Sunday, July 31, 2011

What's the Inside on JJT?

Active Twitterati probably already know the answer to this, but I'd be grateful for some poop:

So here I am driving to work this morning (yeah, Sunday) and I hear the intro montage for The Soul Patch.  And as I'm listening, I keep hearing these rerefernces to "Anderson" along with the "Scot Harrison" references.

And sure enough, The Patch now features Harrison and one Byron Anderson.

What happened to Jean-Jacques Taylor?  I was really starting to admire not only this show, but JJT's work on The Ticket generally, sitting in with Norm, fililng in elsewhere, his call-in commentary.  It was on my short list of topics to write about.  Check that one off until I hear more of The (New) Soul Patch.

By the way, JJT's Tweeting like mad this morning while Harrison and Anderson are holding forth.

I always thought that a guy like JJT would be a great anchor personality forThe First Black Ticket.  I wrote about it here:  "WHO WILL CREATE THE FIRST BLACK TICKET", which had one of the more interesting sets of comments we've had.

Anyone have the scoop on Taylor and The Ticket?  Is he just no longer a programming regular, or has there been some JJT breach with The Little One (or has he signed elsewhere)?

Thanks in advance to The Nation for any info.  Sorry I'm behind the curve on this.  I wish I had the time to be a Newberg Report-type independent Ticket news clearinghouse, but alas, I have to depend on the kindness of strangers.  And looks like Twitter has a lot of that territory covered these days.

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20 comments:

Shaggy said...

JJT left the Morning News to work for ESPN Dallas.

Happened 10 days ago.

http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/news/story?id=6787434

ap said...

Plainsman - there is a very long, very hastily-written email in your inbox on this subject. Please feel free to slice & dice, repost or rewrite as you see fit!

Anonymous said...

I don't mind Harrison. He has a good voice and some pretty decent opinions and knowledge. But this new pairing won't last a month. It's not good, at all. Together they sound like they belong on the Fan. (As an aside: If this is the future of the Ticket, and also what type of show/who they're looking to hire, then management at both the Fan and ESPN ought to be smiling. As soon as one of the weekday mainstays retires or goes on to another gig, watch out. The special homegrown brand of sports/guy talk that made the Ticket what it is will be in trouble. Once the originals start to move on, the station will sound no different from the others. Sorry Sirois, Grubes, etc. fans out there.) And Harrison, if you happen to read this, PLEASE change the name of the show. "The Soul Patch" makes no sense whatsoever. At least when JJT was a part of the show, the reference had some sort of meaning to the listener - JJT's photo in the DMN and his t.v. appearances. No offense, but no one knows what you or your new partner look like (and no further offense when I say I doubt anyone cares). Besides, the soul patch isn't an "old school" look, it's merely outdated. Like I said, it makes no sense. It's like naming a sports station "The Rectory" instead of "The Ticket."

Little Weak Jeremy said...

I have to agree that the new Soul Patch is horrible -- on the previous incarnation, Harrison basically served the same function as Norm's crew, but without the level of personality, discussion input, etc. He just got kicked around by JJT. (I'll pull a Norm and say sorry if you're viewing, Scot. I did enjoy you as a +1 for JJT. You guys had a certain big brother/little brother chemistry.)

I disagree that the Ticket will flounder once one of the mainstays finally leaves, however. Cirque du Sirois is a program VERY capable of stepping into a slot -- they prove it every time they get a chance. And though people either love or hate It's Just Banter, I have a hard time believing that ANYONE would rather tune into the Herd than enjoy the stylings of TC and Jake. Yes, of course it will seem like small fry stepping into big men's shoes when one of these shows finally makes it, but that will fade with time.

Anonymous said...

It seems everytime I tune in on weekends it is some blowhard yelling on Sporting News Radio.

Anonymous said...

