Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Here's an Example of What I'm Talking About

Your Plainsman is not only a Hardline fan (who isn't?) but a defender of Corby Davidson.  In fact, this site was founded in part as a counterbalance to what I have called the Corby Sux School of Ticket Journalism.  It is true that this site has its misgivings about the OverCorby, as, it seems, do quite a large number of P1's.  On balance, however, I think Corby is a extremely talented broadcaster.  Seems to me that the proof is in the pudding -- with Corby stepping up after Greggo the Hammer's departure, The Hardline is as popular as it ever was, if not more.  In looking over my topic list, I see three items where I have in mind to write positively about Corby's contributions.  Some recent commenters have taken some shots at Corby for one or another perceived shortcoming, and they may be right.  But the 30,000-foot is that Corby does a real fine job on a number of levels; the Nation would miss him a lot if he weren't there. 

Yesterday, however, there was a segment that framed the issue of the OverCorby. 

Corby opened The Presentation with a tale about his iPod Nano.  It had gone missing, but Mrs. Davidson eventually found it on top of an outdoor fireplace (cue Masterpiece Theater music) where it had lain under the last-to-disappear of the layers of ice and snow from the Super Bowl Storm of 2011.  Of course, the iPod worked fine.  Nice story, entertaining back-and-forth during its telling, perfectly good segment.

Next -- What's on Mike's Mind?

Mike noted that Corby's story was timely because what was on his mind was a book he was reading about the development and marketing of the iPod.  The book is "The Perfect Thing:  How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness" by Steven Levy. 

There was some discussion of Mike "coming around" on the greatness of the iPod family of products (although that may have come at the end of the Corby-Nano-fireplace story, don't clearly recall.)  Mike noted the work of "some Euro professor" on the subject of coolness.

But whatever was on Mike's mind about this book stayed in his mind, because at this point, Corby jumped in and jacked the entire segment.  He started talking and did not stop.  There was barely another offering by Mike or Danny until it was almost time to go to break.  And his remarks were not extremely enlightening.and, if I am recalling correctly, a continuation of his thoughts on the reliability (or not) of iPods.  There was nothing wrong with this speech -- but it wasn't what was on Mike's mind.

In Corby's possible defense:   Mike himself seemed not entirely prepared to proceed.  At one point he said that maybe the topic -- or perhaps it was only the subtopic of "coolness" -- should be put off to another segment.  Perhaps he was signaling Corby that he needed some support on this.  Hard to say, but it did occur to me that maybe Corby wasn't Corjacking the segment as much as he was rescuing it.

But mainly I wondered:  What was on Mike's mind as the Corjacking proceeded?  The book sounded pretty interesting.  I'll bet P1's would liked to have heard what Mike had learned about iPod history and philosophy.  Did he perceive that the segment which bears his name and promises the contents of his mind had escaped his grasp? If he did, what was his reaction to that? 

All right, all right, I know -- it is kind of ridiculous, and even unfair, to take ten minutes of broadcasting and put it under a scanning electron microscope like this.  But I thought it was a perfect miniature of the biggest complaint this site hears from P1's about Corby (next to his musical tastes).  

And it illustrates the point that I think must, in fairness, be made:  This is not just a Corby issue -- it's a Mike issue, too

Theater of the Mind:  Try to imagine a segment called "What's on Bob's Mind?"  Imagine Bob beginning to talk about some topic that had attracted his interest lately.  Imagine Dan jumping in about two sentences into it and talking nonstop.  What would Bob's reaction be?  I'm guessing it would not be silent acquiescence (although I am always willing to be corrected on BaD etiquette by their many Confessor fans). 

Corby's two-segment contribution on iPods didn't wreck the show -- I'm not even sure it wrecked the "Mike's Mind."   I listened; I heard nothing that made me want to punch out.  It was perfectly good content.  But it wasn't what was on Mike's mind, and it did strike me as a real-time illustration of how (1) The Hardline (which, to my ears, has been very sharp since drydock mainly owing to Mike's increased participation) can sometimes lose its balance, and (2) it s not really a Corby issue -- it's a show issue. 


