Saturday, October 22, 2016

Why I Hope At Least One of Terrell McClain, Geoff Swaim, or (Unlikely) Rolando McClain, Becomes An Enormous Star for the Cowboys

Time for a spot of fun.  Maybe only for me, but at least I will enjoy it.

This week The Musers took a swing at a motto Dak Prescott.  Junior got it started with "We're going Dak to the future," and George chimed in with "Once you go Dak, you'll never go back."

I've got a couple to suggest myself.  One of which will almost certainly die on this page except as a source of ridicule directed at Your Plainsman, the other of which has some chance of showing up on a poster at a game, if Jerry even allows posters in that dump.

The first one requires a bit of history, children, so sit back  .  .  .  .

There once was a major league baseball team called the Boston Braves.  The team eventually moved to Milwaukee and then to Atlanta, but in the years we care about, the post-war 40's and even into the 50's, it was the National League team in Boston.

During those years, the Braves had two superior pitchers -- Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain.  You can look them up, but for our purposes they provided the Braves with a devastating 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation.

Once, during the pennant drive in 1948, they put together a remarkable run, aided by the weather.  They swept a double header.  After two days off, there was a rainout.  Spahn came back and won, and the next day, Sain won.  Three days later, Spahn won, and then Sain won again.  After an off day, the two pitchers were designated again, and they both won again.  Together, they went 8-0 in 12 days.  We'll come back to that in a moment.

Spahn went on to have the more memorable career, but Sain was a 20-game winner four times.  He threw the last pitch to Babe Ruth in an organized game (in 1943 in an exhibition game between major leaguers managed by Ruth and a team made up of servicemen, including Ted Williams).  Ruth walked.  He also threw the first major league pitch to Jackie Robinson, who grounded out to short.

Sain died in 2006.  Spahn, who died in 2003, won 20 games or more in 13 seasons.  He's the top all-time southpaw winner with 363 wins.  He went 23-7 when he was 42, and pitched 382 complete games.  Times have changed.

But returning to 1948 and that remarkable run.  It inspired Boston Post sports editor Gerald Hern to dash off a catchy little poem:

     First we'll use Spahn
     then we'll use Sain
     Then an off day
     followed by rain
     Back will come Spahn
     followed by Sain
     And followed
     we hope
     by two days of rain.

This got shortened to the phrase (I hope) many of you will recall hearing that became the rallying cry for that 1948 team:  

"Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

It became very famous -- Spahn later said:  "It's not so much my pitching people know, but that little poem about me and Johnny Sain with the forty-eight Braves."  It even became a commercial slogan:

The Braves won the NL Pennant that year, but fell in six games in the World Series to, of all teams, the Cleveland Indians.

What has all of this to do with The Ticket?  I began this post recalling Craig's and George's efforts to put something together in the way of a catch-slogan for this year's Cowboys.  It got me thinking and I came up with this, referencing Sean Lee, Terrell McClain, and Dak.  It's cute, but really only works if McClain rises to some kind of dominance.  After an interesting pre-season, Geoff Swain seems to have vanished, but I can hope -- his name actually works best, because I can throw an "and" in there, and it's a funnier name so I'll use that, but we may have to go back to "McClain" if Geoff never sees the gridiron, and "McClain" is really a better rhyme.  


"Sean and Swaim and pray for Rayne."

ALTERNATIVE:  "Sean, McClain, and pray for Rayne."

OK, it's a stretch.

Here's another one.

Back when the New Orleans Saints were good in the early 80's they had a rallying cry:  "Who dat?  Who dat?  Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?"  The Neville Brothers actually recorded a song with that theme with some Saints players, shortened to "Who Dat Gonna Beat Dem Saints?"  Fans took it up as a cry of solidarity at games.  Despite its minstrel origins, the Saints even adopted it as an official slogan.

You're way ahead of me:

"Who Dak?  Who Dak?  Who Dak Gonna Lead Dem 'Boys?"  

(or "'Pokes," or "Cowboys," if we can't say "Boys" anymore, even if there's no racial implication).

[[CORRECTION:  As the Ticket Drop might say, "WELL F_____ ME!"  I don't subscribe to Sports Illustrated and so didn't know that this particular gag had already been made.  I did a search for the "who dak" phrase before writing this, and nothing popped up, so I thought there was some chance it was original.  Guess not.  Sorry.]]

Enough -- some of you might say more than enough -- of this wordplay.  I hope we have all learned something and perhaps even inspired some of you to top this (not a big challenge, I know).

Didn't like this post?  Oh, all right, here you go:

"Oh, but Plainsman, I like lots of wordplay."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Time for a Little Refresher

Back at the beginning of 2015, this site was getting cluttered with bad, dumb comments, stuff that you see on other sites but I was determined to keep off this one.  So I published a set of "Rules of the Confessional" and urged all persons thinking of commenting to read and heed.

I was very gratified to see an immediate uptick in the quality of comments and a downtick in the number I had to delete.

But this is the Political Season, and the exaggerated emotions that seem to accompany it are starting to seep into the comments.  I had to take down 3-4 comments in the last string.  So I thought it might be time to reprise those rules.

Truth to tell, many of the comments I don't like are a result of the regrettable increase in sociopolitical talk on The Ticket itself.  I loathe it.  Yes, even the Musers are straying into it more than I find enjoyable as I drag a sharp blade across my lathered face in the morning.  So to that extent, politics is fair game -- but please keep your ire, or praise, directed at the shows, and not at your fellow Confessor, who, if you knew him or her, you would probably like quite a lot.

