FS1

Craig Carton is a polarizing voice. But the debut of his FS1 morning show was a reminder of his talent.

Carton does not do traditional sports talk on WFAN. But he did it for the most part for “The Carton Show” on Tuesday. And you know what? He did it pretty darn well.

Carton was Carton, but he took a bit off his fastball for a national audience unfamiliar with him. Co-hosts Cody Decker and Geoff Schwartz complimented him well. And away they went. They bantered about a series of NFL topics in a light-hearted, but substantial enough manner. They had fun and showed some viral video clips and mean tweets. And Carton mixed in a few anecdotes and dick jokes.

You don’t want to overreact after one show. But our early take: “TCS” is unlikely to be a smash hit, but it doesn’t have to be. It was what a breezy cable morning sports show designed to play in the background should be. There was accessible analysis, there was humor and they kept everything moving. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and Carton and FS1 don’t appear inclined to try. It may not be everyone’s taste. But it will resonate enough to succeed.

WFAN should breathe easy if it had any concerns. This program is not going to compete with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti in the mornings. And again, it’s hard to imagine it will become a juggernaut that pulls Carton away from afternoon drive.


Last thing: The co-host shuffle will be interesting to watch. Schwartz, a former Giants offensive lineman, is a genial, smart guy. He can mesh with pretty much anyone. And Carton and Decker are friends who have worked together on WFAN. But FS1 has said it will be a rotating cast of co-hosts. It will be interesting to see if Carton can collaborate with different talent the way Stephen A. Smith manages on ESPN First Take.

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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.