Thursday, December 30, 2010

Joel Jenista, RIP

I remember where I was when The Hardline did their extensive interview with overnight board op Joel Jenista when he revealed his battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.  I was leaving downtown on the ramp to the Dallas North Tollway.  Sadly ironic, I thought, that Joel was facing a disease named after one of our greatest sports figures.

Here is what I remember of that interview.  I may be misremembering some of what was reported, and I will welcome correction from anyone with better recall.

Joel had suffered two choking episodes resulting from his increasing lack of control over his ability to swallow.  In one of them -- I don't know if it was the first or second, but I believe it was the second -- he was in very dire straits, and an overnight DJ from the sister station -- I don't remember what it was called at the time, but it may have been The Bone -- noticed his distress and rushed into the control room and administered the Heimlich Maneuver, likely saving Joel's life.  The DJ, whose name I have forgotten, was also in the interview (or was that a different segment? -- I'm sorry, my recollection is not firm on this point).  These incidents took place prior to Joel's disclosure of his illness.

Mike and Corby handled it beautifully, with sensitivity and even with a little humor, in which Joel participated and, I think, even appreciated.  My most vivid recollection of this interview was a remark he made about The Musers.  Since he was the overnight guy, he would be on the board when The Musers arrived to get ready for their show.  (He might have even worked the board for some or all of their show -- don't recall.)   I don't recall the circumstances, but he recounted some incident that was a result of his growing disability -- which he had not disclosed at that point -- and that Craig had teased him.  He took a fairly sharp shot at Junior in the Hardline interview, something to the effect that "Craig had to make a joke about it."  In the months since, I've thought -- you might know:  The Ticket finds a way to generate a bear trap Junior could not have had the slightest idea he was stepping into.

(This reminded me of a similar episode from my years in Chicago, when Walter Payton appeared in public clearly having lost a great deal of weight.  He repeatedly denied that he was in poor health.  A popular local sports anchor known for his playful sense of humor, Mark Giangreco, made some joking remark about it on the air, and shortly thereafter Payton's true condition was revealed.  Giangreco apologized profusely, but one had to have some sympathy for him (having taken Payton at his word), and I have some for Junior.  Shortly after his Hardline appearance, I recall a similarly tasteful interview with Joel on The Musers, and all seemed to have been forgiven.)

The Hardline interview concluded with Joel saying that he would work as long as he could.  It was a great segment.  Dramatic and inspirational -- and heartbreaking.

That's all I know.  Joel did work for quite awhile longer, and could be heard contributing on-air from time to time, not sounding much if any worse than he had on The Hardline.  Eventually those appearances ceased, and it became clear that his duties at The Ticket had come to an end.

The only confirmation I have on his death comes from a posting by VSBB on The UnTicket, which does not report the date of his passing.  And, as always, thanks to The UnTicket for bringing us the news.

I hope you will indulge me a brief musing on our relationship with The Ticket.

We love The Ticket.  The individual hosts and producers and Cumulo-Ticket overlords can drive us crazy from time to time, but we have come to feel that each and every one of them is a part of our lives, and they let us know that we are a part of theirs.  We care about them despite all -- that, indeed, is My Ticket Confession.  I'd wager that there isn't a single one of us who hasn't wondered from time to time how we would react of one of these stars suffered some horrible accident or was diagnosed with some fatal illness.  (I've worried in these posts about Greg Williams, not only his drug use but his gun collections and his sad family history; see Greggo . . . Hey, Greggo.)   What would become of our favorite showgram?  How would the nonstop-funloving Ticket handle it?

We didn't lose a big star, but we've plainly lost a great soul and a great, tough man.  (There is a temptation to call these battles "brave," but if anyone had a choice they wouldn't fight an awful battle like that one.)  He toiled in the backwaters of The Ticket -- that overnight gig must have been lonely, keeping the torch lit during the hours when the P1 Nation was tuned out.  But he soldiered on, and must have done it quite well.  We owe him a debt of gratitude for his yeoman service to the channel we love.

Perhaps tonight he is a star of a different sort.

I haven't heard mention of Joel's death on the station today -- I thought it might be reported on a Ticker, but nothing today during BaD's fill-in for The Hardline.  But I'm sure thatThe Ticket will handle it with respect and the proper attention to Joel's memory.

