WFAN’s Craig Carton Arrested In Alleged $2M Ticket Fraud Scheme

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NBC New York – Craig Carton, co-host of WFAN’s morning sports talk show “Boomer & Carton,” has been arrested on investment fraud-related counts in connection with an alleged fake ticket scam. 

The FBI arrested Carton, 48, at his home in Manhattan early Wednesday, the sources said. He was allegedly involved in an investment scam through which he and another man claimed to be running a discount ticket broker business that never existed, according to the sources.

Oh my. This is actually wild news. The report from a spokesman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed that Carton was arrested and charged with wire and securities fraud. Not all of the details have been released yet, but the report is that Carton and another man ripped off a couple investors of a few million dollars.

Boomer started off the show this morning by saying Carton is “under the weather.” I’m actually in shock right now. If you live in the tristate area and love sports, Boomer and Carton are a staple on your morning commute. I don’t know where this will go from here and we obviously need the full report before any decisions are made, but this is a huge, huge development that a lot of people including myself will be invested in.

The Legend of Funhouse: The Account For Everything Mike Francesa

*** Written By Joe Saponara***

By now you probably know about Sports Funhouse. Maybe not first hand, but chances are you have at least heard about him. The guy who catches Mike Francesa making mistakes or telling lies. Probably both. Occasionally Mike will reference him in an interview or on WFAN. Producer Brian Monzo has gone back and forth with Funhouse on a number of occasions. On Twitter Monzo mocked Funhouse when his account was suspended. Big mistake. You had to think he’d return. After temporarily posting under another name, we indeed have an account once again run by the man who calls himself Sports Funhouse. All indications are that the account suspension had to do with posting sports highlights. Not the clips of Mike contradicting himself or giving incorrect information. Little is known about the man himself. He likes to be secretive. The current account says that his location is Rhode Island. I knew he was from somewhere in the New England area.

One WFAN host speculated that Funhouse might be a tech guy when we spoke for about 20 minutes earlier this year. That could explain his schedule and ability to maintain the account. Think about it. Recording every show. Posting clips. Funhouse has said he likes to wake up at 1:00 for Mike’s show. He listens to overnight radio. Funhouse has been known to bet and post about gambling. One would assume the guy makes a decent living. Years ago I used to blog about WFAN. Particularly the overnight. Often I would document the mistakes from hosts, and callers. However, there was no audio posted by me. Funhouse has taken it to another level. He has revolutionized how we follow Mike’s show. Years ago I felt like listening to WFAN had almost become more important than the games themselves.

Now Funhouse seems more important than listening to the program. If something important happens, chances are you can find it on his account. Plus, I want his take on the show. Similar to how I anticipated Mike breaking down big games. I hear Mike say something and instantly think about how Funhouse will have a ball with the particular comment or take. You know Funhouse will go over Mike repeating certain phrases. Sometimes I wonder how much of this would catch my attention if Funhouse had not pointed it out.

Of course nobody is perfect. Occasionally Funhouse might nitpick or go too far in my opinion. His dislike for Evan Roberts bothers me. Funhouse does not like Joe Benigno, either. It almost seems like they don’t do a bad enough job for him. The lack of incorrect information means he has little to mock them with. Those guys don’t provide enough foolish clips for Funhouse. Being stubborn and posting sports content minutes after it happens apparently cost him the old account. Still, it’s hard to picture life without him. I felt lost after the suspension. People like Neil Best of Newsday were thrilled when Funhouse resurfaced. He has captured the hearts of local sports media members.

I’m a little concerned about the new account. So far Funhouse has been pretty quiet. He also vowed to be nicer. Who wants that? Funhouse says he’ll retire from frequent tweeting when Mike goes. None of this is good. I guess the big question has to do with whether he’ll follow in Mike’s footsteps. We need to see if Funhouse will leave with several farewell celebrations.

Gear Up For Mike And The Mad Dog’s 30 for 30 With A Trip Down Memory Lane

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*** Written By WFAN Veteran Joe Saponara***

Tonight at 8 P.M. ESPN will air a 30 for 30 on Mike and the Mad Dog. This stirs up a lot of feelings and thoughts for me. ESPN knows this is going to be huge. Their radio station competes with WFAN, and for years people like Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen were not allowed on with Francesa despite being his friends. You might think they would at least wait until Francesa signs off before airing something about him, but clearly ESPN decided to strike while the iron is hot. They know they’ve got something big here. Rumors and hopes of them getting back together continue to circulate.

