Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ask, and Your Plainsman Shall Deliver Sometimes

The Confessor World was rent asunder in the last thread by competing opinions on the narrator on some ads appearing in The Ticket stream, and, I suppose, on the air, although I don't have a list for you.  Confessor Boo! did not much care for it, another found it fetching.  I have since heard from others who very much like the sound of this woman's voice.

AMENDMENT 5-1-16:  At least one of the ads in question is for The Local Ticket with DJ Mark music show.

The talent community must know who's doing what -- and have the occasional cup of coffee at My Ticket Confession -- because it wasn't long before I heard from someone who gave some indication of knowing what he was talking about, and our voice actress was identified.

Her name is J.J. Jurgens.

She has a Masters in Journalism/Sports Broadcasting from the University of Nebraska and played on the Cornhuskers women's basketball team.

She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Promotional Announcement.  No, really.

Her favorite drink is Widmer Hefeweizen

She played professional football for the L.A. Amazons.  Wide receiver and corner.

[Close as I could come.  LA Amazons didn't leave an extensive photographic footprint on the Internets.  This is from "Tarzan and the Amazons" with Johnny Weissmuller and Brenda Joyce.]

So there you have it.  More at her website.  Your Plainsman has a special fondness for her birthplace of Omaha, Nebraska, and My Ticket Confession wishes her the best.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Quick Hits -- Limited Ticket Nexus

(1)  One hundred percent with Craig "Junior" Miller:  The Chuck thread of "Better Call Saul" is a thrashing of a high order.  Show screeches to a complete stop when Michael McKean appears on the screen, not necessarily because of Michael McKean himself, but because the thread is not interesting.  The electromagnetic-sensitivity mental illness element is tacked on, gratuitous, and slows a slow story even more.

In fact  .  .  .  while I love both "Bad" and "Saul," those shows can both be very, very slow.  

(2)  I attended an employer-sponsored seminar on how an optimistic outlook can improve health.  I noted that this popular notion got started with a famous journalist named Norman Cousins, who was diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness.  He rented a bunch of Marx Brothers movies and other things he thought would make him laugh, locked himself up somewhere, and laughed himself back to health.  I tried to remember details about this and when I looked it up, I found that the disease from which he suffered was:

Ankylosing spondylitis.

(3)  All hosts on all Ticket shows should immediately and permanently abandon all lines of diarrhea humor.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Brief Plains-itorial

Confessor Boo! writes:

I think it's amazing how deep The Little Ticket's talent well is these days. The Shake Joint fills in for the Musers -- no problem. One of the funniest guys at the ticket is a producer 10-Noon. Need someone to fill in for Gordo for the week? No problem, Donnie and Jake can do that. The weekend is full of talent too:  M+M, Shake Joint (again), The Sirois[es].

Honestly, you may not like certain people on The Little Ticket but it's hard to deny how talented the whole station is. And that doesn't even go into how they can broadcast a 3 hole golf tourney of first time players and make it one of the most entertaining events on the station in a long time.

I think the ratings reflect all this. 

I agree with Mr. Boo!, and I would like to add:

Jeff Catlin deserves a lot of credit for the things Mr. Boo! is talking about.  Talent selection, talent pairing, programming, creating (or perhaps only approving) bits like the golf tournament, getting shows out to the Masters (providing several days of unique and fresh broadcasting), knowing when to pull the plug on stuff that doesn't work as well. 

Yes, it's the front-line talent that brings in the listeners in, but it takes organization, leadership, and judgment -- and, in these days of uncertain ratings technologies and reawakened competition -- patience, to keep quality high and ears tuned.

No, I'm not kissing Catman ass so he'll do another AMA someday.  I don't know the man and have no relationship with him.  But I do have some familiarity with the challenges of managing a group of accomplished, temperamental, ambitious and sometimes high-strung professionals and answering to a larger organization for their performance.  It ain't easy but when it works, it can accomplish great things.   Cliches can be true:  Michael Jordan didn't win a thing as a pro until Phil Jackson showed up with his lunchpail and Zen texts.

"Oh, Jeff, Jeff, Jeff  .  .  .  I love John Fahey, I really do, I mean, he sounds so  .  .  .  so  .  .  .  tasty, and I truly do look forward to replays of BaD interviews with hockey guys -- but please, please, please, bring back weekend-show crosstalk."