If anyone in the Confessor Nation knew Joel, or can correct my recollection or add to it, I'd be grateful if you would leave a comment.

Rest in well-earned peace, Joel.

Urgent New Year's Eve's Eve Call to Confessors -- A Little Help Here?

Acolyte Confessor Cancer Monkey is hoping to improve his relationship with NBC5 Traffic Twist Tammy Dombeck in the New Year.  (See comments to prior post.)

He is having some trouble coming up with attractive opening lines.  Actually, he doesn't have any.

He suggested something that contained a reference to "soaking up honkers."

I replied that I thought the phrase was "SOAP up those honkers."

But you know, the acuity of my hearing has been questioned by recent commenters, so I may have this entirely wrong.

So let the call go forth -- is it "soak up those honkers" or "soap up those honkers"?

(I can't even summon up an image of what soaking up a honker would be like, other than repulsive ones.  Soaping up honkers, however, now there's something I could get up all behind that.)

Perhaps that nice young Michael Gruber could check in, or perhaps Celebrity Confessor AP.  (I hesitate to call N.Y. Michael a Confessor, as I don't want to get him in trouble with his Cumulo-Ticket overlords.  Perhaps we can refer to him as an Adjunct Confessor.)

Confessor Nation:  Let us hear from you on this critical issue.

A Very Happy New Year to the Confessor Nation

Please be safe through the weekend, at least.

Got a list of blasts to get to in 2011.

Many, many thanks for continuing to check in and spreading the word.  Your Plainsman's resolution is to attempt to improve my STD's -- in quality, quantity, and fairness -- by listening more, and more closely.  Y'all have helped with that by alerting me to things to attend when I'm by the channel.

Thanks again

       -- Plainsman

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Urgent Message to Ticket Engineering Czar

The Norm +1 with Jean-Jacques Taylor this morning has been a really good show.  They make a very listenable team.  The best I've heard JJT yet.
However, he presents Ticket engineers with a serious problem.

Norm, like most of the Ticket hosts, has a voice that pierces the spitguard and gets clearly into the mic in all registers.  This is a matter partly of his voice's natural timbre, and partly a matter of projection.   Which is to say that Norm, like pretty much every one of the Ticket hosts, has a natural talent for the medium, and devotes professional attention to the sound of his voice.

JJT, through no fault of his own, is not a radio talent and doesn't have the training to project his voice.  In fact, his voice is "soft," comes from back in his mouth and arrives at his lips somewhat muffled.

He also frequently speaks way too quickly, spitting out short syllables and then drawing out certain vowel sounds.

The result is that when you have Norm tuned in at a volume that is pleasant to the ear, JJT cannot be heard or clearly understood.  This isn't a problem when you're listening with phones or in a quiet room, but it's a real problem when the Ticket is on in the background or in a vehicle.  (This isn't just a Norm problem -- it was also a problem when JJT was on with Donovan and Rich, and it's a problem on the Sunday morning showgram.)  This may just be a matter of level -- "more Jean-Jacques," as it were.

This is not discretionary -- The Ticket may have scored a real coup in retaining JJT's services -- I need to hear more but so far I'm liking it -- but the station absolutely must find a way to make him audible and understandable at normal listening levels.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


So, what do we all think about the Normathon?   A great cause and it's wonderful that he does it.  In fact, The Ticket does a lot of fine charity work that I should have remarked on in the past.  A hearty "good job."

In fact, I doubt that Norm finds it all that arduous to do 18 hours.  He's a professional talker, and he talks and talks and eventually he stops.  I didn't hear very much of it this year, unfortunately, but what I heard was interesting.  I liked the interview with Randy White.  I just wasn't able to stay by the channel much of Monday, unforch.

As far as Norm as a general propposition is concerned:  Great, great broadcaster.  Always interesting to listen to.  Like the way he interacts with his producers.  Mike S makes a worthy on-air companion.

