Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mr. Miller v. Mr. Do

Your Plainsman has been off work the past couple of days after undergoing a medical procedure.  Nothing serious.  Old Doc Stone rode out on his buckboard and I'm good as new.  I took the opportunity to catch a little of the Bob-less BaD Radio.  Commenters responded favorably to the Followill pairing, and I thought today's Rhadigan plus-one (after the minus-one) was fine, what I caught of it. 

Our subject today is two different positions taken by The Musers and BaD, wondering what you think of it.

Junior devoted a segment to his belief that the evidence of the preseason points to Cowboy management chalking this year up as one for rebuilding.  Not that they've given up the playoffs; not that they won't try to win their games.  Just that they've looked over the team and decided that to be successful in the future, this year needs to be considered one where new, younger players adapt to new schemes and strategies, at the possible expense of a victory here and there.  He was very firm about this, and, I thought, persuasive.  In fact, this has been my own reaction to recent Cowboy news. 

Short-Track Driver Junior Miller
Donovan thought this was "malarkey," and a few other choice descriptors.  (He was not referring to Craig's argument in particular.)  He thought this was purely a cap move.  (One memorable line:  "If Gurode and Costa were both on this team on opening day, who would be starting?")   Possibly reflecting Jerry's reduced economic circumstances, but in any event, mainly economic in motivation.   He had support on this from Dan.  And, indeed, Jerry did refer to economics in his meandering remarks on the topic, and Jason Garrett himself mentioned business considerations.  Not a bad case there, either.

Aussie Exotic Dancer Donovan Lewis
I'm  not sure why both can't be at work here, but I'm more interested in what y'all think about how these guys made their cases, if you heard them, and anything else on your mind. 

As usual.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Non-Tickety Observation on the 105.3 FM Call of the Vikings Game

My non-Tickety observation is that it was terrible. 

Babe Laufenberg was doing the teevee color, so Brad Sham was paired with "Coach Joe" Avezzano and Steve Dennis. 

Is Coach Joe some kind of local beloved character?  I know about his coaching career, but is he known for being an astute observer of the local football scene?  The gags about him being techologically behind the times, and references to what school someone came from, and all the rest, was pointless, unamusing, repeated ad nauseum, and dumb.  I didn't hear one observation from him about what was going on on the field that wasn't obvious; his offerings were so generalized and cliched that I could have written them in advance of the game.  The highlight was where Brad was reading a lst of all the Cowboys who had carried the ball in the game, and when he was done, Coach Joe said "and a porridge in a pear tree." He's like Greggo, without the eloquence.

You know who he sounds like?  Hank Hill's neighbor Bill on "King of the Hill."  Hey, if he's some DFW deity that everyone loves, I apologize for the disrespect.  But man, he was awful in the booth.

Steve Dennis spent more time commenting on his own commentary and Tweeting than offering game observations.  On the TV I would see some cowboy headed off the field on a cart, and those three were larfing it up about some nothing or other. 

Hard to believe that The Fan could not have assembled better support for Brad Sham than that, or that they couldn't have directed Coach Joe and Dennis to do some game prep.  The broadcast was a trainwreck from beginning to end.


NOTE:  This was corrected from its first posting, as I had the channel entirely wrong.  Observations are the same.  Many thanks to Anonymous below for pointing out my error.

Shaggy below also suggests that the Cowboys select the broadcast team.  I had been under the impression that the Cowboys might have approval rights, but the network/station hires the broadcasters.  I'll be there's someone out there who knows.

If it is the Cowboys -- it doesn't improve the broadcast.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Big Weekend?

Contrary to speculation, it appears that Matt McClearin is going to continue to co-host with Scot Harrison on The Soul Patch for a third week.  At least, I think I heard that correctly -- the spot kinda crept up on me.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I believe I also heard Harrison say there was going to be a major SP announcement during the course of the showgram.

And we have sometime crypto-insider Gypo Nolan commenting in an earlier post that htere are going to be, as he put it, a "BIIIGG weekend shakeup" in the offing.

Yah, I know we've got the always-critical third Cowboy pre-season game, and the Angels in town, blah blah blah, but this is important. 

My pants are uncomfortable!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Bob Sturm

I'm almost never in my car during BaD Radio, but I was today when Bob announced that he would be taking an extended leave from the show to travel with his family to Honduras to see to the adoption of a five-year-old boy.  He estimated his absence at 4-6 weeks, but suggested that if the bureaucracy didn't work as expected it might be longer.

