Monday, May 30, 2011

Did The Ticket Disrespect the Nelson?

Actually, the headline is really just a grabber.  I doubt that The Ticket intended any disrespect for the Byron Nelson Classic or its founder.

But for awhile there I wondered.

The 3:30 Ticker on Thursday, May 26, featured a live report from the Nelson.  I missed the Tickerman -- Krenek, maybe?  I didn't think it was Casey Millen, but it could have been.  It was delivered in an extremely slow, sing-song voice.  I was waiting for Ty's reaction, and he seemed rather puzzled.  I wondered if it was a Tickerman self-immolating on the air.

As the weekend progressed and I heard other live reports, however, other live reporters had some fun with it, as did the Tickermen in the studio, who would throw in a gag or two.  The live reporters would sometimes deliver the report in in exaggeratedly whispery voice, as though they were reporting standing next to someone lining up a putt. 

I never did figure out the sing-song guy, but then The Hardline reminded us that some years ago the station ran into trouble at the Nelson.  I didn't catch the whole story, but I gather there was a remote from the tourney, and Mike R made some kind of joke that apparently did not go over well with the sponsors and managers of the event.

So I wondered whether there were some Ticket history with the Nelson that inspired these parodic live reports.  Can anyone enlighten?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Living La Vida Ticket -- PART 2

[You can read Part 1 here.]

In Part 1, I began some rather diffuse musings on the relationship of the P1 to The Ticket.  My question was whether those who are not as devoted to the station have a point when they deride the fanatic devotion that many of us feel towards The Little One.  I asked how Confessors listened to the station and got a variety of responses, most of which sounded a fair amount like my own listening habits. 

Makes sense.  The ratings have been stratospheric for a long time, so obviously lots of people are listening, and since the ratings for the shows are tops up and down the broadcast day, they're obviously listening a lot

So -- are we excessively geeked over The Ticket?  Are we the radio equivalent of Star Wars enthusiasts (sorry, Ty, I love Star Wars, too) or people who confuse their video game experience with actual living?

I've lived in major metro areas on both coasts and the Midwest.   I have listened to sports radio for as long as it's been around.  Some pretty good stations, some interesting hosts.  When I married Mrs. Plainsman, we were living elsewhere, but her family is all here and I had no family where we were living.  It was inevitable that we would move to the Dallas area, and we did so in 2004.

I was looking forward to living in Dallas.  No, not because of the TV show.  I believed I would find a progressive modern city that had done what many metro areas had done with their downtowns.  I apologize to all DFW natives and other enthusiasts, but I was and remain disappointed.  (I wrote an article on my feelings about Dallas here.)  Since that article, we've had the debacle of the Super Bowl week.  Yeah, unusual ice and snow -- but the fact is that Dallas gets lots of ice storms compared with other cities because its temperature hovers around freezing more than elsewhere.   The city's response to this would have been appalling even if it hadn't occurred during the most anticipated sporting event in the country; its torpid reaction to the weather emergency during SB Week was symptomatic of a city that's governed by amateurs. 

Enough.  So I find myself in this overhyped city thinking I'll probably live out my days here, and not too happy about it.  (Other than my relationship with Mrs. Plainsman's family, which is delightful.)

But then one day, weaving down the expressway on my way to work poking at the scan function on my car radio, I cruise into one of The Ticket's in-and-out pockets of signal coverage and fortuitously punch in 1310 Amplitude Modulation and hear Those Oh-So-Gentle Musers trading quips about something or other.  I'm not sure if I picked up on whether it was supposed to be a sports-talk situation, but it was clearly some guys who were having a good time and not hollering into the mics or talking over one another.

I eventually figured out that they were on 104.1 Frequency Modulation too, and by adroitly switching back and forth I could usually cobble together a reasonably coherent listening experience.

And from that point on, my Dallas experience got a lot better.

So I think that if I'm honest with myself I have to concede that I do have an emotional attachment to The Ticket.  It's more than just passing entertainment for me.  As I mentioned in Part 1, running this site gives me a somewhat different relationship with the station -- it's more of a hobby than it would otherwise be -- but even in the pre-MTC days I always looked forward to my daily dose of humor, outrage, bad taste, the occasional nugget of information, fart drops, and almost no unpleasant news of the world.  During those hours, I probably am living La Vida Ticket.