I would ask commenting Confessors to maintain their equanimity in commenting on this STD.  (Christy -- you have your usual license to comment off-topic.)   Corby is one of the tallest lightning rods of The Ticket -- but please be respectful in your remarks.  The Hardline isn't the only enterprise that benefits from balance.  Many thanks. 


James said...

The Hardline was definitely better with Greg (when he was sober) than without. That isn't a shot at Corby. He's pretty good. Greg was better.

cancer monkey said...

I'm not a Corby basher anymore (usually -- ignore my post re: Facebook from yesterday). I've come around on him to a certain extent; I know that he bring some intangibles to the show and his and Danny's presences usually create a nice balance with Mike's (sometimes lacking) presence.

All told, I think the Hardline is more listenable now than it was during the final couple years of Greggo's tenure. It tends to be less blowhard-y, with a more balanced mix of sports and general buffoonery. I think you're right, though, that they lose direction from time to time. Since the Ticket's never been a strict script- and clock-driven station, this will naturally happen periodically. With other shows, though, it seems to be more controlled, if not intentional. For example, BaD follow tangents on a regular basis, but you get the idea that they knew what they were doing when they went into it. With The Hardline, it comes across as a lack of show prep and/or producing.

cancer monkey said...

Oh, and A) Why is Christy the only one with an off-topic license? B) When does she ever post on-topic?

I'm kidding. We're having fun here. No?

The Plainsman said...

Christy is by no means the only one with such a license. Off-topic comments are always welcome and even encouraged. But she is the most frequent and self-identifying off-topic commenter, so I coddle her some to encourage her contributions.

And yes, I do think we're having fun here, with the possible exception of Grumpasaurus, who seems to have some special reserve of bile for this site.

Scott said...

I forget when or where I posted my daily schedule of Ticket listening and why, but I will offer this on the HL and Corby.

I think the HL fits perfectly in their time slot, mainly because, at that point in the day, I need to unwind and laugh. It is not a 100% likelihood that I will be amused, but more often than not, I am. Especially combining WTDS with the HL.

That amusement has increased with Greggo gone and Corby on mic. Corby does have a tendency to take over, but like the Plainsman offered, I think this is more Mike driven. Mike can absolutely put Corby in his place, I have heard it many times when Corby was beginning to take over. I did not hear the segment, thanks travel dep't, but I suspect Mike was not overly interested.

Overall, I think Corby is great. He can be too much, but, so can everyone.

Jonaessa said...

Unfortunately, I only started listening to the Ticket about six years ago. Greggo was still on (and I even caught a glimpse of him at a remote once). But it wasn't too long after that when Greggo was phoning it in and skipping it altogether. Not knowing too much about the chemistry on the showgram (I like that word as well, but mainly for lack of a better one), I thought Corby was great filling in. E-news has always been my favorite segment (though Muse in the News is slightly edging it out these days) and Corby my favorite personality.

The more I listen, however, I wonder if Corby really is more of a Spinderella than a Salt or Pepa. Mike and Greg were the main attraction with Corby providing the background music. Now that he's been moved to lead vocals, I think he struggles a bit. The OverCorby may come from his feelings of inadequacy and desire to fill some pretty big shoes. (Yes, my exposure to Greg was limited, but I read and heard a lot to know that in his day, he was something.) I'm not trying to psychoanalyze Corby, but it's got to be tough to always be "on." He may be trying to prove to himself that he deserves his spot on the Hardline, and it isn't easy when there are articles and blogs like this that basically say he doesn't. (I love your blog.)

I still enjoy the Hardline, but as the guys have changed, so has the material. Mike has a daughter in college, Corby has two ankle-biters, and Danny...well, Danny is still Danny. As they have evolved and (hopefully) matured, the bits have also changed. I miss Repro Man and inappropriate, offensive jokes at the expense of women. And to get back to your original point, I like knowing "What's on Mike's Mind" as long as I'm hearing it from Mike! Mike really sounds as if he's half-listening, half-sleeping during most segments so I look forward to the times when he's saying more than, "Mmm-hmmm. That's right," or "I think guns are good." I want Mike to be more of an active participant, but maybe he can't because Corby won't let him get a word in edgewise.

