Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stop the Bombing

I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the pallet this morning.

So much so that I'm not even going to apologize to hockey fans for the following:

I understand that shows that formerly didn't give a rip about hockey (Musers, Hardline) are now required to do hockey segments because The Ticket has had the misfortune to have CTOs who thought it needed some sport to be the "flagship" of.

But must we be subjected to segments such as aired today on "how the Stars feel" -- feel, for crying out loud -- about only earning one point instead of two in last night's shootout victory?   Christ, I could have done that segment.  ("Well, Craig, I doubt that they feel as good about getting one point as they surely would have if they'd gotten two."  Do I get the job?)  I am inclined not to blame The Musers, partly because I'm mainly in the tank for The Musers to begin with, and partly because I'm guessing that they were surely forced to do some kind of hockey segment. 

Yeah, I know they went on the hockey road trip and it changed the Stars' fortunes, but this is my blog and I'm in a bad Ticket mood and I don't want to hear hockey talk under any circumstances unless it involves female nudity.  And I especially don't want to hear forced-segment hockey talk.

And maybe I've been listening to too much Donovan lately, but I'm wondering if the Musers conspired to put on the most leaden possible segment to embarrass management into not imposing a hockey-talk quota.

===============

And while I'm in a lousy Ticket mood, what the hell was wrong with 1310 AM this morning?  I get into range where it's usually clear -- you know, downtown -- and it sounds like five other distant stations are broadcasting in the background.




32 comments:

birq said...

I noticed that both 104.1 and 1310 were pretty dicey this morning. I'm just not nearly as grumpy as you are about it.

BootRallyAnotherFifthOfSoCo said...

I don't think there is some sort of CTO hockey talk mandate or even nudge. It's just that the team is actually getting exciting. Like many things Ticket-related, you weren't here when the Stars went on their Cup run and the following season. While the hockey knowledge was for the most part non-existent, the talk was genuine and the hosts were excited. In fact, the Ken Hitchcock Show on The Hardline was greatness. The same can be said for the first two Charity Challenges. The upshot is, the station has ties to the Stars that predate their flagship status. I understand you're in a bad mood. I understand it's your blog and you can say whatever you wish. But perhaps you ought to know the history between The Ticket and the Stars a little better. That way, you know, you might make a more informed posting.

Anonymous said...

I love the hockey talk on the Ticket, I wish there was more of it and I know a lot of people would like that as well. It'd be nice if they'd actually watch some of the games. I think part of the problem is every show (excluding BaD) completely ignores the Stars for the entire season and then all of a sudden when it looks like they might make the playoffs, they start talking about it. Hockey is a great sport and there's a lot of Stars fans in DFW that would love to hear more opinionated Stars talk on the Ticket. By the way, the Stars got two points last night because they won. Phoenix got the one point for losing in the shootout.

birq said...

"In fact, the Ken Hitchcock Show on The Hardline was greatness"

He never learned to play the pan flute, but he can tell you how to get to Kamloops.

I loved that song.

Shaggy said...

"I think part of the problem is every show (excluding BaD) completely ignores the Stars for the entire season and then all of a sudden when it looks like they might make the playoffs, they start talking about it"

I think it only makes sense that this happens, because that is also how the average sports fan/Ticket listener relates to the Stars.

Anonymous said...

Shaggy: But that's the way the average DFW sports fan/Ticket listener is period. About all teams except the Cowboys.

Shaggy said...

Nah, the Rangers and Mavericks draw a lot more interest than the Stars. That's just the nature of the NHL vs the NBA or MLB.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you, Shaggy, but I remember the Mavs and the Dallas sports fan in the '90s. And the Rangers had a couple of years in the late 90s and the last two seasons to bask in the spotlight. Other than that, no one cared except die hard fans. The only reason you'd see decent crowds on the weekends at Ranger games is because it used to be (and still is to some extent) a cheap and fun family outing. As far as the Mavs goes, after the 80s, Reunion was an empty sleep chamber. I'll grant you that hockey is number four around here, for sure. But like I said, other than the Cowboys, it's a bandwagon winner's sports town. Hell, right after the Cup run, there wasn't enough Adult D Level hockey leagues to accommodate the mass influx of players inspired by the Stars. And now...not so much. Back in the early Ticket days, the ONLY thing listeners wanted to hear about and discuss was the Cowboys. Only a few Hardline Day Oners liked Ranger talk, and the Mavs, like the Stars, were a total afterthought...until the Stars won the Cup and The Ticket forged a relationship (ditto can be said when Cubes and Donnie Nelson and Dirk took over).