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Boys Drop Some Thoughts on Signing Up with The Little One

This article is going to suck.  No, really, it's not very good.  I've got better topics in the hopper.  But I didn't want to forget these couple of items, and it's Saturday night, and I'm watching a couple of Nirvana performances on one of those Saturday Night Live legacy reruns with Charles Barkley, and they're not very good but I was intrigued by the presence of a second guitarist, who I find through a little Internets stroll is one Pat Smear (Foo Fighters, Germs) -- the Internets also say the rehearsals were better -- and I'm trying to get more stuff up more often, and I just started typing.  And I feel scruddy.  I'm sorry.  I wish it were better and more innarestin.  Couldn't even find a redhead.

*     *     *

Try to put together items I hear that are at least vaguely related.  Here are a couple that have something, kinda, to do with Ticket host contracts.  Just a couple of remarks in passing, but worth a post, I thought.

(1)  I believe The Hardline was discussing Mike's and Danny's first exposure to August National.  Which, you will have perceived if you listened to the station at the end of this week, was a rousing success, something they enjoyed a lot.  (I thought the Musers' and Hardline's Masters coverage, if it can be called that, was a success.)

Mike said something like -- and I'm not going to get the quote right, but:  "It was one of those magic events that only the Ticket can produce," he said, "and we'll continue to do so for years to come."  I can't remember if he said "Right, Corby?" but in any event Corby chimed in with hearty agreement.

I'm sorry I can't reproduce exactly what was said, much less the tone of the remarks, but I had the distinct impression that Mike and Corby intended to convey the thought that The Hardline -- not just The Ticket but their very team -- was not going to be shuffling off that mortal coil anytime soon.

(2)  Of greater pull-back-the-curtain interest to me was a very brief exchange on the Muser showgram one morning a few weeks ago.

I don't remember how it came up, but one of them -- I think it was George, but any Muser may have made any of these remarks. -- made a passing and fuzzy reference relating to their representation in negotiations with The Ticket.  (I apologize on my vagueness on who was speaking, but I didn't realize what they were referring to  until the moment had passed.)  Or at least that was the context I picked up from the exchange. 

After George made the reference, Craig (I think) made a semi-joking reference to possible disagreement among the Muser team as to the effectiveness of that representation, which was followed by brief snorts of acknowledgment from one or both of the other Musers.   Garsh, I wish I could remember the words that were used.  It was subtle, one of those deep inside references that sometimes pass between hosts when they're on the air that only they understand.  One thing I did take from this brief exchange was that these guys may negotiate as a team, or, if not, at least all have the same representation.  If they have any representation at all.

I wouldn't be sharing this (rather defective) recollection with you if it didn't have something to do with the subject we're always interested in -- how these guys do their deals with The Ticket, how much swag they take home.

I have no idea how much Ticket hosts make.  Big-time hosts in big-time markets on shows that are less successful in those markets than The Ticket is in this very large market make mid-six and more.   The syndicated guys do gobs better, 'course.   The thing that struck me about this brief back-and-forth was that it touched on the topic of whether these guys were represented at all and, if so, if they had the kind of bomber agents that would get these guys salaries commensurate with the profits they accounted for.

I gather the answer is no.

We have some fairly recent evidence that our hosts could make more money elsewhere -- the near-defection of Bob and Dan.  I heard from one fairly well-placed Cumulus-connected source at one point that after all was said and done, the Ticket deal beat The Fan's.  But a more authoritative source -- Bob -- contacted me to suggest (in a very nice email) that this was not the case.  No dollars and cents attached to any of these communications, unforch.  (Wild guess:  Yearly dollars less at The Ticket, but possibly longer-term or other benefits could boost overall value.) 

By the way, if you care deeply about income inequality (I don't), radio provides an interesting example in all markets.  I think we all know from joshing remarks made on the various showgrams that if you're not a big-time host, you make borscht -- even if you have some on-air opportunities and perhaps even a weekend show.  And you have to become fairly well-known and a ratings monster before the really big money comes in.  I'd love to know the role that agents and lawyers play in that process, and whether these guys ever get counseled to jump ship, or withhold their services come contract-renewal time if they don't get a wage that reflects the value they represent to Cumulus shareholders.  (I wonder if they get stock options.)  

