Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Confessors: Report

Need a hand here, loyal and loquacious Confessor Nation.

I liked Ben and Skin on Saturdays on The Ticket.  Oh, sure, I'd bang my head on the steering wheel when they'd get into one of their endless self-referential hyper-irony loops.   And the problem of hosts sounding too much alike I came to call Ben-and-Skin Disease.  But their show was pretty good, they were smart and could be funny and they knew their sports-stuff, I thought.  The show had a very different sound which I found appealing (when I wasn't steering-wheel-banging-of-head).  I was sorry when they moved on.  I regret to say I have never heard one of their ESPN broadcasts.

(Also, I liked the little girl singing "Ben and Skin" to "My Darling Clementine," and the "Ben and Skin Show" guy doing that overdubbed lower-register vamp.)

I always thought Bob Ortegel was OK, whenever I was able to catch the Mavs.  But the fact is that Mrs. Plainsman is not interested in the Mavs and my evenings are usually spent on domestic interactions that do not allow even radio Mavs listening. 

So I have heard absolutely zero broadcasts with Mr. Followill and Mr. Ortegel and Mr. Skin.  (No, not that Mr. Skin.)

I thought that The Hardline today was particularly good on the departure of Mr. O from the Mavs' broadcasts.  They were complimentary to Ortegel's many years of good service.  They were also quite gracious to Skin, I thought.   They could have been snotty about Skin, a Ticket refugee and current competitor, but they weren't.   In fact, in general, they thought the Skin/Ortegel color combo was working OK.    (And, later, they were  complimentary to former-colleague-and-current competitor Big Dick Hunter in his speaking-truth-to-power address to the Mayor and City Council about the Vick key-to-city disaster.)   It was another good Hardline day.

Here's my request to the Nation:  Did anyone out there listen to the Followill/Ortegel/Skin broadcasts?   What was your reaction to the whole thing?  I'd be grateful for your report.


Also:  I found it interesting that RJ Choppy -- Greggo the Hammer Williams's former broadcast partner -- emailed in during the discussion of Corby's invite to the Mav's game.   Obviously, Choppy was listening to The Ticket, not to his former pard.  (Who had let Choppy down, of course, with his claimed mismanagement of what must have been massive prescription meds.)


Chris said...

It's always difficult (for me anyway) to say whether local announcer teams are "good or bad". They are who they are, they are the voices of my favorite teams and they seem to know more about my team than I do so that automatically demands respect and attention.

I will say this, Followill and Ortegel had the chemistry of two guys who work together but after the buzzer sounds, they never see each other.

While it may not be true, Ralph and Razor seemed to enjoy each other, may have a drink after the game, might even play golf a few times a month.

That all being said, I enjoyed Ortegel mainly because he was the voice of knowledge and stability. He was the string to Followill's kite. Followill is excited about his team, Ortegel will call it as he sees it (which in the end may have had a part in why he's gone). That along with the fact that he was there for 23 years and was a fixture makes me hate this move.

Cuban's quote was "Sometimes you’ve just got to freshen things up and try some different things." I think that philosophy may work some places at certain times. I don't think it works here.

Then again, he's a billionaire and I'm a monkey leaving comments on a blog. Who wins?

P1 Steven said...

I never really cared for B O. I cant put my finger on what was wrong. Too much hyperbole? I dont know... I do have issue w/ Mark dumping him mid-season. Long term employees deserve better from any company they work with. At least tell him he needs to "retire" at the end of the season, so he can properly say "see you later". I always thought the Skin infusion was slightly awkward. Mark Cuban useally seems to really know what he is doing. He is always a step ahead when it comes to team presentation..

Anonymous said...

I've watched many F/O/S broadcasts. The first few months were shaky. But that's to be expected. Skin, at first, was much like the Skin of radio--inside pop culture references (think of the lyrics to a Beastie Boys song from Paul's Boutique and you'll understand what I mean). After awhile, the 3 man booth started to gel. And when Skin became more of a sideline reporter, it really clicked.