But I don't feel geeky.  My admiration, while vast, is not unqualified.  That's what this site is about:  celebrating what's great about the station (most of it) and (I hope fairly) raising concerns where they appear.  The Little One cultivates a personal relationship with its audience, and, like any friendship, it has its rocky patches.  The P1 may stumble through them from time to time, but the friendship endures.

My conclusion:  Factoring out the hours I spend on this site, I think my relationship with Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket is just about perfect, and has not warped my personality to the point of obsession.

Factoring back in those hours  .  .  .  maybe, some.  (Can one be a little obsessive?)

So I'll leave you with this question:   Irrespective of when or for how long you listen, how do you actually feel about your relationship with The Ticket?  Not The Ticket itself -- I assume we all like it a lot -- but the extent to which it affects your life?  That's a pretty touch-feely question, but it has been on my mind for awhile.  Do you sometimes, like I do, feel like you're living The Ticket Life?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

OPEN THREAD: Green Tail Shiner

I'm hopeful AP will favor us with a link to the clip.  Two clips, now, actually.

If you didn't hear them  .  .  .  I'm sorry, I'm not even sure I have the vocabulary to describe what I heard.

All I can say is -- you have absolutely got to love The Ticket.  It will admit of no other emotion.  Even when one of its stalwarts is apparently on the edge of sheer naked lunacy.

Open Thread Question to Ignore:  What do Mike's speculations about green tail shiner tell us about the future of American media?

Monday, May 16, 2011

LISTENING TOO HARD: Another Article About Ads

Apologies for the non-Tickety post.

But one thing that the faithful P1 hears on The Ticket is lots of ads.   I've heard a couple recently that reminded me of something I've wondered about for awhile.  I think we have some Confessors in the ad biz, so perhaps they can weigh in.

My question is:  Why would I ever want to buy a product that is promoted by a repulsive character?

It's been a long time since The Ticket ran this series of Mitsubishi ads, but I'll bet a lot of you remember them.   They featured a guy whose voice sounded like he had been gargling asbestos who would call up citizens and berate them for not taking advantage of Mitsubishi's latest deal, or for not owning a Mitsubishi.  He treated the people he called like idiots.  He was mad at them for their choice of other cars.  Offensive by any standard.  And this wasn't just a single series of ads -- a new batch would show up every once in awhile.   Not blaming The Ticket -- you heard the ads all over. 

Mitsubishi may make a fine vehicle.   My not buying one is unlikely to influence its choice of advertising themes and pitchmen.  But I wonder how many other people reach the same conclusion.  I Googled "gravel voice mitsubishi guy" and the first hit I got was a site called "" where one observer wrote, amusingly, "I boycott even thinking of purchasing one of their vehicles.  I don't know why they continue to do the same thing every couple of years, but this is one voice over I'd like to punch out if I saw his face.  Most annoying radio commercial."   (This site does not condone violence even against fictional assholes.)

I thought of this recently in listening to the Kingsford Charcoal commercials.  A Kingsford Charcoal fan calls up his buddy in Minnesota and mocks him for his unfortunate choice of places to live.  He describes the pleasures of grilling with Kingsford while chortling over his friend's miserable circumstances up north, interspersed with the poor Minnesota schnook moaning about his unpleasant surroundings.  

I suppose there is a school of commercial thought that says -- if you remember the name, the ad has done its job.  I remember them, you betcha. 

The final exhibit doesn't fall into quite this category -- it's the Bud Light "Here we go!" ads.  The TV ads feature what looks like a black coach who ends the ads by saying "here we go!"  I thought they were really weak -- I haven't seen one in awhile -- but didn't think much more about them.  Now we have the radio version with people about to engage in some fun, fun activity, and, on the verge of its commencement, they holler "here we go!"  These people don't sound dreadful -- they sound stupid, and very unconvinced that the impending event merits the hearty "here we go's" they bleat out.  Didn't beer commercials used to be clever?

End of rant.  Back to Ticket-friendly topics next time.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Disturbance in the Blogosphere

Those Confessors who are weary of Greggo/Richie/RaGE stories are hereby given plenary dispensation to skip this article.


