A few thoughts on The Ticket's performance during the Cowboys' dissolution:
(1) Great Program Planning. The Ticket went above and beyond by getting Bob and Craig, and then Norm and Bob, to join The Hardline in impromptu host roundtables to consider the events of the day. Whatever one may think about sketchy show prep, individual hosts, excessive fart humor, or the Train Station Fitness Show, I think it's clear that The Ticket is dedicated to its listeners and to putting on the best possible programming. Even Ticket-haters must acknowledge management's superior customer service in this market.
(2) Hardline Sounded Real Darned Good. Didn't The Hardline sound great with those additional adult voices? Mike was a first-rate moderator, Corby's offerings were appropriate and a good change of pace -- this is what Corby brings to The Hardline when the show is at its best. I've been mulling over The Hardline's sound the past several months, and yesterday's round-table has reinspired some thoughts on bringing in another host, as I urged some months ago in my multi-parter on The Hardline.
(3) Craig Gets to the Point. Craig Miller made all the points I've been waiting for a host to make, but somehow everyone has just been missing. He places responsibility clearly on Jerry and Wade and successfully refutes (in my view) people who say that the talent must not have been what every single pundit on the planet judged it to be. (Norm is still saying that.) Craig hit on the explanation for Wade's perplexing positive won-loss record over his career. His car analogy was perfect: Wade is handed the keys to a thoroughbred sports car, but by neglect and failure to maintain it, it predictably breaks down. And I don't know if it was Craig or someone else on the show, but finally someone stressed the lack of onfield leadership. It only remains to draw the line between the skills of the head coach and the development of onfield leadership -- that is, management is accountable for everything that happens on the field, including the failure to cultivate commanders in the field of play.
(4) Dan Shines Again. Mrs. Plainsman arrived home just as Bob and Norm were supposed to come on. I didn't hear any of Norm. I did hear some of Dan, and, just like the Game 5 post-game, he was sharp and interesting. My recent listenings of Dan suggests that he should shift away from Sports Humor and more into Sportsy Sports, with the humor flowing naturally from more substantive contributions. Hmmm, need to think about that one.
(5) Rowwwwwr!! Loved the Craig/George spat this morning. If you missed it, please go to The (Incomparable) UnTicket and check it out. Here it is from memory: Craig was making his case (a pretty good one) that Phillips is the worst Cowboys coach of all time. George disagreed and defended Wade, or rather said that -- hell, I always get Campo and Gailey mixed up, before my Dallas days -- one of those guys was worse. Junior pointed out that Campo/Gailey (whichever one it was) had an abysmal roster to work with but still went 5-11. George ended up saying that he just thought Junior was too hard on Wade.
This remark triggered something in Craig, who noted that George had done more to ridicule Phillips in this market than any other single human, with his Fake Wade reduction. It is not overstating it to say that he accused George of hypocrisy (he didn't use that word), said he wished he could operate that way, slam the guy one minute with the cruel imitation, and then defend him the rest of the week. George told him that maybe he (Craig) could operate that way, if he developed a Jason Garrett imitation.
When stuff like this happens, you wonder What It All Means. A checklist of possibilities.
(a) Behind the scenes tension?
(b) The normal minor squabbles that attend any close friendship?
(c) Junior a little disapproving of the weekly extreme Wade/Jerry bashing, making likable Wade seem like the simplest of morons?
(d) Junior a little defensive about his theory of the worst all-time Cowboy coach?
(e) An eruption of the festering contradictions that accompany mixing comedy (which must always be negative) with observation and commentary (which should be even-handed and analytical).
I'm saying not (a), and some combination of (b), (c), (d), and (e).
(6) A Phony Is Ringing. Deion Sanders was terrible on BaD. Not BaD's fault. Sanders was so wrapped up in being precious, and an insider, and controversial, and confrontational, and street, and cool, that after all the verbiage he communicated almost nothing of value. I felt sorry for Bob and Dan, who were trying their best to be polite hosts. Sanders was just an unlistenable schmuck. I wonder if it was because BaD was the main popularizer of the "phong is ringing/Michael Trabtree" clip.
(7) Craig Gets to Another Point This is note from a couple of weeks ago: Alone among pundits, Craig said something that everyone who has ever run an organization thinks about the Cowboys: I don't have any exact quotes, but Craig was commenting on some impossibly tangled Jerry remarks, and Craig said: "That's what's wrong with the Cowboys." From this statement and his follow-up, his point was (and I'm expanding way beyond anything Junior actually said, but this is what I took to be his meaning because it happens to be a point I want to make my ownself) that when you have management with the extremely primitive communications habits of Jones and Phillips it is completely unsurprising that the team appears unprepared. There is no reason in the world to believe that either of them makes more sense or speaks more credibly to the organization than they do about the organization to the press and public.
All in all, The Ticket has done itself proud on actual sports coverage on the Cowboys drama.
PS: It's interesting that we call Jerry Jones "Jerry" and Wade Phillips "Wade." But Bill Parcells was usually "Parcells" and Tom Landry is usually "Tom Landry" or "Landry." "Jason Garrett" is almost always "Garrett." I was going to make a point about how we use the last names of guys we respect more, until I realized that they usually refer to Jimmy Johnson as "Jimmy," so forget I said anything.