Thursday, July 17, 2014

Johnny Winter, RIP

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Where's Conrad?

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

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

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

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

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

*     *     *

Thursday, July 3, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you in a week or so, maybe sooner.

In the meantime, watch those comments.

*     *     *

[Comments moderated.]

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

My sole request:  No photographs, please.

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

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

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

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

Please, Confest-drink responsibly.

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

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

*     *     *

[Note:  Comment moderation is in effect.]

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Question for Acquisitive Confessors

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 13, 2014

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

Back from my Very Important Trip Further West.

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

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

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

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

Okay, okay, Gordon, I apologize.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I Will Be Away from My Ticket Confession . . .

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Why Are We Fighting? Mick, I Have No Idea

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

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

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

This has several aspects.

First, there's the copying itself.

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

Second, there's The Ticket's reaction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I oughta know.

The inventor of Gay/Not Gay
*     *     *

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Funnymen Steal

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

But I must observe that:

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

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

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

And Gordon Keith has  .  .  .  borrowed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*     *     *

Monday, May 19, 2014

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

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

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

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

Some interesting things in that thread.

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

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

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

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