Sunday, March 1, 2015

LEAKED: From Mike R's Inbox

From a remote Cumulus information technology administrator, exclusive to My Ticket Confession:


TO: (mike_rhyner)

FROM: (jeff_catlin)

DATE:      March 2, 2015

SUBJECT:   Some Thoughts from Bruce

Hey, OGW, hope you're staying warm. 

Listen, you know BG stopped by the station a few weeks back on his "grand tour" of the Cumulus sports talkers.  Great to see him again, hope he got a chance to stop by the show by to shake your hand.  Looks great, dunnee?! 

He told me he was going to have a few thoughts for us after hanging in Dallas and talking to people and driving around listening to the station for a few days, said he'd drop me a line.  Got a note from him this morning.

Turns out, he's got a little homework for you.

He's jotted down a few phrases he'd like you to study carefully and start working them in during the broadcast.  Actually, he used the phrase "tell Mike to memorize and use now."  May want to print this out and use it as a cheat sheet.

Look, man, I know you're the godfather, the founder of the feast, the inventor of sports radio in Dallas.  Gotta tell you, though, with respect, this sort of isn't a suggestion.  You know how a boss can sometimes throw something out that looks like some kind of random shit but you know it really isn't?  This is like that.  Gotta do this.  After these last two books our leverage with the parent to shuck the BS that usually comes from Atlanta ain't what it used to be.   Kinda under the microscope, ya know?

When I drove him back to Love he mentioned he was going to be popping in on iHeart to see how things were sounding. 

So you may want to start with this as soon as you've got them down, like today.

Cut and pasted this from BG's email.  Here are your phrases that pay from Bruce:

"Let me finish."

"Just hold on a minute before you start in."

"Look, I'm talking here."

"Jesus Christ, don't you ever stop talking?"

"Don't interrupt me, I'm saying something."

"This is my segment."

"Let me tell YOU something.  I was rockin' Gertie's and the Longhorn Ballroom all night and doing radio all day when you were just a glint off the bottom of a jigger of your pappy's Old Grand-Dad." 

"My turn here."

"Me taking a breath is not your cue to start talking."

"Here's the deal: I'll talk while you re-check that story you just found  on forty-seven seconds ago so you don't accidentally misreport that Jesus has returned or the sun has exploded or Taylor Swift has married Dwaine Caraway."

"You want to shut your mic off there?"

"You know, it's absolutely amazing to me that What's On Mike's Mind is coming exclusively out of your mouth."

"Christ, even Bob Sturm has been known to let someone else talk for up to 12 seconds at a time."

"This is your quiet time." 

"Please, just  .  .  .  just  .  .  .  let me talk for awhile."

"I want my Hammer back.  That's not a drop."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Those Lovely Words You're Hearing on The Ticket

There is an ad running now on The Ticket that features a man reading a lovely passage about baseball.  Right, the one about the sun "on the back of your neck forever."

If one of the shows has discussed this, apologies for this rerun.  I haven't heard them talk about the man.

The man is A. Bartlett Giamatti.  He published those words, and many other lovely ones, in the Yale Alumni Magazine in 1977, around the time he became Yale's President.  Later on, of course, he became Commissioner of The Great Game, his tenure cut tragically short after only a few months, and only days after he negotiated Pete Rose's exit from baseball.

He was a lifelong Red Sox fan.

The name of the essay is "The Green Fields of the Mind."  I am probably violating his estate's copyright by pasting it here, but until somebody makes me take it down, I share it with you.   Share it with a baseball-loving friend.  

