The morning after his Craig Carton was arrested, Boomer Esiason let WFAN listeners know that he still loves his co-host, who is suspended until further notice, and is “praying every single day that he lands on his feet.” But, he said, the show most go on.
Esiason opened up the “Boomer and Carton” show Thursday with Phil Simms by his side, wishing Carton well and thanking everyone for their support. The 48-year-old caustic morning shock jock was nabbed by the FBI early Wednesday morning for allegedly duping investors out of $ 5.6 million to cover gambling debts, authorities said.
“Maybe our point guard’s not here, but we’re going to continue to do it and I’m going to bring my friends in here until we find a permanent replacement, if in fact that’s where this is going to take us,” Esiason said. “But I just want people to know out there, that I love my partner for 10 years. I still love my partner. I love his family; I love his kids. And I am praying every single day that he lands on his feet, that they land on their feet. And there’s nothing worse than having a family going through what they have to go through now.”
The ex-Jets quarterback said on air that multiple people reached out to him from listeners to the people in his life to sponsors.
“As you can imagine, my phone blew up as everybody was finding out what was going on and everybody read the complaint and everything else, just like I did for the first time,” he explained. “It’s shocking; it’s all shocking. But the people that reached out to me on Twitter, the people that reached out to me personally, the people that were sending e-mails and everything else, just blew me away.”
The person who may have surprised the morning show host the most was Mike Francesa, a longtime rival of Carton. The Sports Pope seemed muzzled by WFAN suits while briefly mentioning Carton’s arrest on Wednesday afternoon, but Esiason said they had a conversation in the hallway and Francesa was “unbelivable.”
“Mike was — I can’t explain it,” Esiason added, just after saying the office was like “a morgue” yesterday. “For all the fun that we make of Mike here and laugh at some of the things that go on in the afternoon, he was great yesterday. And I know he couldn’t talk about it yesterday, because the company doesn’t want anybody talking about anything, but I’ve got to tell ya, he and I had a maybe five to six, seven-minute conversation and he was great.”
Carton missed the morning program Wednesday after FBI agents took him into custody at 3:45 a.m. at his Manhattan home. Esiason said he believed Carton was out sick before the news broke.
The banned co-host went before a federal judge later in the day as an accused con man. He and co-defendant Michael Wright redirected some of the funds from their ticket scam — which included luring investors into a fraudulent ticket resale business — to a “Ponzi-like scheme,” reimbursing some investors with money bilked from other victims, according to court papers.
“Behind all the talk, the Carton and Wright show was just a sham, designed to fleece investors out of millions ultimately to be spent on payments to casinos and … other personal debt,” U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said.