Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rules of the Confessional

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 readers who apparently don't like anything about The Ticket.

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 can't read;

   --   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 confession to hit the pail instantly.  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.

4.    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.   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 you don't see your comment within a few hours, I've probably made it go away.   If you still think it's worthwhile, go back and figure out why I bounced it.  Fix it and resubmit.

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. 

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 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.

Let's clean this site up.

One more thing.

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, THIS SITE IS NOT ACCEPTING ANY COMMENTS, PRO OR CON, ABOUT T.C. FLEMING.  He's a part of The Ticket and fair game, but the volume of comments on him since his return to BaD Radio and weekend shows is grossly out of proportion to his significance to The Ticket.  Also, I'm mortally tired of them and no one has anything new to say.  I'll advise when this prohibition has been lifted.  I'm inclined to bounce all comments that even mention his name.  "Regonk" is permitted.

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.

Thank you for shopping at My Ticket Confession.

*     *     *

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Visit to Guy's Night Out, Featuring Conner Crisp

I stopped by Rock 101 Little Elm to sample a bit of Guy's Night Out.   Was able to stay for about 45 minutes, hour.

First, we need to clear something up.

Rock 101 Little Elm is the name of the venue.

But it is not in Little Elm.  

It is east of FM 423/Main Street, although just east -- and that's Frisco, despite the trademark.  If you would like confirmation of this, see The Rock 101 Little Elm Website and scroll down to check out the address.

GNO was pretty cool, I thought.  Fun venue, loved the old 70's and 80's music videos running on the screens, some video trivia all but two contestants were ignoring, grub looked good.  Great crowd.

Mike, Corby, and George discuss American Sniper

Hosts who weren't broadcasting mingled with the crowd, happy to be chatting with the P1s.  Never seen them otherwise.

Dan looked somehow healthier than I've seen him at other venues in the past.  Perhaps it was the purple lighting.  Corby looked stout, but I think it was probably just his TCU hoodie.

Unlike some other GNOs, if you were paying sufficient attention and situated yourself strategically, you could hear most of what was going on in the show.  

During the ads, one of the promo ladies ran a mini-trivia contest on the stage between two attendees for valuable prizes.  I signed up for a drawing I was assured would take place in ten minutes, but did not.  I had to leave a half-hour or so later, so I don't know if I won or not.  Or what I would have won if I'd have won.  It was a little noisy.

An early round table.
On my way out, I had a chinwag with a chap at the Ticket promo table.  The promo people had apparently dug deep, deep into the promo closet, because, other than some forlorn t-shirts, the only premiums they were offering were Craig Miller trading cards.  No one else's -- just Craig's.  They were very aged.  They featured Craig with dark hair and, on the reverse side, listed his nicknames as "Junior" and -- care to guess? -- "Professor."  His show is identified as "Dunham & Miller" -- no mention of The Musers, no mention of Gordon.  (I didn't see Gordon there, but he may have shown up later; I didn't get to hear a lot of the show after I left.)

Anyway, the promo intern was a pleasant guy, enthusiastic, eager to promote the station.  Hopeful of a shot at JV status and perhaps the big time some day.  I got his name, which is featured in the title of this post, and told him to check in.

Cat and Promo Director, keep an eye on this up-and-comer.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Live By the Ratings . . . .

Does the recent sports-talk radio ratings -- what do we call it?  blip? slide? anomaly? outlier? trend? -- mean anything?  I suppose if we knew the right word to use, we'd have our answer.

The improved Fan ratings probably do have something to do with its affiliation with the Cowboys.  So we probably won't have our answer until a quarter or two's worth of ratings books come out and we can see what's up.

There are a couple of things I can say about this, having heard from a radio guy I trust on this subject:

--   Don't discount the loss of listeners to sports-talk generally.  Some of the hit to The Ticket's ratings is almost certainly because people are turning to music, not other sports stations.

--   Ticket management is not discounting the recent ratings.  "Concern" may be too strong a word, but my source does note -- and I think we can all hear this just listening to the station -- that the CTO are  cracking down on time management and making sure that the hosts to to breaks on time.  Even The Hardline, which only rarely shows any interest in the clock, seems to have gotten religion, at least temporarily.  Even The Orphanage kept one eye on the clock yesterday.

--  The on-air talent is also not brushing this off.   I heard from someone whose claim to have Ticket ties I tend to credit that there is an overall sense, perhaps not shared by all hosts, that there is a need to "step up their game."   Have we not heard more from Mike R since these ratings books began to appear than we've heard from him in ages?  (And isn't The Hardline somewhat better?)

--  There is no industry scuttlebutt about major changes at The Ticket in the foreseeable future.  Any buttholding would have to be for something pretty marginal that hasn't escaped The Ticket bubble, at least as far as industry insider dirt is concerned.

