Monday, December 24, 2012

More Predictions, and the Best Christmas Ever to the Confessor Faithful

We got a little off of duckandcover's predictions with the last thread.    I posted the following as comments to the previous post, but a fan of the site has asked me to post it.

Hey, thanks for your continued support of My Ticket Confession.  Tell a friend, it makes a lovely Christmas gift.

Here goes:

(1)   Michael Gruber, Dirk Nowitzki, Brian Cuban, and Weekend Tickerman Mitchell Kerasik will form a consortium and purchase The Ticket from Cumulus for an undisclosed sum and a ham sandwich.  Grubes will assume control over station management and will permanently reassign Jeff Catlin to oversee the constant replenishment of BaD’s and Norm’s stable of interns.
(2)  Gordon will permanently lose all of his endorsements when he blurts out that he’s never actually been to Raising Cane’s. 
(3)  Sometime in late spring or early summer, an episode of “What’s on Mike’s Mind” will air without Mike uttering a single syllable.
(4)  Cumulus will announce that it’s working on improving The Ticket’s signal.
(5)  Corby will join the professional marathon circuit.  Will run into trouble with his first urine test when he tests negative for urine.
(6)  Richie Whitt will modestly admit that yes, it’s true, he’s dating Megan Fox’s cuter sister.
(7)  The Hardline will take a call. 
(8)  The International System of Units will announce that the frequency of the sound of Bob Sturm’s voice has been determined to vary so little from high to low that it will replace the caesium-133 radiation cycles as the basis for the atomic clock upon which modern timekeeping is based.  When informed of this, Bob will say:  “Awesome.”
(9)  The fragile edifice of host solidarity will begin to crumble when one of them casually mentions that he’s considering non-renewing his endorsement deal with All-Pro Foundation Repair to pursue other interests.  
(10)  Craig "Junior" Miller will tragically violate Johnny Carson's "Comedy Rule of One Too Many" when, incorrectly perceiving that his self-nickname "The Joonz" has achieved widespread humor acceptance, he further shortens it to "the Joo" and is hounded off the air by the Anti-Defamation League. 
(11)  George Dunham will drop his opposition to fracking when the largest self-contained source of domestic methane is discovered under his vast real estate holdings in East Jeebus or wherever the hell it is he's moved off to, which BP geologists will name "the Jub Outgassing" in his honor. 
(12)  Outraged P1's will finally have had enough and will dognap SweetJack and haul him off to Man's Best Friend, where his irrepressibly cheerful bargain-flogging will result in his severe mauling by a pack of previously docile six-toed Norwegian lundehunds.
(13)  Craig Rosengarden will kick George DiGianni’s ass.
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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

duckandcover Goes Out on Some Tannenbaum Limbs, and I Issue a Historic Post, with Multiple Prezzies for Me!

This is a historic moment.  And one of the wildest entries ever.

I am blogging LIVE at the unlikely plural Scruffy Duffies, not only hard by, but actually in, the Shops at Legacy.  Damned poodle ate a chicken bone so I had to leave work early to pick up her curly carcass at the vet.  She's fine.  That was one expensive bucket of KFC.

And let me tell you, things are exciting here at the Duff.  I found a nice quiet corner to set up the old Kaypro.  No one's snooping.  I'm having a surprisingly good martini.  A barkeep from another joint I visit came up to say hello, and I had to tell him about an unfortunate service experience at his establishment, and he promised me a free Tanq up on my next visit.  The broadcast stage is very dark.  Corby is talking about Adrian Peterson.  Bought some raffle tickets for the Food Bank from some wandering Ticket Chicks.  They are very young.  They were nice.  Ooo, they're calling numbers right now.   Hey, what if I win?  Do I disclose my secret identity that nobody cares about?    Uh, no.   Good crowd.  Didn't win with this drawing.  That's OK, I didn't want any of those prizes anyway.  I'll be here for at least another drawing.

So here's the deal.  duckandcover posts this --

HOLY CRIMINEY!  I just won the next raffle, the one I wanted, the $50 Half-Price Book gift cards.   I'll be damned.

Okay, let's get back to confession.

Recent frequent Confessor duckandcover jacked the last thread -- in a good way.  (Most jacks are good, frankly.  Let the voice of the Confessor be heard in the land!)  He issued a number of STDs (Scorching Ticket Disquisitions, for recent acolyte Confessors) in the form of predictions for 2013.  Wish I had thought of it, but he did a better job than I could have.  Here it is, then I'll have a few reactions.  I have never had over 100 comments on a post before, but this might well be a first. 

So here you --

JEEBUS! I won again!  A $50 gift certificate to JR's Steakhouse (which is quite good, by the way, a favorite destination when I'm in that neck of the woods). Never encountered Gordon there. 

Uh oh -- as a repeat winner they took my picture with a couple of comely Ticket Chicks.

Let's move on to the matters at hand, shall we?

Ladies and gentlemen  .  .  .  duckandcover -- and duck and cover:


Our Ticket 2013 Predictions.

(i) The end of CdS. Not because of the show's success or lack thereof, but rather to Cash's Mavs duties and Mike's ever inching toward the management side of things.

(ii) Scot Harrison's presence grows. He becomes a weeknight host, and eventually MaSS changes its name because it's now hosted by Matt and Jake.

(iii) In conjunction with (ii), the success of Intentional Grounding sparks a slew of weeknight shows. Harrison hosting one such show. Thus the programming schedule is all local until 11pm. THL ends at 7, the new show (IG-Fri, Harrison-MW, Newbury and SeaBass-TTH) runs till 9, then the Top Ten takes over until 11, which gives way to CBS national feed--due to the merger between Cumulus and CBS.

(iv) Danny leaves The Ticket. Yes, I said it. I don't like it. But I think it's going to happen. I think he's ready to move on to other things. Perhaps move to Boston or even Nashville (music). He's a musician, and that's what truly drives him and that's how he wants to make his mark in the world. And he knows he's not getting any younger (45, I believe). Time to make the move, now or never. His replacement: one Mike Bacsik. He's no longer deemed too hot to handle. And with his addition, Rhyner is reeled back in from constant, one might say teenager like, music talk and finds himself reinvigorated, just as he was in the halcyon days.

(v) See (iv), The Orphanage, RIP.

(vi) I believe that 2013 is the last year for one of our beloved shows: Dunham and Miller. I think the Joonz finally says "I'm done, let's tawk gahwfff." He's nearly quit a few times in the past, and I think he, like Danny (but for much different reasons) is ready to move on. 

(vii) The FAN is still with us. So is RaGE. But only for a while. By July, CBS finally says "enough," and pulls the plug. Greggo finally, and permanently, moves to Colorado.

(viii) Ready for this one? MTC, as we know it, says "adios, amigos." Yup. Plainsman decides that no longer has the time to maintain the site. He hands over the reins to T4, and this thing keeps on rollin'.


My Scruffy Tanq-fueled reactions:

"Our" Ticket 2013 Predictions?  d&c, is that the royal first person plural?  Or are you hoping for protection against crass error by pretending that these predictions are from a group of which you are a part?  I think you need to own these predictions, and I will look forward to your comment doing so.

(i) END OF CdS.  I dunno.  It's a good show and pretty popular.   Cash already has that sexy full-time gig, and as for Mike inching towards management -- that isn't much of a disqualification.  Look at Rich and "Race Week."  I think CdS will be around for awhile.

(ii) SCOT HARRISON ASCENDANT.  Quite possible, but I'm not sure where he goes (see below).  MaSS is a pretty solid weekend hit, if the evidence of Confessors' reactions are any guide.  I am a Scot ("Mr. Low-T") fan and would be happy to hear more of him.  My prediction -- we'll hear him more on fill-in if his everyday gig permits it.  I don't know if he's got a day job, maybe one of you has picked up on that.