Although, as we know, Cumulus shares remain in the tank, so perhaps management doesn't feel that losing a host or two, or even a show or two, at The Ticket would mean much of anything to shareholders.  ($0.39/share at this writing.) 

Too bad for our heroes.

*     *     *

Off-topic.  On Monty + The Machine today, Justin and Machine had an argument.  Machine took the position that the fact that he was willing to travel across country to see a particular musical act meant that Justin should at least check out that act (not by traveling, just by listening to some of it).   In other words, his argument was that his personal discretionary investment in seeing this act required Justin to take a listen.  He got rather exercised about it.

Advantage:  Justin.   But pretty fun slacker radio as the insults flew.

*     *     *

Well, this has not been premium content tonight, but I thank you for sticking with me.  

Pleasant dreams and chocolate creams.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Can We All Agree on This?

I'm glad to see that "Not a Podcast," starring Justin Montemayor and Mike Marshall, seems to have found favor among Confessors.  It's a pretty slick listen on a Saturday morning:   a little slacker, a little millennial, a little snotty, a little hip -- but well-prepared, good chemistry, some interesting takes, some interesting use of language.  The two very different voices and energy levels attract the ear.    Sometimes -- OK, a lot -- the show is Machine-heavy, but they're working on it, you can tell.  I tune in.  (Interesting dynamic emerging between NaP and Cirque, by the way.)

In an earlier post, I threw out the idea that "Not a Podcast" is not an attractive name for the show.  Despite Justin's denial in these very pages, seems like a jab at Jake and T.C.   Its phrasing is negative, almost apologetic, a downer.  And it's not descriptive of what the show is.  Bad name.

To my surprise, this drew quite a few comments.

To my further surprise, there seemed to be a gathering consensus that the name of the show should be "Monty + The Machine," pronounced "Monty and The Machine."

It's their show.  They can call it what they want, or what the Western Hemispherical Catman wants.

But for now, I'm going to call the show "Monty + The Machine," unless Justin advises that he prefers "Monte" as the short form of his name.

You have my permission to shorten this to "M+M" in the comments.  

I will also entertain other names for the show, perhaps something a little less quotidian, a little more clever. 

And no, "The Show That Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hand" will not be acceptable.  Although  .  .  .  .

But for now it's "Monty + The Machine."

"Plainsman, you are so wrong.  More Machine." 

I'll be out of town for a week.  Keep things light, Confessors.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Data Dump

I've been terribly delinquent in getting up new blasts, but I do have an excuse:  Last Tuesday's storms were unkind to our shack out on the plains, and after a couple of visits from contractors and adjusters, the fine folks at Amica have offered to replace our sod roofing.  Those interruptions mean longer work hours and fewer MTC hours.  

I keep notes on things to write about.  I look at them and think yeah, that would work for a short piece, and then they get stale and I don't do it.  So to atone for my lack of output recently, I'm going to unload a ton of stuff on you in the hope that it will provoke a rainbow of well-considered reactions in the thread to follow.  Numbered for your convenience.

[By the way:  The guy who comments three or four times per thread making obvious reference to T.C. (and sometimes Jake) without naming him (them) – I'm going to start deleting you.  You got something specific, let's have it.]

*     *     *

            (1)   Let's say that Craig "Junior" Miller decided to go on the bicycle racing tour, whatever it's called, for a couple years.  Let's further say – and this may be more far-fetched – that Gordon could be persuaded to stop baiting Mike Doocy.  Would you listen to the George-Mike-Gordon Musers with regularity?  I would.

            (2)  I'm going to lose what modest credibility I have with some of you, but I am listening to those Reagor-Dykes ads with greater respect these days.  There may be some genius going on there.  That crappy production, the corny "keeping it real" theme, and Bart's non-sequitur giving-it-to-you-on-the-level ad copy ("I've never found Amelia Earhart, I've never published a paper on quantum loop gravity, but I'll make you a deal on a great car") – awful.  But he kind of won me over when he started pleading.  "Hey," he says, "don't hate me before you get to know me."  I don't like leasing my Conestogas (sorry, AutoFlex and D&M) and am unlikely to buy a used model, but if I did I might give old Bart a whirl.