Don't submit a comment that I'm Predicting The End of The Ticket, OK?  Sure, after a couple decades and guys getting older and richer there will be some changes someday.   I will suggest that if people get fed up with a show or a host and start wandering to other sportsy stations or returning to music, it's hard to get those lost listeners back by those same shows or hosts all of a sudden "stepping up their game" or taking their show responsibilities more seriously.  Maybe the Cowboys being with The Fan have skewed matters -- but that's why stations want those franchises, to get people to move that dial, give them a try when they wouldn't have done so otherwise; maybe they'll stick around if they like what they hear or even just get used to the new voices.

I think The Musers should revive their campaign to have Cumulus spring for a billboard, maybe one of those electronic things that are popping up.

Tough business.

See you at TicketStock.  Probably won't try to get a booth this year, but if the harvest is good maybe in the coming year I can put away some coin, get a booth in 2016, print up some T-shirts to sell, hire some redhead booth tunas, have some fun with The Confessors.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Random Wednesday Quick Hits

(1)  Sometimes I think the world is divided into George people and Junior people.  Love George, no major issues, but where they differ I usually find myself on the Junior side.  This morning, for example, in the hugely underrated and sadly underheard 5:30 segment, we learned that Junior is an Amy Poehler person and George is a Tina Fey person.  QED.

(2)  The real story at KTVT is not the departure of Babe Laufenberg, but Karen Borta's departure from the 10 PM news to CBS mornings.  Very, very sad.

Quite sad indeed.

Yes, sad.

(3)  Junior made an OK case for the non-averageness of Jason Garrett today.  I dunno, man, I'm still not entirely buying it.  He didn't get the defense to behave itself.  He didn't finally get Romo to stop jumping around behind the O-line like Nureyev and option out of every play.  He didn't cut down on the penalties or finally get some of his players to learn the plays.  How do I know this?  I don't, but I surmise it because he hadn't done any of these things in his prior years here.  And I still think he's afraid of his players, lets them boss him around.   But Junior persuades me that he's OK at communicating a consistent message and walking around.

(4)  Now completely out on all "catch" talk.  Don't mind Cowboys talk generally.

(5)  Understand the "keep Dez, care less about Murray because hard to find stellar wide receivers and not so hard to find satisfactory running backs" argument.  Still  .  .  .  anyone else interested in taking a real, real hard look at giving Dez a galaxy-class contract?  Got a bad feeling about him, despite his growth on the field.   And, of course, the Cowboys' long-term maladroit cap management enters into the discussion here.

(6)  You think Cumulus would sell My Ticket Confession a booth at Ticketstock?  Anyone out there know how much a small booth in an undesirable corner of the Irving Convention Center would cost?  Any Ticket sales people reading this?  Drop me an email.

(7)  Favorite Kevin Costner movies:  "Silverado" and "Malibu Hot Summer," nka "Sizzle Beach, U.S.A."

(8)  Scattershooting, wondering why Ticketstock is returning to the Irving Convention Center.  

*     *     *

Friday, January 9, 2015

Ménage a Troy

Frequently amused by The Ticket, but how often does one laugh out loud sitting and listening solo?

I did, yesterday, with the replay of the Fake Michael Irvin call to Fake Troy Aikman.  George was doing his usual masterful job with Michael, who was calling Troy to try to get him to make a "Finish the Fight" video in support of the Cowboys playoff run.

All Troy/Gordon wanted to do was to finish preparing his waffles.  The deadpan delivery, the pauses, the timing, the implied incomprehension -- man, I could just see Troy spooning the mix onto the griddle with head cocked to secure the smartphone to his ear, thoroughly annoyed.  Brilliantly underplayed by Gordon -- no punch lines, no inside references, no multiple entendres.  Just a hilarious contrast between George's Michael in a frenzied lather over the Cowboys, and Gordon's Troy just trying to get some flapjacks underway.

Laughing again just thinking about it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hold on to Your Butts . . . but Tentatively and with Good Thoughts

Bearing in mind that Michael and Mike call each other Shoopy, and that Michael tweeted his tweet an hour before Mike did.  Something unpleasant afoot?  If I hear anything, I'll let you know right away.

  1. the grey wolf: dead...3:30 on the Ticket
  2. SHOOPY NO!!!!!!!!!

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    I'm Trying to Figure Out Whether the Ad that Says That The Ticket Invented the Phrase "Cowboys, Cowboys, Cowboys!" Is Supposed to Be Joking

    Whether or not it is, it's a sure bet that those who wish for less Cowboys talk are going to be disappointed.

    This morning on The Musers, Junior was reviewing the ratings.  The Cowboys-Lions game got a 48 share.  This is not only astronomically more than the run-of-the-mill Mavs/Rangers/Stars(!) game would get -- a Mavs game the same day, not broadcast against the Cowboys game, got something like a 1.5 share, that general order of magnitude -- it is double what Mavs and Rangers playoff games bring in.