Since a lot of what I was complaining about back then is no longer such a problem here, these rules may look dated.  But I've only tweaked them a little since the original Rules were published.  (The original Rules also announced a moratorium on T.C. talk, which has since been lifted.)
Thank You for Shopping at My Ticket Confession, and I hope your candidate wins.  Text of 2015 Rules follows the asterisk.

*     *     *

Attend, O Confessors.

This is intended to be a site for people who like The Ticket.  Maybe they have an issue here and there, but, in general, I want Confessors to be fans, or, as they have come to be known, "The P1."

I want people to like coming here and know they're going to be treated with respect, or at least not put down by witless, content-free snark.

And, should a Ticket employee wander by, I want them to come away with the impression that they've been in the company of people who care about the station and think carefully about their reactions to it -- not a bunch of snippy teenagers.

So forgive me if I advise that I'm weary of refereeing pissy little flame wars between readers who can't express themselves without taking a shot at others. 

And weary as well of visitors who apparently don't like anything about The Ticket, this site, or Your Plainsman.

Or don't forgive me.  Don't care.

My past warnings have gone unheeded.  So, much as I hate to do it, I'm cracking down.


1.   Shots.   No criticisms of the person of any prior commenter.  If you have a disagreement, express your view in a way that addresses the issue or the facts or the opinion.  However, even brief phrases:

   --   impugning intelligence or motives of a prior commenter;

   --   asserting that prior commenters are all the same guy;

   --   suggesting that a prior commenter lacks reading or comprehension skills;

   --   suggesting that a commenter hasn't listened to the station enough, or for long enough, or is otherwise not a good Ticket citizen;

   --   is generally nasty towards another,

will cause your entire confession to hit the pail instantly.  It's too time consuming to edit your stuff for content.  Criticism of opinions is OK, but do it by making your own supportable point or making a legitimate debater's criticism of the prior comment.

I don't care how good your confession is in other respects.  The most brilliant comment that contains a phrase like "here's a thought -- listen to the station" will get bounced.

Subjective?  Absolutely.  Here's a rule of thumb:  Read your post before you send it.  If you see a phrase which, if it were said about you would upset you and make you want to respond in kind -- take it out.

2.    Vulgarity.  Don't use it.

3.    Tone.  Angry, hateful, threatening, overly emotional comments -- out.  I'm serious about all of these comments, and this one may seem slight, but I'm telling you:  Tone it down.

4.    Name-Calling.  Applies not just to fellow Confessors, but to anyone.  

5.    Stuff That's Just Too Wrong.  The other day got a comment from a guy ragging on T.C. and Corby.  Same old stuff, didn't like it, but met the standards in effect at that time.  Was going to publish, then noticed that he seemed to think that the midday host's name was "Stern."

[5.5  (added 03-07-15):  Commentary on subjects' personal lives is strongly discouraged.  Exceptions may be made if the matter relates to on-air events.]

6.   Anything That Strikes Me As Designed to Pick a Fight.  You figure it out.

Here's a further suggestion:  Cut and paste your comment into a file before sending it.  If your comment appears and then disappears, I've made it go away.   If you still think it's worthwhile, go back and figure out why I bounced it.  Fix it and repost.

Guys, I'm sorry about this, but I'm even sorrier that the comments have gotten so sorry.  I'd say a good third to a fourth of the comments that I published on the last thread would not have made it under the foregoing standards. [Again -- this was written in January 2015; comment does not apply to recent threads.]

You will be amazed at how easy it is to express your point of view -- even one that is critical of the point of a prior comment -- without impugning the character or talents of your fellows on this site.

Don't write me complaining about my judgment on comments.  I'm not interested.  You want the objective standard of unfettered commentary, there are other homes for you on the plains of the Internet.

This means you.
Come on now.  Let's keep this site going.  Let's make it a place that attracts the attention of people who matter and where you can be heard without bringing a bunch of cheap crap down on your head.

And let's have some fun.

Thank you for shopping at My Ticket Confession.

*     *     *

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Per Anonymous at 7:06p on September 24:

Per Reddit, Mosely and Friedo out at ESPN.

Steve Dennis to replace Mosely on Afternoon Show.

Friedo-Dennis to be replaced by Jean-Jacques Taylor and an unnamed partner.

This is all I have on this, and if it turns out to be in error, apologies in advance.   My thanks to 706 Anonymous, unless it's wrong.

I liked Cowlishaw and Mosely, but I think Steve Dennis and Tim Cowlishaw will be worth a listen.

Interesting -- in the last thread, I was wondering if Dennis might find a home as a host somewheres.  I speculate that this has nothing to do with these changes.

UPDATE:  Looks like Anonymous had the goods.

Article places Will Chambers with JJT.  Looks like JJT was reporting on his assignment via Facebook on Friday, so I'm a little behind the times here.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Couple of Quick HIts to Get a New Thread Going -- UPDATED [2]

(1) My schedule has changed so I'm sometimes not in the car as much during drive, so my Hardline listening has diminished a bit.  When I tuned in this past week, I have to say, I enjoyed the show.  I thought the Danny rat story was overrated, but they did some car talk that got me laughing, and it seemed to me that I heard More Mike than I'd heard in recent months, which always makes for a better show.

