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Boomer & Carton: Kicking Off The 7th Year Of The Morning Extravaganza

Associated Press September 3rd, 2013


Today marked the start of year No. 7 for the Boomer & Carton Morning Extravaganza, which is exciting.

Well, Craig was certainly excited anyway. Boomer, on the other hand, felt a little slighted — and for good reason, I might add.

The Booms’ discontent stemmed from Craig’s failure to mention the Boomer Esiason Stadium Grill in his ‘My New York’ piece, which appeared in Sunday’s New York Post.  Craig did his best to explain himself and eventually Boomer let it go and the two moved on, getting things started by talking about some football, as the NFL kicks off the 2013 season Thursday night in Denver, when the Broncos take on the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

It was the Jets that garnered the majority of the attention, as their quarterback situation is still uncertain and Rex Ryan is getting flak for attending his son’s collegiate football debut for the Clemson Tigers on Saturday night.  On the field, Gang Green will begin things Sunday afternoon at MetLife against Darrelle Revis and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Giants will be looking to rebound from a lackluster preseason when they travel to Dallas the take on the Cowboys on Sunday night, and Craig declares it a great day for both Yankees and Mets fans alike…


Boomer Esiason: NFL Great Turned Life Insurance Advocate 
Tim Maurer September 12th, 2013 


“Today is your day to go out into the world.  You’re going to be great!”  This affirmation is one of a precious few memories that National Football League great, Boomer Esiason, can vividly recall about his mother, who died when he was only seven.

She was the “Belle of the Ball BLL -0.42%,” according to Esiason’s grandparents and older sisters—a beautiful singer, dancer and piano player who “would light up a room” with her blond hair and blue eyes, inherited by her only son.  But Boomer was not old enough to own these recollections himself.  Those memories endear him to the woman he can barely recall, but his enduring memories are limited to only two.  The first was sitting on his mother’s lap while she tied his shoes on the first day of kindergarten, whispering prophecies that would indeed come true.  The second and last memory was being denied access to her hospital room as she died of ovarian cancer.  Young Boomer was relegated to sitting in a courtyard, the scene emblazoned in his memory, as his mother would occasionally come to an overlooking window to catch a glimpse of her boy.

Living With A Broken Heart

Almost 30 years later, in 1996, Esiason found himself at that same hospital visiting his maternal grandmother shortly before her passing.  But that time, as an adult with children of his own, he recalls looking from his grandmother’s room, fixating on the very courtyard where he once sat contemplating the loss of his mother.  There was so much that he didn’t—couldn’t—understand as a child that he was able to comprehend as a husband and a father.

Boomer’s father, Norman, was a member of the Greatest Generation, a World War II veteran who took advantage of the G.I. Bill.  He worked his way into a solid job, but his wealth was in his family, not his balance sheet.  The loss of his wife—her income, of course, but especially her presence—had a significant negative impact on their household.  But quiet, reserved and proud, he never once considered complaining or outwardly lamenting the financial difficulties he endured after the passing of his wife, even shielding his children from the reality.  Boomer recalls at the age of 16, lingering as his dad finished the weekly examination of household finances so that he could ask for five dollars to take his girlfriend out, a favor he was rarely denied.

“I know that he lived with a broken heart,” the younger Esiason confessed.  “He died in 1999 on Thanksgiving, of all days, at the age of 77.  But from the time that my mother passed away in 1968 to 1999, I never saw my father with another woman in all those years.  He raised me with a broken heart and I think I was his escape.”  Indeed, Boomer gave his dad something to cheer about.  After setting 17 school records at the University of Maryland, he was drafted into the NFL by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1984.  In 1988, he led the Bengals to the Super Bowl and was voted Most Valuable Player of the league.  His dad was also able to see his son retire from football and begin a successful broadcasting career that continues to this day.

Today, however, Boomer’s passion for football seems eclipsed only by his desire to pass on the life and financial lessons that he has learned through experience.  So when Boomer was asked to be the spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month by the LIFE Foundation, it was an easy decision.  “This absolutely fits what has happened to me in my life for a number of reasons,” Esiason told me as he opened the window into his life beyond the gridiron.  “When I became an NFL football player and decided to have kids in the early 90’s, I recognized that I didn’t want to have happen to my kids what happened to us, as [we were] struggling when I grew up.”

