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?


P1 Steven said...

That is a delicate balance BAD is working with. You throw to long time show guest under the bus by calling them out... then you lose two long time guest. I think it is more than just "Bad room guys" I think their playing time took up from the guys who really deserved it.

Douglas Sutherland said...

As far as hockey stuff goes, it's obviously the least covered sport on the station, so there's not nearly as much time devoted to subjects like the one you brought up, Plainsman.

Like that tried and true Danny saying "If a tree farts in the forest..." The Musers will spend one segment a week on puck, but it's always focused on the here and now, essentially a promotional segment. I don't think The Hardline has done a hockey segment since like 2002, so they just turn a blind eye to most things Stars.

BaD have covered this issue. In fact, I guess in an interview Modano admitted that during his last year in Dallas he just mailed it in. Then BaD talked about how eventually you just need to let the guys go who for whatever reason won't buy into the system the coach is preaching. BaD said that at this stage of the franchise, the ownership and everything, it just made sense to cut ties with these guys because like P1S said, there are younger and hungrier guys with an upside who deserve some ice time.

So in conclusion, other than BaD and weekend shows that need sports centric content,no one really gives a crap about The Stars.

The Plainsman said...

Douglas, what about my more general point that we don't get the benefit of what the hosts hear about what goes on behind the scenes in Dallas (and national) sports generally -- at least until it blows up for everyone to see? Don't you think these guys hear a ton -- and not all of it is unsourced or unreliable -- that they don't disclose? I have no proof of this, but these guys get hundreds of emails a day, and know everyone who is anyone in Dallas sports, including reporters. This is one where I may be way off base -- maybe they don't know any more than they read in the papers.

Douglas Sutherland said...

I think the Musers had an 8:10 about this sometime back. Actually I think it was just after Jerry's "Romo was a miracle" slur. They said they get an astounding amount of "guess who I saw last night" emails and so on. I'm sure just like paper journalists they have to make sure everything they report is 100% true, and they also seem somewhat more interested in their sports integrity. They'll run with a story if it's reported publically on almost any source, citing said source, but they seem very hesitant to break anything themselves.

Is it because they have to co-exist with these athletes so they don't want to risk being wrong? Is it because all the reporters they know on the inside want to break the stories themselves before they distribute it to other media types, and by then it's fairly known news?

I'm really not sure, but I'm sure they don't want to roll with stories that are based on an unreliable source or two or a report that's soaked in speculation. Because although my fellow confessors don't see them as an extremely viable sports news source, I promise you they do.

I do think they're privy to more information than they let on. Example: the meeting they had with the Stars before the start of the season. The shows all said how interesting the meeting was, but they didn't go into details, saying only that Nieuwendyk spoke "off the record" about a lot of stuff (I'm sure the whole Modano and Turco thing were highlights). The shows also said that the DFW sports franchises will do this from time to time. But since it's all off the record, and they don't want to break off their (for the most part) positive relationships for these teams, they can only use those meetings to understand what is done on the record.

One last thing: you mentioned they know and are friends with all these reporters. While this is true, I'm sure there are unspoken rules of who they can get insider info from. For example, they're DMN partners, so they'll have on David Moore, Evan Grant, etc. Rhynes loves Anthony Andro, but they'll never have him on because he works for the Star Telegram. Gina Miller works for CBS so she will do professional work only for The Fan. Just because they know them doesn't mean they can get insider stuff from them.

If I was working for Coke and I knew the secret recipe, would I tell my best friend working at Pepsi knowing that he would use that information to his advantage and it would cost me my job?

You can tell I don't have any answers. Just things to consider.

Anonymous said...

Who are those people? What's a hocky?

Anonymous said...

The truth is, the hosts have very little interaction with the teams in the area. The Ticket has reporters covering events and in the locker rooms. They're the guys who know the locker room scuttlebutt.

Frankly, there is nothing that interesting going on behind the scenes. Players and paid employees for these teams are far too suspicious of the media to ever really let their guard down while they're around.