LWJ: I have to disagree with you where CDS is concerned. Same goes with Jake and TC. I don't know you, and obviously because I don't, I also don't know your age, interests, etc... A TC and Jake show might make a funny and sometimes even substantive podcast. And perhaps for you that pair might be entertaining no matter what. But I can assure you that the vast majority of listeners disagree with you. The majority of listeners aren't Grubes Is My Leader fans and the likes; they are not younger people who "get" that sort of humor and listen to current alt/pop/etc. music and whatnot. The majority of listeners are older farts like myself. Furthermore, and this might come as a shock to some, most listeners actually want to hear sports talk. While CDS does indeed have more to offer than Jake and TC, they are at best another Ben and Skin. The thing is, is that there most likely is no host or hosts that will be able to fill the void when one of the "Bigs" leaves. It's just the nature of the beast. If you listen to ESPN and The Fan (weekday or weekend) and The Ticket weekend shows with an open mind, you'll find that it's tough to differentiate between shows. They all follow the Ticket model of sports/guy talk with a focus on the local scene. (Has anyone heard the new Fan promo with Whitt and Greggo pulling the classic Hardline gag asking for a listener to bring them something specific to eat by "betting" that there's no way it can happen? I know Greggo was a Hardliner, but it really is shameless. Whitt ought to be embarrassed. Sadly, I don't think that's possible for Whitt.) ...back to my point... And so, the upshot is that within the next several years we're going to have an extremely homogenized market.

Anonymous said...

Where's ap's e-mail, Plainsman? Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

while JJT has always presented a written story well, his opinions are somewhat supported and he seems plugged in to the professional Dallas sports scene, his delivery on radio is not on the same level. I would imagine he's the only one that thinks he's cool in his neighborhood, his cadence and rhythm sound forced, and he must have a huge set of headphone with the ability to fit over two bluetooths. Sad to say, but "broadcast" JJT sounds like a reoccurring, but not regular character on Fat Albert.

The Plainsman said...

Three Anonymi back: I like your point about the likely non-youth of the P1 Cohort. However, it seems to me that a station owner considering that fact would be concerned about the aging of its listnership. It's hard to object to an effort on The Ticket's part to experiment with younger talent -- sooner or later, the fans of the current shows are going to cycle out of the demo and the Little One is going to have to attract fresh listeners.

Two Anonymi Back: Coming right up!!

Most Recent of the Anonymi: I had some trouble understanding JJT at the outset and wrote about the need to get his level up, or something, awhile back. I thought he got easier to understand as time went by, although perhaps it is more likely that I got used to hearing him.

At first I didn't care for his streety cocksureness, but after awhile I not only got used to it, I liked it. I thought he and Harrison were quite good together. I have to agree with Five Anonymi back that the new Soul Patch with Byron is a step in the wrong direction. The show I heard was a drag, and the name indeed no longer makes sense without a certified Black Guy.

The Plainsman said...

Thanks to the Nation for some really excellent commentary on this thread. Don't stop now.

Sorry I've been a bit absent, hope to pick things up here in the near future.

Little Weak Jeremy said...

Since the disconnect between the aging and the upcoming P1 has become a salient issue, I'll fully disclose: I'm 26 and could give a shit about no-frills sports talk. In fact, I'll probably tune out of a straight-up sports segment, if I have a better option to hand; I'd rather listen to music than listen to the Hardline debate for the 50th time already this season whether Neftali Feliz has lost it. If I'm a captive audience, like at work or when doing chores at home, I'll stay tuned in, but I'm really looking for segments such as E-News, TWWISH, Gay/Not Gay (and other obscure products), Homer Call, Biggest Show...

No, I am not a hard-core sports fan. I don't watch many regular-season basketball or baseball games, and I'll probably miss a few Cowboy games. Hockey? Are you kidding me? Yet I think I can still call myself a P1, and I wonder how many listeners are in my boat. (I am not a member of the Grubes is My Leader boards.)