    So anyone rationally programming The Ticket or any sports talker in DFW is not going to allocate much time to anything except the Cowboys during football season, and will liberally sprinkle Cowboys segments throughout the broadcast day even after the NFL season is a memory.

    So if you're sick of Cowboys talk -- a perfectly understandable reaction -- it's off to NPR or two ticks down the dial to The Ticket's stablemate KSCS.

    Thursday, January 1, 2015

    Happy New Year, Confessors

    No special insights to start the year. 

    I've been good with Drydock.  Norm, That Shake Joint Thang, a healthy dose of the JV.  Seems to have agitated some, but I've enjoyed what I've heard.

    Will try to get some meatier content up soon.  I think it was Gerry Todd who wants my views on TSJ; I've written a fairish amount on it in the past, pretty favorably, but may be time for another check-in since Jake and Sean seem to get so much reaction from commenters.

    Any thoughts for topics, drop me a line.  And I'm always open for guest posters.  Email is always open.

    Thank You for Shopping at My Ticket Confession in 2014.  Hoping the site continues to attract your interest in the coming year.

    Wednesday, December 24, 2014

    Wishing All Confessors, Even the Snotty Ones, the Very Merriest of Christmases

    And we should also remember this date for another reason:  On December 24, 1906, Reginald Aubrey Fessenden demonstrated his radical new alternator-based transmitter (as opposed to a spark transmitter) from a tower in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, by playing a recording of Handel, performing "O Holy Night" on his violin, singing a Gounod song, and reading from Luke.

    It was the first-ever radio broadcast of entertainment material.

    And here we are.

    I believe that hardware was later reassembled and installed at Victory Park.

    Best to you and your loved ones from My Ticket Confession.

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

    This is Very Disturbing

    Some topics for a holiday weekend:

    (1)  Cover Story.  After five years, I hope I have earned the trust, respect, and affection of the Confessor.  Oh, there are those who loathe the site and me, and why they keep returning to disturb our merry discourse I will never know.  (See item 5, below.)  But in general, I sustain myself with the thought that on the Big Subjects, the Confessor and I would manage to find some common ground.

    Bart's cars salute as he passes.

     But now, I'm not so sure.

    I'm becoming intrigued with those Reagor-Dykes ads.

    The ones that start with the high-production-value brassy fanfare and an actual radio voice-for-hire booming in sparkling hi-fidelity:  "REAGOR DYKES AUTO GROUP -- KEEPING IT REAL."  (May not have the wording entirely right -- next time I hear it I'll make a note and come back and correct.)  Followed, however, by the same phoned-in-from-Arcturus spiel from Bart himself, demonstrating the ways in which he keeps the car-buying experience real.

    I confess (of course) that this calls my judgment on other matters into some question.

    But I find myself kind of getting sucked in to the aw-shucks sincerity.  I find ol' Bart's persona likable.

    And anyone who will spring for the high-quality intro but won't take the time or spend the money to get himself into a studio to cut a decent-sounding spot -- there's just something quirky about that that sort of draws me in to Bart's World.

    Don't know that I'd buy a car from the guy.

    But I'd let him give me a lecture about leasing.

    (2)  Gushing.   More ad weirdness:  Those oil-well investment ads.

    In the first place, what a terrible time to run an ad talking about ever-rising oil prices, at a time when the world is absolutely awash in petroleum and natural gas (hilariously contrary to the decades of predictions we've heard from the "limits to growth" crowd) and prices are plummeting and are likely to stay low for the foreseeable future.   Unless they're giving shares away, probably a poor time to invest.

    In the second place, oil-well investment, like precious metals and other natural-resource investments, are home to some of the most virulent scams out there.  I don't expect The Ticket to investigate the claims of all of its advertisers, but if you are among the numerous very wealthy P1's thinking of making an investment (they usually require some minimum investment, typically but not always in the mid-five or low-six figures), please make your first call to the Texas State Securities Board to see if the investment is registered.  If it is not, find out from the investment company why it believes it is exempt from registration, and have them cite the statute or regulation upon which they are relying.  Don't invest without reviewing a complete prospectus.

    In the third place, oil production revenue and taxation are hugely complex topics, and investors at your level do not take dollars off the top.   I'm not going to get into working v. carried interest, depletion, direct participation, and so forth.  If you have the dough to invest, spend an extra few grand and engage a reputable oil and gas lawyer to advise you.

    Finally, don't do it.

    (3)   T.C. Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon.    Okay, okay, he may not be the favorite of The Confessor.   I get the criticism, but it really does seem overblown among the commentariat.  (I do not delete T.C. criticism unless it is scurrilous, overly personal, or violent.)

    But someone out there likes him.