I'll just get off one short blast, and then let you all tell me about the Normathon, or Norm generally -- or Rich Phillips, or Corby D, or Dan M, or the Geminid meteor shower, or whatever you want to comment on.  The short blast is:  I'm not sure Norm is an extremely astute observer of the sports scene.  He knows an awful lot about many sports, but sometimes his opinions leave me scratching my head.  In the first place, he seems to hold contradictory views simultaneously -- was Wade Phillips a bad coach, or was he an OK coach because he once went 13-3?  Norm seems to hold both views.  In the second place, his picks don't seem to me to be particularly accurate.  (Anyone know how he does on the ponies?)   I'll tell you what I'd like to see:  Norm picking against Craig Miller and George Dunham in their weekly picks. 

One more short blast:  Norm has got to be one of the hardest-working guys at the Ticket.  It's only a two-hour show, but his show prep is amazing (with his grundoons' assistance), he fills in all over the broadcast day, he does the Cowboy post-game.  And he did that great piece on the Cowboys' financial condition a couple of months back. 

So::  Two weathered Plainsman thumbs-up for Norm.  But think twice before you give him your money to play with.  Give it to him to donate to the wonderful causes he supports.

So let me hear from you, Confessors:  How was the Normathon?

Monday, December 27, 2010

More Drydock Quick Hits from Confessor Doug -- Part 2

I was going to wait a few more days before I posted the rest of Confessor Doug’s blasts, but there seemed to be a Rich Phillips thread developing from his last post, so I thought I’d better get this into print.
Before I get to them, just a note on private emails:  I love them, love hearing from the Confessor Nation.  Give me good guidance of what’s of interest, and they frequently contain information I lack from my own listening over the past few years.  Unfortunately, my time is very limited.  I sometimes work six or seven days a week, I have a long commute, and there’s always Mrs. Plainsman who needs my time and attention back at the old sod house.   As much as I might like to engage in a private back-and-forth, my blog time – and I have another non-anonymous blog that is being severely neglected as this site has started to get some traction – must unfortunately be devoted to what goes onto the site. 
However, if you have some thoughts to share, please do feel free to contact me privately.  I may not have time for a point-by-point response, but if I think your thoughts are well-stated and interesting, I’d be delighted to post them – but only with your permission, which Doug was kind enough to grant in this case.  And, as I mentioned a few articles ago, I might just invite frequent posters to offer a guest blast now and then.  (Although my own topic list is growing and, alas, is in some cases somewhat stale.)  
Many, many thanks to anyone who writes.  If you have information for me that you would prefer that I keep confidential – I’ve had a couple of those the past year – I will honor that.
Herewith, the balance of Doug’s recent musings.  And thanks again, Doug.
     -- Plainsman
*     *     *
Doug on Rich Phillips and Jean-Jacques Taylor
I know you [addressing Your Plainsman] like him, but Rich Phillips has been a Ticker Guy for 15 years for a reason. I actually love his Tickers. They're informative, to the point, and provide just a touch of snide commentary, but to me, as a host he just doesn't have it.  I feel like Rich isn't secure enough with himself to be a solid host at a station that is known for ball busting. Every playful hypothetical directed towards him is shot down without any sort of delay or suspension of reality. Yes, we understand that Dan doesn't dress his daughters up as the 1995 Indians every time Albert Belle has a birthday. They're playing radio. But Rich doesn't mess around. He has a sort of aggressive defensive demeanor that isn't becoming of a Ticket host. Oddly enough the only guy his chemistry works well with to me is Donovan, but I think that speaks more about the talent and flexibility of Donnie Doo.
JJ Taylor is new. I haven't listened to him enough to have a solid opinion on him, other than he seems like the type to say something shocking because his job is to write content worth reading, whether or not he believes it. But since he's new, he doesn't take the mic with the command he should. It seems like he keeps waiting for a subject to be kicked to him.
Doug on Doyle King
I’m tired of Doyle segments. Now that he knows the bit, he tries too hard to be Doyle. He said some time back that because he was on The Ticket he got way more voice over work. So I imagine he sees dollar signs whenever the Musers ask to do an 840 with him (or maybe Doyle does the asking). I liked it when he was an organic nut job. Now it seems too forced.
Doug (a Professional Copywriter) on Some Recent Ads
I love the ad posts you do (naturally) [hey, thanks!] because since I started listening to The Ticket and its ads when I was 11, I grew an affinity to radio ads. It pains me that I’m currently at a job that doesn’t do radio, because it’s my favorite medium, and one that is so frequently screwed up. The two that kill me right now are:
The In Touch Credit Union spot with the woman and Aubre (but I want to say his name in the spot is Jeff). The spot starts with the guy saying he wants to have a talk and the woman, hopeful, saying “is this what I think it is?” and surprise! They’re both alking about In Touch Credit Union! Then the guy says “so let’s do it!” The girl: “I already did it.” Guy:  “glad we had this talk.” Are you kidding me? No conflict, no payoff liner, no attempt at humor or any point of interest. Why even pay for two voice actors? Awful.
Then the Just Brakes ad. That script has been the same since I started listening. I’m sure you’ve heard it. It’s a phone call between a Just Brakes rep and a customer, yet you can hear them both clearly. Neither of them has a phone effect on their voice. And after 12 years (at least) don’t you think the message has become just a touch stale?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Some Drydock Quick Hits from Confessor Doug