I did not immediately get into Mike and Chris, or really WFAN for that matter. In 1987 I was only 10 years old. Watching sports was fun, and I enjoyed playing them. However, there were other things going on. I was in school. Afternoon activities included things like riding my bike and playing video games. Something else had my attention in 1987. Wrestling was taking off. Hulkamania had been running wild, and the same could be said for Macho Madness. There had been some sports discussion on radio. Occasionally I’d catch a little bit on WABC when the Yankees were not playing. Soon I started tuning in to WFAN. By the early 90s, I was hooked. One event that had New York buzzing was the Bills-Giants Super Bowl. Magic Johnson held his press conference to announce being HIV-positive in 1991. The Announcement was an ESPN film about that. Suddenly, for me these events became tied to Mike and Chris.

I can remember them discussing big topics. Something would happen and I could not wait to hear them break it down the following afternoon. Back then the NBA was huge. Especially in New York. The Knicks were relevant. They followed them on the road. Even a Bulls-Suns series was dominating shows. They would travel to games and host shows at arenas in other states. Russo loved the San Francisco Giants. I can remember Atlanta catching them in the great 1993 battle. That was the final year without a wild card. San Francisco won 103 games, but failed to make the playoffs. They hosted from 2-7 during my last year of high school, and I would tune in right after leaving so I could hear their opening. Fortunately, I had an open ninth period. I graduated in 1994. That spring the guys had a classic argument when Scottie Pippen refused to come out for a final shot because the play was not drawn up for him. Mike loved Pippen. Chris ripped him.

Soon after my graduation they changed times and came on at 1:00. I was so happy to be finished with school. When I applied to Petco, my application said I could only work until 1:00. It didn’t say that I needed to hear Mike and Chris, but in reality that’s why I wrote it. 2001 was significant because of the 9/11 attacks. Even now there is a lot of talk about the shows Mike and Chris did days later. Mike talks about going to the first game back in New York and how they were asked to be there so people knew it would be okay to attend. For years people would call and thank them for those shows. Callers said listening to Mike and Chris made life feel normal.

In 2001 I started working in New Jersey. Usually I worked at night. Most people listened to Mike and Chris on their way home from work. I heard them on the drive in. Once at the office, I would tune them in on a radio. Reception wasn’t always great. They did not have streaming available back then. Soon their show was televised by YES. That began a new chapter. Their television days made it easier to catch the show. You didn’t need to scramble for a radio. At first many people did not get it because of a dispute. We had DirecTV in the office, so I could pop them on.

Thursday night’s 30 for 30 will take me down memory lane. I will revisit some of these events, and numerous others as well. These men set the tone. It’s hard to believe that there was no 24-hour sports station in 1987. People thought it would fail. These guys started radio row at the Super Bowl! They are responsible for so much. Just ask Mike…he’ll tell you.

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Despite Being Called A Fatass And Calling Someone A Communist On The Air, WFAN Is Going To Hire Chris Christie

It’s like Mike never left!

Chris Christie continues to go on his farewell tour as Governor on New Jersey. Talk about tapping out on the job. It looks like he doesn’t even care about the state of New Jersey anymore. It’s amazing to see because I truly thought this guy would’ve had a cabinet position because of his work during Hurricane Sandy. A couple scandals later and the majority of his own state wants nothing to do with him.

How do you make your approval rating plummet to 15%? Beachgate

How To Stay Relevant 101 w/ Chris Christie

Chris Christie: I just closed a beach on the busiest weekend of the year so my family could have privacy.
Random: I bet you can’t cause headlines again
Chris Christie: Hold my beer *gets called a fatass and calls a someone a communist*

With Mike Francesa leaving WFAN at the end of the year, it’s officially tryout season. Mike always goes on vacation for the whole summer (“I gotta bet da ponies at sartoger”) so fill-in hosts are nothing new on the Fan. However, this summer is extremely important because the station is holding tryouts to find replacements for The Zaun’s coveted afternoon drive spot.

The DMR are all Mike guys so we’ve been guessing like the rest of you as to who will take over. LTS and I have especially went back and forth as to who takes over and we both think the time slot will be split up into two shows. We’ll get into specifics in another article, but in regard to Chris Christie, I think today solidified that he’s going to get a job at WFAN once his time is up as governor.

