Monday, August 18, 2014

FROM THE ARCHIVES: A Gift for Some Lucky Host -- A Near-New Cowboys Theory

This article first appeared on February 11 of this year.  I thought it was an interesting theory -- within the well-known limitations of my sportsy knowledge -- but it didn't attract much interest among the Confessoriat and none elsewhere.  But as the season threatens to begin again, I trot it out one more time, fully prepared for another round of thunderous indifference:

This is a bit of a scam entry, because it's really just one of my tragically sportsy opinions disguised as something with an extremely attenuated Ticket connection. 

It is never a good thing when I dip my toe into sportness.

So you have been warned.

Yeah, so here is a sports opinion that I want to offer to any Ticket host who wants to adopt it.    No, really.  That fortunate host may have it free of charge, and the beauty part is that he, whoever he may turn out to be, may have it without giving this site any credit whatsoever.  No mention necessary.  Hey, what good would more readers do me?  I don't get a nickel from this if I have one hit a day or a million.

It's a Cowboys opinion.  I have not heard it previously opined.  If anyone has previously opined it, well, I thought of it first a long time ago, so that's my position on that there.

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No one thinks that Jerry's management of the Cowboys is competent.  This evening, I'm thinking particularly of his game of musical coaches, the difference between what Jerry's doing and musical chairs being that no one gets eliminated -- you just get more and more coaches.

But I don't think this is just aimless, random meddling.

I think Jerry knows exactly what he's doing. 

Now, this is not to say that what he's doing is good for the Cowboys.  But I think that Jerry believes that what he's doing is good for Jerry.

So here is my theory:

Jerry keeps adding coaches and layers of football-team management because it is a way for him to increase his influence over the coaching function and, ultimately, the locker room.

We all know that if he thought he could get away with it, he'd name himself head coach.  Instead, as we also know, he inserts himself in coaching matters.

Adding more coaches and layers of management enables him to meddle more, and more effectively (by his lights), in several ways:

First, the addition of each new coach that Jason Garrett had no role in selecting further dilutes the influence of that poor man. 

Second, each new non-Garrett coach gives Jerry someone new to call, someone who hasn't completely tuned him out and who feels some gratitude to him in the short run for giving him a job with one of the most famous sports franchises in the world, and who will report his views to the group.

Third, the more coaches in the room who listen to Jerry when he calls, the more his ideas, advice, scolding, whatever, get repeated in the room.

And, finally, and most importantly for his purposes, if he can get coaches fighting with each other over the direction of the team, the weaker and less certain that direction is and the more influence he will be called upon (by himself, but now with justification he's created by his machinations) to exercise  to "resolve" these disagreements.

Take the Callahan business.  He won't let Callahan interview for a job?  Why not?  Because it serves his purpose to have a disaffected and even angry Callahan on the staff, because it gives management -- Jerry -- the chance to step into the coaches' conclave to resolve matters and, oh, by the way, long as I'm here, why don't y'all emphasize the tight ends this week?

Of course, this is a terrible way to manage almost anything.  But it is entirely consistent with what we know about Jerry's scorching ambition to be a respected "football man."  What better way, in his toupee-warmed brain, than to divide and conquer his own coaching staff?

Who will be the first host to discover this jewel of Cowboys analysis and make it his own?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Two for One Sale, and No Sales Tax: Speculation AND a Rant!

First of all, I'm sympathetic to the viewpoint that what a prominent person does in his or her personal life, up to a point, is his or her own business.  Where that point is depends on why the person is prominent, the particular private action involved, when it took place, whether it compromises the person's public activities, and other contextual variables.  This site generally avoids broadcasting stuff about the hosts that may come its way that is not in the public record.

The very different reactions of The Hardline and The Musers on the Jerry Jones photos is notable.  I'm referring here to the first segments done by those shows on the subject.  If they've gone into it more deeply since -- that is anything other than passing mentions -- I didn't hear it.

The Hardline crew was unanimously dismissive.  Their points:

       --  Jerry's philandering and alcohol-fueled carousing are well-known.  Actually, I hadn't known it, but a little scouting on the Internets suggests that it may indeed be the case that Jerry's a too-often-drunken poon hound, or at least has some history of it.

       --  Many men have arrangements with their wives that permits extramarital adventures; the wife "signs on," as it were, to this circumstance in return for whatever benefits she gets from the marriage.

       --  Nothing will come of this.  Nothing should come of it.

All of those points may be correct.  I am mildly skeptical, but only mildly.  I'll get to that in a moment.