Whenever this site's hits go stratospheric as they did today, it's a sure bet that some much more popular site has linked to us.  This was the case today, where Richie Whitt in his "Whitt's End" column in the Observer linked to my essay "Is Richie Whitt Good for Greggo?" of a couple of weeks back, which was generally favorable towards RW.  The reference in the "Whitt's End" column was to a anonymous Confessor who suggested (stated) that Richie had been been fired from both DFW newspapers, which RW denied both in a comment to the MTC article, and in today's column. 

I have no idea who did what to whom in the Richie/Greggo/DFW Radio Community intrigue.  A different anonymous commenter to that article offered what he claimed to be a genuine insider's account of what went down with the former Hardliner Mr. Williams.  It isn't malicious and to me it has the ring of truth -- you have to know something about the players involved even to make this stuff up -- so I thought it might be of interest to that portion of the Nation that does not pay much attention to the comments.    Please bear in mind that this is anonymous, not sourced, and not verified by me.  [NOTE: I've edited it for clarity.  You can read the original in the comments to the second link above.] 

"I am a 1st hand observer on this ordeal from WAY WAY back. Richie was keeping his literary relevance writing 'where's Greggo' stories'. His last set of highly read/commented Greggo stories were brought about from the John Clay Wolfe experiment.

"[Wolfe] had gotten sideways with Fan's [Program Director] Tom Bigby, and left for KEGL with his [Saturday] car show. [Wolfe] had made it crystal clear that he wanted to replace Russ Martin's void on 105.3.

"When [Wolfe] left, he wrestled up Greggo, got Whitt to give them some Observer ink, and got the Greggo thing rolling again streaming online. This caught [Clear Channel's] attention, and [Wolfe, Clear Channel, and Greggo] made a deal to do a sports show on 1190 afternoon drive to compete with Hardline.

"[Clear Channel] put the barrier up of 90 days of 1 hour noon shows, to test [Greggo's] sobriety.

"Note: When [Wolfe] was on The Fan, Bigby refused to let [Greggo] co-host [Wolfe's Saturday] show, and the first KEGL show [Wolfe] did, [Greggo] was co-host and slammed The Fan and Bigby on 97.1 open mic. Said 'Tom Bigby is an idiot, The Fan is a bunch of losers, and I would NEVER EVER work for a bunch of talentless losers like the crew at 105.3.'

"30 days later, [Greggo] had the job on 105.3 The Fan. Bigby caught wind that [Wolfe] was going to use 1190 air to prove Bigby a fool, and the vet CBS programmer stole [Wolfe's] trick pony [Greggo.]  Without [Greggo's] splash, the terrible rated 1190 experiment was a bust.

"It was [Wolfe], that brought Greggo back from dead, not Whitt. I was there, I watched the whole thing unfold [play by play]. Whitt was a patsy for Bigby, and Bigby hired Greggo as a defensive maneuver against the 1190AM show that was being designed in the backroom. Bigby's plan worked, but didn't chink the armor of the Hardline. Would [Wolfe]/Greggo been different? From what I witnessed, yes."


So there you have it, a purported inside account.  Is it accurate?  Dunno.  Who might our anonymous insider be?  Dunno that either.  I will say that my recollection is that Greg negotiated for quite some time with John Clay Wolfe over money and their failure to make a deal for the (possibly to-be syndicated) Greg/Wolfe show was what sunk that deal.  That's not inconsistent with what our anonymous commenter says, but it does but a slightly different spin on things.  It is also hard to imagine that Whitt had no role in promoting the RaGE idea to CBS, given his relationship with Greg.

Anyway, if the Sportatorium link brought you here for the first time, hope you will have a look around and stop back from time to time.


Google Blogger is having some technical problems which have led to the disappearance of valuable comments from the Confessor Nation on some recent articles.

We Blogger users have been assured that this problem is being resolved and that the comments will be restored soon.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Nice Moment, I Thought

Of all the things that have surprised me about The Confessor Nation's attitudes towards The Little One -- all of those surprising things are among the delights of running this site -- it's that there is a significant faction out there that doesn't care much for Junior Miller.  I guess it shouldn't surprise me -- every host has his fans and detractors.  But I freely confess (of course) that Craig is one of my favorites on the station.