Confessors, I have a special holiday treat for you. Frequent and perspicacious commenter Doug dropped me a private line the other day. He says the holidays left him with some downtime, so he got off a few private blasts. I thought they were very interesting and well-stated, on topics I did not have on my own list, so I secured his permission to share some of them. I’ve edited them a bit for length. My thanks to Doug both for taking the time to write, and to let me publish them here:

Doug on Drydock Showgram Quality and Substitute Hosts

It's implied that during drydock, the quality of the shows will drop off a little, but the substitutes Cat (I guess) comes up with make the station nearly unlistenable.

I remember in a segment just after the 15th anniversary party (which I relive thanks to the UnTicket) Bob and Dan preached the greatness of Bruce Gilbert (before he took the Fan PD gig) because he went out and got radio guys to do radio things. I understand they aren't going to get top talent for four weeks of fill-in time, but The Ticket has plenty of people in their arsenal that I think would produce better radio.

The problem with grabbing TV guys is they're too aware of their day job. I think Mark Followill is the best sub and has deep Ticket roots, won't so much as cuss without thinking twice about it. I'm not saying working blue produces good radio, but I do think good radio is made mostly off the cuff. Doocy isn't bad either, but again, you don't get that same level of honesty. Everything is polished. You're telling me Mike loves everyone he works with and doesn't have a single issue with his day job? Please. It's not their fault, though. If I had a dream job I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize it either. That's my point. The problem is the casting (I left out one obvious one. I'll get to him in a sec).

[On John Rhadigan:] I feel terrible for what I'm about to say because he seems like a total sweetheart of a man. Everyone says that working with John will spoil you because he is the ultimate professional, but holy crap. The guy just has nothing. Great on TV postgame shows, Horrible for four hours. He does waaaay too many resets. He takes a hit of speed before he does a segment, causing him to talk 600 words a minute, he repeats himself too much, he swallows his words like Ditka, and he’ll start a thought, then take an immediate left turn into another thought. He tries to get the Ticket lingo, but gets it just wrong, which is about as annoying as misquoting movies or songs. I’m sure he’s one of the nicest guys in the DFW market in person, but he just tries too hard.

Doug on Alternative Drydock Programming

With Elf gone, The Scrubs about as generic as you can get, and Danny on vacation (but Davey has a day job as a copywriter, which is awesome, so he probably couldn’t do fill-in anyway), I would propose giving the boys at It’s Just Banter a go from noon to 3. [I’d never heard of it, but apparently it’s the TC Fleming/Jake Kemp podcast – Plainsman.] They’re raw, sure. They cuss on the podcast, but they both have on-air experience. Plus they have chemistry with each other which is so important in radio, but somehow over looked during drydock. They’re also hungry to prove themselves. They’ll do their homework and have each segment planned out to a tee.

Then for 3-7 Cirque du Sirois. I love Mike Sirois. Loved him when he was doing Saturday morning Tickers full of schtick. Loved him when he was fill in producer, and I listen to Norm more now because he’s the producer. He’s got something. And he’s in his element when he’s working with people he knows like…his brother. They’ve got a good thing going. I’m almost wondering if Cash was busy this week since he’s not filling in anywhere.

