Monday, November 28, 2011


Many thanks to faithful Confessor Jonaessa for collecting the White Elephant information for us:

Morning Drive
Producer – Killer
Host #1 – Norm
Host #2 – Corby
Yuk Monkey – Bob
Tickers – Sean Bass

Ten to Noon
Producer – Gribble
Host – Gordon

Noon to Three
Producer – Danny
Host #1 – Mike
Host #2 – George
Tickers – Donovan

Afternoon Drive
Producer – Fernando
Host #1 – Craig
Host #2 – Ty
Yuk Monkey – Dan
Tickers – Rich

I'll be interested to know how Gordon fills up his two hours.  I always look forward to Craig's tickers, but not this year, I guess.  I think Craig and Ty will make an interesting pair, as will George and Mike.

Your thoughts welcome.

I still want to know who did that T.C. imitation on The Hardline last Wednesday.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.   I'm underwater at work right now, so new articles may dribble out irregularly for awhle.  Thanks for your patience.  I may cannibalize some of your comments for articles just to keep the content monster sated. 

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gordon Gets It Right

I know it's always distressing to the Nation when I stray too far from commentary on The Little One, so you may wish to skip this entry.

I've read many of the Kennedy assassination conspiracy books, a number of the better-known ones.  My bookshelf contains around 15-20 of them.  I've visited numerous conspiracy websites.  Walked Dealey Plaza numerous times and visited the Sixth Floor Museum a couple times.   I've also read the Posner and Bugliosi LHO-did-it-alone books.  Also read the Warren Report, although none of the many published volumes of evidence.

LHO-did-it-alone wins hands down.

What I especially like about Gordon's approach to this is that it recognizes both fronts on the fight against nonsense:  First, he knows a great deal about the facts of the assassination and, within the style and time limitations of a guy-talk format, does a good job of answering conspiricists on the merits.  Second, he recognizes the illogic and flimsiness of the conspiracy investigators' methods and calls attention to the tortured processes by which they spin their very strange and mutually-exclusive scenarios.  Of the couple-dozen or so shooter candidates of the various schools of assassination thought, all but one of them must be wrong.  It's amazing to me that Jim Marrs, who spans both Kennedy conspiracy and UFO conspiracy, is a professor at UT-Arlington where he offers his stuff to the unsuspecting undergraduates.

Today he alluded to another strain of this debate:  It is characterized on the conspiricists side by what historian Richard Hofstadter called, in a book of the same name, "The Paranoid Style of American Politics."  We see it on both sides of the political spectrum, from Joe McCarthy, through the Kennedy conspiricists, to the Area 51 people, to the 9/11 Truthers, to the Obama Birthers.  (I swear to God:  The other night I happened on a YouTube video of a network interview with a Texas A&M professor who was seriously arguing that no jets hit the World Trade Center on 9/11.) 

[By the bye, of this group, the Birthers strike me as the least incredible, mainly owing to POTUS's extremely odd reaction to the entire controversy, and the continuing reluctance to produce an original of that long-form certificate.  But pretty incredible, nonetheless.  For the record -- I think POTUS was almost certainly born where he says he was.]

Might try to tag along on that LHO Trail of Tears if Gordon gets it up and running.

A solemn promise to the faithful Confessor:   More Mike R irresponsible speculation coming right up!

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[Respectful request:  Even though I didn't, let's try to keep comments tied to Gordon's work on this.  Of course, you are always welcome to tell me that I've lost a reader.]

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's Not Too Early to Ask Some Hard(line) Questions -- PART 1

I think the archetypal P1 harbors the thought that if he were personally acquainted with a Ticket host, that said host would like said P1.  And in general, most hosts have a reputation for friendliness towards P1's they meet out and about and at remotes and events.

But I don't think Mike Rhyner will like the next set of articles -- and, alas, probably Your Plainsman -- much at all.  Not because they will be critical of him -- quite the opposite.  It's because he judges his employment relations with Cumulus/The Ticket -- because that is what we are going to be considering -- to be none of anyone's business but his. 

And why shouldn't he feel that way?  Would you want your employment issues to be the subject of a public website?  Of course not. 

But he's kind of brought this on himself, a little. 

First, his contracts, if not their details, are the stuff of news reports.  It was a big deal when he re-upped in February 2009. 