(2) I sometimes punch over to ESPN, and heard something that I really liked on Monday afternoon:  a couple of hours of "Football Firing Line," which I guess has been going on for awhile.  It was Tim Cowlishaw and Matt Mosley, the usual Afternoon Show hosts, with Steve Dennis, Nate Newton, and another guy whose name I wrote down and now I can't find the slip.  The Internets say Ed Werder is on the panel, but it wasn't him, it was an AA with a four-letter first name, a middle initial, and a last name.  One of you guys can tell me who it was.  [UPDATE 2:  The other guy had a four letter last name:  Clarence E. Hill, Jr., of the Star-Telegram.]  Anyway, I thought it was a lot of fun with some trenchant Cowboys analysis thrown in for good measure.

What's the story on Steve Dennis, anyway?  He seems pretty spicy and zero-BS but it seems all he does is fill in around the Dallas sports media scene from time to time.  Would he make a good full-time host somewheres?

(3) Danny has a great radio voice, but in recent months it's gotten rough and a little breathy and sometimes cracks, as though perhaps he smokes and perhaps smokes a lot.  (I don't know if he smokes.)  Maybe he's been performing a lot.  (You can tell when Mike's not far past a Petty Theft performance -- his voice gets noticeably tired.)  Maybe he has to yell a lot at the Twilite Lounge.  Maybe he's using a different mic or he's getting EQ'd so the treble is turnt up.  His habits are none of MTC's business; I'm just saying his on-air sound has frayed some.

(4)  UPDATE:  Hey, how long has Matt McClearin been hosting the Cowboys post-game on ESPN?  (Since there's only been one other game, I would think that's probably the answer.)  Maybe the better question is, how long has Matt McClearin been working at KESN?   I punch over from Norm and Donovan once in awhile just to see what's airing on ESPN or The Fan, and he was running the show (it sounded like) with Steve Dennis and Tim McMahon, if I caught it correctly.  I thought it was pretty good.

I knew that he and Scot Harrison had lost their WJOX Birmingham show back in July but hadn't heard anything further.  Since Cumulus is operating KESN, maybe Jeff C welcomed him back.  (Scot's LinkedIn page says that he's "Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Taco Mama."  Matt's says that he's "Account Executive at New Home Guide," which sounds like something you do until Cat can find a spot for you.)

Monday, September 5, 2016

And Here Are the Finalists

My Ticket Confession and Your Plainsman grant Cumulus Media Inc., The Ticket 1310 AM and 96.7 FM, David Moore, and their respective successors and assigns, a perpetual, non-cancellable, worldwide, royalty-free right and license to use any of the following names for the segment nka "The Ranch Report."  Oh, all right, you can send me something from the prize closet.

I've stayed away from David Moore-based names, because I have a feeling he may be destined for bigger things that might require his premature retirement from the Report.

The Star Telegram.

My personal favorite because it combines the name of the facility with the idea of communication. This would probably require a deal with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, but here's the thing -- you leverage that into the newspaper being a sponsor of the segment.  Big problem, though:  David Moore is affiliated with the rival Dallas Morning News, as is The Ticket itself.  Too bad.

The Range Report.

Cheap variation; leverages current name recognition.  Reflects the wider open spaces in rural Frisco, the kind of landscape where real cowboys ply their trade, and the Jones's ownership of a large percentage of of north Texas real estate.

The Post from Polaris or The Polaris Post.

The Star.  It's up north.  It's the north Star.  Polaris is the North Star.   Leverage with sponsorship by Polaris personal recreational vehicles.

The Ford Focus.

Highly descriptive and an accurate description of David's report from the Ford Center (the name of the stadium itself at The Star, which is the name of the complex).   And another leverage opportunity for Chris-Chris:  Get the DFW-area Ford dealers, or an individual dealer, to sponsor the segment.  Trademark infringement, using the name of a Ford model?  After all, it draws attention to the Ford-ness of the Ford Center, which is what Ford wants by paying to slap it's name on the thing to begin with  Get the crack Cumulus attorneys on it.  If it's too much of a legal problem, then:

The Ford Follies.

Star Tracks.

The DM Report

All right, it's a David Moore reference.  But the leverage opportunities for D&M Auto Leasing are too good to pass up.  Much like the Musers' "Tell them that D&M sent you."  Now if David's middle name is Nathan or Neal or something like that, you'd really have something.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

CONFIDENTIAL TO MIKE IN DUNCANVILLE: KRLD ("The Fan"): 877-881-1053; KESN ("ESPN Dallas): 855-787-1033

Man, have we had our fill of this guy?

Win or lose, can we count on this marking the end of his presence on Ticket bandwidth?

His recent rants are sounding more and more like extreme self-parodying bits ("I win the e-brake"; "I move the needle"), which pretty much kills any interest in seeing what we thought was a true narcissist get his comeuppance (or knockdownance).  I'm a little surprised The Ticket is playing along, although they are getting some Fight Night pub, which has been lacking in the last couple of years. 

Absent a knockout, my money is on the crowd voting with Jake, if I had any money.

"Got nexts, Jake."

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Not a Lot to See Here, Just Keeping the Thread Moving Along

I'm as big a fan of Monty + The Machine (aka "Not a Podcast") on Saturday morning as most of you seem to be.  A raucous, slacker-anarchic show even with only two voices.  Fun, different, some good Emerging Demo Sports Takes.

It's still kind of finding its way, though; still poking a sharp stick into the side of The Ticket.  Is it a good strategy?  I dunno.  I shake my head sometimes, but I don't punch out.