More Doug at a later date. Comments are now open. I would remind commenters, who are almost always respectful – Anonymous, now, you be good – that Doug did not originally write this material for publication. He’s allowing me to republish his remarks because I asked him to let me do it. So keep that in mind as you post your thoughtful reactions. Many thanks

--  Plainsman

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Ticket Confession Wishes Confessors of All Belief Systems a Merry Christmas

Thanks for the gift of your patronage this year, and I hope your holidays are sweet and clean.

I'll be back soon with more blasts, including some STDs from some private correspondence with a faithful Confessor.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Respectful Inquiry

Apologies to the C-Nation for not paying better attention, but I can't remember which weekend show I heard this on. It may have been the Scrubs, but it may have been the Stewart Cedar Cvalcade of Sports, I just don't remember. It was a weekend show with two guys, that's as much as I can tell you.

Maybe I wasn't paying attention because they were talking puck.

Anyway, one of the guys says -- crap, I don't even have a good recollection of the quote -- but the gist of it was this: "Turco and Modano are now gone, and they were a bad influence on the younger players, and look how well the team is coming together now." And they said it in such a way that it was clear that they had known for a long time the departed Stars had been a doleful presence in the locker room, like it was a well-known circumstance to those who follow the Stars.

This is something I've wondered about for a long time, since my series on the Ranch Report awhile back. (You can look it up. I'm typing this outside whilst enjoying a martini and cigar and the less screen-skipping I have to do, the better. Sorry for not providing the link.) Why is it that we get so little inside information from The Ticket? These guys don't hang out in locker rooms, but I am certain that they get an enormous amount of team scuttlebutt from all the pro and even college teams.

Well, there's some evidence, right there. I don't recall anyone ever having said a word about this. Now, I don't get to hear BaD very often, and they're puck-centric so maybe BaD listeners knew all about this.

I do understand that no responsible host wants to traffic in unsubstantiated gossip. But surely there comes a point with respect to certain inside tidbits where the smoke turns into fire. It's not like these guys depend crucially on the goodwill of teams or even stars (see the recent C.J. Wilson contretemps) and need to soft-pedal some of the softer newsy items. In general, the hosts are pretty fearless in their views, and that's something we all value.

I just wonder why they're not a little more forthcoming with the stuff that they hear that they reasonably believe to be credible.

Or am I wrong that inside info comes their way?

Will Some Confessor Please Recommend a Reliable, Reasonably-Priced Shower Radio for Christy?

I wouldn't mind having that information myself.

(Probably not Confessor Christy.)

Thanks to the Confessor Nation for all consideration.

Why Am I Telling You This Nice Little Christmas Story?

Turns out the guy who wrote the original rhyming story for "Rudoph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" -- don't recall his name offhand, but you could look it up (here it is, Robert L. May) -- was an underpaid copywriter for Montgomery Ward catalogue way back when.  MW wanted a Christmas story and asked him to write it, which he did.  Montgomery Ward released it to huge popularity, but the lowly author never saw a dime.  However, some years later, the CEO of MW assigned the rights to the lowly copywriter.  It so happened that the LC's brother-in-law was well-known composer Johnny Marks, who wrote the music for it.  It was recorded by Gene Autry, and the LC made a bundle and everyone was happy.

So why am I telling you this nice little Christmas story?

Because I heard it on NPR when I punched out on Gordon's O-Deck vaginal steam cleaner story, which apparently went on for quite some time because when I punched in after the NPR story had concluded, they were still talking about it, until Junior forcibly brought the whole wretched segment to a merciful conclusion.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

White Elephant Memory

This one is a little late.  I actually had started it right after White Elephant Day (WED), but got sidetracked with a suggestion from AP, my rant on "Thicket on the Ticket," and the STDs from numerous Confessors.  Thanks again, can't tell you how much I appreciate it when people comment.  (It also steers me toward topics of interest to The Confessor Nation.)  The different impressions people have of the different hosts is fascinating -- and explains why Cumulus/Ticket management doesn't tinker with host lineups.  Every host has his big fans, as well as detractors.  Dan, Junior, Corby, and Gordon are the main lightning rods, and I find  it particularly fascinating that Craig is in that group.  I'll have more to say on that in future blasts.

