Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This Was Not the Greggo Article I Intended to Write -- AN MTC STD*

The Greggo article I intended to write would have gone something like this (but, because I am Your Plainsman, much longer):
I don't remember why I switched over to The RaGE the other day, but I noticed something about Greggo.  Oh, he sounded fine.  Unimpaired.  He and Richie were talking about the recent Rangers trade.  Made sense.  In fact, Greg made the same point that Junior made the next morning – this means trouble for Michael Young.  Absolutely nothing unusual about the conversation.  Except for one thing.   While Greggo sounded like the old Greggo, something was amiss.  His voice was huskier than it used to be – hell, we're all a little older than we were in 2007 – but it also sounded like he had dentures that didn't fit.  Or he'd lost bone mass in his jaw.  Or his tongue was swollen.  His speech was really whistle-y and kind of wet, he had some trouble pronouncing some words (but again, not because of inorganic impairment).  It wasn't extremely obvious, it wasn't awful to listen to, but it was noticeable.  It was as though he'd grown very old all of a sudden. 
I don't know where I was going to go with that, just something that a Plainsman surveying the sports talk radio horizon should notice.  As I say, the segment was fine, Greggo just sounded like an elderly man.
Today, Mrs. Plainsman had sent me out to do some hunting and gathering and I had The Hardline on.   I was waiting for her call and I was dozing in a parking lot.  The Hardline was doing a segment on whether Corby was going to turn into The Snake by talking to some very young woman about anal bleaching.  Early-forties Corby talking to early-twenties woman about anal bleaching.  Now there's an image that sharpens the appetite.  At that point, Mrs. Plainsman called and instructed me as to her dinner preference and I escaped that segment without further injury.

When I came back and turned on The Ticket at 6:30, it was Ralph and Razor.  I like Ralph and Razor.  But it is fair to say that I have more interest in:
   --  the State of the Union Message,
   --  not only watching paint dry, which is a fairly dynamic process, but watching a sealed can of paint, or
   --  103.3,
than hockey on the radio.
So I switched over to The RaGE, still broadcasting at 6:30.
They were talking about the Texas Longhorn TV network deal.  And Greggo was on fire.  He knew his facts, and he not only had an HSO, he had an ultra-HSO that I thought he supported reasonably well:  That the deal might not only mark the beginning of the end of the Big 12, but the beginning of the end of the NCAA.   I don't recall all the details, but I recall that it made sense, and was actually somewhat visionary.   Now, you can agree with that or disagree, but it was real good radio, and Greggo sounded just fine.  It made me think about his hypothesis and other circumstances that pointed in the same direction.  And I care less about the NCAA than I do about Stars hockey on the radio.
Now I'm not going to start listening regularly to The RaGE.  I'm not advocating that anyone else do so.  But I gotta tell you:  When they went to break, I tried to remember the last time I heard a Hardline SPORTS segment that provocative.  Now, the Hardline guys are interesting, and they talk in an interesting way, and an amusing way, and I'm as addicted to the showgram as you are, and I think Greggo did them dirt.  But numerous Confessors have mentioned it:  Those gents do not do significant preparation for their show, not so's one could notice.  Oh, they mention show meetings.  What happens in them is not entirely clear.  They're talented enough broadcasters, every one of them, that they get away with it and it's great radio and I listen whenever I can for as long as I can.
And the fact is, Mike R's increased interest over the past few weeks has been noticeable,  leading to something of a renaissance for that showgram.  I had intended to call attention to it in an article, and probably will sometime.
But the point is – The RaGE isn't messing around.  There's some hard-core content there, content that someone has thought about for more than a quarter-minute before it is uttered on the air.   Several recent comments have noted Corby's apparent near-total unpreparedness for E-News and Community Q-Hits, and, defend Corby as I might, that perception is widely shared and difficult to shake.  P1's want to be entertained, and our lads do that quite well.  But if they think they're being shown disrespect, they may go shopping to that new mall up north on the dial.
Now, please excuse me while I Google "anal bleaching."

* Scorching Ticket Disquisition


cancer monkey said...

I've given RaGE a fair chance a couple times in the recent past, and it's been unlistenable. Greggo had nothing to offer except empty blowhard noise, and the rest of the show was just forced FM background noise. There was nothing there worth listening to. Maybe things are changing, but it didn't sound encouraging.