The Musers mused a little more deeply on the matter.

       --  They noted that, at that point, not a single major media outlet had given the publication of the photos any play at all.

       --  They wondered what Roger Goodell thought of this.  I believe they made reference to Roger Goodell's dithering over what, if anything, to do about Jim Irsay.  (Nothing, yet, but he has commented on it.)

       --   They made passing reference, if I'm recalling correctly, to the possible effect on the Jones family.

As I said, the Hardline may be right that nothing will come of this.

But I think there is at least the possibility that something will.  I'm wondering if we'll hear from women's groups.  I'll bet Roger Goodell has at least made a phone call to Jerry.

But what I'm really wondering about is Gene.

True it may be that she knows what Jerry does when he goes out at night and travels to faraway places.  And true it may be that she's made the bargain the Hardline ascribes to women like her.

But the women who make those kinds of deals do so with the understanding that the tomcatting itself will remain private.  They do not sign on to be publicly humiliated, and that is what is happening to Gene Jones.

Which takes me back to those contextual circumstances I mentioned above.  What if Gene decided she'd had enough?    Independently prominent spouses like Hilary Clinton and Huma Abedin have hung on for their own craven political reasons (hell, Hillary told Huma to divorce the pathetic Anthony Weiner), but Silda Spitzer divorced Eliot's sorry hosebarge ass and got millions; on the Republican side, there's Ahhnold, quickly sent on his way by Maria Shriver.  Sports example?  Elin Nordegren Woods.

Texas is a community property state.   Property acquired by a spouse after marriage is, generally speaking, the property of both spouses.   I was speaking to a long-time well-informed observer of the Cowboys, and expressed the thought that surely Jerry had some kind of post-nuptial agreement with Gene that partitions their property in a way that would designate Cowboy-related assets as Jerry's separate property (i.e., his in the event of a divorce).  This guy said he doubted it (although he was in no way privy to the Joneses' estate planning).

So I speculate -- of course! -- on a possible course of events should the mortifying photos not go away and Gene's society buddies (who may themselves be Cowboy fans as disgusted at Jerry's incompetent management as by his injurious behavior) tell her to make her move.

My point:  While we're very uninformed about Jerry's financial planning and Gene's disposition, those photos do have the potential to influence the ownership of the Cowboys.  Even if Jerry has the Cowboys tied up, a divorce nevertheless might influence the team's operations.  Consider:  Jerry's net worth is estimated to be in the $3.1-3.2 billion range.  That includes the value of the Cowboys, which is estimated at $2.3 billion.  Would Gene have made a deal after all those years of marriage that didn't give her halvsies, even if it didn't include the Cowboys (purchased at the time for a measly $0.14 billion)?  (I have considered the possibility that these numbers are apples and oranges, as the net worth figure includes aggregate indebtedness but the Cowboys value figure may not.)  Is it possible that a divorce would have a negative impact on Jerry's ability to invest in the Cowboys?  If Gene walked off with the oil and gas, would the franchise throw off enough cash for Jerry to continue to flirt with the salary cap?

I have two answers for that:  (1) Probably, and (2) I have no idea.  And, of course, they may have a post-nuptial/partition agreement that would give Jean much, much less than half in the event of a divorce.

OK, I'm way off in cloud-cuckoo land, big surprise.  All I'm saying is that those pictures have the potential to do something that no mortal ever dreamed possible, and that is to shake up the management, if not the ownership, of this franchise.  Has this not even occurred to people in the sport reporting biz?  While I concede I'm speculating, are these scenarios so remote that they don't bear the slightest consideration?

Which leads me to my final point, which is:   The Musers started to make an excellent point when they noted how the MSM were running from the story like MSNBC from the IRS scandal.  The Hardline is going to be exactly right if this story dies, either because the Niffle does nothing, or news media do nothing.

I say:   Roger Goodell, you're terrific at bullying players.  Whatcha going to do about titgrabbing, crotchoffering, possible extortion target, so-drunk-he-allowed-himself-to-be-photographed Jerry Jones (and Jim Irsay, for that matter)?  I quote the Commish, speaking after fining Detroit Lions owner Tom Lewand $100,000 and suspending him for 30 days in 2010:  "You occupy a special position of responsibility and trust.  [T]hose who occupy leadership positions are held to a higher standard of conduct that exceeds what is ordinarily expected of players or member of the general public."  What's changed since 2010?

I also say:  Dale Hansen, how about showing some real courage, yes, courage even greater than required to support a gay player that the country is already largely rooting for?  How about calling out your pal Jonesy, who has mortified your city, disgusted Cowboy fans, and is in the process of revealing your own profession as a willing handmaiden to the AlDavisization of a once-great franchise.

