Saturday, October 30, 2010

Is This a Permanent Change? If So, Great

Delighted to hear that The Orphanage is going to 1 PM today.  Another positive development for original Ticket weekend programming, which has made great strides the last year.  Hope this is a permanent change. 

If so, Ticket/Cumulus management deserves thanks.

If not, then thanks for today.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Compare and Contrast: The Hardline in New York -- The Musers in San Francisco

Celebrity Confessor AP from The (incomparable) UnTicket has requested that I comment on the visits of the respective drive-time programs to New York and San Francisco.   (See his comment no. 6 to my prior post on my Ron Washington theories.)   It is AP's feeling that as the Ticket's "baseball show of record," perhaps The Hardline should have been sent to San Francisco instead of The Musers.

I guess the first thing we have to consider in this particular case is that this was probably not a radio station decision -- I'm guessing it was a sponsor decision because the sponsor (StubHub) actually footed the bill for the trip and provided the tickets, if I understood the hosts of both shows correctly.  They chatted with the nice lady who runs StubHub a couple of times on each showgram.   StubHub might well have thought that it would get more bang for the buck by spreading the stubs around a little.

Let's put that aside and examine these road trips from the listeners' perspective. 

A couple of thoughts:

(1)  These are radio talk shows.   They're not The Amazing Race where one's physical surroundings are a significant part of the actual broadcast.  So the value of a road trip can only be discerned in the difference between what we hear every day on the air and what we hear when they broadcast from the road. 

I was struck by this during Cowboys training camp this year.  I always think that it's going to be cool to hear them broadcast from training camp, and then  .  .  .  I can't recall a single Cowboy insight from any of the showgrams this year (in fairness, I seldom heard Norm or BaD) that resulted from their presence at the training camp.  Now there were some bits -- Corby's hit-and-run interviews of Cowboys after practice and various hangers-on, the Musers' encounters on the street at night.  Both of those can be very entertaining.  Were they worth it to The Ticket sending the broadcast teams and technical crews down to San Antonio for however long it was?  Don't know.  Doubt that Cumulus gets more ad revenue from road trips.  Or maybe it's a promotional thing, they do it so they can say they did it.  A goodwill thing, point of pride.  Did it result in significantly enhanced (1) radio broadcasting or (2) Cowboys insight?   Maybe a little bit.  Little tiny bit. 

Point is -- road trips don't do much for me one way or the other. 

In fact, now that I think about it -- this year I don't evem remember the drive shows doing any sit-down player interviews with the hosts.  I may be misremembering this, but in years past I seem to recall that they had players and coaches lined up to do a bunch of interviews but it's not coming to mind this time around.  (Not that I miss player/coach interviews -- they seldom have much of interest to say, and when they do say something interesting, there's always the risk they'll get in some trouble.  So who cares about player/coach interviews and, for that matter press conferences?)   So if you're not going to interact significantly with the activity that has brought you on the road trip, what exactly is the point?

(2) Turning to AP's thoughts on the Hardline/Musers:

I agree with AP that the Hardline is more Rangeriffic.  Even Danny arises from his cynical cultural torpor to show some enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, baseball.   And, of course, Mike is Baseball Jeebus.

I'm not sure that the relatively greater advertised fondness of The Hardline for the Rangers translates into a better experience for the listener.  Hard to say.  I'm not sure the stories of the hard partying when the Hardline boys go out of town is of great interest to the listener.  Sounds kind of like guys whose minds might not entirely be on The Great Game.  We do get an account of their travels to Yankee Stadium and their time at the game, and that's interesting to listen to.  But we didn't get much man-on-the-street this time around.  I will say that I did like Danny's brief reports from Yankee Stadium on the day when they sent him on ahead because the game conflicted with their broadcast.  I know Danny isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for some reason the jamoke just tickles me.  But The Hardline's presence in New York City really didn't leave much of an impression that was a result of them being there. 

The Musers, of course, are broadcasting in the dead of night in San Francisco, so other than their game account, -- which, like The Hardline's was interesting -- we get recorded audio of their encounters.  Which, it must be said, are greater in number than the Hardline.  And pretty well done.  Each guy collected some tape. 

I don't want to say that I like The Musers in San Fran better than I liked The Hardline in New York, or the other way around either.  I will say that each show exhibited their characteristics with about the same vividness as they do in the studio -- the ramshackle, not-much-show-prep Hardline, and the more buttoned-down, spread-the-duties Musers.   Liked 'em both.  Not hearing a whole lot of gee-whiz arising out of their proximity to the Rangers post-season, but maybe some marginal sizzle.  They're both great in their own way.

But neither is a whole lot greater on road trips.