I'm sure I speak for The Nation in offering our heartiest congratulations and our hope that things go smoothly and safely. 

This represents a notable sacrifice for Bob in many respects, not the least of which is professional -- to be away from The Ticket during one of the most critical times of the sports year, and during a time when he usually assumes extra duties with the Cowboys pre-game.   By mentioning his on-air duties I don't wish to minimize the extraordinary personal undertaking -- a lifetime obligation -- that Bob and his entire family have signed on for.

The Ticket and Cumulus also deserve tremendous credit for allowing Bob this freedom.  Pretty damned cool.

Bob, would there were more like you.  Thanks for your and your loved ones' service to our collective humanity.  I'm sure that this decision will pay immense dividends in joy.

Keep us posted.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Two Quick Hits on AP's Scrubs/Patch Comments -- Actually, Not All That Quick, as It Turned Out

If you haven't read them yet, go back to the just-prior post and scroll down to his comments (there are other good ones in there):   http://myticketconfession.blogspot.com/2011/08/scrubspatch-voyage-continues.html

Two things I want to comment on:

(1) Among the pearls in AP's essay is his reminder that these guys are not full-time broadcasters.  They have other jobs.  Some, not all, of the co-hosts do not have long-time relationships.  As a result, their shows sometimes sound like a couple of jamokes sitting around having a sports argument in a saloon somewhere.  And, as AP suggests, this might well be a virtue if it doesn't get out of control, and if it doesn't become physically difficult to listen to (as it might if, for example, the hosts end up talking over and interrupting each other).


(2) A note on my own experience with Ticket personnel: 

I was interested in AP's comment that his participation in online Ticket sites brings him into contact with Ticket personalities in ways that tends to give him a rooting interest in the guys he's in touch with. 

Y'all can see for yourselves how often Ticket guys identify themselves as commenters on this site.  Not very often.  Even more rare is a personal email from a Ticket guy who identifies himself.  (No TicketChicks have checked in to date.)  As the site has gotten more popular, however, it's clear that at least a handful of Ticket guys check it with some regularity.  Maybe more.

I also have strong reason to believe that several Cumulo-Ticket insiders comment anonymously, which is both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing, because they can pass along (what seems to me to be) credible inside information, sometimes technical, usually not competitively sensitive, that Ticket fans will find of interest and that can correct speculations that I throw out as well as my factual errors.  A curse because comments from anonymous insiders carry with them the possibility of manipulation -- not just manipulation of this site and Confessors' perception of the station, but manipulation of the anonymous poster's own position at The Ticket (if, indeed, responsible Cumulo-Ticket Overlords visit the site at all, for which I have almost no evidence).  Nothing I can do about it, nor would I even if I knew who the anonymous C-T insider posters might be.  Part of the intrigue of the online world we're all inhabiting these days.

But let's put the suspected C-T anonymous commenters to the side:  AP has identified an occupational hazard of a site like this, and this is as good a time as any to confess (of course) to it:    I'm a fan.  I like The Ticket guys, and it is an affection that, over the years, at least feels personal.  I want them to like me, too.  (Which, given my anonymity to date, I admit sounds fairly ridiculous.)    So the temptation is to be flattered when one of these more-or-less public figures takes the time to write, even if it's to disagree with something in the site, or to correct what they believe is a mistaken opinion I hold.  In addition to the hey-it's-cool-that-a-Ticket-guy-is-communicating-with-us factor, Ticket guys who make themselves known to this site are opening themselves up to adverse comment and further controversy -- including, I'm guessing, the occasional stern note from C-T management about confidentiality.  So they get some points for bravery, too.

And indeed, when one hears the other side of the story, there is an inevitable softening of one's view about whatever the controversy happens to be at the time.

This is a particular hazard for this site.  At the risk of betraying excessive self-regard, I think one of the reasons the site has attracted more followers as time has gone by is that I make an effort to offer praise and support where The Ticket succeeds (and let's face it -- it succeeds way more often than it stumbles), along with the critiques and suggestions.  And, irrespective of my own views, to present the other side of the story through the encouragement -- and, more recently, highlighting -- of the more thoughtful commentary from Confessors.  It may not always be as fun to read as the flame wars, but I'm looking for readers who care about the station and think creatively about it. 