The Plainsman said...

First, BootRallyAnotherFifthOfSoCo, I offer a belated and heartfelt welcome to our distinguished group of commenters. Thanks for your sevearl distinguished comments to date.

Which, in this case, because I am grumpy, I reject. The Stars are not having such a fabulous season that the station is hearkening back to the golden age of Stanley Cup greatness. They've hovered all season on the verge of playoff elimination in a sport where a ham sandwich can make the playoffs, and they're still in a precarious spot.

Non-BaD hockey talk is a put-up job, and sounds like it, and I say the hell with it.

And while I'm in the mood, let me agree with the distinguished birq that 104.1 sounded like it was also broadcasting from somewhere near the Marianas Trench this morning.

BootRallyAnotherFifthOfSoCo said...

Thanks for the warm welcome. I have to disagree with you on a few points. First off, I'm guessing that you don't know a lot about or follow hockey too closely. If you did, you wouldn't have made the "ham sandwich" comment. It ain't that easy my friend, not by a long shot. The very fact that so many teams are within a point or two from being in or out of the playoffs says as much. Secondly, there is a genuine excitement around the Stars right now. I go to the games, and the crowds have begun to come back and the arena is getting louder and louder. And thirdly, I completely disagree with you about non BaD hockey talk. Besides Bob, no host, including Dan, knows anything about hockey past the superficial level. But that doesn't mean their hockey talk is forced. They just don't know how to talk about it in the same way they do football or basketball. Maybe you're projecting your own dislike or at least tepid interest in the sport on to the other hosts? Maybe?

I think you're falsely accusing your supposed radio heroes. There's no way that Mike Rhyner or Junior Miller are forcing or faking hockey segments because the CTOs demanded they talk about the Stars. To quote Craig Rosen Rosen: "I think you're wrong."

Anonymous said...

I don't think anything is forced. The hosts are their own boss.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with BootRally, Plainsman. I also have to agree with Rosengarten. You have a fuzzy read on this one.

The Plainsman said...

Loved Junior's Lamar talk this morning.

Boot: Appreciate your well-expressed disagreement. A few responses to your and other commenters:

(1) You may have misread my thoughts about BaD. I think BaD hockey coverage is sincere and well-informed. No problem there.

(2) Hockey's playoff system is the sports equivalent of the children's "self-esteem" movement and is widely ridiculed. How many hockey teams are there? 30? How many teams make the "playoffs"? 16? Over half? Say, now there's a reward for excellence. If I've got this wrong please advise.

(3) The CTO may not order hosts what to say (sometimes orders them what not to say), but they absolutely influence program content. I'm not saying that Jeff C told The Musers to do a particular segment, but I think it quite likely that they were told to generate a hockey segment or two every week. The hosts frequently make veiled references to edicts from the CTO regarding program content.

(4) If Musers/Hardline aren't being powerfully urged to discard their strong disinclination to talk hockey, then why is their hockey talk so lethal? You think they seek out those hahhrrible interviews?

(5) You're right, I don't "know a lot about or follow hockey too closely." This statement is true much as it would be if you substituted "the Delaware legislature" for "hockey." In this, I am joined by approximately 100% of the hosts of The Musers and The Hardline, who, concededly, do know and care about hockey somewhat more than I do, but not a lot.

And, to judge by comments on earlier posts, I'm also joined by a fair number of Confessors, although they don't seem to be showing up on this thread.

(6) But I am happy for hockey fans, who deserve to get coverage of their sport on The Ticket. As critics never tire of reminding us other critics, "if you don't like it you don't have to listen." Quite true, and I don't.

My point here is that the non-BaD hockey coverage that we're getting these days is atypical and sounds distinctly forced to this observer.

Stong Good said...

tired head I have from this conversation

T4 In Rockwall said...

In response to your latest comment #5. I follow hockey very lightly, and don't care for the hockey talk either. Now if the hosts made it interesting, as BAD obviously does, then I could handle it, but it is a quick taking off of the headphones when I'm listening at work. I think BAD have a chemistry that they can talk about nearly anything that one of them might be interested in and someone, like Dan for instance, has enough talent to make something out of it. Dan has a use to The Little One. A lot of people don't care for him, but when I started listening in '97 and they came on in '99 (I think I'm right about that date?) BAD was my favorite program, particularly because of Dan.

T4 In Rockwall said...

I have tired head from your useless comment.

BootRallyAnotherFifthOfSoCo said...

I think either you might have misread my post or I wasn't clear enough. I do think BaD (though I only claim the Bob part of BaD) knows hockey and that you find them credible.