Yesterday, for example.

The Machine was on fire, returning to his roots as a guy who talks a lotThe guy has a very unique radio timbre, and it's an interesting sound to have coming through the buds, but the guy gives some signs of being positively Sturmian as the syllables pour out of him, irrespective of what else is happening on the show at the time.   I thought that he and Justin had really worked out a nice balance in the last couple of months, but Justin's 1-1:30 news was a jumble of both of them talking at once.  (Hey, Machine, don't get upset -- love the show, love what you got.  OK?  This is just what one guy is hearing.  Maybe I'll hear from Confessors who ain't hearing the same thing.  And I'm estimating a P1 readership for this site on the order of 0.05% and a Cumulus readership south of that.)

And then there was the Eli Jordan Ticker.  It was cruising along at its usual dramatic pace, when all of a sudden there was a bunch of talking going on over his report.  I thought it was Machine, but I could be mistaken about that.  Could have been both him and Justin.  I tried to tell if whoever was talking over the Ticker was doing it accidentally because of a mis-hit board button, or just crashing the Ticker for the hell of it, but since the whole thing was incomprehensible, it was hard to tell.  I will say this, Eli didn't miss a beat, so it wasn't clear to me that he could hear the host-noise going on over his report.

But I think he did, and I think he did not believe it was a technical meltdown, because:

After it was all over, Machine and Justin tried to get Eli to get on-mic to  .  .  .  well, it wasn't clear what they wanted to talk to him about, although they said once or twice they wanted to "ask him a question."  But Mr. Jordan was having none of it, a 100% layout, Eli has left the building, leaving M+M to vamp embarrassingly for a bit before moving on. 

And M+M didn't blame the technology.

I dunno, guys, dunno what you get out of jabbing the Musers, don't know what you get out of jabbing Eli, don't even know what you get out of pretty harshly jabbing the Siroises as you also did yesterday (and do a lot).  I know, I know, it's a M+M bit to be the snotty newcomers.  Maybe that's what Cat is looking for, maybe you've got a deal with Mike and Cash.

But it's starting to take on just a bit of a hostile cast, pretty aggressive for a show that may feel established to its hosts but does not to most everyone else (all right, maybe just to me).  I really want to be hearing M+M on the air for the foreseeable future, so I'm hopeful that they will give some thought to the whereabouts of that fine line between bit and bloviation.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

FROM THE ARCHIVES -- Let's Take a Break for a Little Green Tail Shiner

CONFESSORS:  I'm still tied up with some personal and professional changes.  got some stuff in the hopper but we're in desperate need of a thread-freshener.  dipping into the archives this morning for a spot of fun.  the ticket should bring this back as a station meme, but it seems to have faded in the collective memory.  thanks for keeping the site going while i'm tied up.  let me hear from you if you have something you'd like to propose as a featured post.  thanks, confessors.  -- plainsman

All right, things are getting a little too testy around here for my liking.

We all need to calm down a little for some Ticket fun from the archives.

I've written about this a couple of times in past posts.  For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, and for those who do, the good men at The UnTicket have the goods as they usually do.  I re-listened to this a few minutes ago and I laughed out loud again, and not just one or two giggles.

9/11 was unquestionably a worthy Number One moment at The Ticket, but here is my personal favorite moment on The Ticket of the last ten years:

Green Tail Shiner Non-Explanation with Embedded Replay of Original Reference with Bonus Classic Michael Gruber Background Chortling

The link is actually Mike's Mind on the day following the original reference, but I believe most if not all of the original Green Tail Shiner reference is replayed here.

So if, on my deathbed, my final words are "Green Tail Shiner," as they may well be, you won't need a whole damned movie to figure out what I was talking about.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

With All the Annoying Political Talk, we Turn to the Ads.

Confessor Jack McCall submitted this little essay prompted by his perplexity over the "Good Contractors List" commercials running with increasing frequency on The Ticket.  I liked the writing and the recollection and the point.  With Cowboys training camp and surging Rangers and Fight Night and all the rest there's Ticket fodder out there, but I thought this elegaic little piece was worth your time.  Thanks to Jack McCall -- his nom de MTC is actually quite clever -- and, as always, I would appreciate hearing from others who would like to be a guest contributor.  I hope Jack will weigh in on a Ticket topic soon.

*     *     *

As a P1 you have a love-hate relationship with commercials. And by "love" I mean "not hate as much." Commercials are part of the P1 deal, though, so your best option is to at least let the advertising genius in you dissect some of these odorous specimens.

If you don't have that level of expertise don't worry--neither do I. But I do know something about the generally terrible idea of coming up with a message that is so contrarian that it must be good. Hint: it isn't.

Sophomore year of high school my buddies and I managed to talk our parents into letting us spend New Year's at a friend's "river house," which was actually a single-wide situated some 300 yards of thick, steep hiking away from a desolate stretch of the Brazos.

Obtaining their permission was tough, as our folks no doubt imagined a combination of booze, fireworks and just an utter disregard for the dangers of the river. We prevailed but were still rattled enough on the drive down that we came up with an idea, one that would layer in some additional lies to lessen the ongoing skepticism. If nothing else we might be subject to less grilling upon return.

This idea, which was really bad and poorly strategized from the beginning, went something like this: Upon calling our parents to confirm arrival in Unincorporated, Texas, we'd all mention how some state trooper had stopped us as we pulled into our destination. This idea, which, again, was really bad, was that we'd breathlessly tell our parents how this cop had pulled us over for no good reason, searched us and our car for no good reason, and then obviously had to let us go because of course his search was fruitless.