    Or maybe his rates are attractive, because he's now doing advertised promotional appearances.  Sponsors have judged that he's a draw, that he'll bring people into their establishment to meet the increasingly famous Source Ragonk, and if sponsors think that, then Jeff C is probably prescient in having taken him back on.

    Doesn't mean he's great -- just means he's appealing to certain sponsors.   And I'm guessing if you went to one of his appearances you'd see lots of folks shaking his hand, getting their pictures with him, collecting an autograph, and telling him to keep up the good work with The Ticket and IJB and ragonking the absolute bejeebers out of him.

    And that, if nothing else, will keep him popping on.

    (4)  Jake.  Sorry.  Still think the guy has got a lot and sounds good on The Ticket.

    His sports talk is no worse, and, I think, better than that some of the hosts.  Wrong about everything?  Oh?  Well, if I'm recalling correctly, he was the only Ticket person who thought the Cowboys were going to be improved this year.

    Yes, his voice has a Dylan-The-Argumentative-Teen lilt to it.  And I do count myself among those who wish to hear less socio-political-current-events commentary from him, but I wish the same thing about every other talker on The Ticket.   He's smart, he can be funny, he's knowledgeable.  Smarty-smug sometimes, sure.  But jeez, it's just not going to bring down the station like some seem to think.  If he proves to be a fixture on a daily show in the future, I can absolutely deal with that.

    (5)  Moderation Report.   Every time I get to a screen I check the pending comments, so hope that hasn't slowed things down too much.  Certainly hasn't slowed the hits to the site, and I hope we can all agree that the conversation has returned to its historical lofty level. 

    Just to be fair, let me report that some readers, or maybe only one or two, believe that I am an idiot and a bitch.  And some are unaccountably convinced that I have been doing this so I can be good chums with Ticket guys.  If so, then I am indeed an idiot, if not a bitch, because after close to 700 posts now, I have yet to meet or speak to a single Ticket employee or former employee.

    Uh, Rudolph, I've got some bad news for you.
    Some of the posts I get are actually amusing in their apparent lack of clarity on the concept of moderation:  profane, furious, violent, and one or two with factual assertions that are demonstrably false.  But all of them still seem to think that someone other than me is going to be reading them.  Their words live on the screen for about 1.7 seconds, most of those words probably unread by me, and they're gone.  What satisfaction there is in this effort on the other end, I have no idea.

    *     *     *

    Thanks for doing your Christmas shopping at My Ticket Confession, everybody, and have a Holly Jolly Ticket.

    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Confucius Say

    All things in moderation.

    In the beginning, the only people who read this site were me, Michael Gruber, and a few others.

    It grew a little bit.

    Then Barb Smith dropped off a couple of comments after she left The Ticket.

    And some guys linked to me.

    And it took off.

    And a lot of cool folks started following the site and left thoughtful comments.

    A few jerks, but not too many.

    Then a whole lot more people heard about the site and started reading.

    A lot of cool new folks started commenting.

    But more jerks, too.

    Too many jerks.

    The responsible Confessors urged this site to adopt comment moderation.

    Good idea.

    It was a headache for Your Plainsman, but not a big one.

    But after awhile, Confessors said -- we don't like moderation; not spontaneous enough.

    OK.  I listen to the Confessor. No moderation.

    But as time went by and more people discovered the site, more jerks.

    Way too many jerks now.

    I really don't want to do registration.

    I really don't want to disable comments when things get out of hand, only to re-enable them and watch the whole stupid cycle start over again.

    So we're going back to moderation.

    Let's keep this site a place where thoughtful Ticket listeners can come and have some fun, throw out some thoughts, engage in irresponsible, but not scurrilous, speculation.  If you remember from the earlier moderation experience, almost everything got through, but it sure got rid of the dils and the guys who were posting notices for the next unlistenable bit on The Fan.

    I'll get to stuff when I can.   That may not be more than 1-3 times a day.  If there's breaking news I may dump moderation so people can check in with timely updates, but my guess is that this will be more or less permanent.

    Sorry, but I'm keeping this site safe for grownups.

    Promise I won't shut this joint down without saying goodbye.

    Friday, December 5, 2014

    Grumpy Quick Hits for Friday, December 5, 2014

    Going negative today in (1) - (3), but ending (4) on a hopeful note.

     (1)  The Musers' Cowboys Radio Theater 1310 during the 5:30-6 am segment, where they comment over the replay of the Cowboys post-game interviews, isn't working.  Their level is the same as the level of the interview so they just end up with two (or more) people talking at once at the same volume, and neither their bon mots nor what is being said by the interviewee (which no longer relates to the bon mot, which is addressing what was said just before, so the spoken-over content can neither be heard nor remarked on) can be understood, at least by me, standing at a sink with the Crosley two feet from my ear, water not running.  Also, because the interview responses are entirely generic, there's no material there to joke about, so when what our radio lads are saying can be understood, it turns out not to be innarestin.  Maybe they figure that half-hour is a ratings give-up anyway, so why not goof it.