What do we love Mike for? His outbursts, the prank calls, his arrogance, his ego, his presence, and the fact that he only cares about his opinion. Say what you want and don’t apologize (unless it involves saying orientals). This is exactly what Chris Christie is trying to do. Someone goes after your weight? Call them a bum and a communist. WFAN needs to somehow find a way to keep Mike’s audience when he leaves and more importantly, keep up his ratings. Christie might be the guy to do it. He’s a Cowboys and Mets fan in a NY market. He fights will callers and calls them bums. I guarantee the phone lines were jam packed today. Callers will have a field day with Christie.

When the rumor first came out of Christie taking over for Mike, I didn’t take it seriously. Now? WFAN is 100% going to hire him.

My Frustration With WFAN Has Hit An All-Time High By Joe Saponara

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            *** Weekly Contributor Joe Saponara Returns ***

Sunday I was going to work and listening to the Yankees when they paused for station identification. I’ve debated whether or not I would name the person who came on, but I’ll let him remain nameless for this article. It was Father’s Day. Maybe the guy is a father. He said Tony Paige followed the Yankees on WFAN. I don’t ever remember Tony working Sunday night, and thought that was odd. He might have been reading the schedule for Saturday. It was in fact a mistake. Not really very important, but this was just the start.

I used to blog about such things, but it is no longer 2007 and I’m not logging into myspace. The ride was about 20 minutes, but this person came on for literally 10 seconds and made a mistake. I knew this was wrong. He also should have. If someone else gave him that information he should have been suspicious and double checked. Somebody who has worked there for years has to have an idea about when the on-air talent works, right?

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During my break at work I wanted to see if the Yankees won. Their postgame was in commercial (and Lori Rubinson was the host when it ended). Another station had a sports update at 7:45. That same person from WFAN did the update over there. He talked about how Yankees pitchers tossed 8 shutout innings, except for the third. This was quite awkward. He had me convinced that they won at first. Oakland did not even hit in the ninth, so that would mean 7 shutout innings other than when Oakland scored. Very strange. Absolutely awful. Just come on and say that the Yankees won. Then tell New York it is just a joke. Now I have been in the car for a combined 35 minutes. He came on twice for about 100 total seconds and has been brutal. I’m going nuts. I could do a much better job. To be fair, so could anybody who knows how to read.

On my way home I listened to Boston go ahead against Houston. I switched to WFAN for their 10:20 update. Here was my friend again. He informed the audience that Boston was losing 2-1 after saying that it was good news for Yankees fans. Of course I had heard the score change about five minutes earlier and knew better. Some of us old people have flip phones and count on WFAN for information. Especially when driving. At that time even those who have scores available on their phones find themselves counting on the radio.

Sadly, things like this happen quite often. It wasn’t just a bad day, and he is not their only shaky update person. Just for good measure this guy said that the Dodgers had beaten Cincinnati, and also Philadelphia. I knew the second team was Arizona and not the Dodgers. As for Boston, put it on television when there is one game to cover. That is often the case on Sunday night. I don’t even care about your Internet connection. Give good updates. Get your other information straight. Also, stop using Sportsticker. I used that 15 years ago at Sportsphone when reporting scores. It was horrible. Now any number of sites can give current scores. The final tallies: 55 minutes in the car. Numerous mistakes. Three awful segments. It’s not even like he hosted a show and kept talking. I probably heard him for a total of 3-4 minutes. If you are going to continue these 20/20s, please do them properly. This is the number one sports station. At least it is supposed to be.

 

It’s A Sin That Mike Francesa Will NOT Be Doing Super Bowl Trivia This Year

Newsday – WFAN’s Super Bowl trivia contest, a decades-old tradition, is not scheduled to be held this year, vice president of programming Mark Chernoff said on Monday.

Chernoff cited the lack of a sponsor for the event, customarily held in the week following the NFL conference championship games.

“As of now, we’re not doing the contest,” he said. “There is a possibility of a sponsorship; if that happens, we will be able to do it.”

This would have been the final contest overseen by Mike Francesa, who began it with his former partner, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, early in the “Mike and the Mad Dog” show’s history.

Russo dressed up for the occasion as a character known as “The Marquis.”