So yeah: There's a real story here -- the corruption of the major sports media.   There's another one lurking:  a Jones family shakeup.   (We haven't yet considered the effects on future Cowboy ownership of a Stephen Jones divorce.)

You know, though:  The Hard Ones are probably right.  This story is going to die, and with it, any likelihood that Gene will kick Jerry's wizened glutes to the curb.  I'd just like to see someone do some digging, and think it through.

At least The Ticket is talking about it.  Here's your assignment:  Let us know what The Fan ("the station of YOUR Dallas Cowboys") had to say about this story.  [Also, please advise on Norm's and BaD's reaction.]

I'm FOS?  Sure, happens.  But my hypothetical isn't crazy, and The Musers share my bafflement, if not my disgust, at the supine sports media.  Those pictures are a disgrace, and I'd like to see someone claiming to be a reporter do some, you know, reporting.

I'll conclude by thanking you for shopping at My Ticket Confession, and remembering that comments are moderated.  (I've gotten some amusingly bilious ones lately.)

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CORRECTION:  Earliest editions of this post misspelled Mrs. Jones's name as "Jean."  Thanks to Confessor Anonymous for correcting my error.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Let's All Raise Our Breakfast Joe High in a Toast to Jeremy Moran

Michael Gruber is the acknowledged maestro of the drop.  He is the Jackson Pollock, the Picasso of their orchestration, cramming his shows that were his canvas with deadly snippets from remarks, farts, fights, robotics – you name it.

But if Michael was Pollock or Pablo, then Jeremy Moran is Paul Klee.  He draws on the white, uncluttered canvas of the Morning Musers.   He doesn't interlard the hosts' conversation with prerecorded hilarity at every turn – one might suspect Gordon wouldn't stand for that anyway – but when he does, it's choice, witty and to the point.

Why do I sing the praises of Jer today?

Well, partly because he checks in with this site from time to time and I'm pretty much in the tank for any Ticket guy who takes the time to share some information with the Confessors.

But partly also because of what may have been the best drop I've heard in several years from yesterday's Muser showgram.

Gordon was reciting the story of the viral video in which a couple of guys who seemed to be French enticed a squirrel to what appeared to be the edge of the Grand Canyon with a trail of food, and then kicked it off the ledge into the abyss.

Now that is not a funny story.  Nor, really, did the Musers treat it that way.

But then, with what must have been almost unbelievable adroitness at the board, we heard Jer string together:

     --  Some men speaking French in excited tones, followed immediately by
     --  A whoosh (kicking?) sound, followed immediately by
     --  A frightened, extended, squeak.

Followed by – silence.  Not the silence of a layout.  The silence of the Musers convulsing in breathless laughter.  No one was quite sure where the drops came from:  The French may have been some kind of altercation at the Tour de France.  The whoosh was probably a golf swing.  I don't recall any explanation for the terrified squeak.

It was the sheerest kind of Ticket greatness, issued in this case by the grossly undersung Jeremy Moran.  Ladies and gentlemen, raise your mugs, I pray you, to the Morning Master Who Is Big and Strong.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Listen to the Old Grey Wolf

Today during E-News, Corby told of the death of noted makeup artist Dick Smith.  He was indeed accomplished (Godfather, Exorcist, Marathon Man, Taxi Driver, Little Big Man, dozens of others).  Suddenly, Mike jumped in -- "and Dick Wagner died today."

My jaw dropped.  Literally?  Yes.  I didn't drive off the road or scream at the radio, but it gave me a start and made me sad.

Neither Corby nor, apparently, Danny had ever heard of him.  Surprise.  Actually, it is a bit surprising.  Dick Wagner was a man.  It took Mike, finally, to clue them in:  "Dick Wagner played guitar for Lou Reed."

Did he ever.  And Alice Cooper, a lot.  And KISS, and Peter Gabriel, and Hall & Oates, and others.

But yeah.  Lou Reed.  When you think of guitar intros to great songs, you think of  Slash on "Welcome to the Jungle," Eddie on "Eruption," Elliott Randall on "Reelin' in the Years"  -- you can think of many others.  But the theme song of my late 70's and early 80's was a tuneful guitar tour de force that is, to my mind, the greatest instrumental lead-in to a rock-and-roll song ever (take that, exaggerating Corby!), an anthemic dual-axe attack by Wagner and Steve Hunter, arranged by Wagner, that builds and builds to Reed's entry on stage and launch into "Sweet Jane" on the 1974 live album "Rock 'n' Roll Animal."  Wagner and Hunter traded memorable leads and fills throughout the album -- just great, great guitar stuff.  It ain't Buckethead or Satriani or Malmsteen, but it's fundamental, musical, phlegm-clearing, played-on-the-beat, fuzzed, biting rock and roll gitar.