Regarding whether or not IJB/CDS has what it takes to be a part of the Ticket legacy, I find myself harking back to that "What's so great about Mike Rhyner" question and thinking to myself, well, what's so great about ANY of these guys, that the P1s would hold such a level of reverence for them as we do? And I think that often, the answer is not sports knowledge. When is the last time George Dunham changed your mind about something with a blazing HSO? I don't feel like most of these guys know anything more about sports than I do; maybe they've watched more, being older and having, well, worked at a sports station for twenty years, but I don't think that a deep knowledge of sport is a strong selling point for ANYBODY at the station. Even Bob is really just a stat-cruncher, from that standpoint.

Speaking of Bob and Dan, how did people feel ten years ago when they were thrown together, two Yankees on a Dallas station, and asked to become part of this great thing? Did anybody listen to their show and think, "Man, this is just FUCKING AWESOME!!!" and immediately put them on the same level with the Musers and Hardline? I wasn't listening then, so I don't know how it was, but as far as I can tell, it seems like those guys were very much the odd men out at that point, yet now they're integral parts of the Ticket family.

So, reflecting on all I've said so far, my conclusion is that what makes the Ticket so special is not the knowledge of any one host, or even the comedy of one host, but the entire Ticket community efforting together to build a rapport and history that the listeners can appreciate and come to love more and more as they grow more familiar with these deep, long-lasting relationships that ALL the shows and hosts have with each other.

So to say that CDS would never be more than just a Ben & Skin, I'd have to ask you, what's wrong with Ben & Skin? And if Ben & Skin had been at the Ticket for fifteen years, don't you think they'd have become a part of this family too, over the course of compounds and campouts and Ticketstocks and EVERYTHING extracurricular that the Ticket does?

As to not getting "that sort of humor" that prevails on IJB, I reply, what's more shocking: 1. anything Jake Z has ever said, or 2.the AVERAGE Gordo's Corner? I submit that unless you're a major curse-phobe, the answer is No. 2.

So, my point through all of this is that I think the Ticket will survive. Other stations may do a similar sports/guy-talk mix, but NOBODY goes above and beyond with the extra events, roundtables, and community-building exercises that the Ticket does all the time. This truly is a family, not just a collection of random hosts. I think when it comes time to add a new family member, it may take that new guy a little time to find his stride, but I have no doubt that the Ticket will continue even through the departure of the bigger names, if they keep the current model they have going right now. The family is all.

The Plainsman said...

GREAT blast. I was planning on writing a column on exactly this topic, and using the BaD example in exactly the way Little Weak has done. If this doesn't get some commentary going, LWJ, I'm hopeful I have your permission to repost it as a main entry. It says everything I was going to say, and better than I could.

Little Weak Jeremy said...

Plainsman,

Sure, go for it, and thanks for the props.

Anonymous said...

LWJ: Great stuff. I'd like to address it all point/paragraph by point/paragraph... so this might be a bit lengthy (sorry Plainsman).

PT I

(1) I'm 38 and yes, I'm an actual Day1, P1. I enjoy both the sports talk and the guy talk (the latter includes the hilarity and hijinks). The point you make here about your tastes echos ap's point about only listening to the Soul Patch when they mix with CDS, because it has some comedic value. In other words, if it doesn't have comedic value, ap, and so it seems, yourself and those like you two, find little or no interest in the segment or show. My point is, is that yours is, in my opinion (and I believe the numbers back this up) a niche audience that on the whole moves on when they either tire of the comedic brand or their tastes in general take a different or at least a varied turn. I must say that this niche audience does have many a dedicated listener (e.g., you are commenting on a blog dedicated to the station, and ap runs a site dedicated to the station - an excellent site, I might add). But again, it is a niche audience that on the whole (of course there are always exceptions) will not be along for the ride by the time their hit their early-mid 30s. And I believe, to reiterate from above, it is because they primarily listen to the station for comedic value - and indeed many really don't enjoy sports talk or even sports all that much, if at all. But that does not in any way mean said audience cannot be a P1.