So to answer your question, AP -- I can't say that The Hardline's baseballphilia earns them any greater entitlement to post-season ball on location.   I might feel differently if they had used their their enthusiasm -- and their media contacts -- to more colorful effect in NYC, but they didn't line up much beyond the New-York-is-Cool stuff.  So I'm OK with the Musers in the City by the Bay.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ron Washington and The Other

I offer apologies once again for a sportsy post.  But everything I know I learn from The Ticket, so, uh  .  .  .  there.
I don’t have any grand theory about the success of the Rangers this year.   But I have a theory about Ron Washington and his approach to baseball.
Actually, I have two theories.  The first theory, the dull one, I got from listening to the interviews of the Ranger players from before the Tampa Bay series through the present.  I noticed that in almost every interview, at one point or other, the same word would issue forth from the player’s mouth:  “fun.”  Player after player talked about going out and having fun.  And if there’s one thing that has characterized Ranger baseball this year, especially as the lineup solidified and they got past the injuries, is that it was fun to watch (not solely because of the winning, although that helped), and it looked like the players themselves were having fun grabbing bases, stealing home, dropping the claw/antlers on ‘em.   Surely that’s Coach Ron’s influence.  I do not intend to demean him when I say there is a delightful boyish quality to his dugout presence.  I think he reminds these guys of what brought them to the game in the first place.

You know, before the chicks.  And the dough.
OK, that’s the dull theory.
The more fun theory is this:
To Ron Washington, baseball is The Other.
To Ron Washington, baseball is a, separate, sensate, volitional entity.  It is a thing unto itself that gives, takes, and speaks, and to whom one gives and from which one takes, and to whom one listens. 
Consider the way he talks about it.  I don’t have the time to research all of his interviews, but it appeared vividly in today’s press conference, when he said something like:  When the game tells you to bunt, you bunt; when the game tells you to steal, you steal.   And in another recent interview, he said something like:   You take what baseball gives you, and you give what baseball takes.   There are numerous other examples along these same lines. 

Even his repeated use of the phrase "the game of baseball" bespeaks a certain reverence, a reverence one holds for the mysterious Other.
And even his Ticket-promoted signature phrase – That’s the way baseball go.  Doesn’t that sound a lot like Josh Howard saying that you can’t control what the ball do?  And, like that basketball, baseball is crazy.  (Fun?)  And you have to deal with its craziness like it’s an insanely possessive lover from whom you cannot escape, to whom you must return day after day to do her bidding, whatever she tells you to do, and you give to her what she demands.   You have to listen to what she tells you she wants, make sure you heard it correctly, and then deliver it right then and there so that she will give you what you want.
No, I don’t mean that Ron Washington has a peculiar sexual yearning for the game of baseball.    I mean nothing more than that Ron Washington thinks of baseball as a discrete being, equal parts demanding and benevolent, to whom direct and careful attention must be paid.  And if you do it right, with appropriate respect and loyalty, that attention will be rewarded with victory.
To Ron Washington, baseball is a spirit. 
His relationship with The Other is the source of The Passion of Ron Washington.

Friday, October 22, 2010

That Third Bear Trap Today Was Fake

The one where the punchline was "you can use what's between your legs to buy beer."  Never happened. 

At least it didn't win.

The Trifecta, RIP?

Haven't heard The Hardline doing it recently.  Have they dropped it, or am I just missing it?

I can think of several other bits I'd retire before that one. 

Go Rangers.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Change of Address

Please note that friend-of-the-site Hollywood Matt Shannon has moved his website. You can find it here:

Hollwood Matt Shannon's Sport Nutz Wrestling E-Fed

The link on "Ticket-Friendly Links" there on your left (my right) has been corrected to send you to the right address.

All friends of pro grappling should swing by and check out what Hollywood's slinging these days.  Hollywood, thanks for your support.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Damn You, Ticket Incidental Music Picker-Outer

First it was Danny's C&W "Too Many Nights" theme for "What's on Mike's Mind."

Then it was the "Pool Party" theme song.

I hummed those songs for months.  I was either picturing Danny rubbing one out later that night (that generally broke the humming cycle), or the Hardline lounging around a pool while Grubes, a white napkin draped over his forearm, struggling but failing to make the perfect SoCo lime shot (but rolling with the unit under his hoodie, hoping to capture some slurred drops about the bikini-clad Ticket Chicks -- extra sultry -- perfecting their tans nearby).

Now it's that pedal steel tune under that nice little "Thank You, P1's" ad The Ticket runs from time to time.  I mean, that little eight-to-ten note figure that it plays over and over off a couple of different chords, can't shake it.   Can't tell if it's clipped from some commercial tune, or something some talented Ticket hanger-on laid down.  Either way, driving me frackin' nuts.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Your Plainsman Predicts . . .

