. I’m sensitive to that question because people accuse me of saying things just to say them, which isn’t true. I try to think differently and say things that get a reaction, and that’s the whole point of doing a talk show.
If you were going to play a sport, what would it be?
MF: Hockey. Favorite to cover, favorite to watch, favorite to play.
How about you, Sara?
SU: Does barre class count? [Laughs.]
Are you jealous that he doesn’t have to care what he looks like when he goes to work?
SU: I’m so jealous, but he’s naturally hot, so it’s OK. He can wear a T-shirt and jeans or even sweatpants.
MF: Of course, she’s jealous! Her alarm rings at 2:30 in the morning, and she has to get ready. I walk out the door at 1:40 in the afternoon for a 2 o’clock show.
How do you handle your conflicting schedules?
SU: I think that’s what makes our marriage so good. We’ve been married for 15 years now. I think it’s because we don’t see a lot of each other during the week. [Laughs.]
MF: And when we do, she comes home in her hot anchor woman outfit, so it’s perfect. And when I get home, she’s about to go to bed. Perfect.
Do you ever pick out what she wears on the news?
SU: I’ll pick out what he wears on occasion.
Do you watch her?
MF: Not really.
SU: When was the last time you watched me?
MF: I flipped you on the other day when you were on until 1 o’clock in the afternoon with the snow. Just to see what she was wearing.
What’s your favorite Boston sports franchise?
MF: The Bruins. For some reason, I grew up a Bruins fan in Milwaukee. As a little kid, that was just the team I picked.
SU: He was a big hockey player growing up.
MF: No, I wasn’t. I sucked.
Thing you’d most like to be able to say on air?
MF: The real story inside the walls at Gillette. What really goes on there between Belichick and Kraft and Belichick and Brady. Their interactions. There’s a lot of stuff there.
Thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
MF: I don’t know what they think of us in the first place, so I don’t know what they’d be surprised to know. Do you think I’m that much different at home than I am on the radio?
SU: I think your opinions are pretty consistent, but what people don’t know about him is that he’s extremely sensitive.
MF: How am I extremely sensitive?
SU: Maybe that’s not the right word. Michael is a very warm, caring, loving person. He’s dedicated to his family and his girls. That’s his life.
I don’t think that’s a side people get to see.
MF: There’s a lot of girl time. I spend my free time watching princess movies with the 6-year-old.
SU: But as frank as he is on the radio, he’s equally frank at home with our kids.
Michael, what would people be surprised to learn about Sara?
SU: That I’m unorganized and messy. [Laughs.]
MF: A tremendous slob. An absolutely historic, tremendous slob. I’ve tried everything to get her to pick up her shit. If you walked into her closet, you would either say, “This person has real issues,” or “It’s a 19-year-old college student who just left home for the first time.” It’s bad. This is a grown woman. It’s horrible.
How do you feel about the label “media power couple?”
MF: No. A media power couple is Les Moonves and Julie Chen. James Carville and Mary Matalin. We’re a couple of local anchors. That’s not a power couple. That’s D-minus list kind of stuff.
Weirdest fan encounter?
SU: I think it’s fun going to games with him. The number of people who walk by him and shout “Fel-gah!” It’s constant. It’s either, “Felger, you suck!” or “Felger, I love you, man!” It’s awesome.
Are you a fan?
MF: I’m really only a fan of the Bruins. The other teams, I want them to win, but that’s just business. We carry the Patriots games or the Celtics games, so it’s good for business when they win. But that’s my head talking, not my heart.
SU: I love my hometown Boston teams. I was born and raised in California, but I am a true Boston sports fan. I’ve been here for 17 years now, and this is where my daughters are from.
MF: I call bullshit.
SU: I love my teams! I can’t get him to take me to enough games. I love going to them.
You don’t succumb to the fandom. You’re not Mr. Red Sox Nation, or whatever.
MF: No. I think it makes for a better show. I think people can go anywhere and hear, “Go, team!” I think it’s more interesting to be on the other side of it, and certainly from a host perspective to look at it from an outside angle. ◆
Felger’s Top 5 Princess Movies
“Any number of Barbie titles I don’t care to recite.”
Underwood’s Dream Interview
Tom and Gisele