Christy said...

Slightly more on-topic:
Danny appeared more frustrated (that's not the correct word, but I can't think of a better one right now...they never seem actually frustrated because whatever frustration they might have goes away once the next segment starts) with the show yesterday because of the OverCorby.

Mr. Plainsman, I wished you had continued your segment-by-segment analysis of The Hardline on Tuesday because you would have eventually touched on these segments.

Danny wasn't happy when Corby went on a long tangent about the Arlington school district with Ty Walker and he wasn't happy when Corby spent a segment screaming about facebook.

Something Anon B said awhile back regarding Danny stayed with me: "I really think Danny just misbehaves like that to get something on the show. Usually when he pulls that crap it's because Mike has checked out and Corby is struggling and into overdrive."

I've been paying a little more attention to Danny since then and he seems upset when he feels the show is bogging down.

Corby: My misgivings with Corby are well-documented, and while I think he's more yuck-monkey than co-host (like Jonaessa said above. Filling both shoes seems to make him not prepared to talk about topics for either roles), he is needed on The Hardline. I realized this during Super Bowl week: there isn't anyone else on the show who can do what he does in terms of doing bits with professional athletes. It takes a certain amount of gumption to carry on silly conversations with star players. In the last few months, TC (asking Dallas Mavericks the meaning of the word jovial) and Danny (asking athletes to say that crazy Zhu Zhu pets phrase) have tried it with little luck and unentertaining content. Funnily, Corby wasn't too happy with their efforts, either.

James said...

What did Corby say about the AISD? I missed that. Curious if he was talking about the girls who held a bake sale, which was the lead story on Ch 4 and 11 news last Saturday. I ask because one of the girls is my niece. Plus I live in Arlington and used to teach here.

The Plainsman said...

Great comments from the Nation.

My only reaction to recent posts is to Joanessa: I hope you have not taken from any of my commetns is that I don't think Corby belongs in his seat. I think he does and I hope I've been clear on my overall admiration for his skills.

Thanks for the love.

Anonymous said...

Ugh... the facebook segment yesterday was a beating of the highest order. I think Cobra talks more/louder/faster when he knows he's wrong. :)

-Anon B

Ian said...

plainsman- in reference to "cue Masterpiece Theater music" and not to be a snob, because it took some research to quell my own curiousity, the drop that is played when Corby discusses his (seemingly) lavish lifestyle is Vivaldi's "Spring" from the Four Seasons


Ian said...

forgot to say that i did enjoy this piece anyways, keep up the good work

The Plainsman said...


First of all, welcome. Let us hear from you frequently.

Second: Thanks re Vivaldi. For some reason I had the idea that it was Handel or Hayden and I'd been going through all my cuts looking for it. Vivaldi, of course! Thanks a lot. (I don't think Masterpiece Theater actually used that music -- they have their own fanfare.)

Christy said...

@James I can't remember the actual dialogue, but I think they were reminiscing about their childhood since they were both Arlington kids a few years apart...

Off-topic: It's interesting these promos each station is running that takes digs at each other. The Ticket is calling the hosts of 103.3 east coast blowhard who yell while 105.3 is too cheesy. I forget which rival station is calling 1310 too inside, which is what Mr. Plainsman's last post was about.

Did anyone catch the bit someone's doing with one of Norm's commercials? There's an audible sniff every time he pauses!

Jonaessa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonaessa said...

Don't worry, Mr. Plainsman. I've got much love for Corby. (And you, in an if-I-were-a-guy, not-gay kind of way.)

I just think Corby needs to find a balance between the abrasive, over-the-top, polarizing frat guy and the Masterpiece Theater guest of the week.

ap said...

[note -- I'm still stuck in my two-week-ago timewarp, so in my KTCK universe, Hambone just got signed and Jerry Sloan just got canned]

I'm curious if anyone else has noticed certain comments from Danny that indicate he's being directed by management to have more of a host presence on the HL. I've heard about three instances where he's openly said something to the effect of "Make up your mind, do you want me to be a host, or do you want me to be a producer!"