(iii)  WEEKNIGHT SHOWS ASCENDANT.  Certainly agree that Intentional Grounding has found an audience.  (I'll be listening after I roll out of here.)  But I don't know about filling in other evenings with local programming.  I'd like to see it, but The Top Ten, which T.C. is doing a very nice job with, has got to be an attractive programming move for The Ticket, leveraging top-flight daytime programming in the early nighttime hours with very little additional investment.  So I can't go with duck on this one, much as I would like to see it.

(iv)  DANNY VAMANOS.  No.  I have got to believe that The Ticket has recognized Danny's value and has paid him market -- whatever market is for a producer who does a weekend show, writes and performs "What's On Mike's Mind" intros, produces the most popular radio showgram in the country and, in the opinion of increasing numbers of Confessors, is the best reason to listen to The Hardline (my view:  he moderates the OverCorby in a way that renders The Hardline consistently listenable).  He may be a fine musician, but Nashville and Boston (? -- Moms territory?) are chock full of established singer-songwriters and, in the former case, accomplished C&W guys.  My own thought is that Danny is a guy who has developed immense goodwill in the metro among the P1, music guys, and radio guys.  Could he skip to another station?  Sure, but where could he get the freedom he has at The Ticket?  If he decides to make a move, let's hope that has a good agent.  Danny, give me a call. Frankly, I think he's hanging.

But I will say this -- I have long thought that we might well see Mike Bacsik back at The Ticket, and I'd be OK with that.

(v) ORPHANAGE VAMANOS.  Orphanage will be with us for the foreseeable future.  If Danny bolts, they'll find another adoptee.

(vi)  MUSERS VAMANOS.  OK, I need some historical background here.  I don't have any information about Junior's happy feet, although I have seen references to it on this site from time to time.  Has there been any thought of his departure since 2004 (my Ticket inauguration)?  It's never come to my attention, not that hosts consult with me about career choices or insiders leak stuff like that to me. What would he do?  Go to another station on his own?  Retire?  Folks, I have to tell you that in my experience, even highly-compensated persons are scared to death of what this President is up to -- and if you love the guy, that's fine, not a problem with this site, just reporting on what I'm hearing -- and executives (and, I suspect, highly-compensated entertainers) are not casually abandoning gigs like the one that Junior has.     ALSO:  Hell, they're coming up on 20 years -- he won't jump before that, for sure.  But even then -- I don't know where he jumps to, and I can't see him doing nothing.  As the Confessor Nation knows, Junior is my fave rave at the station, and he is entirely capable of  running a sports-guy-current-events show on his own.  I just don't see Craig jumping at this point in his career, and at this point in the history of the station.

I do, however, strongly endorse duckandcover's reference to Craig as "the Joonz," since it is the construction I myself have favored if he persists in referring to himself in this way, and I don't think there is any realistic alternative.

(vii)  RaGE VAMANOS.  I don't think so.  Confessors have been predicting the end of RaGE for a long time, and after that dreadful TV ad they inflicted on viewers I thought the end might be near.  But here they still are.  I think CBS is in for the long haul with Richie and Greggo and Sybil and Armen, and I think they'll be invited to the 2013 FAN Christmas Party.

I don't know how to evaluate the corporate changes that are taking place in the radio industry as they relate to Cumulus and the local CBS affiliates.  I do think that we've  been hearing about seismic changes for a long time, and none have happened.  So my guess is -- status quo, or something that looks a lot like it.

(viii)  MTC VAMANOS.  Are you a student of archival TV?  Do you remember Arte Johnson from Laugh-In?   Do you remember his tag line at the end of the show?  Verrrrrry interesting.  Good night, Lucy.


What are YOUR predictions for 2013?  I haven't really --

HOKEY SMOKES, BULLWINKLE!  CORBY JUST READ MY TICKET NUMBER AND I HAVE NOW WON THE GRAND PRIZE RAFFLE, a couple of courtside Mavs tickets, I think, although from where I'm sitting the PA is a little muddy.

So your incredibly lucky Plainsman went up to the stage 3 times in less than 90 minutes to claim charity prizes.  Were you there? If you were, then you got to see your sainted Plainsman.   Well, what was I going to do?  Go up there with a bag on my head?  As it was, I don't think much of anyone was paying attention.  Certainly the hosts were not, and none of the promo people asked my name.

OK, so -- let's get your reaction to duck's predictions, and let's have yours as an eventful, Grubes-retiring, drop-losing year draws to a close.

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Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Your Plainsman Respectfully Requests . . .

.  .  .  that commenting Confessors please bear in mind that not all readers (including yours truly) are not able to listen to all the shows all the time.  So if you have a comment on a specific piece of broadcasting, or a piece of other Ticket-related information (i.e., ratings, signal, stuff like that), please give us the factual predicate for your comment so that it may be understood and evaluated -- unless, of course, it's clear from the context of prior comments or a post.

BAFFLING:   "I thought Bob's comments on Tony Romo were right on the button yesterday."

SATISFYING:  "I thought Bob's comments yesterday that Tony Romo brings a kind of Etruscan elegance to  his hand gestures at the line of scrimmage before audible-ing a play that about 47% of his teammates on the field never really learned from the playbook was right on the button."

Same as you were told in that composition class you took all those years ago:  When you sit down to write, put yourself in the shoes of your audience.

Many thanks in advance for your thoughtful preparation of comments, and apologies for this schoolmarmish post.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

This Site Joins All DFW in Expressing the Deepest Sympathy to the Family and Loved Ones of Jerry Brown, Jr.

There is nothing we can add to that.  Pretty much everything that can be said about this tragedy at this point has been said. 

There may be larger questions about this occurrence and others involving young professional athletes and entertainers, but right now, they are small.

I did not hear any of Sean Bass's reporting on this on Saturday afternoon, but several Confessors have reported it as extraordinary.  I can well imagine, and I hope I have the chance to hear some of it some day if the UnTicket grabbed any of it.  I have thought all of The Ticket reportage and commentary has been excellent.  George was on fire during the pre-game today -- good to hear him so engaged.

This isn't the time to take shots, but I have to report an amusing moment, in light of recent comments on this site:  When I flipped on the nearest radio later on Saturday afternoon, I discovered that it was still tuned to The Fan from last week's Brad/Babe Cowboys broadcast.  Some JV guy was broadcasting, and the only words out of his mouth before I leapt to the Crosley to dial in The Ticket were:  "I wish some more experienced broadcaster like Richie was here  .  .  .  ."


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

OPEN THREAD: White Elephant Day

My hits go through the roof on White Elephant Day.  It has been suggested that this is the result of Ticketarians of one level or another checking in to see what the Nation has to say.

So please post your carefully-considered observations on what you hear.  Me, it's going to be dicey for being able to be much by the channel, so I'll be waiting for your thoughts just like the most curious Cumulus employee goofing off by checking MTC every few minutes.

White Elephant Day is a lot of fun, but the interactions are seldom awkward.  The best part is that every  host who may be reaching a different audience, and every JV guy who gets some spotlight time, goes out of his way to put on a good show, with the possible exception of Mike R.  The highlight for me has always been The Joonz's Tickers.

[Speaking of awkward interactions, they don't get much more awkward than George and Fernando sniping at each other this morning (Tuesday) over the Tim-Duncan-flipping-the-bird-to-a-fan-taking-his-picture story.]

Thanks for contributing, everyone.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Heart Confessors!

Got a special holiday treat for you.  Confessor Brad Gilbert has responded to the call for volunteer posts with a great bear-trap story and invitation for comments.  My thanks.