Second, there was that little matter of the alco-fueled speculation on the verdant shores of Lake Mingus back in March, where he suggested he might disappear after February.  If you want a refresher on this episode, you might want to review this article.

Third, he (and the Hardline generally) allude to their somewhat adversarial relationship with their employers as a recurring bit on the showgram.

Finally, The Ticket as a whole has cultivated a highly personalized relationship between the hosts and the P1.  Mike's welfare is naturally of widespread interest to the largest and most loyal listenership in the metro.

So, at the risk of aggravating a gent of whom most of us are extremely fond, we're going to have a look at what might be in store for him, The Hardline, and the P1.


NOTE:  Other than what Confessors suggest in comments, which may or may not be credible, I have zero inside information on any of what you're about to read.  I don't even know for a certainty that his deal is up in February.  However, circumstantial evidence and at least one knowledgeable-sounding Anonymous suggest that it is.

The first question is an easy one:   Do we want Mike to re-up?

That answer is very easy for me:  Absolutely.  And it has nothing to do with him being the founder, blah blah blah.  He is simply the most listenable guy on the radio.  I'm going to cheap out and quote myself from an article last spring:

"I think Mike Rhyner is a broadcast genius, quite aside from his founding of The Ticket.  He is the rock upon which DFW sports radio is built.  Asking "what's so great about Mike Rhyner," which is a perfectly sound question, is kind of like asking "what was so great about Walter Cronkite?"  After all, the guy just read the news.  He might have had a minor editing function, but in the years in which he became famous he was basically a guy who sat in front of a camera and read stuff that other people wrote.  And yet, he was an utterly compelling broadcast presence, the most trusted man in America.  

"Mike is like that.  *   *   *   The man has a sound, an authentic Texas sound.  It's just flat likable.   Despite his curmudgeonly pose, his essential goodwill and humanity can be felt through the speakers.  And he's smart as hell.  And, yes, there's the don't-give-a-damn attitude that is very distinctive -- as opposed to media figures who claim to offer I-don't-care-what-other-people-think viewpoints but who are obvious poseurs without conviction, Mike truly does not care what happens to him -- no, he's not immune from getting his ass fired, but his ass truly could not care less and truly knows that he's got the Cumulo-Ticket Overlords by their nine-kilowatt balls."

In upcoming posts I'll back off on a little of that, but not my regard for Mike. 

Some of you may recall that among the motivations for my founding this site was the impression that the Hardline was in trouble -- very out of balance, with Mike seemingly losing interest and focus on the showgram.  I wasn't the only one who observed that.  Lots of comments on Mike "phoning it in."

That tendency of the show, it seems to me, has decisively reversed itself.  It's been a long time since I thought the OverCorby had escaped his cage.  Mike has been much more present on the show, his attention seems only seldom to wander.  I think I've expressed the thought that Danny's increased role has something to do with keeping the show in equilibrium.  I don't think it's a salary drive -- it feels real to me.  Reason doesn't matter -- the Rangers' ascendancy; Mavs greatness; feeling good about life for reasons that are truly none of our business -- dunno, maybe none of those things.  I've found myself laughing out loud at the show more the last few months than I have in a long time. 

His talent really is unique.  He may be baseball Jesus, but he's not noted for profound sports expertise.  In fact, he parodies that fact, sometimes picking the Cowboys to win all their games and go on to win the SuperBowl.  When he's on pre- or post-game duty, he's almost invisible.  In fact, he's not really all that comfortable in segments with other hosts.  Nope, he's a star, but a star with his own rhythms and cadences and lyrics and tempo and it works best when he's the conductor. 

And on The Hardline it works very well indeed. 

So, as I say, the answer for me is easy.  But not everyone is a big Mike Rhyner fan.  I don't know how the P1 breaks down on the subject of Mike.  In fact, the above excerpt was from an article responding to a Confessor who was wondering "What's So Great About Mike?"  So let me ask you this:  Knowing the alternatives in DFW drive radio, if Mike were to disappear and not be replaced -- The Hardline becoming the Corby/Danny/Ty/Grubes show -- would you continue to listen?

Let's hold the speculation on who might replace Mike.  We'll come back to that, promise.  I want to gauge your interest in whether Mike stays on or not. 

We'll explore other issues surrounding the enigmatic Mike R in following articles.