I'm guessing that the Cumulo-Ticket Overlords and their on-air thralls are interested in those citizens as well, the P1's who listen carefully and opine thoughtfully about this large part of their lives.  If the CTO think this site has an ax to grind on behalf of some particular host or other guy, they'll write MTC off as just a (much, much) wordier version of some of the other more rambunctious sites for Ticket venting.

So while I love hearing from Ticket personnel, and while I cannot claim complete immunity from some uptick in sympathy and support for those who take the time to communicate, I do try to maintain some distance.  I've still never met a Ticket guy at any level, although there are several whose hand I'd like to shake sometime, just to say hello and thanks.  I've never called the station or a showgram.  I've never emailed any C-T management (other than in the very early days of this site when I would occasionally send them a link to a post, trying to scare up some interest).   I've probably spent a total of a half hour at remotes in the last seven years.  I don't personally know any of the commenters on this site, including AP.

So, as I think AP's comments suggest, there's a tension between the interest of guys like him and me in getting closer to The Ticket insider community, and wanting to keep faith with readers.  Just know that I have it in mind and hope to keep the latter under control and the former uppermost in mind.  If I weaken, I'm sure you'll let me know.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scrubs/Patch -- The Voyage Continues

Soul Patch sounds great to me today.  They've dropped the self-consciousness and reduced the on-air contributions from the production guys (except for segments devoted to them, like the very good "Bull Durham" segment).  I'm better able to distinguish between Scot and Matt.  A strong effort today


I did not hear Scrubs last week or this, sorry.  Newbury is getting savaged by The Nation.  I have liked him in the past but must confess (of course) I haven't been by the channel for that show or Diamond Talk in awihle.   From recent comments:

I think I might know why the McClearin and Newbury pair were split up. Because Newbury is absolutely insufferably argumentative. My God, he won't let his partner get a word in edgewise. He's talking over him, interrupting him, telling him that he already knows his points before he finishes them and so dismisses them. It's amazing. And it's also annoying. Maybe Cat thought if he separated McClearin and Newbury things wouldn't be so contentious. If so, he was wrong. It's all on Newbury. He is a man who does not like to be disagreed with. Very uncomfortable radio, for sure.   -- Anonymous

It seems pretty clear to this listener that if Newbury does not respect his co-host, he's dismissive, smug, and a bit of an a-hole. Contrast his work with Sean or Ty where he has to defer to a guy with skins on the wall. Worse yet, when Newbury is working with someone he doesn't respect he tries to drive the bus. And that is a disaster. He's very knowledgable but he's a second banana (potentially a ver good one). But this is not a guy that gets you in and out of segments smoothly or generally can get thru a sentence without a few stumbles."  -- Another Anonymous

Newbury is definitely knowledgeable and has some insights that no one else on the station can offer. Well, since Bacsik's demise anyways. His opinions are generally good. But I do agree with the last two anons. He needs a talking to by the Ticket higher ups. -- Fozzie Bear

 Fozzie Bear sums up the consensus:  Newbury is a very solid sports guy, but lacks some broadcast/locution skills and, for lack of a better word, diplomacy.

Anyway, I'm really glad that The Nation is paying some heed to what The Little One is doing on weekends.  Some good stuff, some drama, and some exposure for the JV.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Little Weak Jeremy and Anonymous – It’s Just Confession! (PART 3)

After Little Weak Jeremy’s initial comment and Anonymous’s point-by-point response, each offered one more comment apiece.

Little Weak Jeremy Continued:

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.

Finally, Anonymous Took the Last Word – Actually, a Fairish Number of Them:

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.  [PLAINSMAN:  Is this a reference to the late-night IJB experiment?]  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.

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.

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Indeed it has.  Since I’m interested in these same things, I don’t think either Little Weak Jeremy or Anonymous rambled on too long – sometimes it takes saying the same thing in different ways to get the overall points across.  I think both succeeded, behaved like gentlemen (I am guessing), and they have my gratitude.

I’ll have a postscript up on this in a few days.

In the meantime, thanks to The Nation for great comments on these thoughts to date.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Sunday, August 14, 2011

OPEN THREAD: Weekend Wife Swap

How did the Newbury/Anderson and Harrison/McClearin pairings sound to you?

I missed the former and am now listening to the latter.  It sounds to me like I thought it would -- the guys sound quite a bit alike, and the sonic brew is further confused by Casey Millen's contributions (invited by Harrison), who sounds quite a bit like Matt. 

