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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