    (2)  It's rare that an ad infects both TV and radio with its colossal, tedious, insulting stupidity, but the Subway "big hot pastraME" campaign succeeds.  At least on TV you get some slapstick.

    I ordered one once. It wasn't bad for a chain pastrami; actually pretty good.  I'll regret not being able to order it ever again as long as I live.

    (3)  Confidential to Gordon Keith:   Retire the running gag of not knowing how to pronounce words and names.

    (4)  Anyone out there detecting an uptick in Mike Rhyner's level of apparent interest in his own show, and in his performance in non-Hardline appearances, since the two recent ratings books?  I think I have -- could be imagining it but would be interested in your views. 

    Here's an STD for you:   It makes The Hardline better.

    Have a splendid holiday weekend, Confessors.


    Tuesday, November 25, 2014

    Will Someone Capable Confessor Please Fix The Ticket's Wikipedia Page?

    I was looking for a factoid I thought I remembered, being that The Ticket was the ratings leader in its demo almost from the first months of its operation.

    I went to the KTCK Wikipedia page, and read this:

    "The sometime controversial station has posted strong ratings in the Dallas radio market, especially its Arbitron top-rated shows[1] The Hardline (who entertain the denizens of the metroplex) and Dunham and Miller, which have been the anchors of the station's success throughout its existence. And thanks to T.C. Fleming, created RAGONK!"

    Let's put aside the baffling construction  of the sentences starting with The Hardline (so Dunham and Miller don't entertain "the denizens of the metroplex?), the wrong syntax ("the sometime controversial station"), and the inappropriate tone for Wikipedia.  The last sentence washes the entire entry in sophomoric jokiness, in addition to making no sense.  Who created RAGONK?  If not T.C. (who may have uttered it, but didn't create the phenomenon), then why are we thanking him? 

    The whole passage is stupid.  More than stupid -- it's cheap.  RAGONK is a passing bit like hundreds of others -- although it may have legs -- and has no claim to this degree of prominence. I don't know much about the editing rules for Wikipedia.  Can anyone get in and strike this crap?  Please advise.

    PS:  I don't blame T.C. for this -- doesn't look like his work, nor has he embraced the phenomenon.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    This Is More of a Radio Question Than a Ticket Question

    Yesterday at around 4:30 The Hardline mistakenly ran two ads simultaneously, one right on top of the other.

    I thought -- someone will catch that, push a button, and fix it promptly.  But it didn't happen.  The ads ran for their full length, completely incomprehensible gibberish, until the next ad came on, which had no similar problem.

    It got me wondering:  Who at the station listens to the station?  At any given time, who knows what audio is going over the air?  I guess I thought that would be the board operator, but perhaps he has other duties as the ads play.  I picture Jeff Catlin with the station on in his office, but he has duties for stations other than The Ticket, and at any given moment he may not be near a radio or iHeart or SportsDay or whatever.  Of course, the P1 listens intently and I'm sure Tweets or emails directly when he hears the occasional error.

    Anyone know who actually "supervises" the minute-to-minute sound of the station?

    *     *     *

    What in the world is with Gordon today?  Starting with the Observation Deck and continuing through Muse in the News, he's operating at Paul Harvey speed (and even sounds a little like Paul Harvey from time to time).  I'm thinking some meds.  Something's off -- actually, it's not really unpleasant to listen to, just sounds like someone's finger's on the reel. Uncharacteristically mellow -- it sounds like he aged ten years overnight.

    *     *     *

    I used to follow baseball more than I do now, but I do follow a couple of teams a bit.  Not much anymore.  And, of course, I listen to SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket, a local sports-talk station.

    I'm completely embarrassed that I never heard of Giancarlo Stanton until this morning. 

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    There's a Right Way to Confess, and Some of Y'alls Is Not It

    A note of explanation:

    If I delete a comment for any reason, I might also delete comments responding to that comment even though they themselves might not be offensive. That is, I'll take down the entire thread started by the deleted one. Otherwise, I get comments saying "hey, what got taken down that this guy is responding to?" Makes my head hurt and craps up the thread.

    Now, I'll say this again, and if I have to issue these reminders too much more frequently I'll take this joint down and I ain't-a-bluffing.

    If you are the kind Internet participant who believes it is helpful, funny, or persuasive to call someone a name or insult his intelligence, or generally act like a putz, ask yourself two questions before confessing:

    (1) Is the point about which I have composed a comment (in the particular case from the last thread, whether T.C. went "postal" or reacted in some non-"postal" way) significant in the context of interesting Ticket issues? If and only if the answer to question one is "yes," go on to question (2):

    (2)  Have I included gratuitous insults and demands that waste my time (because I'm going to be deleted) and that of anyone who reads it?