Further compounding the importance of life insurance for Boomer and his wife, Cheryl, is the fact that their son, Gunnar, has cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that primarily attacks the lungs and often compounds the impact of other illnesses.  Day-to-day medical expenses are high, and the cost of finding a cure, higher still.  So in addition to the $100 million raised by the Boomer Esiason Foundation to benefit all CF patients, Esiason sees life insurance as vital to ensuring that his son has the financial resources necessary to continue his push toward a cure.  “If I don’t protect [Gunnar’s] future and I don’t protect my family’s future, then if we ever found ourselves in the situation that I found myself in when I was seven, it would be an unmitigated disaster and my kids and my wife would not be able to sustain the life that we’re fortunate to live now.”

Boomer and his best-friend, Tim O’Brien, made the decision to acquire adequate life insurance for their respective families together in the early 1990’s.  Later that decade, O’Brien helped move the Boomer Esiason Foundation headquarters “closer-to-heaven,” to the 101st floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower.  While thankfully all of the Foundation’s full-time employees were absent the morning of September 11, 2001, Esiason lost over 200 friends, among them, Timothy O’Brien, husband and father of three children, ages seven, six and four when he died.

There is no financial strategy or product that can return a life when it’s been taken, but the life insurance conceived in Tim O’Brien’s foresight allowed his family to grieve properly and to move forward deliberately, without fear that their livelihood was also at risk.  There is no athletic accolade that will reprogram Boomer Esiason’s brain with memories of tender moments with his mother at his high school or college graduations, his wedding or the birth of his children, but the financial and life lessons learned from her loss and the endurance demonstrated by his father are already being passed on to future generations.

“My business is me.”

“I don’t have stock options and I don’t own companies,” Esiason told me.  “My business is me.”

Although I’ve never been asked to provide color commentary for the Super Bowl, and most of the people I know have never been voted the MVP of the most valuable sports league in the world, the same can be said for most of us: My business is me.  Your business is you.  Have you really done adequate financial and life insurance planning to ensure that those you love would be cared for even beyond the demise of your business—you?

Most people avoid conversations about life insurance because we generally don’t like to brood over the topic of our own demise, and many attach a hard-sale stigma to the life insurance business, using that as a rallying cry for inaction. 


Death’s inevitability considered, a fear of it is certainly understandable, but meaningful discussions on the topic can be surprisingly life-giving.  And while the entire financial industry has more work to do in its evolution from sales to advice, the stereotype of pushy life insurance salesmen coercing you to sign your life away is grossly overstated.  Besides, neither of these concerns reduces the importance—the responsibility—of planning for the unexpected.

Boomer Esiason doesn’t sell life insurance.  He’s an ex-pro football player, an NFL commentator and the chairman of a foundation in support of the cystic fibrosis cause.  I don’t sell life insurance.  I’m a fee-only financial advisor, an educator and a writer.  Both of us, however, wholeheartedly support the LIFE Foundation’s initiative to bring awareness to the vital role of life insurance within financial planning in the month of September.  Consider utilizing their life insurance calculator and description of the different types of life insurance as a first step in that journey.  Feel free to ask me questions about your specific situation in the comments section or via email at tim at timmaurer dot com.  But please don’t let “Look into life insurance” be another important to-do left undone.

Olajuwon praises Lin-Howard Combo

Associated Press September 18th, 2013 


Hakeem Olajuwon raved about Dwight Howard and Jeremy Lin, claiming that the Houston Rockets duo is "very deadly."

Olajuwon, a Hall of Fame center who works as a special instructor with the Rockets, praised Howard and Lin after working with them last week in Colorado, according to Fox 26 in Houston.


"Just the little offense I saw, that combination is very deadly," Olajuwon told Fox 26. "You can see that both of them are very excited, seeing that, 'Wow, we bring the right ingredients together.'


"When you see players that are dedicated to succeed, it gives you that window to see what kind of season that we're looking for."


Olajuwon, a two-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star with the Rockets, was impressed with the newly acquired Howard.


"Dwight can clearly dominate this league comfortably," Olajuwon told Fox 26. "He has everything that he needs, and he has desire and work ethic to do it."


Olajuwon also stressed the importance of Lin, who will be counted on to lead a team that features Howard, All-Star guard James Harden and emerging forward Chandler Parsons.


"To be on the right team, which he is right now, he can really help and play his role very well and be effective," Olajuwon said of Lin. "There's no pressure on him now. It's on Dwight and James. His position is crucial for the team's success, and he can play that role very well."


Olajuwon had worked with Howard in the past. He also was at Howard's news conference this summer when he was introduced by the Rockets after signing a four-year contract worth about $88 million.