Of the sort -- concededly -- that collegiate and post-grad males air-guitared to in the Seventies and Eighties.

Wagner and Hunter went on to play with Alice Cooper, and Wagner was associated with Alice for quite some time, co-writing and performing on many of his notable tunes.

As usual, Corby and Danny ridiculed Mike into silence, so you didn't get to hear any more about Dick Wagner.  Mike actually played along, noting that it was one of those rare "Double Dick" death days.

Turn this up.  No, that's not enough, I said turn it UP:  

Your ears don't hurt?  Well, then you weren't listening when I told you to turn it the f--- UP :

"One fine morning she puts on a New York station and she couldn't beLEEVE what she heard at all."

Dick Wagner, RIP.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pan-American Keith Endorsement Fail

The Ticket is indeed everywhere.

I'm jogging the boardwalk at Mission Beach in San Diego.  I'm doing the Ticket Demo Middle-Aged Male Shuffle-Jog, so everyone is passing me.  The good news is that you get to see the handsome backsides of SoCal Trophy Wives and Hopeful To-Be Trophy Wives receding gradually into the middle distance.

And with all the natural beauty of the Ocean Pacific to the left of me, what to my wondering eyes does appear, but evidence of the impressive geographical spread of Ticket Greatness:

You can't read it in the snap, but it also says in the upper right, "FISH TACO -- Best in the world."  What could be better?  The beach, the salt spray, MILF, and the world's best fish tacos -- served up in Muserrific fashion. 

There's even an arrow to point out how to find it off the boardwalk there.  I'll just follow that arrow and  .  .  .  oh.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Away More

I'm out of town again, Confessors.  Will try to check comments.

Also:  Comment moderation and Blogger sign-in is giving me major fits.  If you don't see your comment it doesn't necessarily mean I've rejected it.  Now, for example, it's not letting me read the entire comment in the "comments awaiting moderation" list.

I will be back early next week.  In the meantime, I will indeed be holding on to my butt because I have confidence in Gypo JD, who is probably not the same guy as Gypo Nolan, but is some other Gypo who thinks he or she knows something, and probably does, although whether the news is material will have to await the event.

ALERT ALERT ALERT:  If you or anyone you know would like to work with me to develop a non-Blogger website for My Ticket Confession, please drop me an email at  I'm not looking for freebies -- I will pay the going rate for website design and development services.  If I tried to do it myself it would end up looking like Pong.

See you next week.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Johnny Winter, RIP

It's not sportsy or Tickety, but it means something to me.  A moment of silence for Beaumont's own Johnny Winter, dead at 70.

Frail in recent years, he was one of my first guitar-hero crushes.  When someone put "Johnny Winter And -- Live" on the Dual turntable back in the vinyl days during a post-dinner college bridge game and those blazing, pure lines shot through that Marantz amp and JBL speakers, I was done for.  Never heard anything like it.  "Mean Town Blues," "Highway 61 Revisited," and his many incendiary versions of "Johnny B. Goode" -- sneer at traditional blues-rock if you must, but that was exciting music when it came out and it still bites.  Saw him once in Chicago, slinging that Gibson Firebird, crushing "Jumpin' Jack Flash."

At least once a day since, a phrase from one of his legendary solos from B.B. King's "It's My Own Fault" takes a swim through my head.

Just for me, raise a glass to Johnny sometime today.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Where's Conrad?

It doesn't have the same ring to it as "Where's Greggo?" but I'm curious nonetheless.

Did he finally weary of reading all of that smirking promo/liner copy with the centuries-old gags?  I actually had on my stale list of articles to write that Conrad had the hardest job at The Ticket.

Who's the new guy (if he is a new guy, and not just filling in for Conrad on sabbatical)?

I'm still scrambling out here on the plains on post-vacay catch-up, but trying to re-immerse myself in The Fabulousness That Is The Ticket.