(2) I think it's not so much about a host's sports knowledge and their ability to change minds (unless you're talking about Norm and to some extent Bob), than it is the expressing an opinion that many listeners agree with, and would like to put out there but obviously aren't able to do so. It's akin to people on the political right preferring to watch FOX News and those on the left, CNN or MSNBC. Like tends to attract like. So your point about feeling that the hosts don't know much more than you about sports is a valid one - though I believe that they really do know their stuff, else they wouldn't have lasted in the market during the early years, when it was their credibility and backed up HSOs that got the local sports audience's attention. Thus it was and I believe still is a selling point. (And knowing what to look for, and how to use, stats is an art form unto itself.)

(3) BAD was odd at first. But you have to understand that they came after the whole Rocco fiasco. After Rocco, anyone seemed to be a better fit. The reason why I believe BAD ended up working is because both Bob and Dan (and now Donny) worked their tails off when it came to immersing themselves into the local sports scene and the "Ticket Way." Truly, Stars hockey might have saved them their jobs. It gave them a credibility that would have otherwise been damned elusive for two northerners to find if they were trying to become Cowboy experts (please see the east coast blowhards on ESPN and the Fan for examples of how this fails). And because they found credibility via the Stars, they then began to branch out into the other teams... doing so with skins on the wall.

Anonymous said...

PT II.

(3) I couldn't agree with you more where your conclusion about the cohesiveness of the station is the key to its success. In fact, you sort of make my point about the "dangers" (that's too strong and really silly of a term here, but I'm sticking with it) of the niche audience and where the station might be heading in the coming years. Just like you say, it isn't about the knowledge or comedy of one host, it's the entire thing that makes it special.

(4) There is nothing wrong, per se, with Ben and Skin. And there's nothing wrong, per se, with CDS. Personally, I'm not a fan of either show (sans BAS Mavs talk, at which they are very knowledgeable). The shows, to me, are much the same; and they are also much like the shows found on sports/guy talk radio throughout the country (all based on the Little Ticket, by the way!). BAS were a weekend show and that's all they were ever going to be unless one of the daytimers went away (and even that wouldn't guarantee BAS a spot); they knew this and that's why they left. Furthermore, even if they didn't move over to ESPN, they weren't going on campouts, etc. because those events are reserved for the mainstays. (They did perform songs at Ticketstock while at the station.) So... CDS is in the same spot as BAS was, and I think you know where that's going - that is if you agree with what I'm saying.

(5) Shock value is not the issue here. The issue is finding it funny. While I'll readily say that Gordo can go way over the line and spew out garbage with no redeeming value other than, it seems, to see if he can annoy/get away with it, his brand of humor more often than not has some depth to it. From what I've heard of IJB, that isn't the case. I'm sorry, but "space is gay" was funny the first time or two; even the very first Ribby Paultz is still funny. But here's where the age thing rears its head.

(6) I can't agree more with the first part of your summation. As to the second part, I hope that you're right. However, if The Soul Patch, giving Jake Z and TC a show, or the likes is any indication of where they're going, then I fear that you're, alas, wrong.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the typos and confusing/screwed up grammar in those last two posts. I just typed away without self-editing.

Little Weak Jeremy said...

Anonymous,

Maybe I'm beating my head against a wall, but I would suggest you listen to an episode or two of IJB before judging Jake Z based on "space is super gay". He's spoken at length about how that type of opinion doesn't represent his general attitude toward intellectual topics, etc. (the latest IJB actually deals with Jake having received his Master's degree). Sure, the "super gay" is Jake's most famous drop and the one that will be a thorn in his side forever and ever, but don't judge the man's contributions solely on that unfortunate moment (no, I don't agree with that particular opinion of his either).

As far as the bigger Ticket picture goes, if you and I are looking at the same set of info, and you come to the conclusion that this thing is headed for the shitter, and I don't, then I'm not sure what else I can do to argue the point further. We look into the crystal ball and simply see different fortunes. I suppose we've reached an endpoint in that discussion.

Anonymous said...

LWJ:

I *knew* you were going to make a statement/challenge along these lines, and I almost preemptively addressed it in yesterday's comment. But due to the length of said comment, I didn't.

So...