*     *     *

     It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone.
     Somehow, the summer seemed to slip by faster this time. Maybe it wasn’t this summer, but all the summers that, in this my 40th summer, slipped by so fast. There comes a time when every summer will have something of autumn about it. Whatever the reason, it seemed to me that I was investing more and more in baseball, making the game do more of the work that keeps time fat and slow and lazy. I was counting on the game’s deep patterns, three strikes, three outs, three times three innings, and its deepest impulse, to go out and back, to leave and to return home, to set the order of the day and to organize the daylight. I wrote a few things this last summer, this summer that did not last, nothing grand but some things, and yet that work was just camouflage. The real activity was done with the radio—not the all-seeing, all-falsifying television—and was the playing of the game in the only place it will last, the enclosed green field of the mind. There, in that warm, bright place, what the old poet called Mutability does not so quickly come.
     But out here, on Sunday, October 2, where it rains all day, Dame Mutability never loses. She was in the crowd at Fenway yesterday, a grey day full of bluster and contradiction, when the Red Sox came up in the last of the ninth trailing Baltimore 8–5, while the Yankees, rain-delayed against Detroit, only needing to win one or have Boston lose one to win it all, sat in New York washing down cold cuts with beer and watching the Boston game. Boston had won two, the Yankees had lost two, and suddenly it seemed as if the whole season might go to the last day, or beyond, except here was Boston losing 8–5, while New York sat in its family room and put its feet up. Lynn, both ankles hurting now as they had in July, hits a single down the right-field line. The crowd stirs. It is on its feet. Hobson, third baseman, former Bear Bryant quarterback, strong, quiet, over 100 RBIs, goes for three breaking balls and is out. The goddess smiles and encourages her agent, a canny journeyman named Nelson Briles.
     Now comes a pinch hitter, Bernie Carbo, onetime Rookie of the Year, erratic, quick, a shade too handsome, so laid-back he is always, in his soul, stretched out in the tall grass, one arm under his head, watching the clouds and laughing; now he looks over some low stuff unworthy of him and then, uncoiling, sends one out, straight on a rising line, over the center-field wall, no cheap Fenway shot, but all of it, the physics as elegant as the arc the ball describes.
     New England is on its feet, roaring. The summer will not pass. Roaring, they recall the evening, late and cold, in 1975, the sixth game of the World Series, perhaps the greatest baseball game played in the last fifty years, when Carbo, loose and easy, had uncoiled to tie the game that Fisk would win. It is 8–7, one out, and school will never start, rain will never come, sun will warm the back of your neck forever. Now Bailey, picked up from the National League recently, big arms, heavy gut, experienced, new to the league and the club; he fouls off two and then, checking, tentative, a big man off balance, he pops a soft liner to the first baseman. It is suddenly darker and later, and the announcer doing the game coast to coast, a New Yorker who works for a New York television station, sounds relieved. His little world, well-lit, hot-combed, split-second-timed, had no capacity to absorb this much gritty, grainy, contrary reality.
     Cox swings a bat, stretches his long arms, bends his back, the rookie from Pawtucket who broke in two weeks earlier with a record six straight hits, the kid drafted ahead of Fred Lynn, rangy, smooth, cool. The count runs two and two, Briles is cagey, nothing too good, and Cox swings, the ball beginning toward the mound and then, in a jaunty, wayward dance, skipping past Briles, feinting to the right, skimming the last of the grass, finding the dirt, moving now like some small, purposeful marine creature negotiating the green deep, easily avoiding the jagged rock of second base, traveling steady and straight now out into the dark, silent recesses of center field.

      The aisles are jammed, the place is on its feet, the wrappers, the programs, the Coke cups and peanut shells, the detritus of an afternoon; the anxieties, the things that have to be done tomorrow, the regrets about yesterday, the accumulation of a summer: all forgotten, while hope, the anchor, bites and takes hold where a moment before it seemed we would be swept out with the tide. Rice is up. Rice whom Aaron had said was the only one he’d seen with the ability to break his records. Rice the best clutch hitter on the club, with the best slugging percentage in the league. Rice, so quick and strong he once checked his swing halfway through and snapped the bat in two. Rice the Hammer of God sent to scourge the Yankees, the sound was overwhelming, fathers pounded their sons on the back, cars pulled off the road, households froze, New England exulted in its blessedness, and roared its thanks for all good things, for Rice and for a summer stretching halfway through October. Briles threw, Rice swung, and it was over. One pitch, a fly to center, and it stopped. Summer died in New England and like rain sliding off a roof, the crowd slipped out of Fenway, quickly, with only a steady murmur of concern for the drive ahead remaining of the roar. Mutability had turned the seasons and translated hope to memory once again. And, once again, she had used baseball, our best invention to stay change, to bring change on.
     That is why it breaks my heart, that game—not because in New York they could win because Boston lost; in that, there is a rough justice, and a reminder to the Yankees of how slight and fragile are the circumstances that exalt one group of human beings over another. It breaks my heart because it was meant to, because it was meant to foster in me again the illusion that there was something abiding, some pattern and some impulse that could come together to make a reality that would resist the corrosion; and because, after it had fostered again that most hungered-for illusion, the game was meant to stop, and betray precisely what it promised.
     Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion. I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

