Carton & Friends Review from a Boomer & Carton Fan Perspective

It was a sad day the morning that Boomer & Carton co-host Craig Carton was not in his regular seat next to ex-NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Boomer Esiason and it was only a short while after that when Carton resigned in order to deal with his personal issue, which still has not been resolved.

However, on March 29, Carton was back on the air in the same chair, but with a different crew on a different network.

I, like many of his fans tuned in to the Fantasy Sports Network (I, through TuneIn) to hear the voice of the person we invited into our lives for the last 10 years on the WFAN, and more, for those who knew him from New Jersey 101.5, and it was like he didn’t miss a beat.

I didn’t mind having to increase my mobile phone data plan (my company does not have a wi-fi for their workers to use) to hear his take on the Mets, Yankees (even though I am a Mets fan and think the Yankees’ broadcasters are annoying homers who know nothing about the real game of baseball), Giants, Jets and the Knicks. Not to mention his impressions and thoughts on non-sporting issues (I am in 100 percent agreement with his thoughts on pets in ballparks). I was still thoroughly disgusted that Carton continued to announce “no one cares about hockey” because I do (die-hard New York Rangers’ fan). I do not care about basketball, at all, at least, not watching it. As a spectator sport, basketball is boring, interrupted too much by commercials and petty fouls that no real man would ever be caught calling in the neighborhood  park. The reason why I was able to ignore his statement while on WFAN was because Esiason was there to bring up hockey and prove to Carton that people do care for the sport. Is it as popular with the American audience as basketball, no it is not, but hockey does have a global reach that the NBA cannot match.

The problem I started having a week in to listening was that hockey was not even acknowledge as being a professional sport. It is one thing to be funny, but it is another thing to actively ignore it and when his co-host Michelle Serpico mispronounced hockey player names, Carton said “no one here is going to correct you” and “no one even knows what network the NHL is on”, which was utter disrespect to a professional athlete and the sport he plays. I know what the channel number is and the network it is on. It is NBCSN and NBC (a top 4 broadcast network, which caters mostly to international viewers in America. It has soccer, rugby, horse racing and it used to have F1 racing as well, not to mention, the Olympic games). I have no idea what channel TNT is on because I do not care about basketball, nor do I watch any shows on that network.

On the flip side of the coin, putting the hockey disagreement I have to the side, the show was and is still very entertaining. I tune in every 9-1 and am happy listening to Carton. The interaction Carton has with Serpico and the rest of his cast is typical Carton, with some similarities and certain differences to the WFAN show, which is to be expected.

I do believe that Serpico cannot be that daft and it is an act when she doesn’t know the answers to Carton’s basic history and trivia questions throughout the show. Though, if she really is that daft, it doesn’t say much for the American education system. I also believe the show can be better with time. The segment when Serpico brings in a friend to compete in the Carton & Friends “Do You Know More Sports Than Michelle’s Hot Friend” game is not to be missed, and with their recent syndication announcement, it will be must hear radio. The inter-show trivia contest is another must see segment.

I am glad Carton is back on the air and I will follow him wherever he goes next and hope that all of his personal issues are solved quickly with a “not guilty” verdict.

However, my biggest problem is with his other choice of co-host,  Corey Parson. He does not belong in the same studio as Carton nor Serpico.

From the first time I heard him speak with his slang vocabulary, I knew this would not be very fun for me. I wish I had a mute button, that way, I could tune out the bad and keep the good in.

If he has a real education, it does not reflect in what he presents. What the hell are “the dubs” or “the boogie”. I do not think I heard him speak a single sentence in english yet. Yes, I know Carton has an urban side to him and he wants to cater to an NBA-fan crowd, but seriously, Carton is an education person with real experience in the business, who is this guy?

The Wrap said Parson is “a veteran radio host”. Carton said he used to work for Sports Illustrated. How? Maybe, Sports Illustrated hoped he would bring in the the African-American crowd? I have no idea and, in the words of former WWF/WWE broadcaster Bobby “the brain” Heenan, I didn’t care to find out. 

He calls himself the “Mayor of Harlem”, I wish he would stay in Harlem and let real professionals run the show. Every time Carton talks about doing an interview or going out to eat for meetings, Parson begs to tag along to “broaden his brand”. Newsflash, you do not have a brand. If it weren’t for Carton no one would know who you or the network you are on is.

It is a real shame because I think there are other programs that are good on the network. One commercial that runs on a loop is with 2 guys and a girl talking everything from sports to social, I have no idea what it is called, but I wouldn’t mind listening. Too bad, thanks to Parson, I have a bitter taste in my mouth when it comes to the network when Carton and Friends goes off the air.