But the content is good, if a little forced.  Harrison is very self-conscious about the wife-swap experiment -- he has several times referred to The Soul Patch overall as "mediocre," and is reviewing the program as it goes along.  I think I might have just played it cool and gone ahead and done the show without all the self-consciousness.

Having said that, I'd be willing to listen to a few more episodes of this combintation, see what develops.

The Scrubs and Patch have generated a surprising amount of interest among Confessors lately.  Have at it, Nation.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Little Weak Jeremy and Anonymous – It’s Just Confession! (PART 2)

Hope you are enjoying the game and JJTaylor’s play-by-play on Twitter. 
Confessors Little Weak Jeremy and Anonymous continue their discussion:
Little Weak Jeremy’s Point 4:

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 working 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.

Anonymous’s Response to Point 4:

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 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.

Little Weak Jeremy’s Point 5: 

So to say that CDS [Cirque du Sirois] 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?

Anonymous’s Response to Point 5: 

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.

Little Weak Jeremy’s Point 6: 

As to not getting "that sort of humor" that prevails on IJB [It's Just Banter], 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.

Anonymous’s Response to Point 6:

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.

Little Weak Jeremy’s Conclusion:

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.

Anonymous’s Response to LWJ’s Conclusion:
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.

And that’s where things stood after Round 1.  Each followed up with one more comment each, which will appear as Part 3 in a couple of days.   Pretty good stuff, no?  Thanks again to Little and Anon.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Has the Byron Anderson Experiment Come to an End?

Matt McClearin working with Scot Harrison on The Soul Patch this weekend.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Few Quick HIts

(1) I hadn't tuned in to RaGE in awhile, so after Mike and Corby did their "how will the Cowboys do" review, I flipped over for a segment.  They were conducting a roundtable on "What did you like most, least/most surprising/etc." about training camp.  Greggo was actually pretty sharp, making some very pointed observations about Montre Holland's poor condition upon arrival at camp.  Richie and Armand were OK, Sybil was of no value.

(2) I caught just a minute or two of RaGE later on.  Richie informed Mickey Spagnola that they were going to call his segment "Cowboy Confidential."  I'm not saying Richie is influenced by this site, but I suggested that a revamped and improved Ranch Report be called (among other suggestions) "Cowboy Confidential" on February 10, 2010 and again on August 18, 2010.  (The latter was just a reprint of the former.)

(3) I was interested in The Hardline's agitated discussion today of the failure of Cumulus to attempt to syndicate them in some other Texas metro areas.  This site has suggested that Cumulus should be leveraging The Ticket's popularity via syndiation,   A couple of commenters have thrown out some reasons why syndication is not in the cards, but it is apparent that at least the on-air insiders ain't buying any excuses.  (Could have been a bit.  The Ticket didn't syndicate when Mike was a part-owner, either.)  The Hard Ones specifically linked syndication to generating some additional cash, at least enough to get Danny a chair where the spring isn't boinging him in the ass.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Holy Frack, That "Jackpot" Theme is Back!

When it ran awhile back I was humming it -- the whole thing -- for weeks.  Drove me nuts.  All I could think about was some lottery-playing type singing merrily, looking forward to doing his "celebration dances."  (Now there's some unforced lyrical content for you.) 

Now it's back and has crowded all of the other insane and trivial things out of my brain and occupies it solely.

Its only competition is that pedal steel tune in The Ticket promo.

More Little Weak Jeremy and Anonymous today or tomorrow.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Little Weak Jeremy and Anonymous – It’s Just Confession! (PART 1)