To be clear, I was never a great Greggo fan. I never thought he brought much to the Hardline except unintentional comic relief. He never sounded well-informed or well-read, and threw out some of the hollowest theories and flimsiest arguments of the entire station.

The Plainsman said...

C-Monk, I've had the same experience, which is why I found that segment so striking. And Greggo was plenty sharp enough on that segment on the Rangers trade. And I even heard a college basketball segment -- yes, college basketball -- in which Hammer exhibited surprising facility. It didn't elicit the smiles of recognition and amusement that The Hardline regularly does, but it was credible SPORTS radio.

And today, I did find amusing Riche's frequent interjections of "did I write that?" and Greggo assuring him that he had not. Not a bit for the ages, but kinda funny.

Christy said...

I have yet to listen to RAGE - mostly because the Internet stream has extremely short breaks and also because The Fan hasn't quite figured out what makes for good podcasts. But if you boys say I should tune in...

I would not advise you to google "anal bleaching," Mr. Plainsman. If and when Mrs. Plainsman looks at your history page or sees "anal bleaching" as one of your recent searches when she types in an "a," you'll have an uncomfortable conversation...made even more uncomfortable if she encourages it!

Slightly off-topic.
That anal bleaching segment was a whole lotta hype and very little substance. I really enjoyed the build-up - I even laughed out loud a couple of times, but the actual asking was anti-climatic. The Snake, sadly, is not back. I'm disappointed that the same guy who could utter a litany of women's private parts to unassuming athletes with a straight face (Repro Man) couldn't sell Sabrina on this necessity. But, perhaps this is just groundwork for when they actually punk her (a la those two sales women and not airing the proper commercials...I hope someone remembers what I'm talking about...because the two women set Corby up first with the side car campaign?...Bueller...). If they do eventually punk her, then The Hardline is back!

Did anyone make note of Mike outright dismissing Norm's opinion of the catching situation?! I heard Norm's point earlier in the day that Mike Napoli is automatically the back-up behind Yorvit Torrealba so it was quite the ear tickle to hear Mike's take when Corby brought up what Norm said. I really, really, really hope the boys up there don't let this golden situation dissolve and instead have the two engage in a serious sports conversation. The two hosts who know the most about baseball talking baseball with an equal? YES! (Side-note: Mike's not alone in his thinking - both and Ben and Skin agree with Mike. Hmmmm.)

Anonymous said...

Williams gets on a roll once in a while. Count me as one who was never really a fan, so even when he's "on," I'm not interested. RaGE suffers from Over-Greggo. And I'm sick to death of hearing the rest of The Fan treating him as some sort of Golden Radio God. Fact is, he's a simpleton. Yeah, he knows sports, but he's a small-minded man who knows sports. The best things he brought to The Ticket were his screw-ups and the ability to be mocked/imitated.

I'm not saying The Fan doesn't have its moments. It does. I'm not saying The Hardline doesn't have its problems. It definitely does. I just wish everyone would get over Greg Williams. He's neither interesting or insightful, and he's very rarely entertaining.

-Anon B

P.S. I find The Plainsman's comment, "Early-forties Corby talking to early-twenties woman about anal bleaching," interesting. Why does the age matter here? Why the hang-up on Corby's age? He's older than some people. Big deal. He's in the entertainment realm. He can't do his job if he's constantly wondering if everything is age-appropriate (and I would say that 41-24 is plenty appropriate). I've heard the Plainsman mention the age thing at least once before - I believe more - and I'm starting to wonder if there's some projection going on here. I can't think of another explanation.

Chris said...

I think that Mike and Corby have their respective areas of sports knowledge and the other usually defers to the "expert" and this leads to little debate. With Mike it's baseball and the rest usually falls to Corby. If debate does arise it's either Mike playing (poorly) the devil's advocate or Danny legitimately offering a heated, differing opinion. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that (and the ratings prove that point), I'm just contrasting Hardline/Rage.

I think as far as debating goes, Bob and Dan are the best show to listen to. I love Dan's ability to stand by his opinions and call Bob on his sh**. He may be right or he may be wrong but they are great to listen to.

My guess is that the show meetings are nothing more than run sheet preparation and fart contests. That's just a guess and if I'm right then I'm jealous.

Scott said...

Christy, I did hear Mike completely dismiss Norm's idea. It kinda caught me off guard. I agree with Mike. And, I think Norm just likes playing with numbers, but I can't imagine the Rangers running the infield as Norm described.

cancer monkey said...