BREAKING: Bruce Gilbert Makes a Return to the Ticket -- Brief and of Uncertain Significance

This story starts in mid-December 2014.

I certainly missed this, and I don't recall any of our far-flung correspondents mentioning it, but former (and noted) Ticket Program Director Bruce Gilbert joined Cumulus as "Senior Vice President/Sports" on or around December 15, 2014.

Cumulus News -- Bruce Gilbert

That position was newly-created for him.  He had previously held the same title at iHeart Radio.

So Bruce Gilbert is now officially -- once again -- a CTO (Cumulo-Ticket Overlord, for new Confessors).

So this isn't exactly fresh news.

But this might be:

A radio-industry source with who has some ties to Cumulus has told me that, since then, Gilbert has been seen in the halls at The Ticket on at least one occasion and perhaps more than one.  I cannot evaluate my source's credibility, but it would make some sense that, at a minimum, Gilbert would be touring Cumulus's sportsradio properties.

Does this mean his hand may be seen in some of the recent changes we have all noted?

I don't know.  My source did not know.  Only that his person had been observed in the general vicinity of The Little One.

Whether Gilbert was at The Ticket or not, and whether he made some, um, suggestions or not, I do think it is of some significance that Cumulus created this position for him, and that he's a Ticket glory-day program director.

So:  Maybe less here than meets the eye.  I don't want to overstate the significance of his possible physical presence during a Ticket visit.

But maybe not less; maybe some arse-securing is in order, as Confessors continue to urge upon us.

But in any case -- I thought The Confessor would like to know.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Seeking Ticketstock Correspondents

[Comments to this site are moderated.  Before posting, please read Rules of the Confessional.  Thank you.]

*     *     *
For the second consecutive year, duties on the plains will almost certainly keep me away from Ticketstock, including Saturday.

In addition to accounts of your visit, I would really like to see your photos of the event.  May I ask you to take some snaps at the event and email them to me?

Photos featuring Ticket Chicks, and especially you with Ticket Chicks, are strongly encouraged.

T.C.'s from My 2012 Visit to Ticketstock
And photos of you mingling with a host would also be of considerable Confessor interest.  Maybe not as much as a Ticket Chick, but still.

First thing, get my email address into your phone so it will autocomplete and you can transmit without having to deal with all those annoying characters in the middle of the festivities.  Go ahead and send me a test email and I'll respond.

I would like to credit the photographs.  If you would prefer to remain anonymous, let me know, or let me know what name you would like to use.

If you have a commentary to accompany the photos, even better.

I'll use as many as I can, assuming I even get one.

Enjoy the fest, and drink responsibly.

*     *     *

[Comments to this site are moderated.  Before posting, please read Rules of the Confessional.  Thank you.]

Thursday, February 12, 2015

BREAKING BREAKING BREAKING: Speculation Confirmed: Junior Coast-to-Coast, 7 PM, Tonight

A Cumulus employee who spoke on condition of using a fearful Michelle Wie voice (but not Gordon) has confirmed that Craig "Junior" Miller will be plumbing the paranormal, identifying the unidentifiable, and indulging his interest in all things relating to harvesting bodily fluids on a special renegade one-off pirate-radio edition of "Junior Coast-to-Coast" at 7 PM on KTCK 1310AM/96.7 FM "The Ticket" SportsTalk Radio.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hockey Fan Special

We don't get into puck coverage much here on My Ticket Confession.