Before I begin, a little background on myself may be in order. I began listening to the Ticket as a 18 year-old just out of high school, back in the days when Rocco “like the Beatles” Pendola was on mid-days, movie watching was still a sport, and people were being Sturminated late-nights. I pretty much listened all day while working different jobs that allowed the radio to be on. But, in 2005 I moved up to MI and was stuck listening to the generic sports talk offered up in Metro Detroit. While I managed to get through it, nothing was ever the same.  
But then along comes Twitter, and I begin to see posts about the Hammer and how he was doing after being fired from the Ticket. Whoa! Not what I was expecting. So, as I begin to search the Internet, I find out that you can listen online to the Ticket via its website. This eventually led to smartphones and apps. Now, I listen through iHeart Radio. Even when I am in my vehicle, I plug my phone into a portable speaker to listen. All of that leads me to this story, and I wonder if it has ever happened to anyone else out there:
As I was listening to the Hardline one evening in my car, Corby and Danny were going back and forth on some subject. To this day, I cannot remember what exactly they were talking about due to the shocking nature of what came next.
I am getting ready to walk into Blockbuster to take back some DVDs and I grab my phone to listen via the speaker on the smartphone. It is at this moment, while I pass a female in the parking lot, that Danny blurts out something about females and that certain “time of the month,” and a “used female product.” I have never seen someone stop as fast as she did to stare me down dead in my tracks. The Hardline in particular has taught me that when listening to the Ticket in public, I am better off using my earphones. This is probably one of the reasons why I don’t listen to the Hardline as much as I once did.
Has listening to the Ticket, either in public, home, or the office, ever caused an embarrassing situation for you?
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Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Omnibus Reaction to Last Batch of Comments

I admit, this is cheap, but I'm on the run and would like at least to refresh the thread.  A few thoughts on the last batch of comments, which I'll try to recap so you won't have to go back.

(1) Re Fan and (possibly) Ticket changes come 1-1-13 mentioned by a Confessor or two:  Has something been anounced, or is there some suggestion that there will be changes at the beginning of 2013?  There has been speculation for a long time about the results of the merger, but I hadn't heard anything definite.  Where did the "we may see changes in a month and a week" reference come from?

(2)  Re:  Boycott of music-related segments, punching out on music talk.  It might cause a blip on the stream numbers, but, as someone said, if you're not listening online, unless you're hooked up to a meter somewhere, your vote will not be counted. 

And, just so you know, the readership of this site is tiny, very tiny, compared to total Ticket listenership.  I have no idea how many total unique readers I have over the course of a week, but I'll tell you that my minimum unique-hits-per-day is around 100, rarely much fewer than that on weekdays, and my maximum is in the 200-300 range, usually on Mondays or Tuesdays, but sometimes spiking to 400-600 (rare).  (Page views much higher, maybe around a third again as many per day.)   My point is:  Anyone is welcome to urge a Ticket boycott here, but this site is probably not the best place to get an embargo started.

(3)   This site has been a fairly consistent defender of Corbally's broadcasting skills, and I was thinking today that his solo + Danny turn today after Mike took ill showed his talents to very good advantage.  Ask yourself -- if Mike retired or left the show tomorrow, would you listen to Corby and Danny over RaGE or ESPN?   I would, and, much as I like Mike and would hate to think I wouldn't be hearing him again, I have a feeling I'd like a Corby + Danny show even if the competition weren't moribund, and I'm not entirely sure that a plus-one would be at all necessary.

(4)  I'm very surprised by the interest in Jake "Z" Kemp, and by the division of opinion.  I'm in the pro-Jake camp.  So the guy has some opinions, what Ticket guy doesn't?  I don't find him obnoxious about any of them, not at all.  Don't agree with everything, but I find him easy to listen to and not as dogmatic as some Confessors have argued.  Again, I feel that we've been falsely conditioned to view Jake through the "space is super-gay" remark, and, as I said in a comment to the last post, he has a timbre to his voice that makes him sound a little like Dylan the Argumentative Teen -- he sounds younger than he is -- and I think he's slightly victimized by that as well.

Hey, Confessors, I really appreciated the solid batch of comments while I was on the road with the family.  Good work.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Junior's Dust Bowl Talk

If you can't tune in at 5:30 you can miss some cool stuff on the Muser show.  

This morning, Craig was reporting on his viewing of Ken Burns's documentary on The Dust Bowl, the climatological disaster that overtook portions of Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas in the 1930s.  The drought affected other states as well, but the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles got the worst of it.  

As it happened, Mrs. Plainsman and I also saw the show.

As we watched it, Mrs. P and I remarked on how good we have it these days. It did indeed remind me to be thankful for what I have.

And, as that holiday approaches, I am thankful for all of you supporters and readers, yes, including – perhaps especially – those of you calling for my abandonment of this site for one or another P1 litmus-test failure (see comments two posts back).  I really do appreciate the time each one of you takes to read the site, and to give the blogosphere your usually well-considered thoughts on The Ticket.

Have a wonderful holiday, and please drive with care and otherwise conduct yourselves in a civilized fashion. I don't want to lose any more readers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Anyone Interested?

Been on my mind for awhile. 

Thinking about having a party at some swell centrally-located spot for readers.  Set a time and place, make sure there's enough room for a group,  remind people about designated drivers, lay down the plastic, talk Ticket -- maybe even tahk gawf -- and say thanks. 

Is this the sort of thing any of you would be interested in?  Not sure I'm going to do it, but just checking the interest level.  If you'd prefer to email me --

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, all.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Train Station and Other Extremely Quick Hits

--  George DiGianni is doing a show featuring (among other things) genital herpes with a Dr. Cockerell.

--  George can make fun of himself.  His GenoStim ads now feature drops from his show, and today he remarked in the course of the keep-locker-rooms sanitary discussion that he always goes home to shower because, among other reasons, "I don't want to see a bunch of swinging sausages."  Then he paused; then said he was waiting for his engineer/op to make it into a drop.

--  Kevin Turner with Tickerman duties today.  The Mitchell Kerasik Watch is on hold.

--  A commenter on the last thread observes:  "From the comments made prior to and during the letter of suggestions from a listener that Corby read, it's pretty obvious that Rhyner doesn't care for listener input or opinion, period. Which leads me to believe that if he is aware of this site, he must loathe it." 

I think this is probably correct.  Of course, we would all like our favorite hosts to like us.  Even though this site is mostly highly supportive of The Hardline and worshipful of Mike R's legend, it's the slice that doesn't fall under the "mostly" part of the pie that probably rankles.  And who could blame him or any other Ticketarian who doesn't like MTC?  Would you like someone commenting on your job performance every few days, slicing and dicing your every inflection, and anonyously to boot?  No.  So I've never introduced myself to any Ticket host and probably will keep my distance from the larger specimens of that group for the forseeable future.

--  So, are we about to experience another Greggo eruption?  There is some suggestion that he has been mysteriously absent from RaGE the last couple of days.  Dare I type those legendary words: 

Where's Greggo?

Monday, November 12, 2012

So What, Exactly, Was on Mike's Mind?

This site tends to be a defender of the Hardline against the apparently increasing number of Confessors who are dissatisfied with the show.   But I was puzzled at WOMM on Friday.

Mike started out somewhat slowly and hesitantly by saying that he thought he might be interested in the new Bond movie, which he did not name. He had seen a documentary on the franchise.  As soon as he mentioned Bond, Corby jumped in and that was pretty much all we heard about what was on Mike's mind. It was Corby and Danny for the rest of the segment.  With Mike saying one memorable thing:

Up to that point, no one had named the movie.

Until Mike finally did:


Several questions occur to me.