I did have to chortle at one of the comments while I was gone.  I didn't get to hear any radio last week so can't comment on T.C. Fleming's fill-in date for Gordon, but one Confessor remarked that Craig seemed beaten down by the whole thing.  I would love to have heard that.  Da Joonz has a way of letting you know his feelings about someone in a very subtle way.  I remember this particularly with the The Great Peter Gammons Experiment.  If you had just seen a transcript of those interviews, you wouldn't have thought anything amiss, but there was something about the sound of Craig's voice that said why do we need to be talking to this guy about Texas stuff, especially since half the time Gammons was on his treadmill or hiking the Urals or something while supposedly devoting his attention to the interview.  Always a fun listen.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014


Mrs. Plainsman and I will be out of the country for the next week.  I'm not sure what kind of access I will have to the Internets but I believe I should be able to moderate comments to ensure their moderation.

So, is comment moderation a success, or not?  It certainly has cut down on the number of comments.  I'll continue it for awhile, see what happens, or doesn't.  In case you're wondering, I've only declined to publish one, for name-calling.

Got a thing or two to cover with you all when I return, and if I get a chance I'll post from afar.

In the meantime, a quick hit or two on drydock:

(1) I haven't minded the soccer talk at all.  I watched some of some of the games, including once in the company of a guy who was a high school soccer star hereabouts and went to college on a soccer scholarship.  I can see why people can get hooked on the game, but my exposure to the game to date (including a couple of FC Dallas games live) hasn't engaged me.  I had the odd and probably wrong feeling that the game seemed, of all things, slow.  And this coming from someone who finds baseball fascinating to watch.   Baseball and football at least have the potential for explosiveness and drama in every pitch, every snap.  Soccer just seems too  .  .  .  hard.  Probably why I don't enjoy watching golf much, either.  I don't mind the lack of scoring, but it appears too random somehow.  Although the fact that some teams are perennially great suggests that it is not, at all.  Just looks that way while waiting for some action in front of the net.

But if the country embraces it, if The Ticket talks about it, it's OK with me.  I'm nothing if not educable.

(2) Will soccer experience a hockey-stick-graph increase in popularity as a result of the World Cup?  No more than ice hockey does after the Stanley Cup.  Or before.   Remember all the hoo-hah after the women's team did so well and developed some stars awhile back?   Maybe a blip, maybe even a permanent blip, but not much.

No flopping.
(3) I've liked all the drydock pairings I've heard.  Shake Joint, Norm and Doocy, other teams.  I even liked Rhadigan and Followill.  One name I didn't hear as a participant at any level in any of the shows was T.C.  Did he produce or run the board on anything, or did he co-host?

The JV joshing is also fresher than it has been in recent years, with the addition of Justin Montemayor, Logan Gourley, David Mino, others.   Is it cruel sometimes?  I dunno; I haven't gotten the feeling of bullying so far.

See you in a week or so, maybe sooner.

In the meantime, watch those comments.

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[Comments moderated.]

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014


How often do people check this site?  I'm about to find out, maybe.

Monday, June 30, is the semi-decennial anniversary of My Ticket Confession.

At 5:30 p.m., or nearby time of my choosing, I will be at The Barley House.

I will be delighted to introduce myself to any Confessor who drops by for the next hour or so thereafter.   

I won't have a mask on, or a bag over my head. 

No tricks.  I'll give you my real name, let you Ask Me Anything and might even answer.  But I hope we can just tahk Ticket.   If you would prefer not to identify yourself as a named Confessor, that is entirely up to you.

My sole request:  No photographs, please.

How will you find me?  I don't know.  I've never been to The Barley House.  I selected it because it seems Tickety, and because it is one of the many homes away from home – does he really have an actual home? – of one Michael Gruber, one of the very first patrons of this site, and its first commenter.

I could post a photograph, but what fun would that be?

I'll tell the barkeeps to direct anyone looking for The Plainsman to send him or her my way.  Hint:  I do not resemble Errol Flynn in "They Died with Their Boots On." 

Unless the crowd is too vast, the drinks will be on me, at least for awhile. 

Please, Confest-drink responsibly.

You are cordially invited to attend and raise a glass to five years of friendship.  

And to accept my personal thanks for shopping at My Ticket Confession.

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[Note:  Comment moderation is in effect.]

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Question for Acquisitive Confessors

If you, oh, say, call D&M Auto Leasing to investigate a new vehicle, do you tell them that D&M sent you, as Craig and George instruct you?

And there are other hosts that implore you to mention their names when you patronize a sponsor.

The reason they entreat you in this way is obvious:  They want the sponsor to know that their advertising with The Little One has paid off.  So they will attribute value to their advertising dollars and purchase more time on the station.

