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.


Anonymous said...

I love the White Elephant. I guess I'm just a fan of wheels-off e-Brake stuff. I didn't find my way to the little Ticket because of SPORTS, it was more of a comedy and "hanging out with the guys" thing, and the White Elephant day really emphasizes that (as well as the roundtables, campout and compound, all of which I really enjoy)

I'm most interested in what Rhynes does with Gordon. Clearly, everyone respects Mike, but you just never know when the little red guy on Gordon's shoulder will convince him to do something sketchy.

And yes, I'm very interested to hear Donovan doing a little more. I think he is great with Norm on the Cowboys post-game. He has really come into his own, and may have outgrown his role as yuk-monkey on BAD Radio.

And yes, I agree, Plainsman, that the interaction between Gordo and Danny is interesting. It almost never gets mentioned, which makes me wonder if there was some kind of falling out in the past.

-Anonymous B

P.S. Did anyone else hear Hardline and RAGE exchanging zingers yesterday between 5 and 6? Someone asked why they even do the White Elephant, and Rhynes mentioned "they can't copy that," to which Danny saud, "They'll try that too," or words to that effect. The about 20 minutes later (during one of the interminable Ticket commercial breaks), Greggo mentioned something about The Ticket, to which Ritchie said, "do you really want to poke those guys?" Again - paraphrasing. I can't recall exactly what Greggo said. I think it's heating up between these two giants of local SPORTS talk. (OK, the giant and the plagiaristic gnat.)

P1 Steven said...

I always enjoy hearing the guys out of their element. I enjoy the Norm/ Dan & Norm/ Gordon tension. Dan isn’t afraid to discuss anything with anybody (see Dale Hansen) & poke fun at them. Or maybe it is poking with a very sharp stick. Remember Corby asking Coach Knight about the shooting? That was an elephant day moment. I look forward to hearing early morning Dan & late evening Gordo w/ Rynes. BTW where did the rumor of a Gordo/Danny falling out come from? If that was true, I don’t think Danny and Davey would have called Gordo randomly one morning a while back.
In addition, it is interesting to see how Norm has morphed over the years on 1310. I grew up listening to him EARLY mornings on KLIF (I think). He has really loosened up over the years on The Ticket. His Gordo impersonation was hilarious! Even if someone helped him write it.

The Plainsman said...

Re: Gordon/Danny: By referring to that relationship as "interesting," I did not mean that I thought there was a problem there. Just the opposite, I think these guys are the station's representatives to what passes for a counterculture (or any kind of culture) around DFW. They're also the cleverest guys on the station. I think they know that. And I have just the slightest feeling that there's a silent partnershp there, an affinity under the skin, with Danny as the slightly junior member. As usual, I'm reading an emormous amount into next-to-no evidence.

But I believe it deeply.

I think it is absolutely untrue that they are gay lovers.

The Plainsman said...

By the way: Can't wait to hear from Christy, who promises some spicy reflections on White Elephant Day. We've missed her essays for far too long. (Assuming Christy is a chick, never a safe guess.)

Christy said...

My comments are over-reactionary. I know.

1) They should do any sort of “drawing” on the webcam so as to prevent any outcry of meddling or cheating.

2) Why don’t they allow producers to do other roles? The only producer that doesn’t contribute on-air regularly is Mike Fernandez. The fact that he also doesn’t participate in Ticket events like Charity Challenge or Summer Bash leads me to believe this mandate is Fernando driven. Producers like Danny and Mike Sirois are on the air practically every segment of their shows.

3) This last minute twist of everyone doing tickers is ridiculous. Every year, one of the main attractions is seeing how a non-Ticker guy prepares tickers. This nugget of awesomeness shouldn’t be exploited by having everyone do tickers. It seems more like an out since the assigned ticker people won’t have to do their full load of tickers. If this rule had been in place before, we wouldn’t get the genius of Gordon, Donovan, and Junior’s repertoire of hilarious tickers because they wouldn’t have gotten the chance to do it (or be forced to do it, whichever).

I get that they don’t want to have their on-air stars be relegated to lesser roles and be on the air less, but that’s part of the fun. It’s fun to see irregular on-air stars mix and mingle with regular on-air stars from other shows. It bothers me that everyone doesn’t truly get to be mixed and matched and wear different hats.

Another point of note: it ultimately doesn’t really matter who does what (except for the ticker person but he gets to shine 3 times an hour so whatevs) because the whole day is sorta a WTDS. Everyone joins in on the conversations no matter what role they’re in.

I love The Ticket’s White Elephant Day. I try to listen all day so I don’t miss out on any wheels-offness (and I better listen this year since the Stars play that night so there will be no Top Ten to recap the day’s awesomeness). I just don’t like how the day doesn’t stick to its own principles.

Btw, did you hear the Hardline’s segment on the Heat/Cavs game and the irate caller who took on Mike and Corby about LeBron? Mike was very into discussing it out with the caller and the call went on for a bit. Then after they hung up on the caller, Mike said he hadn’t gotten into it with a caller in quite a while but that it was refreshing and he loves doing it. That really perked my ears because of recent discussions of The Hardline and Mike’s interest.

Anonymous said...

No Top 10 after White Elephant Day!? I call BULSH!

The Plainsman said...

Great stuff. Comments:

(1) It is becoming increasingly clear that most Confessors are better P1's than I am. Better informed, listen more often, catch stuff.

(2) Agree re a true mix'n'match that includes producers. Here's what I think: It's true that many producers (esp. Danny) are frequent on-air contributors. But Cumulus still wants a recognizable product on the air. Some producers sustain their own shows (Danny, Mike S), but some just throw stuff in and might not generate an acceptable full-length show as a co-host. I don't know that I agree with that, but that may be the thinking. I doubt Mike F has any veto power over any particular White Elephant policy.