Chris: I can assure you that Ralph and Razor do not share a drink. Ralph's been sober for years now. He had a terrible alcohol and cocaine problem in the past which nearly cost him his family and career. And I do think that F and O did see each other between broadcasts. F likes his alcohol, and from the looks of it, so does O. Plus they would discuss from time to time the meal they had together the last visit to a particular city.

I agree with all that while it's Cuban's right to do what he wishes with his team, he showed poor form in the way he fired O. At the very least he should have waited until the All-Star break. What's more, he should have had a better plan in place; splitting Brad and Derek between home and away games is odd. This leads me to believe that there must be some sort of back story regarding this move.

Anonymous said...

Ralph and Razor hate each other.

Anonymous said...

I've tried, but I just don't like "Skin" (maybe it's the stupid handle). He seems to have no personality - just a bucket of facts and references.

As far as Bob, I think it was past time for him to go, but as said by practically everyone, Cuban did a crappy thing letting him go mid-season. Maybe he would've been good in-studio?

I just wish I knew if it hurt Bob.

-Anon B

Dude said...

Ralph has been VERY public about his battles. Last summer during May or June he subbed in for Bob & said he did not miss booze or cocaine, but DID miss the occasional joint. In 2000 for my HS Newspaper course we got to watch a Stars practice & meet some players/local media types. Tim Cowlishaw looked like he rather be dead than be there. Kirk Muller was awesome. The best was Ralph. He even stayed after the meeting, and talked to me another 10+minutes. He is nice as he appears.

Anonymous said...

Ralph and Razor do not hate each other. Your information is poisonous. While they do indeed travel different paths excepting their love for the Stars, they respect each other. Ralph is very much involved with the local theater scene; and Razor is your run of the mill ex-hockey player who enjoys golf, some beers, etc..

Dude: Great to hear that about Ralph. I would've been surprised if you'd said anything different.

Plainsman: Considering your admitted lack of even basic knowledge on the subject, why even ask the question?

Scott said...

Anon, I must defend the Plainsman for asking. Here is why, we started with a question about the Mavs, and ended with info about the Stars.

I am always up for the random thought provoking question on this sight.

The Plainsman said...

Thanks, Scott.

Anon writes: "Considering your admitted lack of even basic knowledge on the subject, why even ask the question?"

Respectfully, I respond:'

(1) ?

(2) Doesn't your question kinda, you know, answer itself?

(3) I don't know much about Mavs basketball, but thanks to my Ticket listening and instruction by Confessors, I know a fairish amount about sports broadcasting in the metro. So it qualifies as a topic.

(4) If this site were limited to subjects upon which I did not have a lack of basic knowledge, it would have lasted about a week.

(5) As this site's readership has expanded, I feel like I should at least create a space for topics other than the shows I get to hear (The Musers, The Hardline, and weekend shows), since lots of Confessors are able to spend time with BaD, Norm, and Ticket emigrants like Skin. When I have a chance to post some content for those folks, I try to do so.

But thanks for a good comment, Anon, and esp for the corrective to the previous Anon.

Anonymous said...

I didn't like the way Ortegel often patronized Followill, but his game insights were occasionally illuminating. I will miss his presence, but mostly because neither Harper or Davis are floating my boat. Their presence is lacking and their voices flat. No chemistry with Followill. Hope Cuban has some better long term partners for him.

Chris said...

@Anon - I had forgotten about Ralph and his history. The "drink" and "golf" comments were more of a metaphor. I meant that they perpetuate the idea that when the mics are off, their relationship isn't.

Granted, I don't know first hand about any of the announcers or their relationships with each other. I was more commenting on how they're perceived (in my opinion) based on their interaction with each other on air.

Bob? Bob? Did it hurt? B-b-b-bob?

Dude said...

My suggestion for Grubes newest drop.. Norm says " UH UH UH UH OOOHHHH, Did it hurt?"