I’ve been kicking this one around for awhile. It’s still not well formed so it will meander somewhat more than is my custom, and that's some meandering. I’ll leave you with a question which I hope will provoke some comments, and I’ll bounce off those comments for Part 2.
Most of the people who visit this site like The Ticket. There is the occasional naysayer with a grudge of one kind or another, either against this site or a Ticket personality, or, on occasion, with The Little One itself. Once in awhile, a commenter will take me or the Confessor Nation to task for taking it all too seriously, for, in effect, caring too much about what is, after all, just a sports/guy-talk radio station.
I blather on a lot about fairness in these articles, so let’s be fair to these critics: Are they right? What does it mean to be a P1? Does it materially affect our lives? Would we really miss it if it disappeared tomorrow? Certainly the station encourages its listeners to listen every moment of every day. Mike daily requires listeners to mill about the premises making sure that every radio is turned to The Ticket.
So I invite you to join me in an informal exploration of the impact of The Ticket on our daily lives; whether it is a positive or negative influence; and if your relationship with the station has changed over the years.
I believe that almost without exception – and perhaps without any exception – Ticket personalities deeply and sincerely appreciate the loyalty and enthusiasm of the P1. They express it on the air. Most pay some attention to email and Twitter exchanges. The station spends an enormous amount of energy and cash staging free events that the P1 enjoys. This site occasionally hears from station personnel, and on very rare occasions I’ll get a private email of comment, correction, or appreciation.
And yet, do you sometimes get the feeling that even they are overwhelmed with the obsession that some listeners exhibit? Don’t you sometimes hear jeez, give it a rest in their voices? I’m going to explore the relationship between the P1 and the hosts as human beings in an upcoming post, but the point I want to make here is that it’s not just grumpy commenters that exhibit occasional impatience with the intensity of some listeners’ enthusiasm for 1310 AM/104.1 FM.
The Ticket does play a big role in my life, and I would have said that even if I’ve never started this site. It is the case that keeping this this site going has changed that role. My need to come up with topics of interest to The Nation means I listen with greater care, scribble down things that strike me, and get by the channel during times when in my pre-MTC life I might have been spending my time in that most idyllic of states -- quiet burger reflection.
But for guys like me and AP and maybe a couple of others we hear from, following The Ticket has turned into a fairly time-consuming hobby. This site started in 2009, and after a slow start where I was talking mainly to myself, I’ve averaged around 15-20 posts a month. (I’ll never forget the Confessor who, after I’d been blog-silent for awhile and maybe would get a handful of hits a day, wrote to say how much he liked the site and how I should write more. Got me going.) I keep a list of potential topics. Looked at it the other day. Got about forty items on it right now. A lot of them are stale; others look less interesting to me now than they did when I wrote them down. Others are gigantic topics that would take me chunks of time I haven’t had the last few months. (By the way – I do a general-interest blog that I neglect and that I have more than once thought of emphasizing at the expense of this one – to date, it’s decidedly the other way around.) Others I realize I’ve done already. For example, among my recent favorite moments on The Hardline are the Mike/Corby live spots for GumOut – but I did a piece on that last July [LINK].. (But wait! I just noticed something interesting in rereading that article. Ooo, I’m going to save this one. The only thing I can promise is that it will be another one of my Listening Too Hard entries.)
|A typical gathering of P1's|
But let’s put aside my extra Ticket obligations, since they are atypical. Here’s the extent of my devotion to The Ticket: I begin listening right around 5:30 am, as Rich is finishing up his pre-Musers Ticker. Mrs. Plainsman indulges my listening while we share the bathroom, as long as I turn on cable news before I leave. I have a fairly long commute, and I get to my workplace almost two hours before the place starts hopping. So I listen to The Musers from the beginning of the show until the 8:40 bit, which I’m going to hear the next morning anyway. I’ll miss the last hour and change. If I’m on the road during the day I listen to Norm and BaD, but unfortunately those opportunities are limited. If I’m paying attention to the clock, I’ll flip on The Hardline sometime between 3:30 and 4, and listen as much as I can for the balance of the work day, on the drive home, and at home until I hear Mrs. Plainsman putting the oxen back in the shed. I am fortunate to have an employer who lets me have a radio on in my work area.
I should listen to the Top Ten to get some notion of what Norm and BaD are up to, but family duties, the other blog, and even writing these pieces invariably intrude. I’ll strap on a radio and headset if I’m off for a jog or bike ride (although in general, I think it’s dangerous to listen to the radio whilst biking and I’ve pretty much quit that). I listen as much as I can on weekends. I don’t listen to podcasts; alas, I rarely even listen to clips on The (Incomparable) UnTicket unless it’s a big deal that a site like this should know about or something that AP has commended. I don’t follow anyone on Twitter. I only very rarely ever stream the station if I’m not in range of the sputtering terrestrial signal.
I’ve only been to a couple of remotes, and then only briefly to check in. (Remotes are on my article-to-do list.) Never been to a Ticket event. Never called a show. Never spoken to a Ticket employee other than once at a remote just to say a brief “thanks” before I left, which the host politely acknowledged. Wait, I think I asked a Ticket Chick for a T-shirt once. Don’t have any buddies or relatives who listen much at all.
So there you have the extent of my average-guy devotion to The Ticket. Four to six hours a day during the week, and probably two to four hours over the entire weekend.
That doesn’t strike me as a crazy Ticket-listening schedule. I listen when I can and when the time is otherwise unchallenged by much of any other activity. I’d like to know how you guys (and Jonaessa, and Christie, and all distaff Confessors) listen to The Ticket. I’d also be interested in your thoughts not on The Ticket’s content, but on how you feel about the time you spend with it.
I’ll conclude next time with some thoughts on how the P1 relates to The Ticket, and whether the Ticket-geek accusation has some truth to it.