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WFAN Staff Celebrates Return Of Craig Carton

“Carton’s homecoming might be met with more controversy from the outside, but it seems to be more unanimously accepted with people inside the station.”

Brandon Contes

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Like the Knicks welcoming back Phil Jackson or Chris Mullin’s comeback with St. John’s, WFAN and its staff rolled out the red carpet for an icon of their own with Craig Carton’s return Thursday. Hopefully, Carton’s return is deemed a better success by New York sports fans. 

It’s the second time in recent years WFAN brought back an iconic radio host from hiatus. Carton’s homecoming might be met with more controversy from the outside, but it seems to be more unanimously accepted with people inside the station. 

Paired with Joe Beningo’s decision to retire from doing full-time shows at 67-years old, Carton’s return to WFAN comes without disrupting the rest of the weekday lineup. Evan Roberts stays in afternoon drive, while the morning and midday shows remain unchanged, allowing for everyone to enjoy Carton’s arrival. And on Thursday, the station was openly celebrating the fanfare and buzz as Carton got back behind the mic.  

Esiason offered to “buy Craig a pony” because during his hour show on Thursday, Carton explained having a breakthrough during equine therapy, where he was sent to a farm and talked to horses. It helped him realize his gambling addiction was a way of coping with the sexual abuse he suffered at summer camp as a child.

“They have these horses, and horses are apparently very smart,” Carton said. “I’m trying to come to terms with why I’m using gambling as a crutch, and I’m going to tell that to a horse? But I bleep you not, I’m having a one-on-one with this horse, and they wanted me to talk to the horse like he’s the person who did this to me; I had this crazy breakthrough, tears streaming down my face as I’m yelling at this horse. It was an amazing moment in my life where I realized I needed help.”

Using horses for therapeutic purposes came full circle for Boomer and Carton. Carton used to tease Boomer for having a pony as a child, which Esiason’s father bought for him shortly after his mother passed away. 

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Dave LaGreca: WWE Will Improve Without Vince McMahon

“I don’t think Vince McMahon ever truly loved pro wrestling. He loved that term, ‘sports entertainment.’ He looked at pro wrestling the way a lot of mainstream people look at pro wrestling.”

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Wrestling fans have connected with SiriusXM’s Busted Open, because they trust host Dave LaGreca to be honest with them about what is good and bad in the sport. One target that he has never been afraid to go after is former WWE boss Vince McMahon.

“You can’t think about it,” he said on the latest episode of The Jason Barrett Podcast when asked how the company has responded to his criticism in the past. “You kinda have to block it.”

One of LaGreca’s most famous rants is about the appearance of zombies at a WWE pay-per-view event last year. During that rant, Dave LaGreca shouted over and over that Vince McMahon hates pro wrestling.

He told Barrett that he doesn’t regret the rant and still believes every word of it.

“I stand by that statement. I don’t think Vince McMahon ever truly loved pro wrestling. He loved that term, ‘sports entertainment.’ He looked at pro wrestling the way a lot of mainstream people look at pro wrestling.”

Dave LaGreca is a wrestling fan. He said he and people like him have plenty of reason for optimism with McMahon’s son-in-law Triple H taking creative control of the company’s storylines.

“Triple H looks at pro wrestling as an art form. He’s said it before. He appreciates it. He respects it. He grew up an NWA fan. I am very high on the next 3-6 months with Triple H at the helm of creative.”

Barrett followed that up by asking what could come next for Vince McMahon. Dave LaGreca had a simple answer.

“Watches!”

New episodes of The Jason Barrett Podcast drop every Tuesday morning.

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97.1 The Ticket Creates ‘Hard Knocks’ Drinking Game

“This is the hard liquor, Hard Knocks drinking game,” Kott said. “Or you can use beer if you’d like.”

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Detroit

The Detroit Lions are the featured team on this year’s Hard Knocks series on HBO, and 97.1 The Ticket created an interactive game for listeners to participate in as they watch.

The Valenti Show, guest hosted by Jim Costa Tuesday, created a drinking game for listeners to play at home while watching the first episode of the season, which premiered

“This is the hard liquor, Hard Knocks drinking game,” Kott said. “Or you can use beer if you’d like.”

There were rules for one sip, two sips, three sips, or finish your beverage entirely.

“One sip if you hear ‘Blue collar people. Hard working people’ describing the people of metro-Detroit, or any other Detroitisms,” Kott began. “If there’s a reference to Motown, the music, that’s a sip, for sure. Now if you see these fixtures of Detroit: The Spirit of Detroit, the Joe Louis fist, the Ren Cen (GM Renaissance Center), Henry Ford Museum, the QLine, the Ford plant, any assembly line workers. That’s also at the end of the one sip category.

Costa and the producers began to chuckle, adding they might be drunk by the end of the opening montage.

“Two sips if any former player is brought up,” Kott continued. Barry (Sanders), Calvin (Johnson), (Matthew) Stafford. Any of these guys that you see. Just cliche guys. Last year’s three-win season or record is brought up in any way. If any coach or player does the pep talk, hype up speech, that’s two sips.”

“Two sips for Jamaal Williams and any Jamaal Williams-like presentations,” Costa said, referencing a speech Williams gave that Hard Knocks had already shared on social media.

“Which would have been four sips, because he brought up the three win record last year,” Kott interrupted.

“Let’s go!”, Costa shouted.

“An additional sip if that pep talk/hype up gets you actually a little bit ‘run through a brick wall’ fired up,” Kott added. “And finally, finish your drink if the 0-16 season is brought up? You finish your drink.”

Kott also concluded if any Detroit musical artists were featured, if any 97.1 The Ticket signage or personalities were seen, you were to finish you drink. And also, you were required to finish your drink after Aidan Hutchinson completed his rendition of Michael Jackson’s hit “Billie Jean”.

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Sports Radio News

Big Cat Regrets Question To Aaron Rodgers About Grandmothers Dying From Covid

“If there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s to reroute a conversation when a guest is like, ‘Oooh, I don’t like you guys.'”

Jordan Bondurant

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Big Cat, Aaron Rodgers

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently appeared on the Barstool Sports podcast, Pardon My Take, and the interview seemed to go well.

Podcast co-host, Dan “Big Cat” Katz, who is a die-hard Bears fan and well-documented Aaron Rodgers hater, relished in the fact that Rodgers agreed to take trash talk from him.

But there was one moment where things almost derailed.

Big Cat, in his weekly appearance on ESPN Chicago with Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman, talked about asking Rodgers how many grandmothers he had killed (A reference to Rodgers not being vaccinated against COVID-19 and his beliefs on vaccine mandates).

“That was a good lesson that PFT and I sometimes have to learn,” Big Cat said, before saying he saved the interview by finding a way out of the subject. “If there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s to reroute a conversation when a guest is like, ‘Oooh, I don’t like you guys.'”

Katz said it was a moment where they had to pause and understand what they were actually asking and insinuating with Rodgers.

“That was one of those ones we really don’t live in the real world, so when we go out into the real world and we say something that we’ve been joking about within the confines of our studio on ears that haven’t heard those jokes before, it’s kind of like, ‘Wait what did you guys just say? Are you really joking about grandmothers that died from COVID?'” he said. “And then when you get it repeated back to you, you’re kind of like, ‘Oh, yeah that is kind of messed up. Right, good point.”

Katz mentioned Rodgers went with the whole bit for the interview the entire time. So while there was a brief second where things could’ve gone south, everyone just let it go.

“Score one for Aaron, but he was smiling,” Big Cat said. “It was all in good fun.”

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