            (3)  Over Drydock (I told you some of this stuff was stale), I heard Jake talking about someone, didn't catch the first part of his discussion so I don't know who he was talking about.  But the words out of his mouth made me laugh:   "The biggest thing for me was I learned about ego.  I couldn't believe anyone could be that brash that early in their career."  I didn't detect an ironic inflection in his remark.

            (4)  Why can't we have Intentional Grounding all year long?

            (5)  Award for Brain-Freeze Commercial Koan/Tautological Phrase of the Year goes to the following utterance from one of the blind pitch-guys on a Non-24 ad:  "If you're like me, you're not alone."

(6)  I do wonder about The Fan sometimes.  It was near the end of the Niffle year (at least for the Cowboys), I was switching back and forth between Norm/Donnie and the Fan post-game.   In contrast to Ticket callers, they took call after call from fans who were positively thrilled about the Cowboys' prospects for 2016.  Gavin shared their optimism.  When Jesse Holley tried to make a point about the Pokes' uncreative play-calling, Brad Sham (who joins the show for a segment) shot him down.  Aside from what seems like unsupportable Cowboys boosterism, however, it's not a bad show.   I've always thought Holley was quite good on it.

(7)  Is "Not a Podcast" a dig at "It's Just Banter?"   Let's help Justin and Machine think of a better name for what's a pretty good weekend show.

(8)  The muddy signal stayed muddy for a long time.  I don't know if I've just gotten used to it, but has it gotten a little sharper lately?   Someone dropped a comment not long ago, perhaps copied from Reddit, about some repairs being made.

(9)  Yes, I do like Not a Podcast.  Like it quite a lot.  And while I'm usually hands-off with the JV as they work to make names for themselves, I must say this – less Machine.  A couple of weeks ago I had to punch out when Justin was doing some news or something – in any event, it was a Justin segment – and the poor guy couldn't get a single sentence out without Machine derailing the point.

(10)  Corby did a story on 69 yo CBS newsman Steve Kroft's extramarital romps with the (rather attractive, and also married) Harvard Law School-educated NYC attorney Lisan Goines, dramatically illustrated with texts, in one of which he advised her, J-J Taylor-style, that instead of working he would "rather be eating your pudding."  What was strange about Corby's report is that this all took place a year ago, and there was nothing new on the story.  I wouldn't be mentioning this, except for Corby's closing remark, which made me laugh out loud on my drive home:  "I hope that when I'm 69 I'm not involved in a pudding scandal."

Lisan Goines, Esq.
            (11)  Did I hear George Dunham say that if you buy two PowerBall tickets instead of one, you do not double your chances of winning?  Yes, I did.  

*     *     *
Thanks for staying strong with MTC.  Hits still solid despite my recent neglect.  Will try to do better.  


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

SLIGHTLY BREAKING: Sources, I've Got Sources

A radio-industry source who has a cup of coffee on this site from time to time emails Your Plainsman to state:

(1)    Barry Horn is not always careful about the way he interprets and describes data.

(2)    ALL radio stations report streaming listeners.

(3)    Streaming accounts for a very tiny percentage of ratings points.   The ratings effect is probably minimally visible for the Ticket -- maybe a half-point -- and at or near zero for the other sports talkers.

If this is correct, it looks like those ratings are probably apples-to-apples.

No, my source is not the Pan-American Catman.  But a bit of digging suggests that the source probably knows whereof it speaks.

Everyone having fun at TicketStock?  I haven't even been able to tune in.


Here are those ratings one more time:

The Musers (Ticket), 6-10 a.m. - 11.5
BaD Radio (Ticket), noon-3 p.m. - 6.9
The Hardline (Ticket), 3-7 p.m. - 6.5
Norm & Donovan (Ticket), 10 a.m.-noon - 6.3
Ben & Skin (Fan), 3-7 p.m. - 4.4
Mike & Mike (KESN), 5-9 a.m. - 4.1
G-Bag Nation (Fan), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. - 3.9
Shan & R.J. (Fan), 6-10 a.m. - 3.9
Cowlishaw & Mosley (KESN), 3-6 p.m. - 2.2
Dennis & Friedo (KESN) 11 a.m.-3 p.m. - 2.1
Dan Le Batard (KESN), 9-11 a.m. - 1.5 

Back off, Ty!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Any and All Descriptions and Accounts of This Year's TicketStock . . .