    If (a) you reach question (2) and (b) the answer to question (2) is "no," then, and only then, hit the "Publish Your Comment" button.

    Then, and only then, will I hear your Confession.

    And before anyone accuses me of oversensitivity and a hair-trigger delete-button finger -- a fairly recent development, I should add, since this site has gotten a lot more popular in the last year -- please recall that there are lots of sites with standards a lot looser than this one that would welcome your patronage. If you're going to visit here, get used to mine. 

    "Confess to The Plainsman in an appropriate tone, else I shall be forced to apply the soft pillows."

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    A Handful of Reactions to the Surprise Dual Ratings Dips

    ITEM:  An hour each of The Musers and The Hardline suffered a loss to competitors on other sports stations.  (Barry Horn report here.)

    (1) Agree with those who urge not reading too much into that.  Recall that BaD showed a similar dip not long ago, and it turned out to be a one-book phenomenon, although truth to tell I haven't done the Internet research.  I just haven't heard that it repeated.  The severe dip for that one hour of The Musers looks especially anomalous.  So yeah, just sort of massage your butts lightly for now.

    (2) Agree with those who think that this might well have animated Checkout Mike to show greater interest in his show and guest appearances on other Ticket offerings, the latter of which had become a severe embarrassment to him and the station in recent years.  You can be a curmudgeon on your own show, but his is-he-really-there? appearances on other shows, pre-games, and round tables had started to suggest something approaching a lack of respect for the rest of the station.

    (3) My guess is that Jeff Catlin did not lecture anyone about stepping up his game as a result of this ratings book.  No inside info here; just tidbits I pick make me think that with the exception of correcting seriously bad behavior, The Pan-American Catman is fairly hands-off with individual performances.  Also, these guys probably see the ratings the minute Cat does -- they don't need any additional motivation.

    (4) The Musers' dip was in a heavy Gordon-inflected hour.  Confessors know that I am a Gordon admirer, but in recent months I have wished for less juvenilia/sex talk/perversion talk/political talk and more of anything else.

    (5) Confessors also know that I am not a Corby basher, but after a comeback from severe OverCorby/Checkout Mike a couple of years back, The Hardline has noticeably backslid into lassitude, severe misogyny (I thought that had left the building with Greg Williams), and, well, OverCorby/Checkout Mike.  (I don't have a big issue with Danny's participation most of the time, with a big carveout for current-events talk, where he's dog-paddling with Corby in the low-information punditry fever swamps.) 

    (6) Confession:  I'm one of the ones who is tuning into Mosley and Cowlishaw more and more.   Switch back and forth.  (Sorry, KT, just can't warm up to Ben & Skin.)  They're off the air at 6, so I usually get me some solid slabs of late-show Hardline, but from 3:30-6, while I always start with The Hardline and most of the time find something to engage me, it's taking less and less for me to dial in the next preset down the dial.

    "Sorry, Mike and Corby.  More than three vagina references per show sends me to Tim and Matt every time."

    Thursday, November 6, 2014

    I'll Be Away for a Bit

    Keep an eye on the place.

    As you may have perceived, this site is battling a particularly hateful, foul troll.  I've tried to cut him out whenever he pops up and I expect we'll see him again soon with his witless, bilious offerings, to date attacking Jake, T.C., and Your Plainsman.  His schtick is to take the name of Ticket employees or Gordon characters.

    I received a communication from The Ticket that the same tiny-brained individual has been invading their inboxes.  

    I'll check in when I can.  In the meantime, please don't post saying "I don't know why Pman leaves stuff like this up."  I'll squash him when I can.  This guy probably doesn't even hate the site all that much -- he's just trying to blow the thing up to compensate for deficiencies elsewhere.  

    Please pay him no mind, don't respond to him, and I'll get to it when I can.  Thanks.

    "I'll call Pman a 'little bitch.'  That's a good one."

    Saturday, November 1, 2014

    My Ticket Confession Would Like to Be the First to Congratulate Mike Rhyner on His Induction into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame

    Unfortunately, I'm way behind in getting to this.  But wherever this site falls in the queue of fans lined up to offer best wishes, it does so sincerely and with the hope that his voice stays strong on The Ticket for many years to come.

    What's on your mind, Mike?

    Monday, October 27, 2014

    Rare Weird Tense Moment on the Musers

    Usually the tension pops up between Bob and Dan, Mike and Corby, Norm and  caller.  The Musers are gentle.

    But there was a surpassing strange moment early this morning.

    I think it was the throw-away 3-minute segment before the 6 AM ads/Stick It (welcome back, Becca!)/Ticker.

    Craig was talking about Robin Williams's children throwing out the first ball at the World Series last night.  Billy Crystal introduced them.  There was apparently also a nice video.  Craig said it was very touching.