Olajuwon, who was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, is the Rockets' all-time leader in several categories, including points (26,511), rebounds (13,382), blocks (3,740) and steals (2,088). He was the NBA's MVP in 2003-04 and was named Finals MVP in back-to-back seasons (1994, '95).


YES Network in talks to land 'Boomer and Carton' show from MSG

Bob Raissman September 4th, 2013

Esiason/Carton's MSG contract expires this month, and with no new deal in sight, YES has reportedly made an offer to add the duo to a TV lineup that already includes fellow WFAN star Mike Francesa.

Norman Julius Esiason and Craig Carton could be on the verge of leaving the Madison Square Garden Network and heading for the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, according to industry sources.

The Daily News has learned YES suits have made an offer that, if accepted, would bring WFAN’s simulcast of “The “Boomer and Carton” morning drive-time show to the pinstripe network.

Esiason/Carton’s MSG contract expires in the middle of this month. Traditionally, the incumbent network, in this case MSG, has an exclusive negotiating period, but that window has expired.

This has allowed YES, which already airs the simulcast of Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa’s WFAN afternoon drive show, to begin negotiations to acquire rights to Esiason/Carton’s FAN simulcast. YES did make a competitive bid, a TV mole said.


MSG now has the right to match YES’ offer if it wants to keep “The Boomer and Carton Show.”

MSG brass now has a big decision to make. Stepping back, and looking at this situation on a number of levels, it would be stunning if MSG declines to keep Esiason/Carton on its network.

The only impediment would be if YES has offered CBS, WFAN’s parent company, outrageously stupid money for the simulcast rights. Then again, when it comes to getting what he wants, price is usually not an object for James (Guitar Jimmy) Dolan.

So if matching YES’ offer is not cost prohibitive for Dolan and Co., then the Garden has a number of solid reasons to retain the rights to “The Boomer and Carton Show.”

The top three elements on MSG’s current program roster are:
1) Knicks
2) Rangers
3) Boomer/Carton.

Not only does the radio simulcast consume four hours of live programming but multiple replays suck up plenty of air time, too.

If the Garden does not match the YES offer, what programming will MSG use to replace the Esiason/Carton show? How much will the replacement programming cost? Also, why would MSG gift-wrap this show, that has brought more awareness to MSG, and deliver it to a competitor?

During the the live show and again on replays, MSG teams are a major element of the morning program. There is no bigger Ranger fan than Esiason. There also is no one on local sports talk radio who yaks more about the team and hockey on a year-round basis. When it comes to marketing the Rangers, this is an asset.

Carton is a diehard Knicks fan. While he is relatively objective, he brings the kind of passion to the subject that’s another plus, another selling point, for the Garden.

The fact is this: Through their history as fans, Esiason and Carton are aligned with teams MSG hopes generate healthy ticket sales and ratings. Whether they are praising or criticizing, they are talking about the Knicks and Rangers on the network of the Knicks and Rangers.

Through their three years on MSG, Boomer/Carton have brought major buzz to the regional sports network through interviews, Carton’s publicity stunts, and other special effects. Like when Carton recently teamed with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who started a ruckus with some harsh words for Daily News Jets columnist Manish Mehta.
So, what will happen if MSG allows Esiason/Carton to bolt for YES? The Garden would have to scramble to fill the programming hole, but down the road, could make its own power play.

WFAN/CBS’ simulcast contract with YES for Francesa’s afternoon drive show expires early in 2014. His program has been simulcast on YES since 2002. If the Pope’s show became available, and MSG lost Boomer/Carton, it would not be surprising if the Garden attempted to acquire rights to Francesa’s simulcast.

Yet considering the Pontiff’s long and lucrative relationship with YES, it might be hard for MSG to pull off the deal. That’s just another reason why MSG might want to hang on to Boomer and Carton.

Or risk suddenly realizing their true value when it’s too late — after they have already left the building.


Frank Vuono, partner and toll collector, 16W Marketing

Associated Press September 30th, 2013


Where I'm from: Lyndhurst, N.J., born and raised. Family has been here since 1906 and I have never left.

■ Where I Went to School: Very proud Princeton Tiger. Bleed orange and black.

■ My First Job: Assistant account executive at Young & Rubicam advertising agency. I owe much of my career success to what I learned about strategic marketing there.



What I Like …


An insight: Honesty is the best policy. Tell the truth and you won’t ever have to worry about what you said.