.  .  .  are not the property of the National Football League, or Cumulus, or Reddit.  They're mine, and I want you to send me all of your:

     --  Descriptions.

     --  Accounts.

     --  Reviews.

     --  Photographs.

     --  Let's face it, what I really want is photos of TicketChicks.

They are usually very happy to pose for you and sometimes even with you.  I think The Ticket stocks (no pun intended) up on TicketChicks for TicketStock, so the talent is usually abundant.

Yeah, I've got a sick family and plains duties and am not going to make it to Irving.  Really, if you go, drop us a line.  Photos and everything else to:

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Word from The Sponsor

Not so very long ago I was dining with a professional acquaintance from out on the hardscrabble plains of North Texas.  He had selected the venue.

We were shown to our table by a nice young woman.  As we were being seated, I mentioned to her that I had heard that the restaurant would be closing at this location and re-opening somewhere near downtown. 

Yes, she said, they would be closing in October and reopening a week or so later at a location in Uptown close to Downtown.

As she was speaking, I heard something, a certain music in the voice, a certain smiling inflection in her cadence.

"You're Gina Cook," I said.

She confessed immediately.

I told her that I get a kick out of the commercials and she was very pleased about that.  I asked if I might take her picture.  The Kodak puts out a very harsh and undiscriminating flash so please take that into account, although I have tried to soften the glare with some adroit Photoshopping:

I told her I'd write about our encounter and publish it here, which also made her very happy.  So happy, in fact, that she sent over an extra side dish (the lobster mac) and a rather tasty after-dinner drink.

Now Confessors, I know that not everyone enjoys the bantering commercials for Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse in Dallas and Fort Worth, but I will strictly enforce a code of enhanced courtesy in the comments for this article.  This ain't a Republican debate, y'know.

She was really nice and loves supporting The Ticket with their advertising, so consider what keeps our heroes on the air, will you?

My medium rare filet was perfect.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Guy's Night Out Featuring Many Callipygous Young Women

I was working the North 40 this afternoon and, being north, I went looking for  .  .  .  Tight Ends.

Yes, I'm as embarrassed as you are to make as your destination a Hooters or a Twin Peaks or a Tight Ends or a  .  .  .  ohmygod, wait for it  .  .  .  Tailgaters.  But after parking some distance away I made my way in.

Guy's Nights Out are interesting.   I've been to a few. You don't go to hear The Ticket, because you can't.  They have speakers set up, but they might as well pantomime the show for as much communication as takes place by the hosts on the air and the (mostly) guys who have gone to hang out. 

Corby and Mike share a giggle at this afternoon's early hours of GNO, with an admirer attracting the attention of my camera's autofocus, although I thought I'd locked the focus on the lads before snapping. 
 And hang out they do.  The place was packed before 5 PM.  Having a good time, but almost no part of that good time has anything to do with The Ticket.  I saw Craig Miller (said hello, shook his hand) and George Dunham hanging out, talking to the P1, but in general, it's a large number of men of all ages -- a surprising number of gentlemen of a certain age quite possibly having passed out of the demo -- gathering as kind of a Ticket-liking community but who don't seem to have much concern over the fact that a show is going on a few feet from them that they can't hear.

Tight Ends was interesting.  I am told it was formerly a Quaker Steak & Lube.  I saw a few people who were fully clothed that I thought might be members of management including one real stunner that had about her the mystery of the Levant.  For the most part, however, the most identifiable employees were fetching young women who were, as they used to say in the middle part of the last century, "scantily clad."  I kind of felt sorry for them.  Yeah, I know, no one sold them into slavery and made them wear these ass-revealing outfits.  On the other hand, I found myself wondering who they were.  Students?  Single mothers struggling to get by?  Or just attractive young women who can make more money doing this than doing something featuring, oh, say, a future?   I don't mean insult -- this is hard work and they put up with a ton of BS from men drunk and sober and even act interested in their misdirected charm.  But it could hardly be more exploitative.

But I must say -- they were all pretty damned adorable. And it cannot be denied that there were some absolutely phenomenal asses on the payroll there.