    Then George said -- and I wish I could transcribe the whole weird exchange, but I'll have to approximate -- "Goes to show you shouldn't do yourself in.  Could have been you out there, showing out the first pitch.  Robin Williams, big Giants fan."

    Craig initially seemed to think that maybe George was making a point about not being able to see one's children do something like that, but no.  Craig, smooth operator that he is, didn't miss a beat.  But he missed a fraction of a beat, just enough to create that frisson of anticipation as to how he would react.

    He said, just before going to break, "So that was the theme of the World Series last night, don't do yourself in."

    George missed the sarcasm.  "Yup," he said.

    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    Three Quick Hits to Get Another Thread Going

    (1) I'm not the biggest fan of the more juvenile aspects of The Ticket, but I have to confess (of course) that the Hardline's new "Throw Down Your Anus" challenge had me larfing mightily in the old Conestoga yesterday on the way home.  The guy ("Ted") who was talking to his girlfriend/wife about giving medicine to the cat, and her absolute I'm-not-having-any-of-your-nonsense responses while putting away groceries (and knocking down a shelf in the process) -- ya know, one likes to think one is a sophisticated consumer of highbrow humor, but Ted (who is apparently a law student) and his anus talk and w/g's responses about had me driving off the road.

    (2) We have a pretty amazing population of Confessors here.  All of the people signing themselves "not" someone triad of obscure philosophers or fictional characters  .  .  .  I don't really even care if the writer had to look those people up or whether they knew who they were to begin with.  I'm getting a nice education just looking them up.

    (3) Listen up, pilgrims:  You got a point to make, make it.  I'm reading along in some of these comments, and the comment is fine, well-put, legit, and then, in the last sentence, the author seems to feel the need to take a shot at another commenter's intelligence, motives, identity, whatever.

    As Bob Newhart said:  Stop it.

    [Tried inserting the video itself, but Blogger wasn't having it.  You have to click on the hyperlink.]

    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    BREAKING / EXCLUSIVE: The New World Catman Confesses

    Well  .  .  .  it's not a Ticket Confession, exactly.

    Jeff "Cat" Catlin ("The Catman of the Americas," as Mike R calls him), Ticket Program Director, flew by the site the other day.  He doesn't do that frequently, he says, but perhaps it's like binge watching a TV series.  He takes some time and browses the site a time or two a year.  And, if the spirit moves him, he might drop me a line with some impressions, corrections, and occasionally a nugget.

    He did that a couple of days ago.  I asked him if I could post his thoughts, and he was kind enough to agree.  Bear in mind that this is not a planned essay of the exquisite construction you have come to expect at My Ticket Confession -- it's just an email that he has graciously allowed this site to reproduce.  It appears between the asterisks without editing.  So don't look for a distinctive beginning, middle, and end.

    I'll have a brief note after his remarks.

    *      *     *

    First I think its nice and even charming and I LOVE p1s for having the attitude that The Ticket somehow operates outside the normal rules of a business. Wish it did, but it doesn’t.  We have to follow EEOC, Hippa Laws etc and all the rest. Long gone in radio and on the Ticket are the days where “one employee can get another employee blown out because they don’t like them”.  In radio wholesale format changes and blowouts went by the boards in 1996 when the telecommunications act was passed. But I digress.

    Point being, employees are let go because of actual real performance issues. It has nothing to do with anything else. And certainly it’s not on a whim because, for example,  the Musers decide they didn’t like someone.

    Side comment as it relates to Sean moving, TC on BaD,  etc. (See comment above about EEOC) the Hosts aren’t in management. They don’t hire or fire anyone. It sounds fun and all on the radio but its just not true. I hire these guys with corp approval. Now do I ask the shows for opinions? Of course I do. THEY Have to work in the studio with these guys every day. I don’t.  But the decisions I make, I make for the good of the station, the good of the show and how all the other pieces fit together and based on normal employee evals or interviews. Not everyone likes every decision and I can live with that. I don’t love every content segment every show does, but I respect the ability of the guys to make those choices, and I like to think they in turn show that same respect to me when I make a decision they disagree with, but still support.

    And a word on the subjective "like vs dislike" —I get it, its radio, they are on air personalities….TC left here in the proper way. At least to me, he gave notice, he was trying to better himself in his career and all that…And he got blown out in Pensacola and I did what I thought any human being would do. He called me, and I extended a hand—I didn’t give him his old job back, I didn’t offer charity. I told him what I had available and how it would work and then he had to decide himself if wanted to start from the bottom now he’s here.  He did. I give anyone credit for that.  I also recognize that he HAS gotten better,  because he has.  And all of us in life have had situations that have helped us grow and change. Kudos to those that actually do. He got the ticker job because he was most ready for it right now and his tickers were consistently the best of the group that applied. (PS-some of the other guys that applied will be heard on weekends PT)

    Sean moved to AM Drive because (see above again) It was best for the station, best for the show and best for all the other pieces. And he’s still planning on doing Dtalk next season.  He was happy and excited to do it..and no I didn’t really give him a choice. But he saw the writing on the wall when I asked him to start getting his head right with it. But he knew it was the best move as well. Everyone up here, to a man, is a team player. When it comes down to it, everyone wants to do whats best for The Ticket first.