And another thanks again to all Confessors who reported on their impressions of WED.  Very entertaining.   In reading these comments, I had a thought that morphed into another thought that resonated with something that Mike R said on Thursday's showgram.

Which means that I'm about to get to the point. 

First, let me say that I'm a big WED fan and supporter.  I am certain that The Ticket does it because of its inherent popularity and the unpredictable fun and disaster that it promises.   So please accept my representation that this thought applies to, oh, somewhere on the order of five to eight percent of overall WED theory.

As I say, I got this theory in reading Confessor accounts of WED.   The thought that perhaps some of the guys we don't hear that often might not quite be ready for prime time.

And I thought -- you know, Ticket management knows this, too.

And then I thought -- maybe, just maybe, there is a tiny segment of the collective intelligence of Ticket management that says to itself:  We get a lot of static from the P1 about this host and that host and this program or that program.  Well, let's see how they like it when we turn the whole day into amateur night.

Just the slightest flash of the old middle finger to the P1.

I thought, nah.

Then, as I was driving back from DFW on Thursday, the day after WED, I was listening to The Hardline.
Mike R was talking about the Cliff Lee derby.  He was talking about the Yankees and their ever-escalating offers to the guy.

Mike was very exercised on this topic.  He might have even used the "middle finger" image.  The Yankees do this all the time, he said, because they can.

Then he said -- I swear, you can look it up -- It's just like what we did yesterday.  We did it because we can.

Which I took to mean -- we can throw out pretty much anything, and get away with it.  Because we're The Ticket.  We're the Yankees of Dallas radio. 

That is not untrue.  I'm not saying that what Mike said was wrong, or disrespectful to the P1.  That was certainly not his intention.  I'm saying that there is a part of The Ticket that knows that WED represents, at its heart, sub-par broadcasting if it were offered every day.  By associating these two things, I think his thought was something like -- Just like the Yankees' overbidding on OK baseball talent isn't good for baseball, our throwing out utterly random showgram lineups results in something you don't want to hear everyday.

Yeah yeah yeah, I'm overanalyzing a few Mike R syllables.  But I thought it was a telling moment.

But only about 5-8% telling.  Maybe not the middle finger, maybe just the pinkie.  And just for a moment.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thicket on the Ticket

WARNING:  Mild vulgarity alert.

Confessors, you must trust Your Plainsman:  I am not a prude.

And I'm sure you will all acknowledge that I love The Hardline.  (Indeed, it is part of my confession.)  Mike is an incomparable broadcaster, a historic figure.  Corby is terrific in medically supervised dosages.  Danny = bacon.  Grubes -- well, you know, perfection really doesn't require further description.

And we must also admit that it is highly presumptuous of your lay Plainsman to advise The Hardline, one of the most popular radio presentations in the US, on how to make the showgram better.  Although the fear of presumption has not stopped me in the past, I concede.

So I will make this a respectful suggestion:

Stop talking about female genitalia.

Good lord, as Danny would say.  These guys are in their forties and sixty.  Their vaginal references make them sound fourteen.  It soils the show and the station.  It is on the border of misogyny.  References to "grooming" and odor.  Jeebus.

I like guy talk.   Sometimes guys talk dirty.   Sometimes they speak disrespectfully of women as part of the normal guy bluster and one-upping and joking.  But too often, The Hardline slides across the line to sheer grossness.

Sex talk I can handle.   The gynecology and hygiene I urge them to dial back.

Please -- I'm begging now -- please don't make me punch P2 and suffer through whatever RaGE is slinging.

Friday, December 10, 2010


[NOTE:  This post was re-edited 12-11-20 AM to cut out excess verbiage and unnecessary material.  All opinions, even the ludicrous ones, remain intact from original composition.]

First, a gigantic thanks to the incomparable AP for providing Your Plainsman with today's audio and some of the Twitter traffic on the C.J. Wilson contretemps. By the way, AP, that tweet about the other CJ looking at his phone waiting for a call was a real sweet stroke.