I can't figure this picture out.  These are the outfits, that's the mortifying overlabeled ass-featuring design.  But the only 107.9 The Fox I can find is in Fargo, North Dakota, which does not seem to have a Tight Ends.  Maybe one of you know what it's about.
Struck up a conversation with a couple of nice guys who let me set my drink and tablet on their table.  Which is a good a reason as any to head to Guy's Night Out.

Monday, January 18, 2016

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT -- FOLLOW-UP -- The Bulldog Goes to "Man's Best Friend."

Some readers out in the ether don't like it when this site comments on Ticket advertisers, or think it demonstrates the crappiness of the site, or something.  Fine.  You try writing a blog about one station for six years and let's see how your topic wheel spins.

Anyway, you will recall a column back a few months ago where I questioned whether Kelly McClure, Esq., of the McClure Law Group, was actually known as "The Bulldog" as her appalling commercials claimed.  You can refresh your recollection here:

Kelly McClure Probably Not Known as "The Bulldog."

Not a long time after that column ran (but probably not because of it), she got rid of those ads, and now runs much more conventional and convincing spots with a professional announcer, some production value -- and no wolf whistles or her faux-dismissive "thanks, hmpf."  And no reference to herself as "The Bulldog."  Also does some of those spot sponsorships now -- a real member of the Ticket client list.

She still doesn't do herself a huge favor by narrating a portion of that longer ad.  It can take you a second to figure out that "prordy" means "priority" and  "custy" means "custody."

But there was still something odd about the ad.

I believe the end of the commercial issues the claim that she or the firm or something has been "board certified in family law since 1985."

I can be corrected on this, but I believe only attorneys (as opposed to firms) are eligible to be board certified if they meet certain criteria.

If we go to her website (, we see that her firm has six attorneys.  The first line of her bio states that Ms. McClure got her board certification in 2005.  The next most senior attorney didn't graduate from law school until 2008.

Turning to her bio, we find the odd bullet item:

"Family Law Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
"Member Since: 1985-present"

I don't know what it means to be a "member" of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, but I am pretty certain that it does not mean you are board certified.  In 1985, the McClure Law Group didn't exist and Ms. McClure had been out of law school for one year.  As noted, that same bio states that she did not achieve certification until 20 years later in 2005.  So what exactly happened in 1985 with the Texas Board of Legal Specialization?

To add to this mystery, her LinkedIn profile states that she has been Board Certified in Family Law since 1995.

Does it matter to the P1?


Just something that struck me as peculiar.  I'm sure Ms. McClure is a terrific domestic relations lawyer.

Remember, though:  She represents "high net worth individuals."  So smoke out before you call.

"I'm know you're glad to see me, but if that's a Kelly McClure prenup in your pocket you'll have to get your jinj on elsewhere."

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Look, I Know It's Impossible, but Jeebus, This Was So Much Fun I'm Going to Make You Read It Again

One of the nice things about having one's own site is that one can blow it out with some loony tunes theories and advice and speculation.  It helps if one is self-aware enough to understand when something is crazy, and this is.  

But I like thinking about it, I don't have anything much new here during Drydock, so I'm trotting it out again -- not all that dated -- from 2013:

The Time Has Come to Reveal My Far-Fetched but Deeply-Held Belief on Solving the Problem of Perpetual Cowboys Mediocrity; or, The Brontosaurus Theory

Confessors, with a title like that, I deem that you have been given fair warning that this is one of those blessedly rare Plainsman sportsy posts, wherein I demonstrate rather small knowledge about sports.  I suppose that's what comes of listening to The Ticket.

But, in honor of the entrepreneurial spirit embodied in Danny Balis (there's your Ticket connection for this post), let me ask you to put aside preconceived notions and use your imagination.  You can probably come up with some variations of what follows that may make more sense.

The conventional wisdom – and this view is held not only by me and many of you, but by an acquaintance of mine who might in fact be the No. 1 Cowboys fan in DFW, I kid you not – is that the Cowboys will not return to greatness as long as they are owned by Jerry Jones.  That the Cowboys will, in fact, get worse as his ego continues to eat away at judgment with the passing years.  Because Jerry Jones will not give up control as he struggles to cast off the shadow Jimmy and win a title for which he can claim principal credit.  And because Jerry Jones will not sell the Cowboys, their averageness-or-worse will soil that beastly stadium out there for years to come.