■ An influential person in my career: Starts with everyone in my family. Professionally, I have been incredibly fortunate to have many mentors: Matt Crisci at Y&R, Roger Atkin and Paul Tagliabue at the NFL, Bill DeVries (former head of Foot Locker/Kinney Shoe) and my partner of 20 years, Steve Rosner. 


A business deal: Comcast buying NBC; first Fox NFL deal.

■ A sports facility: Yankee Stadium, Powers Field at Princeton Stadium.

■ A sports event: Super Bowl and Masters (tie).

■ A strategy: Have a positioning statement and stick to it; know who you are and don’t deviate. Nike and Under Armour come to mind.

■ A trend: Instantaneous information. Accept it. Embrace it. 

An innovation: IPod — saved the music business. GPS systems — lost without them.

■ A pro league or team business initiative: Leagues/teams trying to enhance the live game experience. Also, leagues bringing all digital in-house. MLB early adopter/leader. Streaming live video is incredible. 

■ A story that bears watching:Paying college athletes what they deserve for their intellectual property rights. 

■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: The Keurig coffee maker. I am the Johnny Appleseed of Keurig. 

■ A fantasy job: Toss-up: Lead singer of the E Street Band or NFL owner.

What I Like about …

■ My job: Freedom. Come and go as I please, no politics, work for/with people I really like, able to volunteer for good causes.

■ Sports: At its purest, nothing like working together as a team toward a common goal, and knowing, whether you won or lost, you left it all on the field. 

■ Sports media: I can’t get enough (ask my wife). Happy to see things changing with the times and new sports networks emerging. 

■ Sports technology: Love live streaming anywhere, anytime. Hate that I can’t get a signal in the stadiums. 

■ Sports fans: Sports is social at its core. If parents continue to share experiences with their kids, passionate sports fans are born every day.

What I Would Like To … 

■ Change in what I do: I hate when business gets in the way of golf.

■ See: Young folks learn the English language and use it in communications effectively.

■ See more of in sports: True sportsmanship. Televise the handshakes after all games. 

■ See less of in sports: Obsessed parents. Career-ending injuries and long-term disabilities.

What I Don’t Like … 

■ In general: Liars. 
■ Pet peeve: Abuse of the English language. Wrong use of the word “myself.” Please tell everyone it’s a reflexive pronoun. 

■ In business: Reliance on contracts. Not a big lawyer fan. Your handshake or your word should be enough. 

■ About sports fans: Absolutely can’t tolerate fans rooting for athletes to be injured.


What I Like …


People: Seeing people we have mentored or trained have success and remember where they came from.

■ Heroes: My dad. My sister-in-law and brother (fighting cancer with a smile for many years). Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra.

■ Players: Boomer Esiason, Phil Simms, Howie Long, Cris Collinsworth, Jim Kelly, Ron Darling. 

■ Boyhood idols besides Ali: Kareem, Bill Russell, Mickey Mantle, Joe Namath. 

■ Possession: My dad’s cufflinks from Westinghouse for working the night shift in the factory for 31 years.

■ Memento: Thank-you ball and letter from the New Orleans Saints for our work post-Katrina.

Season: Fall. Football season. Smell of cut grass still gets the juices flowing. Still feel like I can strap on the equipment and hit somebody. 

■ Music: Oldies fanatic (have original 1956 jukebox with over 1,000 mint 45s). Rock, jazz, Sinatra and all the Jersey guys. 

■ Books: Anything on Lincoln or Churchill. Just read “Bruce,” by Peter Carlin.

■ Websites: Bleacher Report, Yahoo, every men’s fashion and shoe site.

 iPad apps: FaceTime (keep in touch with my daughter and granddaughter in Hawaii), NFL Mobile, MLB At Bat, Pandora.

■ Hobbies: Golf on days that end in Y, cooking, winemaking, cigars.

■ Trips: Ireland/Scotland, golf buddy or “peg” trips to Whistling Straits, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, etc. (My business partner and I have a peg board of the top 100 golf courses, given to us by Turner’s David Levy. Each year we go on at least one trip with him to keep filling the board.)

■ Movies: “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas,” “The Pope of Greenwich Village,” “Diner,” “Rocky.”

■ Artist: Impressionists, especially Van Gogh.


Food: Spaghetti aglio olio at Angelo’s in Lyndhurst, N.J.; Chicken Savoy at the Belmont. 

■ Dessert: Nothing like fresh Italian Sfogliatelle, cannoli or lemon ice from Lyndhurst Pastry Shop.

■ Scent: My baby granddaughter Talia’s skin.

■ Aftershave: None, never.

■ Quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
 — Edmund Burke.





















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