Tonight's question is:  Have you ever done it?  What kind of reaction did you get?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Random Quick Hits That Have Nothing to Do with the Distant Second-Place Fan

Back from my Very Important Trip Further West.

(1) Little quirky, unimportant things one notices about hosts:  Gordon mispronounces "insurance."  He puts the emphasis on the first syllable.  Without exception.

WAIT:  I see some folks say that "INsurance," is an acceptable variation, especially in the South.  Oh dear, what will the language descriptivists and relativists be permitting next?

Well  .  .  .  that's just wrong and anyone who is pronouncing it that way should stop immediately.  Especially the erudite Gordon.

WAIT MORE:  I've heard two people say INsurance today out on the plains.

Okay, okay, Gordon, I apologize.

(2) I like The Shake Joint's "Sports 303" or whatever their sabremetrics segment is called.  I was an early adopter of Bill James's Baseball Abstract, back when you had to buy it in a book with pages and glued bindings and covers.  Fascinating.  And, of course, there's the Moneyball stuff.

But I was puzzled by something I heard on the segment a couple of weeks back.  Jake and especially Sean were talking about the meaninglessness of the "win" in baseball as applied to pitchers' records.  Noting, correctly, that sometimes pitchers get wins even if they pitch lousily.

But it got me thinking:  In the long run -- couple three seasons, let's say, or the average term of a pitcher with a single team -- what pitchers are incorrectly judged based on their W/L records?  Which ones overrated, which ones underrated?

Let's take a longer run, a career:  Are there pitchers out there in the Hall of Fame who don't belong, or those who aren't there who should be, based on a mistaken emphasis on W/L records?  Are there pitchers who are undervalued in trades or free-agent salaries for the same reason?  Do modern-day general managers overvalue that statistic in building their teams?

Isn't it the case that in the mid-to-long run, undeserved losses and undeserved wins, under the current way of scoring these things, will even out, and that the W/L record of a pitcher will give a reasonably accurate measure of a pitcher's merit against others measured the same way?

But, as I say, I like sabremetrics and I think they're valuable, and I like the segment.  Heck, I like pretty much all of the The Shake Joint except for the current events stuff, which I can generally take or leave.

(3)  And while we're on the subject:  Can anyone think of any presentation in any medium whatsoever whose name contains two separate drug references -- and a pun?  I'll take one with two separate drug references.  (Before you ask:  The pun is "joint," which can refer to a marijahooster cigarette, or a destination of some kind -- like Spike Lee referring to his movies as "a Spike Lee joint.")

(4)  I'm trying to figure out the deal with the Whiskey War.  I thought maybe Gentleman Jack and Woodford Reserve were manufactured by the same whiskey conglomerate, but can't find any evidence of that.  (At the end of one of their ads, Danny states the name of some entity -- maybe a distributor -- that might tie them together.  I'll try to pick it up next time I hear one of the ads.)  One of you smart Confessors knows the answer to why these apparent competitors have commissioned a joint advertising campaign.  What's strange is that I find no other such campaign referenced on the authoritative Internets, nor really any particular pairing of these two products.

EXCEPT that I do see promotions where you can get a bottle of either of these products personally engraved.  But I can't find any other connection between the two UNLESS it's that they're both in kinda flattish bottles that can be easily engraved.

Confessor calling Danny to find out whether Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey
counts as a volley favoring Gentleman Jack
I'll bet there's a Confessor out there in the liquor distribution business who can answer this question, possibly staving off a conflict at The Ticket that threatens to split the place right down the middle.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I Will Be Away from My Ticket Confession . . .

Don't you hate to get automatic replies where some jamoke tries to show you how important he is by activating some automated reply designed to give the impression that his employment has required his service away from the customary place of employment, with the result that he does not have time for your puny efforts to communicate with him?  You know Chris-Chris is checking email and voicemail with exactly the same regularity he did when his butt was wedged securely in his office chair, peering down at his smartphone as the Hertz van is preparing to dump his non-Gold-Club-having ass out at the rental counter.

Well, I'll be on the tony West Coast, don't you know, for the next week.  My assignment there is of the utmost importance and certainly reflects the esteem in which I am held by my Plainsmaster.

Please conduct yourselves with the dignity for which the legacy Confessor is known.

Confessor heeding Corby's and Danny's advice
to enlist in the Ticket Whiskey War

Friday, May 30, 2014

Why Are We Fighting? Mick, I Have No Idea

What are we to make of this fracas over The Fan ripping off The Ticket?  I confess (of course), I'm amused and puzzled by the whole thing.