Did Mike really think "Skyfall" was named "Sunlamp"?  Or was this a part of his emerging seeming-more-addled-than-his-actual-years persona bit?

Was the Bond franchise on Mike's mind at all? Or was this a complete Friday give-up?

Was this the OverCorby?  Or (my weakly-held view), sensing that Mike had absolutely nothing on his mind respecting the announced Mind-topic, was this Corby jumping in to rescue a segment that had already begun wobbling dangerously?  

Sometimes I worry less about their show prep exams than their mind prep. Man, that was one mess.

*     *    *
One more thought:   Am I correct in recalling from various remotes of all the shows that Mike is the only Ticket host who does not have the Internet running in front of him? (I have never been to a Norm remote.)  

Given the man's talent and the years of incredible entertainment he's given us, do we even care that he does not much bestir himself for the show sometimes?  That he even seems to take some pride in being culturally unaware?  

I'm not sure I do.  But then, I don't mind the OverCorby as much as some others seem to, and I do think the OverCorby is sometimes just him pulling a segment back from the abyss.  And I don't mind Mike's too-old-too-early bit.  To me, it still has the flavor of a bit and has not crossed the line into disrespect to both his colleagues and the P1.  After all, his "Sunlamp" reference did make me laugh as I was cruising up 75.

But I understand the contrary argument.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Liking Chicken

I think I posted this in a comment and not in a post, so some of you may have missed it:

Here is where George's "I Like Chicken" song comes from, featuring Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean"):

Not the Nine O'Clock News: I Like Trucking

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Danny the Pitchman (Pronounced "PITCH-mun")

Big fan of Danny Balis.  It looks like most Confessors are as well. One hears the occasional complaints about music snobbishness, but they are more than offset by those who think he is the savior of a declining Hardline.  Myself, I don't even mind the aging slacker persona presented on the Orphanage. I don't care how old he is, it's not only a good bit, it's not even a bit.  Like it or not, his radio personality seems entirely genuine.  And he's a funny, witty guy.  He pulls it off. 


Which is why I get such an enormous kick out of his solo advertising spots. You can hear the struggle in his voice:  On the one hand, he wants to keep faith with his sponsor and convey a sincere interest in persuading the listener to purchase the product. On the other, he wants to convey to his fans that he hasn't sold out. On top of this, he has to cram a lot of words into a short period of time, not his customary mode of expression.  The result is a not-unpleasant but somewhat unctuous semi-ironic tone, vaguely intimate and strongly inflected, that hopes to please the sponsor while nudging the P1 in the ribs.


I had to laugh listening to the Park Place Mercedes-Benz ad driving in the other day.   I pictured Danny returning to his apartment in his 2-Series after a long day of broadcasting, producing, and careful show prep.  He turns on his laptop and sees  a long list of P1s who have e-mailed him at his Park Place address, requesting his urgent assistance in purchasing a new Mercedes-Benz as he invites them to do in his ad.  I picture him opening each email, carefully examining the preferences and desires of each Mercedes-needing listener (they must be countless in The Ticket's demo), cross-referencing that data with the inventory at Park Place Mercedes, and selecting the exactly appropriate sales consultant to arrange an introduction for the corresponding P1 – or, in Danny's phrase, to "hook you up."  It's an amazing service Danny offers, allowing the P1 to take advantage of his close professional connection with the doubtless hard-to-reach members of the Park Place Mercedes-Benz sales department.


Love it.  It's Great to Shop at The Ticket.
Danny B with Another Fine Park Place Brand
Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310
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Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2, 2012

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     --     I had never heard the "Motorcycle Greggo" bit before.  It was played after the Hardline closing theme and before the cavalcade of ads before poor T.C. has to cram his Top Ten into the time allotted time.  (T.C., who really lights up the Top Ten with his between-bit patter, was forced into auctioneer-speed talking tonight.)    Is this an old bit?  It was incredibly savage.  Wondering if The (Incomparable) UnTicket has it (it may want to run it by its attorneys first); I'd like to hear it again.  Let's see -- there was a reference to white trash, a whore, and, the most intriguing reference:  something about Greggo somehow acquiring money that belonged to Ticket staff members.  I can't remember the wording of that last gag, but it was astonishingly bitter and astonishingly inside; would love to know what that joke was about.  Surely this is an old bit, and some of the references would probably mean something to longer-time listeners.  I was entertained, but it was really, really harsh about a guy who isn't even a pimple on The Little One's ass.  Can anyone provide us some context here?

     --     I still don't get Corby's Scot Harrison impression.

     --     I was impressed with Corby's knowledge of NBA rosters during the discussion of the accusations of overwhiteness against the MN Timberwolves.  He could have been reading the info off his screen, I suppose, but I don't think so.  Maybe he knew what was going to be on Mike's mind and studied up.  Or, quite possibly, he knew what he was talking about.

     --     I noticed that one of the followers on this site was a gentleman named Dana Porter.  In his minibio, he said that his thumbnail was a painting by his late grandfather, Henry C. Porter.  Intrigued, I Googled "Henry C. Porter" and discovered that he was noted artist with some really fascinating and beautiful images, both representational and abstract.  You can check them out here.

Dana, thanks for calling this to our attention.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Remembering Casey

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As noted in the last post, it struck me a few days ago that I hadn't heard Casey Millen on the air in a long time.
In a comment, KT advises that Casey is "out of radio."
This both saddened and concerned me.
Saddened, because, while Casey had a controversy or two during his Ticket tenure, he was a pretty solid JV player and becoming a familiar voice on the station, at least on weekends.  Perhaps a bit too obviously ambitious -- I caught his sig other giving him props on this site -- but talented.  Knew his way around a mic, had some OK patter.  Smart.
Concerned, because he seems to have vanished.  He may be out of radio, but his (apparently inactive) Twitter description and LinkedIn summary still list The Ticket as his current home.  I find no news of him elsewhere.
I have no interest in prying into his personal life if he has suffered some misfortune, and if I learn that this was the case, I will take this post down.  But I recall that when Barb Smith vanished from the traffic scene a couple of years ago and readers were questioning her whereabouts, she dropped us a comment and let us know all was well.  (Put this site on the map, I might add -- surfers still visit this site looking for Barb.) 
Casey has corresponded with this site in the past, so I'm hopeful he will do so again and let us know that he's out there swinging.  In any event, very best of luck to him.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 30, 2012

1:10 pm (10-29-12):  Hey  .  .  .  did I miss something, or am I not listening enough?  I'm sitting here trying to avoid doing my job, and the only thought that pops into my head is:  I can't remember the last time I heard Casey Millen on the joint.  Is he still engaged in sportsy broadcasting on The Ticket?  Or, as Confessors never tire of reminding me, am I a bad P1 for (a) not listening enough, or (b) not knowing what news there is to know about Casey Millen?  Is he still up-and-coming?

5:45 am:   I don't care about seeing Obama's Columbia transcript.

I would, however, like to see Jason Garrett's Princeton transcript.

6:27 am:  I liked George's sports talk this morning about trading Romo.  Not because I think it's a good idea, but because it was at least creative and he had some sound reasoning behind it.  And it was not the same two or three points we've been hearing since the post-game show, and which we all knew in advance because we all saw the game and all the other games and we all think the same thing about this team.   I've got a Cowboys HSO that's been perking for awhile that is much less credible than George's.

And it was nice to hear George chip in with some independent sports thinking.