(3) I didn't hear the drawing so I don't know about any new rules. Craig's Tickers were indeed genius. Are you saying that hosts should not be allowed to mix'n'match? How else would you guarantee that hosts do Tickers? I think they have to stick with the "totally random" thing, with the qualification that, as you say, producers get the opportunity to host.

(4) Heard the Mike R/Steve in Frisco dust-up. One thing I liked about the conversation was that someone, finally, brought up the racial issue, which boils (justifably or not) underneath much (by no means all) that is wrong with the NCAA, the NBA, and the NFL. I've got a topic bubbling away on this topic, but haven't fully baked my views on this.

(4) Is the Top 10 going away? With the ratings recently reported by our Radio Rajah Anonymous, it's not too surprising. I know many confessors like it, but I'd far rather have original programming, and it's clear that a lot of P1's feel the same way, because they ignore it in large numbers. Bring on Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton!

(5) Again, I will not be able to report on White Elephant Day, so I will require Confessors to provide comments. I'll post some new heading so people will be drawn to it.

(6) Mike/Gordon: Mike used to BE Gordon, the station beatnik (before his Ticket days) and tolerates him fairly well. Bob . . . .

(7) The Ticket should ignore 105.3. To date, no threat whatsoever, although I heard a few minutes of Elf/Lewin today. Extremely interesting. First comment -- that show needs some serious engineering attention (as does RaGE). Sounded like Lewin was broadcasting from the studio, and Elfenbein was under a table in the CBS employee lounge -- in New York.

Thanks to all Confessors.

The Plainsman said...

PS: It wasn't that long ago that if I had six hits a day, I thought I was really reaching out.

Today I'll have over 200 hits and around 400 page views. No threat to The (incomparable) UnTicket, nor do I intend to be. But it's very encouraging and I'm grateful.

My heartfelt thanks to all Confessors for spreading the word and making this a destination for responsible (mostly) Ticket journalism -- and I don't just mean me.

Anonymous said...

Usually, Producers aren't on air for a reason. In Fernando's case, they already have 2 hosts, a yuck monkey and a ticker guy to spout HSO's. Get a 5th and 6th voice (Mike and Jer) and how confusing does it get for the casual (P-2 and P-3) listener.

The reason Fernando doesn't particapate in many station events is 1) he's not one of the main draws on that station- (are you guys telling me you really miss seeing a 50ish out of shape white guy playing baseball? Weren't there enough out of shape guys on the field at the Great Game?) 2) he gets there about 2am to do show prep- most of the station events conflict highly with that shift- and 3) he has a family. Grubes goes to a lot of stuff because he's young and single...Big Strong Jer goes to a lot less, because he's married- chicks change people...

And part of the reason the producers don't go in the hopper- think of the worst case scenario- Morning drive with Sirois, Fernando, Danny and Gribble. As someone else mentioned, you'd think Cumulus would want some continuity- some semblance of on air people actually on the air...

Anonymous said...

I eagerly await "The Tom and Danny Show."

Christy said...

I think Rhynes will have no problem working with Gordon - he's not a prude or conservative (heck, he works with Corby, Danny, and Grubes for goodness's sake) and he encourages Gordon-like behavior. But to quote Mr. Plainsman: "Bob..." I think Bob will be the "George" of the group. Hmmm, maybe Bob will say screw, it. This is my one chance of the year to be a crazy guy and I'll turn the tables on Gordo!

I think #3 of Mr. Plainsman's post is directed at me, and if so, I'm a little lost. I'm in the camp of everyone mixing and matching. Hosts, yuck monkeys, ticker guys, and producers (even board ops because I think it would be funny when a host starts playing every single drop because he doesn't know what he's doing, but I understand this will never, ever happen - btw, I think Jeremy is highly underrated. His line of "Do I finally get to host?! Do I finally get to host?!" during the drawing made me laugh out loud).

I think Fernando's underrated as well. I think his sports opinions are valid and when he speaks up, he's bringing something interesting to the table. I also think he's probably the best producer of the 4, but that's another post for another day.

And, yes, Mr. Anonymous (A?), I wouldn't mind the worst case scenario. Wouldn't that line-up exemplify White Elephant Day to the T? You have people who aren't normally hosting shows having to be on the air, AND it would cause so much wheels-off content! It might be really painful to listen to, but I wouldn't be able to tear away from it!

Besides, I'm the sort to root for the underdog or the back-up quarterback until it's clear there's a reason why they're the back-ups.

I miss Friedo and Bascik.

ap said...

Jeremy and Grubes also tweeted their displeasure at being stuck at their command consoles. I'd really like to hear those boys do two things before I manage to kick my KTCK obsession for good:

1) Drive an entire segment with their unique brand of non-ENCO-assisted sports talk

2) Drive an entire segment using nothing but their ENCO's...Grubes mentioned that they've discussed such an undertaking before, and man, would that make me a happy P1.

P.S. Plainsman -- if you're concerned about missing any of white elephant day, drop me a line over email and I'll make sure you get to hear it all. Congrats on your recent explosion of non-Alexis-related traffic, by the way ;)

P1 Steven said...

The "everyone" does a ticker is VERY weak. I think it waters down the entire process. Now it will be a competition to see who can BIT it up the most. My best analogy would be all the bowls in the college FB. After so many, you just stop paying attention.

Anonymous said...

I never thought I would miss Bacsik, but I think I do, too. It almost got to the point I didn't cringe every time he spoke.

-Anonymous B