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.

Email:  ThePlainsman1310@gmail.com
Twitter:  @Plainsman1310


East Texas P1 said...

Couple of quick hits -

First, the presidential debate gave me tired head so I switched channels. Can always get the hot stuff on youtube.

2. Turned to North Texas versus LA-LA. Is that Rich Phillips on the ESPN2 play-by-play broadcast? If not, it is his verbal doppelganger. If it is Rich, then I see vistas in front of him because he/it is good.

3. Only been to one remote. That was at the Hilton Rockwall grand opening some years ago. Was there with my daughter and I did not think it was that much attended by the "average" P1. However, there were several of Corby's friends there as each break he would spend time with them and after the show.

4. The vocal timing was (to me) was very impressive. It was like watching actors on a stage. Listening to the radio does not (to me) give notion to the pause that is between each Mike and Corby's interaction. On the radio it seems seamless. In person, Mike makes a statement, hand gestures and facial movements, and then, pause, pause, then Corby's response.

5. I also noticed that Mike looks out at the indefinable middle distance while Corby is much more engaged.

6. Madison Rising http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8C7i9kdEf8


Anonymous said...

That's not Rich.

charlemagne said...

I take it you didn't introduce yourself, Plainsman? If perchance you did, was there any reaction (assuming you told them your blogger identity)?

I've never been to a remote or any Ticket event. Came close a few times, but backed out at the last minute. I think that deep down I'm sorta afraid, if that's the right word, that it might ruin the magic for me. Just by the way you and East Texas describe Rhynes makes me think my shying away was/is the right thing to do.

The Plainsman said...

Charlemagne: We're grateful to have the Holy Roman Emperor on the site.

No, I did not introduce myself to anyone and I never have. Never met or spoken to a Ticket/Cumulus employee. Started to introduce myself to Junior once some time ago, but Mrs. Plainsman was with me and she wanted to get going. I've only been to a 3-4 remotes and one Ticketstock, and I generally only go if I'm in the general vicinity at the right time.

While this site is probably more positive about The Hardline than Confessors generally, especially when it comes to Corby, I'm not sure what kind of reception I'd get. The site has hit the show pretty hard about vulgarity, and this site got its start with concern over the lack of balance on the show (since improved).

But more generally, I get the feeling from Mike's interaction with media coverage generally that he would strongly prefer his show not being the subject of any coverage or commentary at all, good or bad. So while I'd like to shake their hands and tell them what their talent has meant to my tenure here in DFW, I'm not sure I'd get an entirely warm reception.

Or -- worse -- Mike would say: "What the hell is a Plainsman?"

So, like Danny, I thought I'd just sit here and drink my beer. (Did not rub one out.) These are working men. I've heard hosts, including Mike, are generally friendly to the P1 speaking to them off the air at a remote, but why present them with this blogging jerk where they have to come up with some reaction or other, when in fact this site is to them like a fly on an elephant, and they're the elephant? So I just sat quietly and enjoyed the show.

But I do encourage you to go to a remote. I don't think it would bust the romance of The Hardline or any of the other shows. I think it would increase your respect for the work they do.

The Plainsman said...

George's impression of Tim McCarver is pretty genius. I assume that's Gordon's script, but George's voice and phrasing were astonishing.

Question: How do you actually discover that you HAVE a Tim McCarver impression?

The Plainsman said...

East Texas: Really lliked your point about the vocal cadences. I think this is one of the things that distinguishes The Ticket from the wall-of-sound sports talkers surrounding it on the dial. Ticket hosts have mastered the conveying of a conversational rhythm in a broadcast setting. Instead of fearing a second or two of dead air, they use it. Compare and contrast The Fan, which comes across as noisy and frantic.

The Plainsman said...

Madison Rising: Cool arrangement and not at all disrespectful, but way, way too long to become a standard rendition. If they could find a way to get that feeling into half the time, then maybe.

wubbadis said...

I found it hilarious that Junior's "Women Say the Darndest Things About Sports" segment directly followed yet another one of Gordon's political analyses. Open letter to Gordo: STOP IT. I don't care if you're liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, libertarian, or dirty commie pinko.......IF I WANTED TO HEAR DEBATE OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF POLITICAL TALK, I'LL TURN ON CNN, FNC, MSNBC, WBAP, KLIF, KSKY, ETC. Much like the giggling you guys let loose over women trying to sound like they know something about sports but in reality showing quite the opposite, I and every single other person I know who listens to The Ticket feels the exact same way about your political talk. Except we don't giggle, we groan. Norm nailed it yesterday when talking about different types of intelligences: Gordon is extremely quick minded, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's very deep, at least in all of his thoughts. Same goes with Corby. Because I know that I'll be hearing much of the same later this afternoon. Corby, too, is a quick minded guy. And like Gordo, at least from the things said over the air, doesn't go very deep in his thinking. Which is perfect for sports, bits, imitations, and pop culture observations. But for the love of all that's good in this world, STOP WITH THE POLITICAL TALK.

Anonymous Ron said...

I've been to a few remotes over the years and it always seems strange that when they go to break they just stare silently out into space for seven minutes. But if your job is to talk for four hours, probably the last thing you want to do during a break is . . . talk.

Anonymous said...


I was right with you until you went down the Gordo's intelligence route. As if talk show hosts and political commentators are deep thinking people. Yeah, maybe one out of 100 are. And even that usually depends on if they're saying what you want to hear. But yeah, I also wish Gordon and Corby would nix the politics talk.

Shaggy said...

IJB will be on Saturday morning filling in for The Tee Box. Don't miss the mix with George D.!

charlemagne said...

IJB getting another shot at it. Very cool! I hope they fare better this time around. I also hope their callers remember they're on the air, not the internet. If I were them, I wouldn't take any callers. Can't wait till Saturday morning. The George DiGianni mix ought to be interesting. At least it better be!

@Plainsman: Glad someone out there still recognizes my kingdom. I take it you are, at the very least, an honorary Carolingian?

Anonymous Ron said...

Damn. They didn't get to the INTRO for Intentional Grounding until 7:17.

normalguyguide said...

I introduced myself to Rhynes on the floor of the convention center at Ticket Stock. It was right after his series of Super Bowl photo bombs, so I asked if he'd give me the honor of a Ticket Stock photo bomb, which he kindly did. He was walking around without too many people bothering him, so I didn't feel all that horrible in making the request.

Shaggy said...

Note to Norm and Bob's Steak& Chop:

Beef being corn-fed is NOT a selling point.

alvinintexas said...

Anyone out there catch the Corby "n lover" drop earlier in The Hardline? I don't care if "aww, you know we don't mean anything by it. Of course we're not racist" is there stance, the fact is, that is completely racist. It doesn't matter if it's a stitched together drop either. It's being played on air. Hell, the very fact that it was even thought about and put together in actuality is wrong. There's no excuse for such bulsh. I'm stunned that The Ticket in general and The Hardline in particular get away with such blatant racism. I'd say that it's just a matter of time before the s comes down due to this sort of crap, but it's been going on for years and nothing's ever come of it, so why now. Still doesn't make it right.

T4 In Rockwall said...

Yeah, I caught the "n" reference. Corby just played it off like "what?". It made me uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

The drop wasn't funny but I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I think most on this site try to nitpick The Hardline in anyway possible.

Anonymous said...

"N lover." Yeah, buddy. That's just nitpicking.