I don’t have any better theories about “what happened” than AP himself – I assume AP is a male – which he was kind enough to offer as a comment to my prior post. He writes:

“My take is that Junior was perhaps quick to burn the bridge between KTCK and CJ Wilson with his tweet, and that the fault probably lies with a handler situated between and Fernando:

“CJ <-> Agent <-> Handler 1 <-> <-> Handler 2 <-> Fernando <-> Musers

“I'm assuming that Handlers 1 and 2 are under the employ of, and a game of 'broken telephone' ensued, leading to the accusations of lying by both parties.”

Yeah, almost had to be something like that. Personally, I would not have been so quick to assume that Wilson was being culpably untruthful here. He may have realized right off that there was a screwup and even though he knew he was going to be doing calls that day, he tried to smooth it over by saying that he wasn’t scheduled to do radio that day. Covering for the various intermediaries AP identifies above. But he didn’t think fast enough, because that questionable attempt at diplomacy was quickly punctured when it emerged (via his own tweet) that he was going to do another Dallas show, Ben & Skin.

By the way – I haven’t heard whether he did do Ben & Skin later on. Anybody know?

Has Wilson ever been on the Musers? Does he have a past relationship with any other Ticket showgram?

So what are we to make of this dust-up? . A couple of thoughts.

(1) Fernando/Craig/Gordon May Have Overreacted Even if They’re Right that Wilson Was Being Mendacious. Quite aside from the right/wrong of this episode, was it prudent to make an enemy of Wilson so promptly and on the air? Without any further investigation?  Who is going to win when a local radio station, even one as popular as The Ticket, cheeses off a superstar for a team on the rise, a team where he has lots of pals who The Ticket would like to interview?

And this is taking place against a backdrop of intensified competition from at least one of the local competitors who would only be too happy to call up Rangers PR and say "You know, no one at this station has ever called one of your players a liar on the air."

Look:  I'm all in favor of integrity.  And, as noted elsewhere, we like it that our boys our fearless when dealing with the big shots, including their own bosses.  I'm only musing (!) that sometimes there is a price to pay for fearlessness, and maybe our lads will pay it here.

(2) Maybe There’s Something Else Going on Here.  Maybe this isn’t a Wilson/Ticket issue. Maybe Wilson is having issues with MLB. Or with Rangers PR. And this is his way of gigging that entity.

Or maybe there’s a long-simmering problem between Wilson and The Ticket not directly related to today’s FUBAR. Somebody knows. Somebody will disclose it to Your Ticket Confession, perhaps in confidence.

Or maybe he heard something on the station between the time he agreed to do the interview and this morning that didn’t sit well with him.

Or how about this? (Ooo, this is delicious:)  This was orchestrated between Wilson and Ben & Skin.   As noted, he’s appeared with them frequently, maybe they’re pals. Maybe this was a way to pwn The Ticket (former home of BS) and promote BS.  As Gordon has noted:  in the absence of evidence, the conspiracy explanation must be the correct one.  I was retracing Gordon's LHO Trail of Tears just the other day and I could have sworn I saw Greggo behind the fence at the top of that grassy knoll.

(3) How Important Is The Ticket?  Can you imagine any other outlet being stood up like that and doing anything other than smoothing it over, saying there’d been a mixup or technical problem, and they’d reschedule, and no one would be the wiser? Of course, the fact that The Ticket does not do things this way is one of the reasons we love it so much. And I’m glad they blew up – it’s fun for listeners and website journalists. But there was more than a touch of hubris in today’s proceedings. They called the Rangers’ (current) number 1 starter a liar because they think they can.

(4) How Much of What Happened Today Is the Result of Inter-Showgram Competition?  As you know, Your Plainsman enjoys the sport of listening between the words to figure out what goes on at The Ticket other than broadcast greatness.  It results in wild guesses and probably many wrong ones -- I've had certain people in the know tell me I'm right about a third of the time, and others tell me that I'm amazingly accurate, so who knows; all I can tell you is that I'm guessing.  Here's my guess about this one:

The Musers could not have been happy about being pwn’d by a big-time interviewee which would unquestionably carry with it the prospect of BaD and The Hardline snickering behind their backs. They had to call it out and deal with it right then and there in a way that gave them a victory of sorts.  They had to acknowledge it -- they had to turn disaster into broadcast gold, which they did, which is why Ticket connoisseurs like AP got in touch with me, and I'm writing a big article about it, and P1 Steven and Christy and Scott and Douglas and several flavors of Anonymous are going to comment on it, and take that, BaD and Hardline snickerboys.

