Monday, August 2, 2010

The General Unified Theory of BaD Radio -- PART 1

I've been putting this one off for awhile.  But it's time.

Confessors, I need help.  I have a problem.

People ask me, "Why don't you write about BaD Radio?"

Actually  .  .  .  no one has ever asked me that.  Wait, I think Confessor Christy did once.

But this is supposed to be a website about The Ticket, the whole Ticket and nothing but The Ticket.  And there's this enormous midday gap in my reportage.  I need to do something about it.

At first, I had the excuse that I seldom heard BaD Radio.  There comes a time during my work day when I have to perform the illusion of doing useful work for my employer, and I figure it starts maybe a little more than an hour from the end of The Musers (I switch off before the 8:40 gag segment, since I'm going to hear it on the way to work the next day), and somewhere in the middle of What's on Mike's Mind.  So I miss Norm and BaD, usually.

But the truth is that I'm in my car a fairish amount after noon, and, of course, recently BaD had The Hardline's slot.  So I've heard enough to be able to comment on it with some small familiarity.

Get to the point, you say.   (If you say that, you haven't been reading this site very often.)

Your Confessor's aim with My Ticket Confession is to comment on The Ticket with fairness.  And since It's indeed Great to Listen to The Ticket, I try to keep the site generally positive and, when I can't be positive, at least even-handed.  I leave it to you to decide whether I've succeeded.

You know where I'm headed.

After six years of listening to The Ticket, I'm having some trouble warming up to BaD Radio.

Why is this my problem?

Well, jeez, I mean, BaD Radio is a very popular showgram.  Bob and Dan have been together for a decade.  I don't know where they fall in the ratings for that time of day, but I'm guessing they're right up there.

The reasons are not hard to see.  They pull some very good interviews.  They've got some good bits, like Homer Call and Gay/Not Gay, although some Confessors have complained to me that the latter segment has deteriorated in recent months (the boys apparently have stopped actually passing judgment on what is G/NG).  

Most important, listeners I respect like BaD Radio very much.  Several have told me it is their favorite showgram.  I credit that.   Thus, it must be my problem.

And yet, when I have it on for any period of time, I find myself wondering what Krys Boyd's got going on over on KERA 90.1 FM or whether I can pull in some jazz from Denton on KNTU 88.1 FM.

But since so many people love BaD Radio, including some influential Confessors, my somewhat-south-of-indifference attitude has got to be wrong, misinformed, a lapse of judgment or taste, something.   So why do I keep shrugging off this long-lived and very popular showgram?

I have a theory about BaD Radio. 

My theory doesn't make my problem go away, but it at least explains it.  That's a start. 

Let's take a look at the BaD Radio showgram:

I like Bob Sturm quite a bit.  Yes, his interviews are, mm, shall we say, discursive -- he deserves every bit of teasing he gets for long-windedness in interrogating showgram guests.  The guy is the absolute Pope of Subordinate Clauses.  (And, as you Confessors know, I have been known to employ a subordinate clause now and again myself.)   But he and Junior Miller are the sharpest sports minds on The Ticket.  (Norm is very interesting and gives a strong impression of knowledgeability, but his judgments tend to be, uh, somewhat, shall we say, colorful.  How does he do on the ponies?)   Bob is somewhat thin-skinned and peevish, and he does give off a vibe of very healthy self-regard.  He's also one of those guys who can be funny, but does not himself have a sensational sense of humor.  These are minor matters.  I very much like listening to him for his astute commentary, whether on BaD Radio, Cowboys pre-game, round tables, wife-swap, draft-day guest -- wherever he pops up, he's going to say something worth hearing.  His blog analyses are top-notch.  I count among my friends some of the most sophisticated pro football observers in the city, and, while they are not Ticket listeners, they greatly respect Bob's blog.  That sports expertise is actually something of a breath of fresh air on The Little One.  So -- good on Bob.

I also think very highly of Donovan Lewis.  He's excellent with Rich Phillips (an underrated on-air presence himself) running Black 'n' Quack, and his Cowboy pregame with Bob is also quite good, as is his post-game with Norm.  I've heard some criticism of Donovan, but I don't get it.  He's well-informed, enjoyable to listen to, good for some yuks.  He and his colleagues on The Ticket play his race at a pitch-perfect level.  It isn't exploited, but it's acknowledged and the humor related to his unique status on the station is effective without being offensive.   He's also good on the BaD showgram itself.  When they toss him a segment, it always attracts my interest.

That leaves Dan McDowell.

*   *   *

Part 2 of The General Unified Theory of BaD Radio will appear in a few days


James said...