All I know is that I have never heard of him since this showed aired and listening to the show daily, just to listen to Carton, I am so happy I never heard of him before this show.

He said “before Carton I was running the network”, and I couldn’t help but laugh in a bewildered sadness. Do not even get me started on his “let me kiss Carton’s behind” laughter at almost everything the Carton says throughout the show. I have not heard a more annoying laugh in my life.

I could go on an on, but the bottom line is that Carton and Friends is a great show. Having Carton to listen to for 4 hours (soon to be 3 hours) makes my work day go by a lot faster and be more enjoyable.

It is just disappointing that Carton does not see how much better the show would be with some specific talent tweaking.   


CFC Azul in New Britain to play Worcester Hydra

Coming off a tie in their previous game, CFC Azul took to the pitch at Willow Park in New Britain, to play host to the Hydra of Worcester Ma.

Heading into the match, Azul were down four of their regular starters, most notably, their leading goal scorer, Ryan Kinne, who was called up to play for the New England Revolution’s reserve team, but to their credit, they took to the pitch without excuses.

But, having played the day prior and without key players, the team looked a bit sluggish and it showed. Only 12 minutes into the first half, Azul’s goalkeeper, Matt Sangeloty, took his eyes off the ball during a pass-back play and if it weren’t for his quick reaction, to run back and save the ball from crossing the goal-line, Azul would have been down a goal and Sangeloty would have been truly embarrassed.

However, three-minutes later, Sangeloty’s blunder and miraculous recovery didn’t matter as Hydra’s striker and leading goal scorer, Junior Alencar, put the ball passed Sangeloty and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.

Playing down a goal, Azul picked up their effort and equalized in the 36th minute off a set-piece, headed in by Eddie Floyd.

At the half, the score was tied, but as Azul came out for the second, their energy sank, the desperation they played with to tie the game was gone and Hydra took advantage.

In the 64th minute, off a corner kick, Derek McCaffrey headed the ball straight through two defenders and passed Sangeloty for the 2-1 Hydra lead and though there was a late Azul scare when captain Paul Templeton chipped the ball, goal-bound, over the head of Hydra’s goalkeeper from mid-field–the ball hit the crossbar and bounced back into play allowing Hydra to hold onto the lead and eventually win the match, 2-1.

With the loss, Azul’s record drops to 2-3-3, but the good news–Azul has the chance to rebound quickly as they play June 13th, in Boston, against the Victory.

CFC Azul, Soccer is back in Town

Finally, soccer has come back, to Connecticut.

Yes, it is true, soccer is back in the state, in the form of CFC Azul(Azul, meaning blue in portuguese), a first-year club playing its inaugural season in the United States Soccer League’s (USL) umbrella league, The Professional Developmental League (PDL).

CFC Azul

The Club Azul crest is posted with the permission of the Club.
Image links back to Club Azul’s website

“This league is basically a way for young soccer players, mostly college soccer players to stay in shape during their off-season and to get a better understanding of how a professional club is operated,” said Blue Milita(Club Azul’s fan group name) member, Robert McNicholas.

Two members of Club Azul’s supporting group–The Blue Militia.
On the left in the black shirt–Mike Landona.
On the right in the blue shirt–Robert McNicholas.

“Either way, no matter what league the club is playing in, we(now speaking for the group) are just glad soccer is back, period,” added McNicholas.

Heading into their first home match of the season (though, in reality, Club Azul doesn’t have a home stadium, not yet anyway, so, on this day, their home game was being played at East Haven High School) CFC Azul were 0-1-2, meaning, they were winless and desperate for win against their main rival, Boston Victory.

With the added motivation of playing a rival, it didn’t take long, four minutes to be exact, for CFC Azul’s forward and leading goal-scorer, Ryan Kinne, to put in the first goal of the game and claim a second goal, six minutes later, to make it 2-0 going into half-time.

The first half was very exciting for the fans and during the half, the fans were kept entertained by CFC Azul’s mascot, Mr. Blue.

Mr. Blue dancing around in front of the spectators while also interacting with The Blue Militia during half-time.

As for the second half–with the two-goal lead in the first, Azul were almost guaranteed the victory, but that didn’t stop CFC Azul from wanting to score a few more insurance goals.

First, there was a penalty kick goal scored by Markus Naglestad.

Then, there were two goals by Mario DiMecili followed by the final goal of the night by Sony Narro–final score, 6-0, in favor of the home side. The victory gave CFC Azul, not just their first win of the young season, but, the first win in franchise history.

“I am happy to be apart of this club’s first franchise victory, but it was a great team win,” said DiMecili after the game.

CFC Azul’s Head Coach, David Kelly, summed up his club’s performance best, “I didn’t expect six goals…to win 6-0 is an aberration.”