8:23 pm:  Got an odd question for you:  I was checking my referring sites, and one of them was a Yahoo search page where someone had searched for "Greg Williams absenteeism The Rage".  Has he been away lately?  I wasn't aware that there was any issue relating to his attendance in recent months, not since his battle with throat demons a year or so back.  Not that a Yahoo search is evidence of anything, but thought I'd ask.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Morning Quick HIts

*  *  *
(1)  I was wrong in previous comment about freshman Tickerman Mitchell Kerasik (sp) no longer broadcasting.  He's doing Tickers this morning. 
(2)  I try always to listen to the Bob Sturm/Rich Phillips Cowboys pre-game.  Always strong, and I like the teaming of Bob and Rich.
This season they've been required to feature other Ticket hosts.  If anyone knows why the CTO believes this is necessary, please advise.  Are they concerned about Sturm monopolization of two hours of broadcasting?  Do they think there's not enough variety in the two-hour show?  They already have David Newbury, David Moore, Norm doing the numbers, and pre-recorded George doing some keys to the game (although I'm thinking that maybe they don't do that last one anymore; I may be thinking to past seasons). 
Why they make Mike R do stuff like this is a mystery.  He has almost nothing to say.  Junior had a good segment prepared.  But the best, so far, has been -- Dan McDowell, last week.  The best BaD broadcast I've heard in awhile, with some Dick Hicks spice in the bargain.
(3)  Those George/Gordon Raising Cain's ads are effective.  I've written in the past how utterly mediocre the Raising Cain's chicken product is, but the other day I was hungry and saw a Cain's up ahead so thought, hey, for George and Gordon, I'll give it a fifth try. 
As usual:  Friendly, fast, spotless, fresh/hot, and chicken utterly, 100% without flavor.  And, in this case, under-battered, although it scarcely matters.  What do they marinate it in for 24 hours?  Water?  And how they manage to develop a recipe for a batter that does not register on the tongue at all is a mystery of modern culinary science.  Tip:  salt.
(3)  I'm liking MaSS.   One way I judge showgrams is whether they get me interested in topics I know nothing about or otherwise have no interest in.  This morning, MaSS did just that with its "local beer" segment. 
We smack the CTO around a fair amount, but it must be said that it's made a good effort to come up with solid weekend programming.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'd rather listen to MaSS than any other show on either of The Ticket's competitors, weekday, drive, or otherwise.   The Ticket conversational formula must be impossible to duplicate, since no one has been able to do it, yet the CTO seems to identify the right types to put on a show that fits in The Ticket sound and broadcast theory.  For that, they deserve some credit.
Those hits weren't as quick as I'd expected.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

OPEN THREAD: Been to Bahston . . .

.  .  .  and not by the channel the last several days.  So consider this an open thread.  Music talk, Dan talk, kickass-lives-of-The-Hardline talk, you name it, it's yours.

I'll just mention one thing I heard a few days ago that I really enjoyed:  In the 5:30-6 am segment, Junior engaged in Writing Talk with George and Gordon.  About how hard writing is.  He talked about how he started off blogging with some frequency, and how it has now dwindled to about once a month or so.  (SEE:, last heard from July 23.) 

Like any art, writing is hard, if you do it right.  You try to write it carefully the first time, and then go back and edit, carve  it down, get rid of anything that gets in the way of your point.  (First rule -- have a point.)  My sometimes lengthy articles are not good examples of the writer's art, but then, it was easy to write them because I seldom did the things that one needs to do to produce a really sparkling slab of text.  I am a speedy typist, which tends to bypass the governor between thought and page.  And now I sometimes use the amazing Dragon speech-to-text software, which, if injudiciously employed, is also an enemy to reflection.

An offbeat topic for TWMSG, and a very fine way to start one's day.

Junior's blog:   Check it out.

The comments are yours.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'll Probably Regret This

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A couple of Confessors commenting in the last post remarked on a Corby reference -- possibly a stitched together drop, I did not hear it -- to "n-lover."  And of course we frequently hear Danny's "a pretty good n" drop (he's actually saying "a pretty good in," the original reference being to someone's good inside connection with something or other, but the drop is played as though he's saying "n"). 
From time to time commenters have suggested that The Hardline is racist.  I do not believe that any of the Hardline guys is racist in the slightest.  I myself do not find the racial banter or references offensive, but if you do I'm not going to try to talk you out of it or accuse you of oversensitivity.
So I'm OK with the occasional risky reference.
"A truckful of Mexicans" -- Mike Rhyner
(courtesy, used without
permission; site dedicated to collecting photos that reinforce stereotypes of all
races, without discrimination)
Here's my concern:
There have been times when I've wondered whether a motivated interest group could create gigantic headaches for the CTO and The Hard Ones by doing to them what was done to Mike Bacsik.  The kindling is there.  I truly do not think The Hardline is racist, but the edge-skirting stuff, when you add it up, could be fodder for some "community organizer" to make a name for himself calling for a Ticket advertiser boycott.  Those drops would be assembled and played by the local news channels.  And possibly by The Ticket's competitors.
And that would be trouble for our lads that they couldn't laugh their way out of, no matter how unreasonable or crazy the accusations.
I'm not suggesting The Hardline should change a thing because I personally don't find these references blameworthy.  But we live in fractious times, and there are those out there who would love to see The Ticket brought low.
Please keep comments respectful and moderate in tone.  Thanks in advance.
Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Was Feeling a Little Scruffy . . .

-  -  -

.  .  .  and my workday had taken me northish, so I decided that I had given my employer enough of my remaining time on this earth for the day, so I stopped in and checked out the Hardline remote.  I found a spot where I could observe the room, and I just hung out for a while and purchased some cocktails from a young woman who appeared to be an experienced service technician.

A few unremarkable observations.

The name of the place is "Scruffy Duffies."  Not a possessive, but a plural.  Not Scruffy Duffy's; not a place that belongs to Mr. or Ms. Duffy; rather, a place that is of, or resembles, or contains, more than one Scruffy Duffy.   If they think they are avoiding trademark issues with Scruffy Duffy's saloons in NYC and elsewhere, they are in error.

Not a big crowd, at least up to close to 6:30 or so.  There was one guy sitting directly in front of the Hardline setup who was listening to the show, and I noticed one other table of guys who seem to be paying attention. There was a guy reading a tablet and writing in a notebook.  I haven't been to a lot of remotes, but the ones I have dropped in on were a noisier than this one. The good news is that I could hear the show.

Nobody approached them during the couple hours that I was there. They probably prefer it that way, as some remote visitors seem unable to discern when our lads are on the air. Corby appeared to be working away on his Mac during breaks, probably doing some in-show show prep, but while Corby made his magic Mike stood quietly and swayed a little.

They were broadcasting almost in the dark. The bar is dark to begin with, but they were away from the windows and the "stage" was deep in the shadows.

I am always reminded that it must be quite a talent to be able to hold a conversation in front of a bunch of strangers and in the middle of a bunch of noise. As I said, yesterday's remote was not overcrowded, but they are just as smooth when the place is roaring.

Corby looks at Mike most of the time when he's talking. Mike rarely looks at Corby unless he is particularly exercised, when he will turn to him and gesture. Most of the time, when Mike is holding forth, he just kind of stares into the middle distance even when he and Corby are conducting a lively conversation. It's odd to watch Corby speaking very earnestly  and directly to Mike and looking at him, while Mike is more or less gazing at some indeterminate point among the patrons.

I didn't see any Ticket Chicks or promo guys.

I didn't know who the engineer was.

Mike and Corby interact very little during breaks. As I say, it was dark, so perhaps they were mumbling to one another or to Danny through the headsets.  It's a little trippy to hear the disembodied voice of Danny come drifting through the speakers when he jumps in.

I had heard one or another sports pundit or play-by-play guy make many of the same points that Corby and Mike were making about the sole topic, the Cowboy game -- all of the same points, in fact.  And yet, I was not bored listening to them and I was struck again by the fact that Ticket hosts distinguish themselves in being able to make these repeated points listenable and even entertaining.