What our parents would take from these calls, however, was that a mere 90 minutes into our trip we had already found ourselves in trouble with the police.

It's easy to become so enamored of a contrarian idea, so convinced of its reverse-psychology genius, that you don't quite think it all the way through. For example, if you're a company called The Good Contractors List, maybe don't do a whole commercial talking about a really BAD contractor on YOUR list. As Seinfeld once said, "Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?"

Your company positions itself, down to its very name, as a cut above the rest. But you spend lots of money to run lots of spots talking about a bad contractor on your good list. I guess the resulting cognitive dissonance is supposed to be so jarring that I'm now listening even more attentively as you explain why your company is still good anyway. But really, I'm just thinking about how maybe your company can't quite live up to, well, you know, the name you gave it.

"Anyone know where I can find a Hammer?"

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Three Quick Ones

(1)  I'm way behind the curve on rap/hip-hop music, always sounded like doggerel to me, but I absolutely loved Donovan's and Jake's segment on sampling as they filled in for the Hardline yesterday afternoon.  That Charles Aznavour slice was astounding.  Listening to rap/hop talk on The Ticket has awakened in me an interest in the genre.

(2)  I do not favor Gordon's pursuit of Skittles for an interview unless Skittles gives some indication that he's in on the joke, kind of like William Hung.  Love me some GK big-time, but bringing clueless citizens to the airwaves to patronize and snicker at them is his least attractive bit.

(3) How many times do you suppose Mike Rhyner has actually asked P1s why they decided to lease rather than buy a car, as he claims to have done in that Autoflex ad?


Thursday, July 7, 2016

The World Is on the Brink, and All I Can Think of Is . . .

"Chimpanzee, Ridin' on a Segway."

Come on, you know you lean closer to the radio when The Hardline plays it to try to figure out what the singer is saying on that bridge.  Well, here are the complete lyrics, by one Parry Gripp:

Chimpanzee ridin' on a Segway Chimpanzee ridin' on a Segway Chimpanzee ridin' on a Segway Bam ba ba ba bam bam Chimpanzee ridin' on a Segway Chimpanzee ridin' on a Segway Chimpanzee ridin' on a Segway Bam ba ba ba bam bam He's got a helmet on and He's wearin' overalls and Don't that lady look surprised Yeah Chimpanzee ridin' on a Segway Chimpanzee ridin' on a Segway Chimpanzee ridin' on a Segway Bam ba ba ba bam bam Bam ba ba ba bam bam Bam ba ba ba bam bam


Thursday, June 30, 2016

MTC Wishes Itself a Happy 7th

Please keep a good thought today for Your Source for Quality Ticket Journalism.  My Ticket Confession stumbled into this world mewling and howling and with no readers (except, apparently, Michael Gruber) on June 30, 2009.

I've very much appreciated your support and participation.  Ticket fansites and blogs come and go, but you've kept us in the game and kept me wanting to think up things to write about.

Still dealing with some personal matters but hope to have wrapped it up in the next 3-4 weeks.  In the meantime, keep those comments (and post offerings -- please) coming.

I suspect we will not get a mention on WTDS -- not even as a spare.  But we can still party.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Jack McCall Confesses

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had some personal matters to tend to that were going to make me scarce for a bit.  That will probably continue for another month or so.  So I was very pleased to hear from a confessor who asks to be known as Jack McCall.  He inquired as to whether he could offer pieces for posting.  Seeing as how I've begged for volunteers in the past, I was very pleased to hear from him.

Here is his first offering, and I believe there will be more to come.  You will see that it refers to events that happened a bit ago.  I apologize to Jack and to you for my delay in getting this up.  But its point survives.

Thank You for Continuing to Shop at My Ticket Confession.  

And anyone else who has an essay of any length with a worthwhile Ticket connection, please let me hear from you.  I can't promise I'll post everything, but I'll always give it a respectful and generous read.

       -- Plainsman

*     *     *

Monday morning was especially lousy. You woke up to ongoing news from yet another mass shooting, this one barely 24-hours old and somehow even worse in toll than the others. And you woke up knowing you'd be dealing not just with the tragedy itself but the hot takes of others, including the Ticket guys.

Maybe they made you mad. Or maybe you agreed. Likely some combo. But if you're like me, maybe you just needed a damn laugh.

Which brings us to Monday morning's 8:40 guest, Exaggerator.

Gordo as some famous racehorse is always funny. But, folding the character into a Muser playlet that calls back to an absurd question Gordo once posed to baseball-great Gaylord Perry? That's next-level funny.

When George loses it I laugh out loud. Or maybe I'm already laughing because I know Gordo knows he's delivered a line so perfectly that George is about to lose it. Meanwhile, Junior lurks innocently with a can of gasoline.

The Ticket has jokes for all. But the jokes for few are the P1's real payoff. And damn those jokes feel good on an otherwise lousy morning.

Oooo, Plainsman, who's your cute friend?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Do You Like EJs? And a Question

(1)  Yes, I do like me some Eli Jordan.  The Ticket has some fine Tickermen, Ty and Sean and others; even T.C. is, in one sense or another, a must-listen.

But Eli sounds like nothing else on the Ticket -- nothing, that is, since the departure of Ticker God Rich Phillips.  Eli is kind of a cross between a throwback Mr. Broadcast Pipes with the staccato delivery, and a reg'lar Ticket jamoke.  His voice commands attention, which I deliver even though I have almost no interest in any of the results he's discussing.