    Justin IS good at tickers and he’s growing. He is on the proper career path here and he will get more opportunities to grow. But at this time for this spot, TC was the choice.  (BTW BaD Radio nor Jake hard sold me on adding or not adding TC to the show. In fact they told me when I asked, that they were cool with any move I ended up making including keeping Sean 10a-3pm) J.

    Newbury’s role at the station I think has actually increased with his presence on Cowboys Countdown to Kickoff.
    Jake is doing a fine job as BaD Radio Producer….and all of the guys, All of us,  LIKE Tom. For real. He still works here.

    The Shake Joint has the highest ratings of any weekend show on the ticket and that is pretty consistently true and its usually a pretty significant margin.

    *      *     *

    I would ask that Confessors bear in mind that Cat's doing us a nice turn here and that criticism or disagreement be expressed in your inside voice and like your mother is at your elbow.

    He mentioned that he likes the illustrations.

    Thanks, Cat

    My thanks to the Western Hemispherical Catman.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    LISTENING TOO HARD: There's a Problem with Norm's Crest Cars Copy

    I've heard this ad, the one that focuses on Crest Cars' service organization, a dozen times like we all have.  Each time, I pause and think there's something odd there, can't quite put my finger on it, but it's just an ad, it's there and gone, who cares.

    But this morning when I heard it, I stopped in mid-stroke.

    (I was shaving.)

    I hope I hear it again before I post this so I can get the words exactly right, but here's the gist of it, emphasis mine:

    "If you think you're getting the best service for your Mercedes, Infiniti, or Cadillac, you've never been to Crest."

    We know that the copywriter meant to imply the conclusion:

    " .  .  .  because if If you had ever been to to Crest, you would think that Crest [and not whatever lame service place you're going to now] provided the best service."

    But when I heard it this morning, it jumped out at me as more naturally implying the following:

    ".  .  .   because if you had ever been to Crest, you would never think you were getting the best service for your Mercedes, Infiniti, or Cadillac [i.e., because it sucks]."

    Mind you, I am agnostic on the excellence (or not) of Crest service.  I'm sure it's great, or else surely Norm would not be endorsing it.

    I know.  Don't call him Shirley Norm.

    *     *     *

    Speaking of endorsements:

    A commenter to the "It's Just Lunch" post of a few days back noted that IJL was being sued in a class action for fraud, and the judge has ruled that the suit can proceed as a class action.  I won't go into details but it's an interesting claim plaintiffs are making -- essentially, that ILJ falsely represents the "custom selection" feature of the service.  In fact, I think there's more than one of them.  Check it out:

    This looks like a brand new one with more serious allegations of fraud:

    And while I may be projecting my knowledge of these suits onto Gordon, it seemed to me when I heard him reading that copy today, that he had lost interest, that his presentation had taken on the "do you like good food?" level of enthusiasm.

    But, as I say, I may have been projecting.

    AMENDMENT:   Just heard Norm's Crest ad.  Think I wrote down the material phrase correctly.  It's:  "if you think you're getting the best service in town, you haven't been to" Crest.  Point stands.

    Thursday, October 2, 2014

    This is Pretty Interesting, but Not Really

    From The Observer's "Best of" list, including text, excerpted without permission:

    Best Sports Radio Station Dallas 2014 - KESN-FM 103.3 ESPN Radio

    Readers' Choice: KTCK-AM 1310 The Ticket
    Sure, many might object to this choice. That one station, the one that just turned 20, inspires such rabid passion among its followers that it's hard to fathom that sports fans might tune their radios to anything other than that other station — you know, the one that's won this category here forever. This year, we thought we'd offer some praise to the other guys. Being an ESPN fan is almost like being a Texans fan in a Cowboys city, but for listeners who want mostly unadulterated sports talk without the frills, 103.3 is their destination. We're sure there are people like that out there, and for them ESPN is just the ticket.

    *     *     *
    I confess:  When my attention wanders between 3:30 and 6, I switch to 103.3.  I do like Cowlishaw and Mosley.  Not that it happens very often, but it happens.

    As one of the commenters to the Observer article said, ESPN wins the award basically for just showing up.  It is interesting, though, that the "other guys" they chose to recognize was the partly-outsourced ESPN, and not the homegrown Fan.

    Of course  .  .  .  Cumulus programs KESN.