As I said, no great insights here, but a nice way to unwind, look at chicks, drink, and reflect on how it's Great to Listen to The Ticket.

Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Would Like to Congratulate Myself on My 500th Post

Thanks to all Confessors for making this site Your Source for Responsible Ticket Journalism.

Putting a few topics on the table today:

(1)  I was delighted to hear Michael Gruber interviewed on (I think it was) Cirque this weekend.  He was on a football junket to Pittsburgh with Norm and, I believe, Grubes père.  He said that leaving The Ticket was the worst mistake he ever made, and while he was kidding, he was only about 82% kidding, I thought.  The best news was that he's quit drinking and has been sober for the past couple of months.  Keep it up, Michael, and continued academic success.

(2)  Junior as a chick:  Admit it guys, we've all done worse.  All I could think of esd that I wished I had a lump of sugar for him.   If Sarah Jessica Parker can be a chick, so can Junior.

(3)  Was there any announcement of why Jake Z was not twiddlin'/tweakin' on The Hardline yesterday?

(4)  I thought surely someone would have taken new Saturday AM Tickerman Mitchell Kerasik (phonetic) gently aside and assisted him with correcting some of the more dramatic errors from his debut.  Apparently not.  I don't like criticizing new guys, trying to make their way in a tough business, but  .  .  .  shouldn't someone at least advise him that what he is doing is a Ticker and not a Ticket?   Truly hoping Mitchell shakes off his Ball-State start,  MTC is always in there rooting for the JV.

(5)  I didn't hear the whole thing, but I think George DiGianni was commenting on his recent bugouts on his mix with The TeeBox last Saturday.  I didn't hear the whole thing, but I think his point was that people can't tell the difference between his joking and his not-joking, so he was just going to cut the handoff short.  May have that wrong, but he was commenting on some of the recent attention he has received. 

And again, to each of you, except the more tiresome of the mope trolls, Thank You for Shopping at My Ticket Confession.

Twitter:  @Plainsman1310

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two Cheers for Hardline Music Talk

Whenever I do an article on Hardline music talk, I get a lot of comments highly critical of The Hard Ones, especially noting (1) music snobbishness, usually by Danny but sometimes by Corby, and (2) the frequency that a small number of artists are featured:   Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, a handful of others.
I'll declare my bias.  Long before I was aware of The Hardline, if you had asked me to name my three favorite modern acts, they would have been Steely Dan,  Jeff  Beck, and Neil Young -- three of Mike R's favorites as well, plus Petty.  So off the bat, I don't mind most of the music talk at all.  Other than Danny's (fairly rare) mentions of newer local and obscure national acts, the guys' fave raves coincide with those I got a taste for from my years of primo music appreciation.
But I'm not defending their taste in music.  I want to make a larger point about The Hardline, and probably The whole Ticket.  I'll concede the Confessors' point, that there is a fairish degree of repetition in a lot of it.  Even Nude Music Tuesday, on whatever weekeday it happens to fall, tends to feature new releases by old acts.  (So that's where the one cheer gets subtracted.)
The thought I want to share is this:  Isn't one of the things that makes The Hardline and all of the showgrams great that they don't pander to the P1?  That these shows are almost more overheard than  heard?  A bunch of white guys + Donovan sitting around talking?  Sure enough, repetition can be boring.  But I'd much rather that Mike, Corby, and Danny were unselfconscious in their music talk rather than trying to gin up chatter for stuff they don't care much about.  I've never heard a single Widespread Panic song, but Corby's enthusiasm for the band has attained the status of a bit, and it's OK.   Mike defends his attraction to certain older, sometimes schmaltzy, pop hits that earn Corby's and Danny's scorn, and it's always a refreshing interude.
So I'm good with the quantity and quality of music talk on The 'Line.  Sure, I disagree with it sometimes, as I did with Andy Williams.  And I've defended The Beach Boys in these pages against Danny's and Corby's sneering.  (Oh Danny, Danny, Danny -- or, Little Douche Coupe)
And, to get you all good and lathered up, let me say that Neil Young has made some of the most beautiful music, and written some of the most striking songs, of the past fifty years. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Considering Andy Williams

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The Hardline noted Andy Williams' passing yesterday.  I won't go so far as to say they were in favor of it, but I was mildly -- only mildly -- startled by the utter contempt that they showed for the man. 
I can't deny that Andy's repertoire sounds pretty bland to a generation who experienced almost nothing but rock-and-roll from the beginning of their musical awareness.  The arrangements were blah.  He pretty much stuck to the melody and the beat.  Maybe that takes Andy out of the realm of "artist" and leaves him stuck in the "entertainer" realm.  Okay.

I'll just offer another perspective.

First, the man had amazing pipes and kept them in shape for years.  As opposed to a tremendous amount of today's pop music -- which, by the way, modern science has definitively established as more boring and tedious than in the past  -- the Great American Songbook (that's Sinatra territory, for those unfamiliar with the phrase) is musically sophisticated, and, quite simply, incomparable popular music.  "Moon River" is a difficult song to sing, which I know because I have done it, and thank Jah it was a noisy saloon, a boomy mic, and a tolerant accompanist.  Andy sang that and many more songs with a deceptive and flawless ease, if not trailblazing originality.  He quite simply had a beautiful voice with great range, perfect intonation, and an incomparable warmth and clarity. 

Here are some things you may not know about Andy Williams, and while they aren't going to convince any scoffers that he wasn't a bland warbler, they may elevate your respect for the man just a bit.

--  In the early 1970's Williams was an early and vocal opponent of the Nixon Administration's efforts to deport John Lennon.

--  Williams was the first television host of the Emmys, a chore he performed from 1971 to 1977. 

--  He campaigned for Robert Kennedy and was with the campaign at the hotel the night Bobby was murdered.  He sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the funeral, at Ethyl's request.

--  He was the first non-country artist to open a theater in Branson.

-- "Moon River" has been covered by R.E.M., the Killers, and Dr. John, among many others.

--  The range of talents on his show went well beyond The Osmonds:  Williams's show showcased black talent on the teevee, featuring the Temptations, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and the Supremes.  In 1970, Michael Jackson was a sensation at age 12 on his show doing "I Want You Back" with the Jackson 5.  (Some of the YouTube versions of this say that it's "live," but it looks synced to me.  Still.)  

Michael on Andy
The Mamas and the Papas and Elton John also appeared on the show, as did:

Remember, this was the late Sixties and early Seventies -- today's punch lines were yesterday's groundbreaking performers.

--  When Williams signed his new recording contract in the 1960's, it was the richest in history. 

--  When his ex-wife Claudine Longet, mother of his three children, was on trial for the murder of skier Spider Sabich, Williams stood by her side and escorted her to and from court every day.

--  He had 18 gold and three platinum albums.

--  He was a noted collector of modern art.

All right, all right, this won't make you like the man's music if you didn't like it before.  But he was an astonishing presence on the musical scene for decades, and a good guy.  You can think he stands for everything mayonnaise in American culture, and you won't get a big argument from me, but a huge talent and fine life like that deserves our respect.  A moment, if you please

And make ready that third bedroom, okay?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Unconfirmed on This Site: Sean Bass

A late comment to the last string reports that Sean Bass was involved in a serious automobile accident.  I have been able to get no additional information on this and have no desire to spread erroneous or alarmist information.  I post this merely because in the past people have come to this site for information.

Google Blogger is having a serious meltdown and it is almost impossible for me to operate with any convenience.  Apologies all around.  I would ask that comments be kept respectful and that new information either be reliably sourced or with a link.