I also have a feeling that the brunt of the natural (and healthy) friction between these big-time showgrams is frequently borne by the producers. Which accounts for Fernando feeling particularly abused by these circumstances.

One thing is bloody sure --

(5) We Haven’t Heard the End of This. So let’s get started. Comments open . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . now.

Musers v. CJ: Talk Amongst Yourselves

The (incomparable) AP alerted me to the CJ Wilson contretemps on the Muser showgram today.   Alas, I heard most of the show today but missed this.  Scrambling to get up to date.  If anyone would like to fill us in and share his or her opinion, I'd be grateful.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Ticket Confession Congratulates the (Incomparable) UnTicket on Its Third Anniversary Today

An incredible amount of work by DP, AP, and the rest of their enormous staff at UnTicket International Headquarters Plaza.  The Confessor Nation thanks you for sacrificing your time so that we may enjoy The Ticket any time of the day or night

       -- Plainsman

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How . . . White . . . Was It?

OK, Confessors, Your Plainsman doesn't ask much of you (although I suppose slogging through my prose can be something of a chore).

But I do have an assignment to hand out.  No math.

I am in San Diego and will not return until after White Elephant Day.  I'm hopeful that you will take a moment and drop a comment if you hear anything that you find interesting. 

I hope you will pay particular attention to what goes on between the words.  If you saw a transcript of a lot of these showgrams, you would never get a full picture of the relationships at The Little One.  White Elephant Day is a great day for testing theories, revealing animosities, and unearthing new stars given a chance to shine.  I applaud The Ticket for taking these kinds of chances.

So P1 Steven, Christy, Scott, Douglas, Anonymous A through F, and all other Confessors -- get by the channel, as Mike R would put it, and let The Confessor Nation know what you find out tomorrow.

PS:  Thanks to AP from the (incomparable) UnTicket for offering to supply Your Plainsman with segments.  I'm doubtful I'll have time to review any of the showgrams, but if something blows up you know I'll be tuning in to the site. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Well, By Golly, Let's Get That White Elephant Thread Underway! I'll Start.

Geez, I didn't think that White Elephant Day would excite much of anyone, but several commenters to the last post or two have already mentioned that they have some STDs about it (Scorching Ticket Dish).

I never paid a lot of attention to it, although in general I favor it.  It's a way for The Ticket to expose some hosts that people don't hear to a larger audience, assuming that midday hosts end up doing one of the drive segments.  Got no problem with it as a promotional device.  Haven't given it a lot of thought.

The best part about it, from Your Plainsman's point of view -- that is, from the point of view of a guy who needs fresh material to write about -- is that it is an opportunity to test theories about the pecking order at the station, who likes/dislikes who, that kind of thing.   White Elephants and other wife-swap opportunities are, for example, one part of my General Unified Theory of Bad Radio, which is that Dan McDowell and the other guys kind of hold each other at arm's length.  This automatically makes the morning drive the one not to miss (George, Dan, Norm, Tom, and Ty).

As for the others:  The 12-3 Junior/Rich/Danny/Donovan show should be good -- in fact, that wouldn't be a bad permanent team.  PM Drive with Mike, Gordon, Bob, Mike Sirois and Donovan should be interesting for the Bob-Gordon dynamic.   I'm interested in the Gordon-Danny relationship at the station, but there are few too hints of its existence to base much of a theory on, not that that has stopped me before.

Unfortunately  .  .  .  I will be out of town and not able to listen to the stream next Wednesday, so I would invite all Confessors to keep careful notes and let this site have your thoughts.

Hey, by the way:  Why is it called White Elephant Day?  A "white elephant" is a possession whose cost of upkeep, space it takes up, and other costs do not justify having it, but its owner can't get rid of it for one reason or another.  Is is named after the "white elephant swap"-type parties, which it also doesn't resemble?

Have at it, friends.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

George Gets It Right

"The Little Drummer Boy" is the all-time worst Christmas song. 

"Twelve Days of Christmas" is next on my list.

"Jingle-Bell Rock" is also pretty puke-inducing.