I get a notification on my Droid when there’s a new comment on the site.   A couple of posts ago I noted that there were a couple of lengthy offerings from Little Weak Jeremy and one of the many Anonymi who offer their views.   They’d have to wait until I could sit at a computer and read them.
As it turned out, they were writing to respond to one another, launching from a strong initial blast from Little Weak.  They were thoughtful, covering several topics that The Nation has found of interest in the past, and one – the nature of The Nation itself – that is of great interest for those of us who mull over the future of The Ticket.  I thought the dialogue was quite remarkable and deserved a wider audience.
Of particular interest are the different generational perspectives.  Little Weak Jeremy is 28, and Anonymous is 38 – almost a man.  Not exactly two different generations, but they listen to the station for different reasons, and both mostly stick with it. 
Some commenters don’t care for long posts, long sentences, or long words.  However, I thought these guys made good points in very interesting ways, so I am posting them here.  (These are very lightly edited in places.)   Little Weak has given me permission to copy his remarks as a post, and I would have asked Anonymous as well, but there are so many of him, or her, that I wouldn’t know if I were being scammed.  (Of course, I suppose anyone could say they were Little Weak, too.)  Anonymous, whoever you are, I hope you don’t mind some extra attention being drawn to your remarks.
This will be posted in three parts over the next week.  I’ll have a wrapup postscript after the final installment.
I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did, although I’m sure it will try the patience of some Confessors who prefer more condensed opinions.  But hey, you know me – it helps to talk things out.
Here goes:
Little Weak Jeremy’s Point 1:
Since the disconnect between the aging and the up-and-coming P1 has become a salient issue, I'll fully disclose: I'm 26 and could care less 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, TWISH, Gay/Not Gay (and other obscure products), Homer Call, Biggest Show . . . .
Anonymous’s Response to Point 1:
I'm 38 and yes, I'm an actual Day 1, 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 they 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 P1’s.
Little Weak Jeremy’s Point 2:
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 P1’s 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.
Anonymous’s Response to Point 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. 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.)

You Can't Start Confessing Too Early
 Little Weak Jeremy’s Point 3:
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 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.
Anonymous’s Response to Point 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.
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Part 2 in a couple of days.

Commenters:  Please note that Little Weak Jeremy and Anonymous are Confessor civilians and did not prepare these comments with additional exposure in mind.  They have each devoted time and thought to their opinions, and I am hopeful that comments will partake of the same respect toward these writers as they have shown to one another.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Branding Speculation

When I heard Maury Buford's ads for his roofing company -- former Chicago Bear from the Super Bowl team who kicked the ball -- he says that "I'm a big P1 fan of the Ticket."  First time I heard it, I smiled, thinking well, he probably listens to The Ticket, but a true P1 would never say "P1 fan of The Ticket," because it's redundant. 

But then, this morning, I heard Corby doing a Baker Bros. Plumbing ad, and he also used the phrase "P1 fan of The Ticket." 

Two possibilities:  (1) He was making fun of Buford's locution, or (2) he was told to say it.  It was in the copy.

I'm thinking it may be (2).

Interestingly, "The Ticket" as a name for a radio station is not trademarked.   Whoever got the station going all those years ago probably didn't have an attorney who cared much about intellectual property issues -- either that, or they were too worried about surviving to worry about whether their station's name would ever have any value.   Turned out that it does, and now there are lots of "Tickets" all over the country.  And there's nothing that The one-and-only-genuwine Ticket can do about it.

Typical P1's Being Interviewed at Recent Remote
Maybe they're trying to change that.

"P1" -- it's been around too long, other people now use it, it can't be trademarked.  (Or copyrighted, I don't know which is which, zackly.)   But a distinctive phrase using "P1" could be.   And in order to trademark something, I think the rule is that you have to show that you're using it.  Wild speculation -- Cumulus is trying to wring some trademark value out of one of their (formerly) unique verbal inventions.

I've got a buddy who's an IP lawyer.   I'll check to see if Cumulus has any pending intellectual property applications out there. 

In the meantime, listen and let me know if you hear "P1 fan of The Ticket" in any other contexts.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

AP's Excellent Adventure with JJT

We are all indebted to The (Incomparable) UnTicket, and this site is particularly indebted to one of its mainstays, the no-less-incomparable-for-being-a-natural-person AP.  He is a Confessor of long standing and frequent commenter, providing great information and opinion with a nice light touch.

Best, he has given this site permission to pass along his informative and entertaining account of the conclusion of Jean-Jacques Taylor's affiliation with The Ticket, as well as his own interaction with the redoubtable JJT and some JJT fans.  He also offers some tasteful commentary on the whole megillah.

My gratutide to AP for this contribution to My Ticket Confession.  It follows:


Here's my understanding of events.  Sometime a few months ago (Christmas?), as part of the DMN [Dallas Morning News] partnership with the ticket, JJT became an on-air presence.  I think it started as a fill-in gig with a regular ticket host (Donny? Rich? I can't remember) that only lasted a few shows.

That then turned into a regular weekend gig with one Scot Harrison, who seems to be an acquaintance of the morning Musers.  I caught the first few shows, but thought it was rather light on comedic content so I only tuned in for the CDS [Cirque du Sirois] mix.  I believe it was around this time that you wrote an article about not being able to hear his voice clearly, Plainsman.