I take it you feel the same way about the NBA's playoff structure? What about MLB's latest changes? Who are these people that ridicule the NHL's system? The same people who don't follow or even like the sport? Or are they the hardcore Original Six Purist types? Let's just say for the sake of argument you're right. It has no weight where this topic is concerned. If it did, then you ought to feel the same way about Mavs talk. And it also has nothing to do with the tight, exciting (for hockey fans), and headache inducing fight for playoff spots that has been occurring the last several seasons. In fact it speaks to the very opposite of your point.

You think it's "quite likely." I know from your posts that you once entertained buying a station and that you have a healthy interest in radio. Still, that doesn't make you privy to what goes on behind the scenes at The Ticket. I'll give the boys the benefit of the doubt and say that they are talking more hockey lately on their own accord. Doing so because it's become a bit of a story. If the team begins to tank over the next week or so and falls out of contention, I'll bet anything that the hockey talk takes its usual seat at the back of the bus.

Why are The Hardline's hockey interviews so horrible? Because they don't know what to talk about past goofy personal stuff. Why then you might ask do players and coaches come on the show? Because it's the highest rated afternoon drive show in the area. An awkward interview at 5:15 pm that is being listened to by huge numbers is better than a good interview at 1:20 pm by good numbers. The Stars aren't dumb. They know this, and I'll wager that they request to be on The Hardline or The Musers (though you rarely hear players or coaches on the morning show due to morning skates - Ribs being on this morning was a rarity). If you had been in the market during the greatness of The Ken Hitchcock Show, you would have seen how the show evolved to the point where it completely revolved around Hitch's personal interests (e.g., the Civil War). The show and the coach made a real connection, and it made for great radio. I might be the only one here that holds this opinion, but I think The Hardline is pretty hhhaarrible at interviews, period. Yes, even baseball. It's only when they get into personal stuff that anything interesting is said by either side of the conversation.

I say this coverage is neither forced nor atypical. I guess you have a short memory. The Stars went to the Western Conference Finals in 2008. Towards the tail end of the season and throughout the playoffs, the station covered the team just as they are now. Though something tells me you and your readers (me too for that matter) were far too wrapped up in Greggo talk and speculation to notice. To recap from another comment of mine, your own timeline as a listener and your postings show that you have no idea about the relationship between The Stars and The Ticket. Therefore while I think that your disinterest in hockey is obvious and you're perfectly free to say you dislike hockey talk, I also believe -respectfully- that you're speaking out of your backside when it comes to this particular.

Anonymous said...

Well, T4, I'm tired of your comment. And your picture. So there.

blergoyen said...

Plainsman - I'm with you regarding the overkill on the hockey talk. You probably already know this, but I believe the debate you see here in the comments stems from the ultra-minority of Hockey fan Ticket listeners, and the even lower minority in the DFW population. They are few, but hyper-passionate, almost to a fault. You can see they've taken your internet rant, albeit justified, very personally and they're striking back. There is just some kind of weird coolness factor hockey fans perceive amongst themselves, kind of like Slayer fans perceived before they "sold out." I too believe, because it's the only pro sport The Ticket broadcasts (AFAIK), there is some influence from above to squeeze in a segment every day. The new owner may have worked that in to the broadcast agreement. 99% of the listeners don't care, save for the very very small minority of fans, which keeps shrinking every year.

I'd venture to say there are more MMA fans in DFW these days than hockey fans, but The Ticket NEVER talks about that sport. They don't broadcast MMA either. NASCAR is still more popular than hockey in the United States and I would venture to say the 2000 or 3000 hockey fans in DFW would not enjoy MORE NASCAR segments squeezed in to each show on the Ticket.

Anyway, keep up the good work and don't let the vocal minority get under your skin.

BootRallyAnotherFifthOfSoCo said...

@blergoyen

MMA is still considered a fringe or "cable only" sport by most. NASCAR has made its way into the big time, though its ratings continue to drop precipitously each season. The Ticket does have the excellent Dick Hicks fueled Race Week. But rarely is there a word given to the sport. Though Mike has been talking NASCAR for some reason of late. Maybe it's a bit. The Hardline used to talk boxing long ago with the old ZROCK host (speaking of Slayer), Mad Maxx Hammer. I think you make some valid points, but I also think you have some things wrong.