Okay, this is painfully off-topic, but these are two things that has been bugging me for quite some time. I'm just looking for someone somewhere to tell me that I'm not the only one who's annoyed by them.

1) Alexis can't pronounce the word "Dallas". It's the city of her employment and the single most vocalized city name in her career, but she can't say it correctly. She says it like "Dulles", the DC-area airport. There are other words that she mangles similarly, but that one just grates on me to no end. I can't believe Gordo hasn't called her on it or thrown out a reference to the airport at least once. Maybe he's been told to leave the traffic chicks alone after all the crap he gave Barb.

2) Ticker guys speaking in headline speak makes me want to cry. Is it really that much quicker or more efficient to say "The Mavs facing the Clippers tonight at the AAC" rather than "The Mavs are facing the Clippers tonight at the AAC"? The first sentence fragment, while it gets the point across, is just a fragment, and if anyone said that at any time other than in a ticker, you'd think they were an idiot. Rich is the master of this, because of his Jedi ticker skills, but Ty and Sean Bass have graduated from padawan and are exactly like him now.

Anybody? Buelher?

Jonaessa said...

(It's like you're in my head.)

For quite some time, I have thought about the decline in the Hardline's preparedness, relevancy, and laugh factor. Because I now have more time to listen to the Musers each morning, it only serves to further my point that the Hardline has been on an awkward downswing for at least the last few months. As I've said before, I am no longer laughing hysterically (and solo) in my car at their antics. And it sounds like Mike is phoning it in half the time. He's very disengaged and disinterested in the topic at hand. It reminds me of the end of Greggo, where the other guys would ask questions and then have to repeat the questions until Greggo would answer. It's almost as if Mike is refusing to participate in certain segments or give his opinion on an issue because it requires too much thought.

Because there is no other sports station on my preset, it is doubtful I will ever stumble across Greggo to see how or what he is doing on another show. And I shouldn't have to. The Ticket showgrams should be keeping me interested at all times--even during the all-sports segments (which, if well-prepared, I'll stick around and listen to, especially baseball talk) and the commercials. Come on, Hardline. Show the P1s why you're often imitated, but never duplicated.

Anonymous said...

CM - we're really nitpicking here, aren't we!?

I think the Alexis thing is annoying, but honestly, I couldn't care less. With all the radio-unfriendly voices on The Ticket, and compared to the trainwreck that was her predecessor, I'm just happy alexis manages to give me an actual traffic report.

As far as the ticker headline thingy - couldn't care less. I certainly have my odd little hangups, so I understand, but it doesn't bother me at all.

Jonaessa - I think the only time The Hardline is "on" these days is when they're just goofing around. They can still be pretty funny during E-Nose, Community Quick Hits or The Pool Party, but their sports segments sound stale. Maybe it's due to what Rhyner mentioned once regarding the "walk down NFL boulevard." That is, by the time they get around to it, the stories have already been talked to death. I could imagine that Monday at 4:00, the guys were already sick to death of Cutler talk.

Anonymous said...

Oh hey - that's me, Anon B on that last comment. It was so good I want to be sure I get credit.

Jonaessa said...

Anon B-
I, too, think that by the time the Hardline comes on, the sports stories have been talked to death, but these are seasoned professionals whose J-O-B it is to come up with different angles and fresh takes on the topics at hand. I don't always get to listen to every show in its entirety so I'm not necessarily bored to tears by the time Corby gives me his opinion on Jay Cutler or Mike's take on the Napoli trade.

Additionally, though they are all "sports fanatics" each host has the sport he identifies with most and can therefore share the most about. If I wanted to hear about cycling, I wouldn't turn on the Ticket at 10 to hear Norm dish about it; I would listen to the Musers and wait for Craig's musings. (Hee hee.) Likewise, if I want to hear baseball talk, I will eagerly tune in to hear what Mike thinks and if that means I've already heard about it at 7, 11, and 2, then so be it.

By the time the Hardline got around to discussing Ron Washington's Cocaine Fest 2009, every show had discussed it in length, played audio from those within the Rangers organization, and took numerous phone calls about the subject. Yet, I don't recall being completely worn out with it because each host had his own opinion, expressed it, and gave time for the P1 to weigh in as well. I kept guessing as to who would support Ron and who would want him out. None of the shows disappointed, though they were all about the same thing.