After Russo left in 2008, Francesa experimented with former Giants running back O.J. Anderson, the MVP of Super Bowl XXV, as his contest partner.

That did not work out, so in recent years Francesa has worked alone in giving callers a series of up to four questions, with winners securing a free travel and ticket package to the big game, through a sponsor. The questions were prepared by WFAN staffer John Schweibacher.

“All I would say is that it isn’t about the prize,” Francesa said. “It is about permission. You have to have a ‘pass through’ with an active Super Bowl sponsor. They are still seeking that, but time is running out.”

I am not kidding when I say that this is the WORST NEWS OF ALL-TIME. If you’re a Mike Francesa fan like myself, you know that this is the week that all of us fans have marked on our calendar. Super Bowl Trivia Week. Mike’s best segment of all-time and it’s not even close. I dream of this week because you know this is Mike at his best. Proving to the world how much smarter he is with these questions and ruining fans dreams of going to the Super Bowl. It’s must-listen radio. I remember when it was the days of Mike and “The Marquis” and when Mad Dog left, the tradition has lived on.

This is like getting stabbed in the heart. Super Bowl trivia gets the juices GOIN. For starters, it’s an instant quote factory. “youz ready for da ordio?” “Wanna hear it again?” “1 DAWNN, TREE TO GO!” “Whoz you gonna take to da game if youz win?” “waht kindve fan are you?…A GIANTSSSSS fan.” However, my personal favorite is “Heahs a cookie.” What a move from the Pope! Giving you confidence early so he can put you in a damn body bag on the audio question. I have absolutely no idea how anyone in their right mind can get the audio question right. You have a better chance at solving a rubik’s cube while blindfolded with your hands behind your back than solving one of Mike’s diabolical audio questions.

This is Mikey’s last year (we think) with WFAN. How in the world can they not find a sponsor? This tradition is decades old and now we won’t get in in the Pope’s Farewell Tour? No way. I don’t believe it. I won’t believe it. The world will not be denied this. I hope this is a PR move to generate more excitement for the contest (if that’s even possible).

We need a miracle and we need it now. Sponsors, please do the right thing. NFL, step in and fix this wrong. America needs Mike’s Super Bowl Trivia. Do the right thing.

Shoutout to Dick from Hartford. “Youz sound like youz had some trouble gasping for air.” Easily Top 5 Happiest Moments of Mike’s life.

The Top 12 Mike Francesa Moments From 2016

As Big Mike goes into his last year at WFAN, here are the top 12 calls he fielded in 2016.

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2016 was an epic year in sports, which made for some quality sports talk radio. This year was the most I’ve ever listened to the sports pope and I felt compelled to put all the classic Zaun calls/moments together in one place, as Mike Francesa goes into his last year with WFAN (But he doesn’t want to talk about it now). Take a look at my top 12 list below, and let me know if I missed anything.

*** Shoutout To my Brother Jon and Cousin Big Joe For Helping Me Create The List***

12) Jason In New Brunswick Calls Mike To Say Hi

11) John in Staten Island – “It don’t matter what these kids look like.”

10) Fred in New Jersey – “Who would win in a street fight, Lawrence Taylor or Mike Tyson?”

9) Mike Takes a call from Mike in Long Island, doesn’t realize “Sour Shoes” is impersonating him until Monzo quickly puts an end to it.

8) Mike in Brooklyn – “MIKEYY F WHATS UP BABYY”

7) Mike in New Haven – “I’m Not Your Bro”

6) Mike Tells Us About The Las Vegas Pool Parties

5) Justin Has An Idea To Make Colin Kaepernick Take a Knee On The Field

4) Mike Makes Eddie In Queens Feel Uncomfortable 

3) Rusty In New Jersey Hits Mike With The Troll Of The Year

2) Caller Tells Mike He Opens His Mouth Like A Fish On Television

1) ***The Greatest Clip in WFAN History*** Mike Gives His Take On The Death Of Harambe

Honorable Mention:

Mike Is Interrupted By A Girl Saying “I’m Gonna Go Shower”

Caller Appreciates Mike’s Mature “Non-Pervert” Show Then Another Asks About Tebow Getting 3,000 Hits

What Kinda Indian Are You?

Mike Struggles To Pronounce Jets WR Quincy Enunwa’s Name