Hockey is a team sport. The Ticket mainly deals with team sports. Therefore it's easier for them to discuss it, even if superficially, than it is to talk about all the nuances of MMA. Nuances (e.g., holds and counter moves) that only a close follower of the sport can understand. Also, the Stars are the Dallas Stars. That is thay are a local team. The Ticket is a local sports station with hosts who live here and talk about what goes on here (like the promo says). There is neither a NASCAR sponsor or team nor to my knowledge an MMA team based out of the DFW area. Do you feel the same way about golf? Golf is much bigger than either NASCAR or MMA (both locally and worldwide), yet the station devotes a throw away early morning weekend slot for its golf show. And the only host who talks about it is Corby, unless it's some Tiger (usually personal) related issue. What about soccer? I think it's popularity speaks for itself, and still, no talk. What say you to this?

I'm not sure where you're getting the self tagged coolness factor. While you're correct where fierce loyalty to and passion for the team is concerned (especially from those fans who didn't Stanley Cup bandwagon - which unfortunately were the majority of "fans"), it's not due to hypersensitivity. It's due more to the non or marginal fans' dismissive attitude. An attitude many times borne out of ignorance and-or sports cultural upbringing. It's out of a wanting for others to better understand the game so that they too may become passionate about their home town team. As an aside, your estimated number of DFW hockey fans is ridiculously low. There are many more amateur players in one single league (and there are numerous leagues, including high school and adult) than the estimate you give. So with all due respect, I judge all of your estimates as exaggerated.

Finally, I'll say once again, if you've closely listened to the station during the upticks of Stars hockey, you would've noticed the same amount of increased coverage (which is still minimal). The only thing I've ever heard that was obviously flagship station related was when Nieuwendyk had a state of the team meeting with the station at the beginning of last season and The Hardline related its contents to the listeners. A move which made sense. After all, they are the Stars' flagship station. Why wouldn't they want to promote their product? Especially one which at the time was about as low as a franchise could get. But that doesn't mean there was some CTO or Stars mandate issued. Did you or anyone else think as such when the Cowboys were on the station? I would hope not.

blergoyen said...

@Boot

By your response to my post, you pretty much proved my point. We know there are some hyper-passionate fans, they are extremely vocal, but the fan base is too small to justify the air time given these days. As you state, Nascar and Golf are bigger in the U.S. but The Ticket dedicates a 2 hour recorded segment every saturday to Nascar that is made fun of the rest of the week. Golf gets even less airtime, and probably wouldn't get the air time it does if Tiger Woods was not around.

So why is so much airtime given to the Stars as of late? Locality isn't the answer, or we'd here more about FC Dallas throughout the year. You said yourself the global popularity of Soccer speaks for itself. And it is a TEAM sport if I remember correctly. I'm not even going to debate the MMA thing because I don't think you are aware of this "fringe" sport signing a 7 year deal with FOX late last year (FOX is a MAJOR network btw)

So what drives the brief, recent attention to the Stars? I don't think it is the small fan base. I don't think it is the recent, brief success. I don't think it is history so far in the distant past it's forgotten and irrelevant. And I don't think it's the team sport nature.

I believe the attention is driven by influence from upper management sparked by the broadcast relationship the Ticket has with the Stars. We'll never know, but I think the majority of listeners would agree with me, rather than the hockey fans described above.

Anonymous said...

Nationwide hockey on the whole draws the same interest as basketball (as far as favorite sport to watch, it's about 5% of the male population list each as their favorite)...in Dallas, probably a slightly different weight because the Mavs have had the recent great success. If the Stars return to the playoffs and start making a run, people will jump right back in as they used to in the late 90s when virtually everyone was driving around with a little Stars car flag. Hockey is a lot more popular in this area than some of these comments would lead you to believe. Look at the explosion of youth and high school programs after the great success of the late 90s. I think it's all about what teams you pay close attention to, there are plenty of people out there that don't give a rat's ass about the Mavs or the regular season at least and don't want a breakdown of every game. The guys who talk hockey on the Ticket with actual knowledge (BaD and Soul Patch) bring good segments to the air that hockey fans can enjoy because you can tell they follow the team and watch the games and know what's happening.

BootRallyAnotherFifthOfSoCo said...

@blergoyen:

MMA did sign a deal with FOX, but it's only being shown on FOXFX, not FOX "proper." At least on my carrier, Directv, that's the case. But you're right, that is a big deal. And who is to say that MMA won't become huge. I think I'm safe in thinking you're a fan. Yes? Perhaps you're looking at yourself in the mirror when you make your claims against hockey fans?

I think no matter what I say it's going to "prove your point." I've already explained the attitude of many ardent hockey fans, so I'm not going to go into it again. You either didn't read or didn't understand/misunderstood my words. That's fine. This is the interwebosphere, such attidunal engagement is de rigueur.