And I think you're right, Anon B--the only time the Hardline is "on" is when they are goofing off or have gone completely off-subject, which seems to happen quite often these days. Sometimes I would prefer Corby just read the friggin' E-News instead of going off on a tangent about Spring Training '07, but if I listen long enough, I will most likely end up laughing.

cancer monkey said...

Anon B: You could call it nitpicking, but I consider it the airing of a pet peeve in the hopes that someone will chime in and tell me I'm not alone. Yes, I'm using MTC as a support group. I have no qualms about it, either.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, Cancer Monkey, I meant we, as in, you, me and all of us. I do it, too!

-Anon B
(a.k.a. Leukemia Lemur)

T4 In Rockwall said...

I have noticed myself turning over to RAGE more than usual. I agree that The Hardline has been lacking for the last couple of YEARS. But then again, some of it might be me getting irritated at Danny or Corby and then that irritation kind of growing on me. I used to think Danny was such a dark cloud, but he's really improved and brings something to the table now. I think it's Corby who needs to be replace. Rhyner makes too much of him, and I'm sure it's management dictating that to promote the show, (ie. the first introduction every day). But as much as I'm enjoy RAGE, they irritate me so much with trying to emulate drops and be The Ticket. There's only one Grubes and Arlen (i think that's his name) goes way overboard alot of the time. And then when Greggo is trying to make a point (and he's pretty no non-sense as it is), Richie is always trying to shoot his wheels off. That's one of my biggest peeves, whether it's at The Fan or Ticket, is if someone's trying to make a good point or segment, there's someone trying to throw yuck monkey at it and make that a new segment. Thanks for letting us vent Plainsman!

P1 Steven said...

The bleaching segment was WAY overrated. Yes the premise was funny. I honestly expected Corby to be calling an employee of The Board Room. That would have been GREAT, instead it was a sales rep who knew he would be goofing around. @ jonessa: Yes I remember the Eric Moss bit. Corby recorded fake audio at a remote. He did a "spot" for classic BMW and when he "thought" he was off air said, "ANd Eric Moss will give you a H.J." (edited in respect of The plainsman, but he really recorded it.) Corby also had Eric Moss in on the bit. Eric Moss immediatly called his sales rep ready to pull his sponsorship. The rep freaked/panicked, and ran to the studio to listen to the fake audio. The rep was brought till tears until someone told her that audio actually did not air. THAT is the Snake I miss...BTW anyone else kinda creeped out by Eric Moss & his self narrated ads?

Anonymous said...

I listened to RaGE today for two hours. I have given the show several tries over the past few months. A very painful experience. Plainsman, I think you might have caught the show at its very best moment thus far. A moment that I doubt will be repeated on even a semi-regular basis. Richie's a twit; Greggo's mostly incoherent; and both have a difficult time with truthfulness.

The Plainsman said...

I figured this article might call forth some excellent blasts, and the Confessor Nation did not disappoint. Keep it up, this one will be up another day or so.

I'll just quick hit a few:

(1) Agree that RaGE has a long, long way to go to be consistently entertaining. However, it seems to me that it has come a long way from its early episodes. To say that it's gotten better is not to say that it represents a meaningful alternative to The Hard Ones on a regular basis. May well be the case that I've hit some unusually lucid segments.

(2) I actually think The Hardline has been better since drydock. Mike has seemed more engaged to me.

(3) Anon B: Of COURSE there's "projection" going on with me, if I'm understanding your meaning correctly. Don't we all identify with these guys (yes, even Christy and Jonaessa) to some degree? You may have surmised that I'm closer to early forties than early twenties, and listening to a male of mature years but impish inclination (Corby -- and me) -- a friend, let's say -- talking to a young woman on that topic definitely gives me an eeeewwwwwww moment.

Hey, great stuff, everyone, and thanks even for the off-topic stuff, it really helps guide me to topics of Confessor interest.

The Plainsman said...

By the way, let's have a big Confessor welcome to Chris. Maybe you've commented before, but I don't recall that name popping up on the comment list in recent months. Let us hear from you as the spirit moves you.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the Hardline's recent upswing has anything to do with the fact that the entire sports world is about to descend upon our fair city?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone read "Whitt's End" yet today? Since hitting the air-waves, his radio posts have been sparse. (Much like his show's and his station's ratings.) But today he wrote about his contract extension and that the Ticket's holiday ratings were the lowest in a long time. Of course he qualifies mentioning this with the classic passive-aggressive "I don't take pleasure in saying this but..." statement. And he includes the Fan's 3rd place ratings. But it's fairly obvious what his intentions are here.