Another drydock opportunity presented itself when Norm went fishing, and I recall that Cirque du Sirois was originally announced as the fill-in show.  Being a CDS footsoldier, I was looking forward to it...but at the last minute, the Soul Patch was inserted.  I remember being quite upset with the programming decision, and I also remember wondering if JJT had "pulled rank" and asked for his show to fill in over CDS.  I think my rationale was that (A) Norm had mentioned CDS was going to fill in before he’d left on vacation, and a few promos may have run indicating this and (B) I tweeted Cash & Mike asking what had happened and I think they suggested I ping Cat [Ticket Program Director Jeff Catlin], which I did.  Around this time, I started wondering if JJT may have been angling for a career in radio.  [NOTE TO AP:  DID YOU EVER HEAR FROM CAT?]

JJT and Scot’s show (which was eventually named The Soul Patch) became a fixture in Elf’s old slot, and I started following JJT on Twitter as he’d now become part of the Ticket family.   I also started listening to their show on a more regular basis.  I noticed that JJT seemed to be using his Twitter account to promote his show by re-tweeting positive comments (and the occasional negative one as well).  I also noticed that JJT was a bit touchy over Twitter as well, as he’d call out his critics by writing things like “If you have less than 20 followers and 100 tweets, I’m not trying to hear what you’re saying” and then following up with “If you think I’m talking about you, then I am, if you don’t, then I’m not” (heavily, heavily paraphrased).

Another drydock took place a month ago, giving the Soul Patch another chance to fill in for Norm’s show for a week.  JJT went into Twitter overdrive, retweeting what seemed to be every show-related comment he would receive.  This is when I became convinced that JJT was trying to prove to someone that he was capable of attracting and growing an audience.  Some of his tweets were sports-related, and a few offered the level of insight he’d provide in his columns or on Norm’s show, but overall, I found the signal-to-noise ratio to be very low.  It’s tough to deliver content, context and/or comedy in 140 characters, but a few sports reporters do tend to pull it off.

On July 4th, the Hardline was doing what had to be the drunkest show they’ve ever done.  Corby had been working on his Scot Harrison imitation over the last few days, and he was mimicking a Soul Patch promo.  After Corby was done, he said something to the effect of “By the way, has he left yet?  Has that been announced? Are we allowed to talk about that yet?  He’s not? Oh.”  Two weeks later, JJT moves over to Sports Walmart (thanks Mike Marshall).

For kicks, I tweeted aloud the following a week after JJT had left:

Now that @JacquesTaylor has left the KTCK family for the dark side, I'm not sure why I (as a P1) should continue following him. Comments?

One of the first few responses came from Jacques himself:
why don't do u do what u want to do instead of asking for advice#toughdecisions

A few P1’s took up the KTCK pitchfork and said they’d never listen to him because of his ESPN affiliations.  A few more seemed to take issue to my comment, notably:

TacoRobber  @ap_cdn @JacquesTaylor if a radio call sign is all it takes to stand between u and the best/rawest coverage in metroplex then I say unfollow
DocBrownsToilet:  @JacquesTaylor I enjoy the attitude you have toward those who would lob twitter grenades at ESPN. Such serious business.

(Note that I don’t have any issue with either of those people, and I tried my best to follow up with them, including JJT...I try not to be a standoffish tweeter!)

I still follow JJT (much like I follow Bryan Broaddus, Todd Archer, Mickey Spagnola and other non-ticket affiliates) for their Cowboy observations.  I still wish that JJT’s twitter signal-to-noise ratio would improve, though.

Norm eventually touched on the subject on air a week after JJT had left.  Apparently, Jacques had taken a month-long vacation from the DMN before he quit to go to ESPN.  His last drydock appearance on the Ticket took place during this time, well after drive-time hosts knew about his imminent departure.
This follows the trend of guys like Calvin Watkins, Tim McMahon and Todd Archer of veteran DFW sports reporters jumping off of sinking print-media ships to go to ESPN. 

The Soul Patch carries on with Scot Harrison and Byron Anderson, and a few loyal Soul Patch P1’s still listen as regularly as they did with JJT.  Goose Gosselin now takes JJT’s place as the opinion writer for the DMN.  I don’t know if Jacques will take an on-air role with ESPN; I haven’t seen anything to that effect yet.  He still seems to listen to the Soul Patch and from what I see on twitter, still maintains amicable relationships with Roy White (producer) and his former co-host Scot.


Again, my thanks to AP.  

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310