Unless he finds me and beats me up first.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Friday, November 11, 2011

Penn State Sodomy Quick Hits

(1)  The Musers and The Hardline did a good job with this hot topic on Thursday.  I thought that their efforts to tone down the comedy were notable.  (The Musers generally more sincere, and successful, in this than The Hardline, but the fact that they acknowledged the gravity of situation was to the credit of both shows.)  I felt that they also made an effort to find something different to say about the matter in addition to the obvious.

The seriousness with which both shows treated this topic, and that fact that the Penn State mess was almost the only topic covered, was perceptive.  This is one of those events that changes the way we look at an entire institution, and I'm not talking about Penn State -- I'm talking about sports in general and perhaps even large, powerful institutions of all kinds where horrors are swept under the rug because the consequences of exposure are so vast.  It seems like any time we get past the surface of what we see on the teevee in college or pro sports we find financial, sexual, medical, political, and other-words-I-can't-think-of-ending-in-"al" misdeeds that take our breath away.  The drive shows didn't get all philosophical on us like I'm doing right now, but I thought that their reaction -- being brought up short by the enormity of what took place -- was a perfect mirror of how many of us are reacting.

(2)  I was able to have BaD on in the background on Thursday, but couldn't hear it very clearly.  I got the impression that they didn't devote much airtime to this subject at all, but I may be way wrong about that.  Can anyone give us an account of how BaD handled matters?

(3)  The student riots and support for Paterno are excellent reasons for raising the voting age to 25, and also fodder for the growing literature on the worthlessness of the modern liberal arts education.  It will be interesting to see what happens to applications there.  It's one of the largest universities in the United States, so perhaps it is to be expected that some irreducible core of maroons would be out and about spouting fatuities.

(4)  "With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."  HINDSIGHT?  HINDSIGHT??  Does Paterno even know what kind of activity is involved here?  Is there a more poorly-worded confession in the annals (yes, that's "annals") of American history?  Who drafted Paterno's appalling statement?  That mouthy lawyer kid of his?  Craig Rosengarden?

"Hindsight":   Astoundingly unfortunate word choice aside, think about what he is saying.  "Hindsight" doesn't mean that you now have more facts than you had back at the time to which you are looking back -- it means that some new circumstance has caused you to interpret those facts differently.   What are those new circumstances here?  Only the threat to his own skin and Penn State arising out of disclosure of the matters he and his staff chose to at best ignore, and at worst to cover up.  

His effort to instruct the Trustees on their duty not to regulate his employment is exactly the kind of tone-deaf arrogance that has now tarnished his legacy.

(5)  OFF-TOPIC:  This site strongly endorses The Hardline's increased references to Green Tail Shiner.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Sunday, November 6, 2011


This probably falls under the category of low-hanging fruit, but really:

A contract is a contract, but aside from The Ticket not breaching its agreement with the Stars, is there ever an excuse for hockey, no matter how good, to take precedence over the Cowboys, no matter how bad? 

Anyone know whether the Stars do better than the Ticket Top 10, ratings-wise?

I don't begrudge the hockey-lover his sport, but if put to the choice, is station management ever justified in bouncing football for hockey?  Yes, yes, I know there's a contract, but I guess what I'm saying is:  If presented with a contract that causes you ever to bounce Cowboys talk, or Mavericks talk, or Rangers talk, in favor of hockey, or, for chrissakes, hockey TALK, shouldn't the CTO politely decline it? 

When does this godforsaken alliance with the Stars expire?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

And While We're Passing Out Congratulations . . .

.  .  .  a big one to The (Incomparable) UnTicket for the massive props Mike Rhyner is giving your site at this very instant for making available some old parodies I'd never heard of. 

DP and AP, sounds like you got him through a very tough weekend.  

Please Join MTC in Congratulating Mr. and Mrs. Norm Hitzges

Thanks to T4 in Rockwall for alerting us to a website that has published photographs of Norm's wedding to Mary Danz in Corinth on October 8.  (So, old news, but apparently not widely known beyond The Ticket and radio junkies.)    (The photographer's website featuring the below and numerous other great images is found here.)

I am reluctant to write about Ticket guys' private lives, but this site is pretty out there, it's a happy occasion, and the couple looks spectacular. 

Congratulations from My Ticket Confession and The Confessor Nation.

[PS to Norm and jimmages:  If you would prefer that this item be taken down, I will honor a request from either of you.  Email me at]

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310