I grant that this is a very likely scenario.  But it is not the only possible scenario.  Let me toss out a few concepts.

Jerry Is a Very, Very Bad General Manager and Owner.  I won't spend much time on this, we all know it.  His latest machinations, castrating Jason Garrett, loading up the coaching staff with people he selects, is a recipe for failure.  It is widely accepted that 2013 is make-or-break for Garrett – but what earthly sense does it make to (1) reduce his responsibility for the offense and (2) stick him with personnel not of his choosing and then to increase his accountability?  I happen to think Garrett bears a large share of the blame for fielding offenses that apparently don't know the plays after two-plus years and that can't get them called before a half-second remains on the play clock.  Maybe Jerry has selected players of incorrigible stupidity, but more likely is that they're not prepared, or the plays require calls that are not appropriate for the hurly-burly of the gridiron, or Tony doesn't transmit the playcalls efficiently.  But if that's the way you as GM feel about the guy, fire him, don't play games for another season that do nothing more than establish the head coach's lack of authority and your own poor judgment, begging yet the further question:  What accomplished, self-respecting coach would play for the  meddlesome savant-wannabe caricature that is Jerry Jones? 

And he's a bad owner because he refuses to hire experienced professional football management, or listen to the people in his organization who fit that description.
Since we all pretty much believe that Jerry is incompetent, why do I even bother to mention it?  Because:

Jerry Jones Is So Incompetent, That in the Process of Manufacturing Year After Year of Mediocrity and Worse, Jerry Jones Is Also Managing to Embarrass Texas in General, and, in Particular, the Wealthy of Texas.   Jones is pathologically incapable of keeping his piehole zipped.  And in its unzipped state, it emits torrents of disconnected phrases, 180-degree contradictions within a single breath, and downright nonsense.  It would be tolerable and possibly even charming if he'd shown a molecule of talent for running a football team, but since he hasn't, he looks like the kind of Texan, especially the kind of rich Texan, that non-Texans like to sneer at – ignorant, arrogant, incoherent. (Although he was born in Los Angeles and raised in Arkansas.)  The kind who thinks it's classy to hang the world's biggest video screen in his stadium, so big it renders the live contest irrelevant, and to feature caged go-go dancers.  You can't tell me that his pals in whatever the Rich Guy Club is in these parts (um, I don't belong) don't cringe when they see his latest high-wire act before any nearby open mic and hear everyone, even media types who might be expected to curry his favor, shaking their heads in disbelief that this well-meaning but thoroughly deluded soul is helming the destruction of the most valuable sports franchise in the country. 

There Are Lots of Really, Really Rich People in Texas.  And when you put a few of them together, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money.  And maybe they'd rather people think of them more like J.R. Ewing, and not J.W. Jones.

Everything Has Its Price.

Including Jerry.

Ah, but you say, Jerry does not have his price.  His pride would never let him sell the team while it's down, before it does something really terrific, at least get to a Super Bowl if not win it.

I agree that Jerry will never accept market value for the team, however that may be measured (although every year there are organizations purporting to do it, including one that reported today).  

So the first step is for a bunch of these rich guys who have had enough losing and ridicule to get together and offer Jerry crazy money.  I don't know how crazy it would have to be to let Jerry claim that as his ultimate victory.  Maybe he wouldn't take it.  Maybe the crazy money would have to be so crazy that not even a consortium of the extremely wealthy would consider offering it.  I would, however, ask you to remember the difference between the price Nolan Ryan's group agreed to pay for the Rangers at the outset, and what they eventually paid after Mark Cuban got the bidding way up there.

Then what?


Find some way to let Jerry save face.  Make him Chairman Emeritus.  Name the stadium after him and pay him for the right to use his name.  A permanent suite at the stadium.  (With parking!)  Perhaps work something where he keeps the stadium or some piece of it.  There are all kinds of ways to compensate selling business owners.   Insist that they pay him personally millions not to take his incomparable football management skills to any other NFL team.   Give him a consulting deal and actually have meetings and let him have his say.

OK, let's say that none of this moves the old Razorback.  