By the way, have you caught Eli and Ty's "Country Force" fill-in show?  Pretty good little show, pretty darned good little show.  I've always liked Ty as a host and he and Eli make a pretty cool team, I thought.  Good showgram title, too.  I could hear more of that.

(2) This morning the Musers were (unfortunately) reprising the Eighth-Grade-Graduation-Presidential-Candidate-Impressions Kid.  Craig said to Gordon something like (precise recollection dim):  "You should name him as your successor, since your last designated successor was a complete failure."  And they all had a good chortle, and Craig said:  "But at least he ended up leaving and wrecking one of our competitors," OWTTE.

To whom was Craig referring?

[PS:  Any show replaying viral videos = burnt segments.]

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Dilemma of The Ticket and the P1 in Times of Tragedy

A brief and I-hope-not-disrespectful Ticket observation on this sad morning:

With full understanding of how trivial our concerns are here at MTC when something like the Orlando murders dominate the news: 

I think The Ticket shows face a difficult choice in these situations.  I wonder if it's rough on the P1 as well.  Speaking only for myself, it is.

You're a Ticket host, and something like this happens.

On the one hand, you're broadcasting for a sports/guy station, known for a humorous approach. It's what your listeners tune in for.

On the other, if you ignore the event, you would give the impression of being frivolous, disconnected, uncaring.

I feel the same dilemma as a listener.

I would think it odd if The Ticket programs didn't devote segments to something this spectacular in the non-sports news.

But I don't particularly want to listen to those segments.  Confessors have observed, and I agree with them, that Current Events Talk brings the shows to a stop, although some (Musers) handle it better than others (Hardline).  I don't expect Ticket hosts to be particularly well-informed or astute on non-sportsy/guyish things, and they're not.  Not only that, but there are many superior radio sources for breaking news and punditry up and down the dial and now on satellite.

My resolution of the dilemma:  I tune out.  I'm off to CNN, Fox News Channel, Little Steven's Underground Garage or Bluesville on Sirius/XM, or maybe NPR, until I judge the Ticket segment to be concluded, then it's back to Fun With the Ticket.   Sorry.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

FROM THE ARCHIVES: That Musers' Deep Throat Informant and the "Poltergeist" Medium -- Separated at Birth?


Confessors:  I have a couple of, whaddya call them, "life events" going on at the same time right now.  Nothing likely to be mortal.  I'll try to get up something fresh but I may have to recycle items for awhile.  This one is from March of 2010.

Yesterday's visit with the Deep Throat Informant reminded me once again of an iconic screen character:

 *     *     *

I've noted this before, but thought I'd re-run it since the Musers' Deep Throat Informant reported on his/her presence at the Ron Washington cocaine ingestion episode.

The Deep Throat Informant -- at least the upper-register part of the fractured voice -- sounds almost exactly like the tiny “Poltergeist” ghost hunter that visited Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams as they attempted to rescue Heather O'Rourke from  .  .  .  well from the poltergeist.  

The actress, Zelda Rubinstein, died earlier this year [2010].

Check it out and see if you think Gordon got any inspiration here:

Friday, May 27, 2016

What's Going On with The Diamond Doctor?

Don't worry, Cat, I'm not going to slam the good Doctor.

*     *     *

I wonder if any Confessor was as startled as I was to be traveling on the Dallas North Tollway and suddenly seeing this flash on one of those big digital billboards:

Huh?  The diamond purveyor to everyone on The Ticket?  They all must head over there after they get their foundations tuned up by All-Pro Foundation Repair.

Before I go any further, I should say that there is no original reporting here.  This is all from the ether that is the Internets, including filings in some of the litigation involved.  I don't know The Diamond Doctor -- one David Blank -- and I have never visited his store.

When you go to that website (HERE) -- it looks pretty lurid.  Too lurid, but I'll get to that in a minute.  The website appears to be sponsored by Cumming Manookian.   That is a two-person law firm based in Nashville.  The person of interest here is Brian Manookian.

I'll get back to that "lawsuit" website in a second, but I do want to note at this point that in 2015, Manookian pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act relating to a scheme to distribute an FDA-unapproved substance called Melanotan II, which had been advertised as an injectable tanning product, one that could reduce the risk of skin cancer to boot.  He was sentenced to a year's probation and fined a grand.  

Another thing you need to know early on is that Manookian has not actually filed any lawsuit against The Diamond Doctor on behalf of any client, or his own behalf.  Nor does he or his firm seem ever to have had much genuine interest in doing so, despite all the talk of lawsuits and compensation and similar lawyerly formulations.

What's his beef?  As you can see from the website, he is accusing TDD of overgrading diamonds.  I'm not going to go into detail on this, but the gist of the accusation -- and it is only an accusation -- seems to be that TDD doesn't use the reputable Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to certify his diamonds as of a particular grade for the various qualities one desires in a diamond (clarity, color, etc.), but instead uses certifying organizations that routinely (and, at least by implication, knowingly) overgrade diamonds, and issue certificates that are then shown to consumers. 

Manookian has conducted his campaign against TDD with multiple websites, Facebook and other social media, YouTube, and, of course, that lurid billboard.