Whatever the situation, MTC wishes Sean Bass the very best, and our thoughts are with him and his loved ones.

[CORRECTION:  Since this was posted, I received informal but reliable confirmation that this story is generally accurate, although I have no additional details as of 8:30 AM Monday.]

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

OPEN THREAD -- Intentional Grounding

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Missed the first show but caught the second.  First impression is that CTO programming has delivered another off-hours winner.

Two guys sitting around talking, both likable through the ear buds.  Some interviews.  Nobody gives speeches.  Nobody "announcing" to the listeners.  Solid content.

Just a couple of preliminary thoughts:

(1)  More David.  Got no problem at all with Robert, but it seems like he authored the distinct preponderance of syllables.  Wait -- I had to leave for a segment; that may have been Felix Jones talk that David might have helmed, so my count may be skewed.

(2)  Too short.  Needs a second hour.  They spent a long time on the Cowboys, also the subject of the two interviews, which was perfectly OK sports talk, but by Wednesday those topics had more or less been talked out.  Longed for Rangers talk.

(3)  Robert is much different on IG than on The Hardline.  He's shuffled off the hipster-local-sophisticate persona that he has when he's talking to Danny, Mike, and Corby.  (Actually -- I like that presentation; just saying it's different.)  He's much more reg'lar-guy on IG, which is also very appealing.

Anyway.  Small sample size, but it sounds good to me.  You?

Monday, September 17, 2012

That Tony Call-In -- How Did They Know?

+     +     +

Pretty cool of Tony Romo to spontaneously pick up the phone and dial The Hardline.  And The Line did a nice job with the on-the-fly interview.

Danny described the call-in on The Orphanage this morning.  I was wondering how, when they get an unsolicited celebrity call, they ensure that it's the real guy.  I guess it doesn't happen too often, but I do believe I heard Danny say that that is a concern when this they get an unexpected call from somebody claiming to be  .  .  .  somebody.

Tony Romo hoping to delay diaper-changing duties during a glittery
DFW function by dialing up his pals at The Hardline
I wonder how they handle it?  You don't want to offend a major catch for the showgram by showing too much skepticism, but neither do you want to be scammed.  So do you just chat for awhile and hope you can convince yourself that the voice is right?  (Actually -- I thought the voice did not sound a whole lot like the Tony we hear interviewed on the teevee -- although not doubt it was him.  Just saying the producer faces a difficult task.)  Do you ask some identifying question, and if so, how would you ask a question that any follower of the news wouldn't know the answer to?  Do these stations have secret lists of phone numbers of the Local Famous they can check against the incoming call?

Anyway, if any insiders can give us some anecdotes on schmoes trying to call in as notables, please let us hear from you.

*     *     *
Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310
Email Your Plainsman:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


When I started this blog, my first, I figgered I'd need to develop a thick skin to shrug off some of the passionate negative comments I'd get from fans of a station about which people are passionate.  I didn't anticipate passionate loathing from readers when I didn't post.  But that's life online, I guess.  Well, my hungry Confessors, here you go, some red meat for you:  My very occasional report on the state of BaD, to my ears.  

+     +     +

This piece was started quite some time ago, and was put aside during the upheaval caused by the move to Victory.  So it mentions some things that were fresh at the time, but no longer.  I stand by the stale stuff.

+     +     +

I feel bad that this site somewhat neglects Norm and BaD, mainly because I don't get to hear them as much. I'm quite certain those hosts intensely regret their relative lack of coverage here as well.

However, I've been making a real effort to listen to BaD more often.  In the past year I've spent more time in my car middays, so got myself a good dose.    Way back when. this started out as a Dan article, but think I should get all my BaD thoughts out of the way.  Yes, I know it's too long.

+ + +

Dan McDowell is one of the more polarizing figures at The Ticket, in my case more south-polarizing, but every few months I kinda come around on him a little more, and there are times when I think -- hey, Dan's OK.  I'm still not all the way there after 8 years, but I'm trying. 

First, let's be positive.  Awhile back we heard from a couple of anonymous big fans of BaD and especially of Dan.  Here they are:

Anonymous said...
I have an STD. Well, and STD from me to myself: I have come to the conclusion that BaD has become the best show on The Ticket. I know there aren't a lot of Stars fans on this blog, but their interview with Trevor Daly today was very interesting. I also love the give and take between the analytical Bob and the gut-feeling Dan. And the thing is, Bob can get gutty on you, while Dan will all of the sudden go statsy. I think it's a great mix and a great show. I used to not think as such. The Hardline is either all gut-feeling Mike R organic I just thinks or Corby I just know because it sounds right to my mind. The Musers have that analytical/gut-feeling mix, but they seem to never really get to the heart of a sports issue. And Norm oscillates between analytical thought to sheer lunacy, all within the same segment and about the same topic.

Anonymous said...
Completely agree and I was thinking the EXACT thing during the Trevor interview today. I got in the car for lunch, heard them talking to Ralph and was thinking "shit all I'm going to get to hear is Stars talk during lunch today". Then Trevor came on and it couldn't have been more interesting. Bob and Dan are both so great, I can't really decide which one I like more (although I lean towards Dan since he thinks like I do); they just fit together really well.

So:  Any commentary on BaD needs to acknowledge the obvious:  It's not only a ratings hit, it has a number of fans who know exactly why they like the show -- not just because it's on The Ticket, but because they like Dan and Bob, and Dan qualifies as the station favorite among a significant segment of listeners.  Got no argument with those folks.

And I can agree that BaD is good and renders its competition superfluous.

However, for me the show is still a very mixed bag.

(1)  Good:  I remain convinced, as I wrote awhile back, that Dan is much better solo.   Not only better, but good-in-fact.   I listened to the show a fair amount during Bob's absence way back when, and found it pretty easy to take with him and Donovan.  I know not all Confessors share this view and could not wait for Bob's return.  Me, I thought the discipline of carrying the show really sharpened Dan's approach.   I'll repeat what I've said in the past:  Dan is a better sports host than he is a Sports Humorist.   While he can get off a good line once in awhile, "Dan" and "humorist" don't coexist comfortably in my psyche.

(2)  Good:  I was getting a lot of hits from an Aggie fan site where someone had linked to MTC.  When I looked at the site I found a string where several P1's were giving Dan big props for being very friendly when approached by fans during remotes.  This is not a small thing; any hosts that show consideration for the listeners in this way should be commended.

From D Magazine 2010
Words with Friends Competition
(3) Bad:  I don't punch out very often when listening to The Ticket, but if I had to sum up my punch-outs over the past several years, I'm guessing that I punch out on BaD three-or-four-to-one over the rest of the station combined, even as comparatively little as I hear it.  It's not just Dan misbehavior or Bob interviewing -- it's that BaD seems to stop down for nothing more often than any other show.  I'm not talking about e-brakes; I'm talking about the interruption of ordinary broadcast content for no discernible reason, usually (but not always -- see below) resulting from vocal interruptions.  The "Come on!" drop needs a heartier workout on BaD (me shouting at the Philco works not at all), although Jake The BO probably shouldn't press his luck on that, since Dan's already on his case for -- well, for no discernible reason.  [That last sentence is one of the stale ones, composed in the early days of Jake the BO.]  Yes, The Hardline stops down a lot, too, but its stop-downs usually have some independent entertainment value.  But I also punch out on BaD for other reasons, like scoreboarding the staff and gratuitously rude treatment of guests.  One in particular I recall:  Lanny Wadkins interview.

(4)  Good:  Bits.  Homer Call.  Some of the Donovan black stuff is unique and entertaining.   Guest Booking League.