Usually, it happens when Mike/Corby is chastising Danny for not screening calls or booking last-minute guests (i.e. the Brett Shipp interview). This happens because Danny's time is spend on-air, which causes his producing duties to slide. It was even mentioned by someone on the Orphanage that Cumulus is getting a heck of a deal by 'paying Danny producer money for a host's position.'


T4 In Rockwall said...

@ Christy's Off-topic remark. That is The Fan saying 1310 is too inside. That's a very funny promo because they're basically saying they suck (something to the effect of, please listen, our jobs depend on it).

Also, GrumpAnonymous could be from The Fan, trying to beat down a good fan site. Take that into consideration when reading others comments. I'm sure it's more than just us Ticket listeners that frequent this site.

Keep up the good work Plainsman!

Anonymous said...

Nope. I hate the Fan, about as much as I hate "The Plainsmans" ego, pointless ramblings and attempts to weasel his way into Ticket lore. Did you hear he wants to sell t shirts now? Like he's some kind of celebrity.

Get over yourself! The only good thing about this blog is the commenters.

Grumpanonymous out!

The Plainsman said...

Grumponymous --

"Hate" -- such a harsh word!

"Ego" -- guilty!

"Weaseling into Ticket lore" -- not guilty! (1) I'm attempting to march forthrightly into Ticket lore, and (2) there is absolutely no chance of me succeeding. The lore being created here, if any, is purely MTC lore.

"Selling T-shirts" -- not guilty! Who said anything about selling them? Besides, no shame in making a buck off this site, for all the time I put in on it. Hell, The (Incomparable) Unticket runs ads, and I'll probably start doing it, too.

"Like some kind of celebrity" -- Jeebus, what kind of a celebrity can one be when one's ANONYMOUS. With around 150-250 page views a day, I've got a ways to go.

Sorry you so loathe the original content offered here. But, like I've said, Big Tent. Just watch the old pie-hole, OK?

Anonymous said...


Grump is a troll. I can't believe this person actually wastes his or her time with this nonsense. How very sad. And what a sad soul.

Here's one: What is the origin of "Ya Wall"? While I know what it refers to, I don't know why it's called as such.

The Plainsman said...


Grump, forgot to agree with you re the excellence of the commenters.

I'll be looking out for a new blog, "The Grumpy P1."

The Plainsman said...

That's one I can handle. As you know "Ya Wall" is apparently a board of some kind where our lads post photos of attractive women and probably other scandalous stuff.

Its origin is Greg "Hammer" Williams attempting to preface a remark by saying "Yeah, well . . ." but it came out "ya wall." Michael G plays the drop from time to time. Go to the Ticket "drop page" on the website and search for "wall" and you'll see two clips, one of the entire passage, and one with the "ya wall" clipped out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the "ya wall" answer, Plainsman.

Christy said...

@ ap I find your listening ways fascinating. You don't listen to The Ticket while it's going on? You're only listening to the content that you need to comb through for uploading to TheUnTicket? Are you listening to your ipod or whatever at work/jogging/car or do you only do Ticket stuff at home?

I also raised an eyebrow at that Danny/Brett Shipp moment. I couldn't tell if they were doing a bit (since Brett Shipp was on with them in the next segment) or if there really was a scramble to get hold of him.

Another peculiar Danny producing moment was when he could have had a bigwig celebrity on during Super Bowl Week but turned him down, and Mike and Corby couldn't believe his judgment.

Anonymous said...

I thought "Ya Wall" was Greggo speaking German, i.e. "Jawohl," which means "affirmative."

-Anon B

P.S. I'm starting to think Grumpy Anonymous is a spoof

ap said...

I've got my own custom setup that records stuff for me, and I can throw it on an ipod pretty easily. I'd estimate that ~99% of my listening is done off-line, and I'm usually several hours behind (although I'm currently two weeks behind at the moment). I listen whenever I have free time such as during my commutes and at the gym.

I listen primarily for enjoyment, but if I hear something I find funny, I'll export it and throw it up on the UnTicket. KTCK has a great thing going where they will refer back to previous shows a lot, so you basically have to listen to just about every show to understand everything that's going on...and man, is it ever working on me!