Now that website:  It says lots of things, but one thing it doesn't say is that Cummings Manookian wants you as a client or will file a lawsuit on your behalf.  There is also a popup that appears when the website loads -- actually, sometimes the popup appears, and sometimes it doesn't -- that says:  "DIAMOND DOCTOR AND ITS OWNER, DAVID BLANK, WERE SO PANICKED THAT YOU'D SEE THIS SITE  .  .  .  they filed an emergency lawsuit asking a Dallas Court to order it taken down.  The Court not only immediately rejected their lawsuit, it actually ordered Diamond Doctor's lawyers to prove why they themselves shouldn't be reported for professional misconduct!"  Well, that is interesting, so let's click on the link that says "VIEW THE COURT ORDER" -- but no court order appears. 

But Your Plainsman went a-digging, and found the court's order.  The popup is correct.  TDD did sue Manookian in Texas state court to try to enjoin Manookian's harassment, and the state court judge did deny TDD a temporary restraining order.  The judge doubted that he had personal jurisdiction over Manookian and also had First Amendment "prior restraint" concerns.  He also observed that TDD's lawyer had forwarded copies of his complaint to Tennessee bar authorities, which the judge viewed as a possible violation of Texas ethical rules forbidding using accusations under rules like that in order to gain an advantage in a civil matter, and did indeed call TDD's lawyer to account.  Shortly thereafter, TDD voluntarily dismissed the state court lawsuit.  It wasn't a good effort.

Cummings Manookian's "diamond lawsuit" website has other problems.  Near the bottom, it charges that "David Blank buys known inventories of inferior quality EGL-International diamonds [EGL is apparently one of the accused overgrading certification organizations] from regular wholesalers that he then dumps on unsuspecting Texans.   Shocked?  Listen to David Blank admit it in his own words in a long series of audio recordings."  But there is no link to any such recordings -- none that I could find, anyway.

Having struck out in his first effort to use the courts to fight back, TDD has hired some very prominent Dallas trial lawyers -- I mean, a bunch of them, and not cheap -- and has filed suit against Manookian in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Sherman.  (Dallas is in the Northern District.  It would be interesting to know why TDD's lawyers decided to file in that district.)  The voluntary dismissal of the state court suit does not affect the new federal court suit.  The amended complaint in that suit, filed last month, is extremely detailed and its allegations are as lurid as the red on that billboard. (And, in fairness, these are allegations.)  

Boiling TDD's allegations down for the Confessor:    TDD is one of many diamond merchants who has suffered the Manookian accusations of overgrading and harassment campaign.  The most startling part of the story is that TDD, desperate to stop the harassment after the failure of his state court lawsuit, tried to pay Manookian to lay off by attempting to "retain" the Cummings Manookian law firm.  (TDD's pleading actually presents this as TDD's idea, which he seems to have gotten from other diamond merchants who had dealt with Manookian, at least one of whom paid.)  Manookian wanted $5 million; TDD bargained him down to $25.000 a month for ten years -- $3 million.  The idea here was that if TDD "hired" Manookian, the anti-TDD campaign would be a conflict of interest.   However, the deal fell through when, among other things, Manookian allegedly refused to do any actual legal work for TDD.  When those negotiations broke down, Manookian resumed his campaign, and the current federal lawsuit was the result.

[Wait for it, wait for it, the Ticket connection is coming.] 

TDD's position on Manookian's charges, according to the amended complaint, is that there is no single standard for grading diamonds, and that there are many reputable grading organizations, including GIA and EGL.  It concedes variability in diamond grading.     He also asserts that he discloses the variability in grading to his customers and offers a money-back guarantee (25 [?] days).  He vigorously disputes that he has cheated any customers or engaged in criminal activity as repeatedly and loudly charged by Manookian.

And in his allegations that TDD's business has been harmed, we find these passages:

     --   "On March 4, 2016, Manookian unsuccessfully tried to buy advertising on a popular Dallas radio station 1310AM."

     --   "A listener to the above-mentioned radio station, 1310 AM, contacted four hosts of its various radio shows, commenting that the listener 'can't listen to [D]iamond [D]octor [advertising] spots without thinking of fraud charges he's facing.'" 

(Fun fact:  TDD's lead attorney, local powerhouse Don Godwin, used to head up a firm called Godwin Gruber with -- yes, Michael Gruber's father, Michael Gruber.  They have since parted company. [Don and Michael pere, not Michael and Michael.])

The amended complaint candidly describes TDD panicked willingness to pay $3 million to "retain" Cummings Manookian, portraying it as a last resort after the failure of of the Texas state court lawsuit.  Still, it's curious.  Perhaps it is because -- as the amended complaint also seems to suggest -- diamond grading is a somewhat  .  .  .  imperfect science.   Sometimes information of that nature is not comforting to the gem-buying public.

Just two weeks ago, TDD's lawyers filed a second lawsuit -- this one in Texas state court in Dallas County (the court is called "County Court at Law") reviving his request for an injunction.  It's clever:  It argues that the negotiations for Cummings Manookian to represent TDD had created a "fiduciary relationship"  -- a relationship of heightened duties of care and loyalty -- between TDD and Manookian, and that his subsequent actions violated that duty.  

On balance, I would have to say -- advantage, Diamond Doctor.  It is unfortunate that he chose to seek counsel at the outset from his co-victimized industry colleagues rather than sophisticated attorneys and to try to make a deal with Manookian, but he seems to have hove to and triced up, strategy-wise.  I'm sure a campaign like Manookian's was (still is -- it's happening now) terrifying to a merchant who believed himself defenseless against the publicity onslaught.  Just based on what I've seen in the public record and websites, if TDD can get past his own willingness to pay off Manookian -- and assuming there isn't some nod-nod-wink-wink industry scheme to overgrade diamonds as Manookian has charged -- TDD should be able to put this terror campaign in his rear-view mirror with his top-flight new legal team.  

