Boomer Esiason does a weekly call-in to Toucher & Rich on The Sports Hub in Boston. And this morning, to the surprise of me and probably everyone else, he actually answered questions about Craig Carton’s arrest. I imagine that constitutes breaking ranks to some extent. Because you’d assume WFAN either wants everyone to keep going all omerta and referring to the statement from management, or to go on their own airwaves and do wall-to-wall Carton talk for the massive ratings bump. But Boomer did neither of those things.
Granted, he didn’t spill his guts. But he didn’t give it the “I can’t talk about it” either. And the impression he gave is of a guy who was genuinely caught off guard by his having crazy, OCD, ADD, Restless Leg, gambleaholic cartoon character of a partner not show up one morning because he was in federal custody:
“For 10 years it’s been so unpredictable every time we go into the studio. He walked into that studio and it was a four-hour show to him. Ninety percent of the show he’s doing a standup routine and I’m reacting. I’m the laugh track, the older brother who is being more mature, the guy bringing it back to the center or the guy being brought into an awkward situation.”
I think he’s being 100 percent honest. I talked to him for a while when I wrote jokes for the Friar’s Club Roast of him the week the Super Bowl was in New York. And he comes across as a normal, level-headed guy who’s exactly how he comes off on TV and radio. And I firmly believe that you can work alongside a guy for 20 hours a week and not really know what he’s gotten himself into outside of work. You just know he’s great at his job and hope he’s got his shit together for both your sakes. So it’s weird and really kind of tragic that Esiason’s whole radio career is collateral damage in this and his future is in doubt. He also said he’ll be addressing it soon enough on his show. And, God willing, maybe Mike Francesa will too. It’s going to be fascinating.