In the HBO documentary “Wild Card: Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth” that is streaming on HBO and HBO Max, Craig Carton recalls an incident while on a trip to Canada with his wife in the summer of 2017 where he contemplated jumping off a ski lift and ending his life.
Thanks in part to the words of a good friend, Craig did not do it…but in his return hour on WFAN Thursday night, Carton went further in-depth on one of his darkest moments in an attempt to reassure those in peril that they can always reach out for help.
“My wife went hiking, and I decided to take the chair lift up to the top of the mountain, to eat lunch and drink and enjoy the scenery,” Craig said. “This is summertime, and on my way up the mountain, there’s a bunch of bears on the mountain getting ready for hibernation. So I’m on the way back down, and I never had the feeling I wanted to die, but I had a very strong feeling that I wanted to jump, the ground was calling me.”
Craig reiterated how he lifted the bar and inched forward, and had an out-loud conversation with himself trying to psych himself out of it before calling a friend who talked him down.
“The chairlift only went down to the middle of the mountain, and there’s only two ways to do that. You can walk down, but I saw those bears, and I didn’t want to be their last meal…so I say to one of the kids, ‘my man, I’m having a little trouble, is there some way down the mountain other down the chairlift,’ and he says, ‘yeah, you can walk.’”
Craig knew that he’d want to get jump if he got back on the lift again, but luckily, the kindness of strangers saved him.
“This husband and wife from Utah, a middle-aged couple, are on vacation, so I go up to them,” Craig said. “And I say, ‘I’m sorry to ask you this, but I’m having a really tough time, would you mind if I ride the chair lift down with you?’ They knew there was something wrong, so they said no problem – but I get on the chair lift, and it dawns on me that I need to be distracted, so I ask them to talk to me.”
That conversation? Basketball.
“Grace of God, it turned out their son was the second all-time leading scorer to Jimmer Fredette, and they loved basketball,” Craig said. “So these random people talked to me about basketball for the rest of the way down the mountain, and got me to safety. I gave them both big hugs – they saved my life without knowing it.”
And with that, Craig closed his speech with a moment of thankfulness, helpfulness, and warning.
“I was lucky, because I had somebody to call. Hopefully you do too…and heck, if not, call me.”
If you missed it, listen to Craig’s entire return show below.
Follow Craig Carton on Twitter: @craigcartonlive