One of the things I like about Craig is that he isn't afraid to take definitive positions.  He has an analytical turn of mind, he favors us with his analyses, and he is pretty fearless about his opinions.  He doesn't hedge, he doesn't engage in endless qualifications on his point of view, he just blasts out his HSO's and there's no doubt about where he stands.

But even more admirable is that he frequently recalls those positions when they turn out not to be supported by subsequent events and reports on it to the Muser audience.  (I've noted instances of this in at least one or two previous posts.)

So when he opined that (1) that it didn't make much difference who the Mavs beat, if anyone, in Round 1 because they'd quickly be ushered out by the Lakers in Round 2, and (2) that Jason Terry should spend most of the playoffs reposing on the bench -- in rather harsh terms, I might add -- I wondered whether he would say anything about those views after the sweep and Terry's terrific performances.

And then I heard that the Musers were going to interview Terry.  And I wondered even more intensely.


Sports talk radio guys are entitled to their opinions.

It was hard to argue with Craig's opinion about Terry.  He was a big-talking, cheap-shotting, non-defending  .  . .  well, one could go on -- and Craig did.  It wasn't personal -- it was well within the bounds of sports-talk radio and, as with most of Craig's opinions, supported by the record.

So when Terry  goes off in the playoffs, it was unexpected.  A pleasant surprise, but most assuredly a surprise.

Junior didn't owe anyone an apology.

But on Monday's show, well in advance of the interview, Craig acknoweldged his prior opinion and said that he owed Jason Terry an apology.

I caught the interview on the Top Ten, and wondered how Junior would approach it.  Directly, as it turned out.  He began the interview with a personal apology to Terry, acknowledging his earlier critical opinion of The Jet.  To his credit, Terry brushed it off (I couldn't tell if he was aware of Junior's earlier opinions), although in the course of doing so managed to allude to his own greatness.

And that was the end of it.

I doubt that you hear a lot of sports-talk hosts forthrightly admit to an interviewee that -- on the air, but essentially behind his back -- the host had been slamming him and now regretted it in light of the interviewee's subsequent performance.  But Craig was as fearless in his admission of error as he was in his initial views, and I thought it was a pretty nice moment.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hey, Nice Young . . .

.  .  .  Michael, did you by any chance have a stopwatch on that infomercial for Virgin America during today's Hardline?

They don't look disgruntled  .  .  .  .

Monday, May 2, 2011

OPEN THREAD: Draft Coverage

Wow, that is one dull topic.  But maybe we can have a spot of fun with it.

My employer has thoughtlessly demanded that I work from rising in the morning until turning in at night, so I've been unavoidably detained.  I know I owe you a PART 2 to that PART 1 of a few days ago.  I'll get to it.

So I'm giving you a cut-rate post and asking you to give the Nation your thoughts on The Ticket's draft coverage.

My cut-rate view:  It was excellent, as always.  I follow exactly one college football team, and if the players involved aren't from that team my interest is somewhat attenuated.  But during my normal listening hours, I listen to The Ticket's draft coverage as though it were a regular showgram.

I have two highlights, and one new element that I'd like to hear your views on.

The highlights, which I think most Confessors will agree with, are

(1) Bob Sturm's analysis.  I have no idea if he's right or wrong most of the time, but it sells me.  I especially enjoy it when he cocks his radio eye at a proposed pick, asking how that pick would fit into the selecting team's scheme.  Ooo, good point!

(2) Junior Miller's droll mini-summaries of the players selected.  Very funny.  More important, he's trying.  Rewarding the P1 for tuning in -- he cares enough about a quality presentation to give them something to anticipate.  I think it almost always works.

The DCC signal the drafting of kicker David Buehler
in the 5th round of the 2009 draft
OK, here's the wild card I'd like your views on:  Jean-Jacques Taylor's contribution.  I'll hold off on any major JJT STD.  I'll just say that (a) he's still damned hard to hear and understand if you have your radio -- expecially your car radio, which is fighting with tire and engine noise -- tuned to hear the normal radio voices at normal volume (which I've griped about on an earlier occasion), and (b) I make a special effort to make sure I do hear what he has to say.   For now I'll just say -- well, nothing.  I'd rather hear what you have to say.

Thanks for checking in during this quiet time.