I personally have not heard any of this thievery, but the accounts I've read from Confessors' comments is pretty persuasive that the Fan is nakedly copying more than a couple of Ticket bits.

Now, let's acknowledge that The Ticket itself may have been, um, inspired, in some cases, by historical bits from gag-based radio.  I personally don't know of any, but it would be surprising if some of those items don't have broadcast antecedents.  I don't think that's very important.  Clearly, The Ticket has owned the bits in question in this market for a long, long time, and their sound and structure must be counted as The Ticket's Own.

This has several aspects.

First, there's the copying itself.

My first thought was anticipated by a commenter to the previous thread, which is that this avalanche of plagiarism may be a deliberately provocative "mass bit" to get some attention, get The Ticket's goat.  If so, it must be considered a success.  Guy's Night Out, today's BaD Radio.  The Fan hasn't had that kind of publicity since RaGE and Greg Williams's perambulations kept us all fascinated by the slow, but inevitable, train wreck.

Second, there's The Ticket's reaction.

Is it wise to let anything about a station as seldom visited as The Fan get under the hosts' collective skin?  I suppose a little well-placed outrage isn't going to improve The Fan's fortune very much.  I'll confess (again), though, when Mike's Mind today was going to be about a current event, instead of checking out Cowlishaw and Mosely (or whoever was subbing for Matt today), I tuned in The Fan.  (It was a segment on Ben's, I think, trip with his family to a drive-in in Ennis.  Of some interest.)

On balance, though, I think I'd let it go.  It can't be a smart competitive move to rip off a rival with bits which, by all accounts, are hugely inferior to the original.

Third, and only tangentially related, there's the suspected invasion of this site by Fan operatives.

We have welcomed Kevin Turner here for a long time, and I personally continue to do so.  I find his contributions credible, and they're always restrained and within the spirit of the site.  As to various other non-named interlopers, I have no evidence other than anonymous accusations that The Two Gavins (Spittle and Dawson) are posting.

Gavin Spittle preparing to open his laptop to compose a comment
for My Ticket Confession
My self-interested reaction is to be somewhat flattered, on my own behalf and that of the Confessor.  I am encouraged in this by Anon 232 from the last thread, who wrote:  "Oh, and why, pray tell, would The FAIL mess around with MTC? Because, and this is a testament to you commenters and to Plainsman, they know the CTO and Ticket personnel DO pay attention to MTC."  While I know that what is written here is sometimes reflected in on-air adjustments, those influences are extremely minor and extremely rare.  (Other than the move to 96.7 FM, for which I still have not received a commission check.)  Some hosts fly by.  Cat checks in maybe once a quarter.  Some of he JV and off-air staff read it with some regularity, I think.  (Long ago I heard from a Ticket employee who said that in walking through the station he would see My Ticket Confession displayed on laptops.)  Most hosts -- no.  I think maybe two check it from time to time, the others only if someone emails them a link.  But The Fan guys?  Maybe more.  Kevin, certainly, and others looking for evidence of interest in their offerings.

Gavin Dawson fortifies himself for the burst of creativity
required for the drafting of a standout comment for
My Ticket Confession
(Side note:  I've noted in the past that the fact that  I so seldom hear from Ticket insiders via email -- really, pretty much never, maybe once every few months -- tends to suggest that whatever the intensity of the politics at the Ticket workplace, it's a tight-knit, loyal, satisfied group.)

Come to think of it, though:  Other than the occasional radio message board and Reddit, this site remains maybe the only regulated swap-meet for views on DFW sports radio.  Guess I should speculate more responsibly.

Self-interest aside, I've said it before:  If Fan enthusiasts want to be heard, I don't have any strong objections to that and won't unless they threaten to take over the comments, which they are far from doing.  As far as who the commenters might be  .  .  .  I will say that I haven't heard privately from anyone denying that Fan luminaries are posting here.   If I were one of The Two Gavins, though, I think I would let the speculation and accusations fly even if I weren't commenting.  As Oscar Wilde famously observed, "There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

I oughta know.

The inventor of Gay/Not Gay
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Funnymen Steal

The P1 is duly outraged by that almost unbelievably crappy "Fake Jerry" imitation that the imitator -- I can't even remember his name and the sooner I forget the whole episode the better -- stole from Gordon.  The impression is awful, every gag not directly plagiarized from Gordon is lame.  Even calling him "Fake Jerry" is a steal.

But I must observe that:

Artists, including some very great artists, steal.  Picasso famously is said to have remarked that "good artists copy, great artists steal."  Picasso should know.  But no one would claim that Picasso was not a great artist.