Richie's a class act.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because The Ticket sucked most of December.

Sorry guys - if you phone it in your ratings will reflect it.

-Anon B

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what Richie being an ass and the reason why the Ticket's ratings slipped over the holiday break have to do with one another. I think the Anonymous poster's point was that Whitt stopped broadcasting ratings long ago, and now that the Ticket has an off book, he gets around to posting ratings again. That and to tell his audience about his new contract.

Having said that, I think you're right Anon B that if the Ticket thinks it can throw together its programming for nearly a month and not suffer, it needs to wake up.

Anonymous said...

Anon and Anon B...
Phone it in? When would you have them take vacations? The ticket decided (long ago) to lump the vast majority of vacations into December. Want to know why? Because with Arbitron's PPM, we now get ratings every month. And the Holiday book ratings are so skewed by Xmas Music that every decent (i.e. smart)ad agency eliminates that book from their calculations when figuring what stations to buy.

(and as for how skewed- KVIL was #1 in every daypart except AMD. They'r eusally nowhere near that good.)

Sure, the heavy listener may hate it, but the station minimizes damage from vacationing shows to a time when none of our 'other' clients (the ad agencies) care what happens.

And we get to hear a week's worth of the Sirois Brothers, or Doocy, or whoever. Anybody can do a good 2 hours once a week. Can you do an entertaining 3 hours 5 days in a row. Week after week. Helps figure out who's got how much in their bag...

And Anon- trust me, the Hardline will be popping champagne corks if Richie got a contract extension. RAGE has increased 105.3's ratings, but not at the expense of the Ticket. (Sorry, ESPN)
And while the Fan did really well during baseball season, the november and december books are showing what the Fan has.

And it's not much. They're back to averaging between 17-22nd in teh M25-54 ratings. And do the math, for the Fan to be 20th with men, they're getting beaten by KISS, Mix, KVIL and a bunch of other 'chick' stations.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why they have to all take off at the same time? Can't they stagger it?

While you make some good points, you do so in poor form.

Anonymous said...


I'm not saying they shouldn't take vacations. But prior to the vacations, I felt things were pretty lackluster at 1310. Coming back from drydock, some of the shows have been inconsistent (I'm looking at you, Hardline).

What it amounts to is about a month of laissez-faire radio and sparing us to death with their JV Team that just isn't as good as it was a year ago. Everyone deserves vacation, but if Ticket Management thinks they can roll out a lame product for a month and not see that reflected in the ratings, they're nuts.

Maybe the ratings dip at that part of the year is acceptable. Maybe it's even normal (I don't have any Year-Over-Year stats in front of me). Maybe it' not and they need to re-evaluate how they do things. Maybe that's exactly what they're working on right now. Who knows. All I know is, they can't roll out garbage and think it won't stink.

We are fans. "Fan" is short for "Fanatic." We fanatics notice these things.

-Anon B

The Plainsman said...

Well put, Anonymous B. I was going to weigh in to much the same effect.

In fact I did weigh in to that effect in an article or comment I meant to look up before I started in on this comment. I wondered whether drydock was such a good idea with the competition heating up. I got some grief for that view, but I think Ticket mgt might want to reconsider the current drydock strategy in light of the increased threat represented by The Fan. It may be the case that ratings dip during December, but if you're working to prevent defections to a very recently revitalized rival, excusing all of your star hosts at the same time might not be the soundest strategy.

On the other hand, if these comments are any indication, most Confessors haven't been very tantalized by their sampling of RaGE or Elfenbein/Lewin, so maybe it's a of hooey about nothing.

Of course, a lot of hooey about nothing keeps My Ticket Confession in business.

Will try to get a new blast up tonight, but please feel free to continue commenting -- nicely, now.

Jay said...

I think because I'm not as invested as most of you guys are and my favorite sports is basketball, it can be brutal listening to the ticket this time of year in the afternoons. It seems like the Ticket in the afternoons does more complaining about pro basketball than offering any valid observations.

The problem is going around the dial isn't any better. Josh and Elf have their moments, Rage can be good to awful at times. As for ESPN....I'll be nice and leave them alone .

The fan has a long way to go before they will be ticket material. I think they should try to give the lineup they have a for people to at least get use to them. It doesn't matter who you bring in, you won't beat the ticket.

The Plainsman said...




And I hope you're enjoying your tour of the archives!