.  .  .  on Sunday night:

Tomorrow morning -- that would be Monday -- Craig "Junior" Miller is going to say something very interesting.

Junior doesn't like to say the same old things over and over.  As I type this, he is thinking hard about the Cowboys.   He's tired of saying the same things that we all know --  the problems start with Jerry, Wade is ineffectual, players havent' been discomfited when they err, they beat themselves with penalties and turnovers, and so forth.  He is an original thinker about sports and he dreads the thought of coming into the studio on Monday morning eleven more times -- twelver, counting tomorrow -- saying these same things.

And the Rangers can't keep playing forever.  When they're done, there's  .  .  .  the Stars?   The Mavericks, I guess.  But The Ticket has no choice but to fill large amounts of airtime with Cowboy talk.

So I'm predicting that he will do something to attempt to change the conversation.

It may be predictive:  "The Cowboys will  .  .  .  ."

It may be prescriptive:  "The Cowboys should  .  .  .  ."

It may be analytical:  "I've been noticing something during these last few games  .  .  .  ."

But it will be appropriately packaged, and it will be interesting.

Bob Sturm is the maestro of Xs and Os and his breakdown of the games is second to none.   And he does come up with very interesting analyses.  But Craig floats some distance over the field -- hell, over the schedule -- and I'm looking forward to something very tasty from that Gentlest of Musers tomorrow morning.


This is my 200th post since starting this site last year.  My traffic continues to grow, and I thank you all for dropping by and staying awhile.   Plainsman

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Questions for Knowledgeable Confessors

I've been listening since mid-2004, but I'm still missing a fair amount of information on some of the inside stuff.  Occasionally a Ticket scholar will click over to My Ticket Confession, so I'm hopeful I can get educated.  Can anyone help me out with these?

(1)  Why is Rich Phillips called Dick Hicks?

(2)  Why do Michael R and Michael G call one another “Schoopie”?

(3)  What is the guy saying in that rim-shot drop where during the rim shot the guy is saying something like “what about me” (but I don’t think that’s it)?

(4)  Where does the “Stand back, Burrito” drop come from, and what does it mean?

(5)  Why does Mike Rhyner say “Rhyner’s dead.” Why doesn’t he like being referred to as “Rhyner”?

(6)  How did Mushmouth become a popular character?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Anyone Know . . .

.  .  .  why traffic to this site more than quadrupled (over average) today (Thursday)? 

Something up with Traffic Twist Alexis Smith?  Looks like most visitors are looking for her, and over 2/3 of my hits are first-timers today (inaugural Confessors usually represent only 50% or less), which tells me that something went on at the station and P1s were Googling the fetching Ms. Smith. 

All are welcome.  I am sorry that Alexis news and images are limited (and the images are poor).  Maybe I should just start making up some stuff.

Not everyone is looking for Alexis, and if anyone knows why Your Plainsman is unusually popular today, I'd be grateful for the advice.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another Idle Question -- A Couple, Actually

Last season I wrote that I couldn't figure out Norm's attitude about the Cowboys, since he frequently defended them in losses whenever anyone would call in.  He's doing it again.

(1)  Did I just hear him say that you can't coach avoidance of penalties?

(2)  Did I just hear him say you can't coach focus?

What, praytell, are coaches for?  Why do some teams commit few penalties, and some teams are chronically the most penalized?

Idle Question

Can't the Norm/Donovan Cowboy post-game show attract better sponsors than strip joints?

Those ads cheapen the station whenever they appear.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

While We're on the Subject of Absolutely Baffling Ticket Host Product Endorsements . . .

In the previous article I painstaking analyzed the All-Pro Foundation Repair and (to a lesser extent) Bakers Brothers Plumbing ads in which almost the entire galaxy of Ticket stars convert their apparently ramshackle houses into a nice endorser’s paycheck .

Today, I heard an ad that made my brain freeze, as though a Zen master had posed an insoluble dilemma that brought all the conundrums of the eons into a single concentrated point originating from SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket.

It was Bob Sturm’s ad for the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse.

Phrase after phrase, my neurons violently resisted the assimilation of what I was hearing.

Before I get to a point-by-point exegesis: the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse is a program offered by the Ticket weekend host of The Train Station Fitness Show, one Mr. George DeJohn.  You can find more information about it here.

George DeJohn, host of The Train Station Fitness Show,
Saturdays at 7 AM on SportsRadio 1310, The Ticket

If you visit that site, you can both see and hear a testimonial by Bob. By the way, I am a regular listener to The Train Station Fitness Show on my way to work at 7 a.m. on Saturdays, and I urge you to get up early and tune in as well.  I’m serious. It’s a fun show and George is a fascinating host. (And it is followed by the excellent TeeBox with Rick Arnett and Craig Rosengarden, who always engage in a jousting mix/mingle with George, and the TeeBox leads you quite naturally to The Orphanage with non-orphans Danny Balis and Dave Lane at 10 am.)