I agree with what you wrote so far. My only additional comment is that I cannot stand Dan's or Bob's accents. Especially when they talk player contracts and the word "million" is not followed by "dollars" but by "dallers".

P1 Steven said...

I think BAD Radio is best for those new to The Ticket. Plenty of time the crew on various shows have their inside jokes that can sometimes take years to understand & know what they are talking about. In addition, I find the females who listen to The Ticket LOVE BAD RADIO. From a fan interaction point BAD RADIO, goes out of its way to acknowledge people who show up to their remotes. I never go out of my way to visit a remote, but if they are in my neck of the woods I swing by. The fan interaction also extends via email. All three of the host will respond on occasion to my emails. I know it is corny, but when you give 6-8 hours every day to listening, its nice to hear from the host. Plus BAD RADIO give me an open forum every week on Screenless.

waynedew said...

I would imagine that the hard core Ticket listener isn't a big fan of BaD radio. That's because Dunham/Miller and the Hardline both depend heavily on 7th grade--make that 6th grade--humor and offer marginal sports insight. As PT Barnum said, "You'll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." Make that "Ticket listener." Both shows are absurdly self-indulgent. Bad Radio on the other hand is intelligent, genuinely funny and provides entertaining sports commentary. Best of all it doesn't make me feel like an idiot for listening to it. It is far and away my favorite show on the Ticket.

P1 Steven said...

Is that a cropped shirtless pick of Donny Doo?

T4 In Rockwall said...

BaD Radio used to be my favorite team on The Ticket, but this was in my early days. I've been a P1 since '97 and when they were hired, I like 'em. Dan is my favorite because of his off-the-wall humor. It's underrated. Now, my favorite team is The Musers. The Hardline was before they dismissed Greggo. Too much Danny and Corby snotty-ness. But I still listen. Who am I kidding, I listen all day to all of them, but the BaD Radio guys lack what it takes to draw me in like the others do. waynedew might have a little truth into why that is; the skits are probably what keeps me sucked in.

Goldilocks said...

I have to say that my favorite show is definitely BaD radio. It seems to me that they don't particularly go for the cheap/shock gag (at least not in a direct fashion). Dan's humor is greatness and can go by you so quickly if you're not paying attention. Bob, as promised, routinely brings the lunch pail, and Donovan adds a unique "everyman" quality to the show to which I think P1s can relate. It also seems to me that Grubes is more willing to interact and honestly express himself with Bob and Dan as opposed to times I've listened to the Hardline and it seems like he plays to the "character" of Grubes.

I can understand how the extended show open and some of the segments (Tivo Talk) can be turnoffs for some, along with Bob's tendency to draw out questions. I'm a fan of the GBL and Homer Call, myself. I agree with P1 Steven that BaD radio is one of the more accessible of the showgrams on The Ticket in that it has something for everybody to love whether you're male or female, sports-oriented or not. I think BaD radio will be around as long as Dan doesn't get let go for stepping on the toes of someone higher up.

This is all just my opinion. In the end, I guess the showgrams are like bowls of porridge and you just have to figure out which one you like before the bears find out you're in their house and viciously maul you to death.

The Plainsman said...

Wow, great comments from everyone, and I'm only half done with my thoughts. Love it that readers are stretching out a little, offering really thoughtful remarks. As I said in the article, the comments of readers strongly influences the way I listen to the showgrams.

I was particularly interested in Waynedew's reactions to the various shows, which do not mirror mine (although I do agree that The Hardline, in particular, is too frequently puerile). I've already said that I'm having trouble getting close to BaD Radio, so you know my general reactions -- while it has its merits, it strikes me as the weakest of the shows and I'm still trying to figure out why I have that reaction. I have a not-entirely-satisfactory explanation, but I'll inflict it on you anyway in a day or so.

It's good to hear from BaD's supporters, but I'm not the only one who doesn't put it at the top of the Ticket showgram heap. There's a reason it's on middays instead of drive. But with every comment like Waynedew's and Goldilocks's, I realize that I need to try to listen more often and more closely.

Thanks to all, and keep up the comments.

Anonymous said...

The Plainsman said...

Anonymous, you've got a point. I do go on. Although I will say that Strunk & White are somewhat out of style themselves. Look at Saul Bellow and David Foster Wallace (no, not comparing myself to them) -- they don't come within shouting distance of S&W. S&W are to some degree responsible for the dreariness of much of modern fiction -- all of that Iowa Writer's Workshop dreck. I write these things at lightning speed and don't spend a lot of time revising. Was it Pascal that said: "This letter is long because I didn't have time to make it shorter?"

But yeah, I could tighten things up some. So far, only had a couple of complaints, but I'll try to import a little elegance into the thing. Thanks for checking in, Anon.