However, Manookian also has very fine Dallas lawyers.  He has filed a motion to dismiss the federal case.  Contrary to Blank's contention (set forth in his letter below and elsewhere), the motion emphasizes the fact admitted in TDD's lawsuit that TDD pursued Manookian to "retain" him to stop the harassment, and not t'other way around.  Nevertheless, I'll predict that Manookian's motion to dismiss will fail.

I think the Rock Doc David Blank should have the last word.  Here is his letter to his customers appearing on The Diamond Doctor website (HERE).

We have significantly grown in that time based on our core values of fairness, honesty and transparency.  We value the solid reputation we have achieved and thank you for your trust in our company.  

That reputation is now being threatened by an aggressive propaganda campaign, led by a Nashville law firm, that is intended to disparage and defame our company.  The lawyers are harassing our company through extensive use of Internet advertising, fake social media accounts and door-to-door flyers to imply, without evidence, that The Diamond Doctor takes advantage of its customers. 
We want to set the record straight. 

What’s behind this campaign of harassment is a law firm whose apparent goal is to extort millions of dollars from us and other retail jewelers. In fact, the law firm offered to stop the harassment campaign against us in exchange for hiring them at a price of $3 million.

The Diamond Doctor refused to fall prey to their scheme and filed a civil RICO lawsuit in Federal court to stop the harassment. In the lawsuit, we detail evidence demonstrating the law firm’s efforts to systematically and relentlessly victimize The Diamond Doctor and other retail jewelers through a pattern of racketeering, including attempted extortion, mail and wire fraud, business disparagement and defamation, among others.

More importantly, their implication that The Diamond Doctor takes advantage of its customers is completely and totally unfounded.  The Diamond Doctor sells only high-quality, certified diamond jewelry at a fair and competitive price.

Our philosophy and practice is to stand behind the products we sell. Our doors are always open to answer and discuss customer concerns, if any. The Diamond Doctor offers each customer a money back guarantee for 25 days or a lifetime right to trade-in for a diamond of equal or greater value.

We will continue to fight the Nashville lawyers’ campaign to prey on a successful, small businesses for their personal gain.  With your support I am confident that we will prevail.   

Thank you for allowing me to share the real story and for continuing to be a valued customer. Should you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 972.342.6663.

David Blank
Diamond Doctor Owner

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

(1) Crap; (2) Cool; (3) Click

CRAP:  I was waiting for the report on the intra-Ticket contretemps involving shots at George, but as the ads were winding down someone walked into my office and closed the door to solicit my confidential wisdom on proper plains management.  So I missed almost all of it, just picked up a bit near the end.

So Justin M is taking shots at George, I guess.  I've heard some of that banter on the Monty + The Machine showgram, but I always thought it was just a bit, the pygmies nipping at the heels of the giants for laughs.

But perhaps not.  I did hear Sean report that M+M is suspended for this coming weekend.

Can anyone fill in some details?  I guess it has something to do with the e-Brake?  M+M upset about weekend shows not being nominated?  Something like that.

By the way -- Gordon's bits frequently tease Justin, not in a harsh way, but there's clearly some (what I thought was friendly) friction there.

Perhaps Justin will stop by, or maybe I'll hear from one of my network of local industry sources who know some Ticket guys  .  .  .  .

COOL:  I was proud of The Little One in The Musers' and The Hardline's handling of the Odor/Bautista incident.  Balanced, interesting.

Odor's attack was colossally stupid, if emotionally satisfying.  And we didn't get any homerism from either show.  The visceral pleasures of the encounter were honestly acknowledged, but the bad optics and bad strategy were identified with precision (which is to say, I agreed).

I did not hear Norm or Dan/Bob -- can one of you fill us in on how they saw it?  I saw some Bob tweets but I have a hard time deciphering his Twitter attitude sometimes if I'm not following his thread or paying close attention to his Tweet-tormentors.

CLICK:  I've missed me some Ticket lately because I turn off the radio -- not just turn it down, turn it completely off -- within 1.6 seconds of the beginning of that Meador "Hidden Cost Motors" ad. Meador has hugely overestimated its appeal and persuasiveness.  It's running way, way too often on The Ticket.

You hear it once, you've heard all the jokes, unclever to begin with, then you hate it every other time it appears both because it's instant boredom and it goes on for a WHOLE MINUTE and the actor sounds like Gordon after a pack of unfiltered Camels.  It's a yuk-free bit and it goes on and on.

And really, Mr. Meador General Manager Guy who comes on and asks "have you ever had that experience?", no one has sold new cars like that since -- hell, I've never had that experience with any of the many new cars I've bought.  And you telling me Meador won't try to sell you an extended warranty and shine protection? 

And in all that airtime -- even the people who don't shut the damned thing off (1) don't hear the name of the dealership, and (2) don't hear the brand of cars being flogged until Mr. MGMG comes on, by which time people have already decided they will never, ever buy a car from whoever is inflicting this ad on them. The time would be better spent telling people how to spell "Meador".  (I assumed it was Medder or Metter -- never heard of it and thank Jah that Google searches phonetically.)

Meador is spending an enormous amount of money to drive people away from its dealership.