I'd like to hear from BaD and hockey fans with reports and reactions to BaD's field trip accompanying the Stars.  I haven't been able to tune in.

Are you liking the BaD content?

Is it enjoyable for non-hockey fans?

In general, do the various shows take good advantage of the occasional field trip with a team, or to attend a particular game or series of games (e.g., Musers to the Rangers playoffs in San Francisco)?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Accumulated Quick Hits

[Comments to this site are moderated.  Before posting, please read Rules of the Confessional.  Thank you.]

*     *     *

(1)  Why is the phrase "Keep doin' whajja doin', playboy, and chase that money" a Ticket drop?  I read on a Reddit thread that it came from an interview with Quentin Ross on K104 conducted by DJ Bay Bay, but how did it end up on The Ticket?  Was it featured in a Norm bit or something?

(2)  Is Mike Rhyner aware that his "good friend" Rodney Anderson of Supreme Lending is now a competitor of The Norm Hitzges Program with his show from 11 AM - Noon on KRLD 1080 AM?

CORRECTION:  Thanks to readers for pointing out that Anderson is not on KRLD weekdays.  His 11-noon show weekdays is on 1190 News Talk Radio.  His KRLD show is on 9-10am Saturdays.

(3)  Favorite Super Bowl Ads:

       --  Chevy Colorado Pickup, the one with the fake TV malfunction.  I'd never heard of the Chevy Colorado, now I'll never forget it.

       --  The Coke-in-the-computer ad.  A great concept, and visually arresting.

       --  BMW i3 with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel, neither of whom I like.  But a great plot and punch line.

(4)  Roger Goodell looked awful after the Super Bowl.  Still think the guy is a juicer.

(5)  It wouldn't surprise me if Brady didn't have anything to do with deflating the balls in that single game against the Colts.  Reason:  I think he's been dirty for a long time, that there was a plan in place stretching back for quite some time to treat the balls when the conditions were adverse and maybe all the time.  Then I saw this article:

Patriots' Unbelievable Fumble/Bad-Weather Stats

And this one:

Bet on Pats in Bad Weather, sez NY Times

The evidence is circumstantial, but murderers can be convicted on circumstantial evidence.  The Pats have been doing something to change the odds for a long, long time.   Deflating the ball is consistent with both anomalous trends, although not proven thereby. 

(6)   An email correspondent notes that before The Hardline hit drydock before Christmas, Mino replayed Mike's musings from the campout a couple years back on the uncertainty of his future at The Ticket.  Those musings were possibly, just possibly, alcohol-fueled. But interesting that Mino would play it and that Mike would allow it.

Having said that, I think Mike is in for at least the medium haul.  He's not going to depart with The Ticket on a downswing -- he'll do whatever he can to right the ship (if the next book or two indicates the need for righting) and get the ratings back where they were.  (I'm still not convinced we won't see a bounceback now that football season is over.)

Are we in agreement that Mike has been more energized, active, participatory in the show over the past several months?   But even that is a two-edged sword.  While it makes the show noticeably better (my view), by contrast it more or less proves what many listeners have been saying for a long time, that Checkout Mike put on those headphones too often for too long.

*     *     *

[Comments to this site are moderated.  Before posting, please read Rules of the Confessional.  Thank you.]

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 visitors who apparently don't like anything about The Ticket, this site, or Your Plainsman.

Or don't forgive me.  Don't care.

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


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

   --   impugning intelligence or motives of a prior commenter;

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

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

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

   --   is generally nasty towards another,

will cause your 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.  I'm serious about all of these comments, and this one may seem slight, but I'm telling you:  Tone it down.

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

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

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

Here's a further suggestion:  Cut and paste your comment into a file before sending it.  If 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 or talents of your fellows on this site.

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

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.

"Ragonk" 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.

And let's have some fun.

Thank you for shopping at My Ticket Confession.

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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.  

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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.