Comedians, in particular, steal.  Some, like the late Milton Berle, make a schtick out of their thievery.

Although this site may not be good evidence of it, I've written a fair amount of comedy in my time for performance and in writing, and I've certainly swiped a gag or three.

And Gordon Keith has  .  .  .  borrowed.

I thought I'd written a whole piece on this because I was so stunned when I saw it, but in Googling myself I see I only mentioned it in a comment last July 9 during the never-ending Gordon Keith Week on MTC.

I don't remember if it was Gordon's old TV show or in a sketch he produced for someone else's show, but he appeared in a bit where the premise was that he was going to appear on a TV show, I believe alongside some female co-host.  The bit was that he strutted into the TV station/studio, overly familiar with the staff, breezy, talkative, confident, acting like being on the upcoming show was going to be the most natural thing in the world, like he was an old hand at the TV game.  Then, when the cameras roll, he completely freezes, staring in stark terror.

While no dialogue got lifted, this is an obvious appropriation, in concept, of the legendary "Chef of the Future" episode of Jackie Gleason's "The Honeymooners."

The punch line -- the stare -- is a direct steal.

Ralph Kramden bought a bunch of multi-use kitchen gadgets that he and Ed Norton (Art Carney) were going to hawk on a live commercial.  All goes well until cameras are about to roll, the director is counting down, and then -- the petrified stare.  If you try to find it on You Tube, you have to find one that begins during the rehearsal, where Ralph is still confident, to get the comedic effect.  I know a lot of these old shows don't travel well through the ages, but the first time I saw this episode when I was in plains graduate school I was on the floor -- literally -- in convulsive laughter.

So let's face it, creativity is hard, good stuff is rare.  It's why the great ones are so treasured.  Gordon is one, in my judgment.   (Come to think of it, Jackie Gleason was known as "The Great One."  Interestingly, Gleason is frequently celebrated on The Ticket as the embodiment of Sheriff Buford T. Justice in "Smokey and the Bandit.")  And jeez, when you crank out the volume that he does, you're going to, uh, remember some things.

And at least Gordon has the good sense to reprise something that's 60 years old that much of his audience will never have seen.  And he ripped off one of the funniest things I've ever seen on the old Admiral.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Pensive in Pensacola -- T.C. Out at The Buzzer

T.C. Fleming:  Terminated at WBSR in Pensacola.  Read from the bottom:

  1. Also if you have any job leads…. I kind of need them :) Radio is the preference, but I'm open to new experiences!
  2. Very excited about the Marshall extension
  3. Sorry for hijacking your feed. Since I don't have a show to prepare for, I'm going to go watch that new Godzilla now. Thanks for listening.
  4. It's a pretty embarrassing episode. I'm gonna try to learn as much as I can from it and try to be a better person going forward.
  5. We didn't put on an amazing show. It was worse than everything on KTCK. But for a first try, I thought it was passable and getting better.
  6. I've uploaded all of the shows we recorded here: Those shows are far from perfect, but I think they're good
  7. The owner also fired my cohost, Tommy, saying our show was not working out. I disagree and invite you to listen and judge for yourself.
  8. I remain stunned by that because, though I admit my faults, they are the same faults I had two months ago when he hired me
  9. I did work there that I am proud of. If this were decided by a vote among my coworkers, I'd still be there but it's the owners' call.
  10. Well guys, I got some bad news. I was informed today that things at ESPN Pensacola are not working out, and I've been let go.

Regrettable.  I rather loudly said that I thought T.C. would succeed.  That's not why it's regrettable.  Guy pulls up stakes, makes the move, two months, gone.  Seems unfair.

Some interesting things in that thread.

He reports he was cool with his colleagues, but the "owner" didn't like the show.

Or  .  .  .  maybe didn't like T.C.  He says he is going to "try to be a better person going forward."  Present faults are the same ones he brought to the show to begin with.   Shows don't usually get cancelled after that short a time because ratings didn't improve.  Oh, it's happened, but usually a show gets a chance to get its feet under it, find its audience (vice versa, actually).  So there's probably some inside baseball there.  Maybe It's Just Banter will get the scoop.

I never heard any of the show.  My recollection is that the few listeners who checked in said it was OK, and that wouldn't surprise me.   Any radio boards on the T.C + Tommy Show?

No, I'm guessing there may have been some conflict other than the owner not liking he on-air content.  Just guessing.  My last T.C. guess was wrong.  Well, just as I and others wished him well on his Pensacola adventure, I wish him well again and hope he lands somewhere where he can make a stand.