I do completely agree with you regarding golf and Tiger Woods.

Your analogy between FC Dallas and the Stars doesn't hold. The Stars are playing in the NHL, the biggest best stage in hockey. FC Dallas is Triple or even Double A, if you will, soccer. If you think I'm wrong here, I kindly ask you to e-mail Sports Sturm, Steve Davis at ESPN.com/Dallas, or watch a Premiere League game. Now if the DFW area had a Premiere team and they were neglected like FC Dallas, then you'd be onto something. But that's not the case. If your analogy holds, then the same can be said of all the lesser league teams in the area (and there are many).

The 2008 Western Conference Finals run and the, albeit brief, attention the Stars garnered from The Ticket during said run is not the distant past.

While I don't appreciate some of the "gotcha-tude"tone of your reply, I do appreciate the conversation, honestly.

blergoyen said...

@Boot

I am an MMA fan, but I certainly don't let my appreciation for it cloud my objectivity. I would rather hear about MMA on the radio than hockey, but I acknowledge the popularity doesn't warrant it. Although they have aired 2 shows on FOX since the contract (KDFW in Dallas), and 2 more are scheduled for 2012. Yes, on the MAJOR FOX national network.

Like I said at the end of my last post, we'll never know the real reason behind the boost in hockey talk on the Ticket. We can only speculate, and neither of us will probably persuade the other. But my stance is that there is too much air time devoted to hockey considering the lack of support and/or interest in DFW.

Maybe I'm wrong and the NHL has shown a TV ratings trend upward over the last 10 years. Does anyone have any data? I, and I contend most Ticket listeners don't care enough to look it up themselves.

BootRallyAnotherFifthOfSoCo said...

@blergoyen

I take you at your word when you say you don't let your passion for MMA cloud your objectivity. While you don't have to, I would hope you would afford in kind the same to hockey fans. I merely asked a question and you answered. I did not assert.

This is going to be, I'm sure much to most readers delight, my last comment on the topic. We agree that we're at loggerheads. Fair enough. The station's long history with the Stars and the boost in coverage during the 2008 run won't convince you that it's a success thing, not a CTO or Stars mandate or nudge. Okay. But I just want to make one last point: The amount of time currently being allotted to hockey is miniscule when compared to the other sports and guy talk. It's not as if every show is using up two segments on the topic. Norm has only mentioned hockey maybe twice in passing this week. So I honestly don't understand the uproar. It's my best guess that people such as yourself and Plainsman just don't like the sport and have no patience for it on The Ticket. Other than, perhaps, as Bob's little hobby (as an aside, I find it odd that Plainsman says BaD does a good job...as he admits that he really doesn't listen either to BaD or Stars postgame shows), and-or maybe Razor with the Musers.

Again, I enjoyed it.

The Plainsman said...

Well, that settles it.

For talk about hockey talk, you absolutely must come to My Ticket Confession.

Thanks to all for the vigorous advocacy and civil tone.

Don't let me stop you.

NoGeo said...

dallas loves winners, the stars have been playing good lately, the station talks about things that relate to their bandwagon target audience. The End.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing all that up for us, NoGeo. You're the best. The End.

The Plainsman said...

My colleagues are demanding once again that I be absent for an entire week to serve our customers, so BOLO for another lame Open Thread. Feel free to suggest one. Chances are good it's better than what I'd come up with.

Anonymous said...

Open Thread Suggestion: The state of The Morning Musers. The evolution of George, Junes's at times indifference, and Gordo's conflicted ways. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I thought Jake sounded good this morning on the Orphanage. Maybe it's time for Danny and Davey to pass on the torch? I have to say that it's much easier to listen to 20 something Jake and let's say 20 something TC talk like teenagers than it is for now mid 40s Danny and almost 40 if not already 40 Davey. I must say that Danny for the most part does speak like an adult. Can't say that about Davey. I'm not trying to start a generation/old vs. new thread. I understand that this is the way people speak nowadays. I'm guilty of it too from time to time. But if I gotta hear it, and it's about subject matter that for the most part means the world only to teens and 20 somethings, then I want to hear it from the mouths of 20 somethings. Not middle aged men. Sorry, that's just how I feel. New blood. It's time to move on. Let's get this done. Whaddya say Catman?

The Plainsman said...

Anonymous Open Thread Suggester: I like your suggestion and I have on my list to address a topic that is very close to it. So I'm going to put that on hold and we'll come back to it (not sure when).

Thanks again for the suggestion.