There's always:


How do you get leverage over an ego?

Include Stephen and Jerry Jr. in the Consortium.  Is Stephen Jones the Prince Charles of DFW or what?  Waiting for His Majesty to abdicate or die.  Perhaps it would be meaningful to Jerry (in addition to the crazy money, let's not forget) to know that his beloved offspring would have some kind of management and ownership role, and that he'd still have his son's ear on matters Cowboys, even if he would have no authority.  I can imagine that the boys (!) would have some reluctance to show up with a group offering to buy the team – I'm sure they love and feel loyalty toward their Pop and might fear a family falling-out if appearing to want to oust him.  Still, there may be creative ways to involve them in a subtle and diplomatic approach that would not offend Jerry.

The Brontosaurus Theory.  But here's my gee-whiz solution, and I'm sure that there are NFL-savvy readers out there who will tell me that this could never, ever happen in a squillion years. 

But, like Anne Elk (John Cleese) who offers her theory on the brontosaurus on Episode 31 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, this is my theory, and it is mine, and belongs to me, and what it is, too.  The next thing you will read is my theory:

This rich-guy consortium goes to Jerry – again, with their crazy money, maybe really crazy in light of this (my) theory and the thinking they want to inspire in Jerry, and they say this: 

Jerry, we have crazy money for you.  You know as sure as you're sitting there that this is easily a 30% premium over the highest valuation that any so-called expert places on this team.  You take that and walk away and you can hold your head high, laughing at your critics, knowing that win or lose, you, by the sheer force of your personality and will and balls in getting that stadium built, and, yes, winning three Super Bowls, created immense, incredible value, made this the second most valuable franchise in the world, second only to Manchester United.  Incredible accomplishment, Jerry.

You take this crazy money, Jerry.  You take it.  We'll put your name on that stadium.  Take a look at this term sheet, there's a bunch of other goodies in there, and looky here, Jerry, we're going to give Stephen and Jerry Jr. the opportunity to invest at a very high level and give them significant management responsibility.  You can be Chairman Emeritus.  

Take this crazy money, Jerry, and all the rest, because if you don't take this crazy money, we're going to keep an appointment that we made some months ago with Roger Goodell to discuss with him our strong commitment to putting an NFL team in Fort Worth, Texas.  As you can see, it will be hugely well-financed, with a stadium – oh, Jerry, it will not be a stadium like yours – it will be a big stadium, for sure, but it will be one that people will love, a real Texas stadium, like Fort Worth is a real Texas city, like people love the Ballpark at Arlington, like people love Sundance Square that was also bought with crazy Fort Worth money.  In fact, that stadium, it'll be right near downtown -- those city fathers know how to work with businessmen.   Maybe we'll swipe Jacksonville or some other lame franchise – maybe we'll argue for expansion.  And Roger Goodell will listen, and all the other owners we've made appointments with will listen, because Texas is a football state, and DFW is a gigantic market with lots and lots of people who have given up their Cowboy season tickets and lost all faith in you, and because major and lesser markets have fielded two NFL teams at once:  New York, Bay Area.  Crazy money, Jerry. 

You think your fellow owners would never allow it?  Think again.  Crazy.   And when we get that franchise -- don't you doubt us, Jerry, you know who we are -- we are going to treat our fans like royalty and we're going to get the best football people in the country and we're going to have a fracking party every week over in crazy Fort Worth over this team we're going to put together, Jerry.  Ground floor fans who don't give a bag of dirt about what your franchise did 20 years ago.  And we'll grab your fans, we'll grab your concession dollars, we'll grab your capital appreciation, we'll grab all of it and we will keep grabbing.

Because that is how we got this crazy money in the first place.  

It won't be hard. Crazy money, Jerry.  We got it.  We can get more.  

Because we're winners.  

Sign here. 

*     *     *

A bit melodramatic, perhaps.  And with a number of strategic difficulties. But God, that was fun.

Here's my point – we shouldn't assume that no circumstances exist under which Jerry would consider selling the team.  You won't know until you try.  Until you try, and let it leak that you're trying.  And I'm serious about a Fort Worth team.

So here's the plan, Confessors.  Send the link to this post to all of your billionaire friends.  Let's see, do I know any billionaires, let me think  .  .  .