Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Immortalized by The Ticket

Two Fridays ago I sent a collection of Obama jokes I had written to an Obama-jokes website. ( Forgot about it.

This morning I heard the repeat of yesterday's 8:40 interview with the fake George Bush, voiced by the chameleonlike Gordon Keith. He announces he's going to tell some Obama jokes, and one of mine was the first one he told. (Why did Obama cross the road? To apologize for his side of the road.) Went back to the website, and there it was in the "Latest Obama Jokes" section.

That was pretty cool.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Junior Listens Carefully

This is why you have got to love The Ticket.

On Friday -- maybe it was Thursday, my drives to work kinda blend together -- Junior Miller played a clip from a Wade Phillips press conference where he ends a sentence with a dismissive reference to criticism of the Cowboys' recent indifferent play.

From what was little more than Phillips's inflection in those few words, Junior perceived a great deal of what is wrong with the Cowboys -- Wade as Dad whose Boys can do no wrong.  It was an elegant, perceptive analysis, and when he replayed it, you sensed that he was exactly right. 

You don't hear or read that kind of analysis anywhere else.  Not in the newspapers, not in the blogs, and certainly not on any other sports-talk channel.  Sweet stroke, Junior.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Hardline on Channel 11

Fun to see Mike and Corby holding forth on the poor Cowboy Stadium acoustics Channel 11 news last night.

It would be interesting to know how those cameras got to that remote.  No, I don't mean what kind of van, I mean why were they there?  Did someone at 11 know of Corby's U2 fanatacism and check to see if the boys would be discussing stadium acoustics?  Or did the station alert Channel 11 that the Hardline would be unloading on the Stadium, and are you looking for some video bites?

Finally, I wonder whether the presence of the cameras prompted an unusually heated reaction from both of them.  When I was listening that afternoon, I was startled by the vitriol issuing from them both, then saw that this was the passage that was broadcast at 10 pm.


Corby Sounds Unwell

Is the night life catching up with him?

Does he have some upper-respiratory problem that he can't shake?

Has he been hanging out with Greggo?

Is his voice finally changing?

In any event, his voice has been lacking its customary boyish chirp for the last few weeks.  Some days he sounds like he just woke up.  Anyway, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

U2 Much

OK:  A segment or two per show on the upcoming or just-past U2 concert.

NOT OK:  Two weeks of all U2 all the time. 

They slip in some sports and pop culture and reg'lar dude commentary from time to time, but the U2 talk is deadly.  It's not that it's not sports.  I don't really care about that.  It's just not interesting and it is very, very repetitive.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Altex May Want to Reconsider Advertising on the Ticket

Have I been hearing correctly on recent ads running on The Ticket for Altex Electronics that this is where Ticket tech guys get their audio equipment?

If you had to list the top ten themes on The Ticket, the inferiority of their technical setup (to which any frequent listener can attest) would appear there.  The hosts are constantly complaining about their mics, headphones, and the like.  It may be that the equipment is fine but that abuse, misuse, and Cumulus's failure to keep the harshly-used equipment updated and replaced when necessary is what causes the Ticket's inconsistent and error-filled sound.  But it sounds in the ad like Altex is bragging that The Ticket uses their stuff, and that would have to make any professional purchaser of audio equipment think twice.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Mike and Mark Show Last Friday

I didn't hear the entire Hardline program on Friday (October 2) with Mark Followill filling in for Corby, only a couple of segments. But those segments absolutely rocketed through the car radio. Just Followill and Mike, talking sports and other topics. No Corby overtalking; no Danny needing to step in to keep the show moving (Danny does not overtalk, generally); no self-referential banter about the particular failings of that day's show; no humiliation of Mike; none of the things that can make you cringe about the Hardline.

In fact, Followill's performance left Mike somewhat exposed. It has been some time since the Hardline sounded like a show for which the hosts actually prepare. My sense is that Mike at least, has lost interest in sports and Corby hasn't expanded his sports interests beyond college football, golf, and maybe tennis, to fit his expanded role in the program after Greggo's fadeout. So Mike ended up sounding a little like the junior partner on his own show. But even at that, it was a pleasure to listen to.

I don't advocate Followill as a permanent host on the Hardline. All-show, every day, his metallic baritone (terrific for play-by-play) would tire the ear. (By the way, it sounded like Mark and Mike were broadcasting from different studios altogether, which happens a lot even on Ticket programs with the usual on-air talent – Cumulus needs to invest in some new and matching hardware.) And in general I'm a large Hardline fan with the current format and personnel. But the jolt of energy and expertise that Followill brought to Friday's show suggests that with a little attention to restoring the balance between hosts and actual sports knowledge the Hardline can soar again.

As I have mentioned, I think I have an answer for what disappoints me about the Hardline. I don't mean to be coy, but I want to take the time to introduce it properly, since improving the Hardline is so very important to us all.