There are three things in Bob’s radio ad that make my brain tiny:

(1) Bob begins his testimony by stating that he goes for the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse when “I’m feeling a little doughy.”

Say, now there is one damned fetching image for you.

Bob Sturm, “doughy.”

That is, having about his person unwanted weight which puts one in mind of “dough.”

Look at this man. Fix his image in your mind. (Ignore the spare hand growing from his elbow. It belongs to Dan McDowell. I hope he grows on me, too.) Now close your eyes and imagine him “doughy.” I’m sorry, eventually you will have to open your eyes and rejoin a world that has been introduced to the concept of “doughy Bob Sturm.”

(2) The ad and even the website are rather coy on what a “21-Day Full Body Cleanse” amounts to, but since this is a weight loss program, we may surmise that it has something to do with transporting material – dirty material, material that requires cleansing – from the inside of one's doughy body, to outside of it, thus subtracting it from one’s total weight.

This may be one of the downsides of an active imagination, but when I hear Bob extolling the greatness of the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse, all I can think of is what dirty cleansable effluvia Bob is expelling from his Full Body (and a doughy one at that) in order to achieve Cleansing.

And now that I’ve pointed this out to you, you won’t be able to, either.

(3) Bob says that the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse “stops all unwanted cravings” (apparently leaving the desirable cravings intact) and breaks unhealthful addictions. That’s a good thing, is it not? Well, yes – but then Bob says that he’s done it five times.

One of the benefits of being a mature adult male is that you can remember a bunch of old stale jokes. And the one that comes to mind upon hearing this particular bit of testimony is the one that goes: “It’s easy to quit smoking. I’ve done it twenty or thirty times.”

Which – and check me on this if my logic is impaired – means that the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse does not stop unwanted cravings at all – it merely interrupts them for 21 days. After which time you do what all dieters do, which is to reward yourself for your 21 days of denial and newly scrubbed innards by binging on Gordon Keith-endorsed Hostess Cakesters and both servings of the Real Deal at the Hardline-endorsed Texas Land & Cattle, where you celebrate your liberation from the once-daily 21-Day Full Body Cleanse shake – Bob says there’s just one shake a day – by consuming both the cattle and the land.

* * *

I like and admire Bob Sturm. I like the Train Station Fitness Show and I wish I looked like George DeJohn and had his pipes. I very much regret the dough that has accumulated longitudinally and latitudinally around the manly core of my being, my image appearing on the upper left of this page notwithstanding.

But I ask myself whether Bob’s eeewwww-provoking endorsement of a one-shake-a-day diet that must be purchased with considerable frequency to combat chronic doughiness through appalling-to-imagine emetic processes is penetrating the beer/SoCo Lime/JR’s Steakhouse-Grill/Sean Salisbury Twin Peaks/Ticket junk-food-remotes consciousness of the dedicated P1.

As I sit here at a bar, finishing my second martini, composing this article and watching Nebraska kick the living bee-jeebers out of Kansas State, knowing that I have an eight-piece all-dark Popeye's chicken dinner congealing out on my back seat, I'm thinking that if God had wanted us to engage in three-week cleansing programs on a regular basis, He would have -- hell, I don't have the slightest fracking idea.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Never, Never, No, Never, No, No, Never -- and I Mean Ever -- Buy a House from a Ticket Host

What do the following humans have in common?

     George Dunham
     Craig Miller
     Norm Hitzges
     Dan McDowell
     Bob Sturm
     Mike Rhyner

They all own homes with foundation problems.  How do I know this?  Because in an All-Pro Foundation Repair ad now running on The Ticket, in which each has a speaking part, the first of them to speak – I think it’s Bob -- says that they’re all customers of All-Pro. Well, maybe you can be a customer without having foundation problems. Yeah, right, you pay a foundation repair company to come out to the house for a spot of tea even if you don’t have a foundation problem.

I mean – really, do you know any half-dozen people in your entire circle of acquaintances who have foundation problems? What is it with their housing selections? Are these guys cursed?

Of course, it could also be a lie that they’re all customers of All-Pro Foundation Repair, in which case shame on them.

Wait a minute: Can you buy a home from noted Ticket hosts

     Gordon Keith or
     Corby Davidson?

No, because they have terrible plumbing problems as evidenced by numerous repeat visits from Baker Brothers Plumbing.

Folks, if you have your heart set on owning a home in which a Ticket host formerly dwelt, you’re going to have to hope that Donovan Lewis wants to move.