PT I

First off, my comments are not personally aimed toward IJB/Jake Z. I believe this is rather clear. I only used IJB to illustrate my point regarding what I perceive to be a niche audience and its relation to The Ticket's future.

As to Jake Z's education and intellectual interests: I'm not sure what that has to do with the program content that he has chosen to put forth. If he's into, oh I don't know, biochemistry, great. But why would he talk about it on a podcast such as he and TC have constructed? It wouldn't make sense. Thus one's interests outside of a genre might make interesting talk once in a blue moon for a change of pace, but in general they don't work. So, I'm a bit puzzled about your statement. Furthermore, if Jake Z has spoken at length about the things that truly interest him, then perhaps he ought to change the direction of the show to reflect said interests (?).

I have listened to several of the IJB podcasts. I enjoyed the Rhyner interview (perhaps because they were on their best behavior/Rhyner is interesting to me). I used the "space is gay" quip because most readers of the blog, I imagine, would know what I'm talking about. I judge the man's contribution to The Ticket by his work on The Ticket. Especially his one chance at actually hosting his own show. It was a trainwreck. Both the callers and the hosts demolished the thing. There's a reason why they weren't asked to do it again. I can see that you enjoy the content and presentation that IJB puts forward, and that's great. However, they are minor figures at the station. I will be stunned if Jake Z or TC are ever offered jobs as hosts. Hell, I'll be stunned if they're still at the station in any capacity three years from now. IJB is a podcast that is not a part of the station; and it never will be.

I agree with your second overarching point (agreeing to disagree). Though I would like to reiterate from my previous comments that I've never claimed that The Ticket is going down the shitter. My claim is that if the new hosts/programs that management is hiring/airing are any indication as to where this is going, then the special nature of The Ticket will die away with each loss of the mainstays; it will submerge into the homogeneity of sports/guy talk radio. And that will be a crying shame. I hope that's not going to be the case.

Anonymous said...

PT II

Finally, I'd like to address the age-difference issue:

I remember in my 20s listening to the Rant (even before it was the Rant, when it was on late night Saturdays) and thinking "how can anyone not find this hysterical, smart, and even at times genius?" Some of it actually was. But most of it wasn't. I used to record the shows on a very early version of an MP3 recorder (thank God for the CCrane radio company). Three years ago, when I was 35, I went back and listened to a very large sample size of the Rant shows. Like I said, most of it wasn't very good. In fact, it was tough to find the gems (they were there, though). I, along with my buddies, used to scratch our heads as to why the Rant wasn't on everyday. After going back and listening, I now see why. I see why it was on once per weekend. It was on the whole devoid of content; it was on the whole one big inside joke with its own highly privatized language; a language and a joke that only appealed to a niche audience. While this niche audience calls in to screenless segments, tweets and e-mails, etc., and is very much into the aspects of the station which they find interesting (i.e., comedic value), it moves on when it outgrows or finds new avenues of entertainment to fill what the station once satisfied. I remained a listener because I am a sports talk radio fan. Most of my buddies eventually began to stop listening altogether. The thing is, The Ticket is Sports Radio 1310, The Ticket; it is a sports station first and foremost; sports talk will always be its engine. While the guy talk/comedic value is what keeps the engine running smoothly, it is not the engine. I think we agree that it's that perfect mix of sports/guy-comedy talk that makes The Ticket great. But the day the station leans too far one way, its greatness will quickly fade. If I would have had my way, way back when, I'd have had it all Rant all the time. And The Ticket would have faltered. I'm not saying that *you* want it as such, I'm just saying that the greater niche audience that I believe you're a part of does... and if management allows for it to happen, different days are ahead. Anyway, once again I've rambled on far too long. It's been a great back and forth, LWJ.

Anonymous said...

Either ap or plainsman said Scot Harrison is a friend of the Musers, right? JJT was only asked to host because of his DMN ties. Where did Byron Anderson come from? Were the Scrubs employees there for a long time before they got hired?

I think Mike Sirois used to do tickers.

Those guys are a huge part of the weekend showgram and i'm wondering if they were ticket homegrown or hired from the outside.