Although the GBL is a better bit than some of the resulting interviews.  I was amused the last week or so when BaD was teasing The Musers for being the show that interviews the relatives of the famous, whereas BaD gets the stars themselves.  Maybe -- but at least The Musers have taken some care to hone their interviewing skills.

(5) Good:  Handling of racial issues.

(6) Good-But-So-Strange:  Recall that Dan sat in for Corby on The Hardline awhile back, as did a couple of other Ticket notables.  I heard about George's and Gordon's plus-ones, but got zero response when I asked Confessors to let me know how Dan's stint went.  When Corby returned, Mike took a segment to thank each of the guys who sat in.  I found his very friendly remarks on Dan extraordinary, and strongly supportive of my suspicion that Dan is something of an outlier at The Ticket.  

What was extraordinary was not Danny's statement that Dan was "the worst host, and my favorite," although that was a pretty interesting locution (I may not have it quite right).  What struck me was the extent to which Mike went out of his way to report on how Dan gladly accepted the invitation to sit in and on Mike's apparently growing personal appreciation of Dan, things they have in common (baseball love), and the like.  Although Mike was uncharacteristically effusive, almost gushing, I found his Dan-praise entirely sincere.

I also found it entirely weird that Mike was heaping all this very personal praise on Dan, which would hardly be called for if Dan were already regarded as a one-of-the-guys Ticketarian and friend to all.   Not so weird if Mike felt there were some need to describe Dan in a way that sorta suggests that hey, people, Dan's really, really a good guy No, really.  

Wild guess:  The Ticket gets lots of email about Dan.

(7)  Latest Dan Theory:  OK, I'm listening to BaD.  And Dan has been featured on a couple of segments.  And he's fine.  Smart, as he usually is.  Occasionally funny.   Nothing wrong with the overall content.  But for some reason, I'm finding it a really hard listen.  Why is this?  It's not the pipes, I'm way past that.  Pipes are fine, although since the move the poor engineers have not been able to solve the problem of Dan frequently, and seriously, overdriving the mics.  (No criticism intended here -- this is not a Dan issue, I think it's a Victory issue, as Dan is not the only one with this problem.  Don't the CTO actually listen to the station?)  It's something else.  Driving me nuts.  I'm going hey, I make a big show out of trying to be fair even when there's something I'm not crazy about.  So why do I have vast reserves of tolerance for Gordon's and Corby's occasional jerkitude and very little for Dan's mannerisms, even when (as was the case at the time) he's not actually being a big jerk?   Why is my mind wandering to speculation on what Elf might have going today?

And then, it hit me. 

It was just a phrase or two, but I went aha, and the more I listened, the more I realized my problem (maybe it's only my problem) was this: Bob and Dan, but mostly Dan, spend an enormous amount of time commenting on their own commentary in the course of giving that commentary.  Endless loops of monologue, ironic observations on their own observations.  It takes Dan (and again, Bob to a slightly lesser extent) forever to get something said.  That's what Danny must have meant lo those many months ago when he said that Dan "bogs crap down."  That is exactly what he does.  Doesn't make him a bad guy, but it's exasperating for the listener -- this listener, anyway.  Bob may have the reputation of a ceaseless talker (and much of that ceaseless talking does indeed consist of subordinate clauses apparently intended to qualify his opinions into innocuousness -- I've got this on my list as a separate topic), but there's usually a point somewhere at the end of the spiral of verbiage.  Dan seems to feel the need to embellish his phrases with self-observation that, I guess, is what he believes a sports humorist should be doing.   Yes, yes, I know, I'm a fine one to be skeptical of subordinate clauses.

The August 3 E-Brake was an example.  (Sometimes, I write stuff down.)  That was the one where Dan asked Tom Grieve a question that rambled on self-referentially for over minute, during which Tom passed away on the other end of the line. Not that unusual for either of the boys, but for me, too often large chunks of the show sound like that. Christ, get on with it.

The heck of it is, Dan is plenty interesting and knowledgeable and smart and listenable without all of the self-interruption.  (Not to mention the interruption of others, another topic entirely.)  Just talk, dammit; say what you're going to say.  Listen to tapes of Junior Miller, that most elegant of Ticketarians, the Fred Astaire of weekday hosts, who gets to the point faster and more effectively than any of the rest of them and is entertaining in the bargain.   Dan isn't going to turn into Junior Miller and no one would want him to, but I can't help but feel that with his brains and his quickness Dan could be a first rate host if he'd just lose the false (?) modesty or insecurity or whatever it is and say what he has to say with about 75% fewer commas.

(8) Good:  Donovan:  Donovan takes his lumps on this site from time to time, but I must say I don't get it.  I find him a bright spot on BaD.   Some here have accused him of air hoggery, but I find this baffling.  His contributions seem to me to be appropriate and no more prominent than other sub-hosts.  And I find that I like what he has to say and, as I've noted above and elsewhere, BaD overall pitches the race thing about right.  I enjoy Donovan's segments where he brings the community to us pasties.  So I'm pretty OK with Mr. Doo.  His Magic Johnson theory aside, which I wrote about here..

(9)  Bad:  The usual Bob issues:  While I am a Sturm admirer and don't want to hear anyone else do Cowboy pre-game (other than his broadcast partner at the time, Rich or whoever), and while I listen in slack-jawed amazement at his hard-sports analysis when he offers it on BaD, it must be said that Dan is not the only one who brings that show to a screeching halt.  I was on the verge of scrapping this essay -- whatever you may think, I really don't like going negative -- until I was listening a couple of weeks ago to a BaD segment featuring Cash Sirois and a promotional thing he had concocted for the Mavericks.  Bob was introducing it.   Some marvelous thing Cash was going to tell us about.  Coming right up.  It's really amazing.  Here it comes.  And we'll be hearing about it  .  .  .  when?  Good lord, as Danny might say, the preamble, or pre-ramble, just went on forever with no sign of actually getting to the story.  I was seconds away from punching out when they finally got to it.  Good story, as it turned out (sending a Dirk bobblehead into near-space via balloon), but needlessly truncated by Bob's prefatory ambulations.

So I decided to go ahead and post.

*     *     *

That's enough BaD, and way more than enough me.  I feel terrible about my BaD misgivings, I really do.  I want to be an old-fashioned fan of everyone on The Ticket, and truth to tell my opinion of Dan, in particular, has brightened a lot since I started listening to The Ticket.   But BaD Radio is just not one of those seamless listens for me, like The Musers and The Hardline and even Norm. 

*     *     *

WAIT, I was ready to wrap this up, but I thought of a way to encapsulate my view of BaD.

Sometimes, I get the feeling that BaD struggles to broadcast.

It's hard for them.  It's work.

Whatever you might think of The Musers or The Hardline, or even Norm, with those shows (well, maybe not Norm quite so much) you get the feeling that you're overhearing some friends talking about sports and guy stuff.  Now this is work for the hosts on those shows as well, but their labor doesn't come through the ear buds.  That's their gift.

Bob and Dan, for all their skills and brains, have a difficult time conversing naturally, at least with one another.   Those skills and brains are considerable and it's still a much better listen than what the competition is slinging.  But too often it's forced and audience-aware and cautious and slow and -- for me -- the show simply can't get out of its own way.  It stumbles, it labors to rise and move on.  By then, I may have done so myself.

Sorry, BaD fans.  I really do listen, my reactions ranging from pleasure, to shaking my head, to yelling at the Crosley, to XM 21.  As you can see, I find a lot to like about BaD.  But this is The Ticket, the greatest radio station in the world; the standards are high.  I've listened with care and I just have to conclude that with the truly superior talent in those chairs, BaD could be better.

Set me straight, BaD fans.  Or, heaven forfend, agree with me.
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