Thursday, April 18, 2013

Awright, I Guess I Need to Trot Out a New Theory of The Hardline

I don't get it, man.

First, I must say that I remain a big Hardline fan even when they're doing their typical show from Victory or Scruffy Duffies or Sol's Meat Shop in Wylie.

Second, I will further affirm that I have loved the Chicago visit and thought our lads have done a first-rate job, a success in every way.  Jeez, some guy was griping near the end of the last post about the account of the visit to the Old Town Ale House and Mike's encounter with Chicago legend, the profane, colorful leftist Bruce Elliott.  What exactly do you want them to do on the Chicago trip?  Would you think it was a good trip if they had gone to the Sears Tower (I know, it's not called that anymore)?  The Art Institute?  The Field Museum?   Hell, I expect and want The Hardline to go to local bars and find their own.  And Christ, they weren't only local-intensive, they were baseball-intensive.  Their accounts of the Wrigley Field tour, their elbow-rubbing with the honchi.  Mike changing his mind about Cubs fans and falling in love with a new city?  Come on -- this is nothing, nothing whatsoever like the New York trip.  Maybe they were stung by the yawns that greeted them on their return from New York, and maybe they're making an effort on that account, and some readers have complained about that

Something's going on here.  I have a thought to share on what it is.

Michael Having the Time of His Life at Wrigley Today,
Courtesy Alexi Ogando
Sure, I hear (and have issued) complaints about show prep, the OverCorby, Mike's variable interest levels.  I understand it.  And if someone says I just can't freakin' stand Corby and I'm out, I say:  OK.  Some people can grow to rub people the wrong way.  Gotta respect both the reaction and the  decision to bail.

But right now I'm thinking about the more run-of-the-mill complaints about the show.  The complaints about doing the same stuff over and over, the staleness, the show being so much worse than the old days.  I don't go back to the old, old days, but I heard the last three years of the Greggo regime, part of it before Greggo shrunk before our very ears, and my notion is that the show is a lot better now than it was at its best with Greggo, but I'll respect those who say that the real old days were better.  What else.  Lots of stuff, many complaints.

And I'll also concede that these complaints are all entirely sincere.  I believe every complaining commenter is being completely truthful about his or her feelings.

But here's what I've been puzzling over, what makes me think something more fundamental is at work.  It prompts my New Hardline Theory.

In what respect is The Hardline stale that any of the others shows is not?  What show doesn't experience the bored host?  (God, I've been resisting writing about this forever, and I may never mention it again, but there was a period not so long ago, and not a short period, when George seemed to me to have lost interest, noticeably checked out.)  Okay, maybe not Norm.  Why does The Hardline get smacked for plowing old ground when the others shows do exactly the same thing?  Why does Corby get absolutely scorched, when other abrasive hosts don't get nearly that obloquy heaped on them?  Are the weaknesses of The Hardline so much deeper than that of any other show that it explains the fury we sometimes see among our fine Confessors?

Maybe.  Maybe.

Maybe something else.  Something I've tossed out a half dozen times over the last few years but haven't really pursued.

I have thought that things like the poor show prep, but more than that, the pride they seem to take in it; the endless and not very interesting Stones segments that they frankly acknowledged on-air were excessive and dull; Mike's sometimes irascible references to listeners; Corby's occasionally tone-deaf accounts of his kickass life.  I've said in passing ya know, this kind of attitude might be interpreted as a lack of respect to the listener.

Now let me hasten to add that I don't personally feel that way.  I look at these things as bits -- but I can see how others might take this apparent attitude more personally.  Maybe those folks are right and I'm wrong, maybe THL has overplayed the bit, and maybe it's not a bit.   Plainsman error has been known to happen on this site.

So my theory is that The Hardline doesn't get a pass because quite aside from the commission of the sins people list, our lads have sometimes behaved in a way that can be interpreted as disrespecting the P1Other shows, whatever weaknesses they may exhibit, do not convey that impression.  Hence, with The Hardline seeming sometimes to thumb its nose at criticism, displeasure morphs into fury.

Another possible theory is that I'm a sucker.

In the meantime, I think The Hardline deserves praise for a real effort, a successful effort, to infuse the show with the good feelings they felt during their trip and providing the P1 with as much of a Chicago baseball experience as you can do outside of WGN.  (I guarantee you some decades-long WGN viewers don't know some of the stuff our guys learned and told us about.)  I enjoyed every minute of it and I'm hoping maybe it will prove to have been an epiphanal voyage for our guys; I'm looking forward to a new attitude toward their hometown surroundings, including their fans.


cactusflinthead said...

Hear hear.

Allow me to declare emphatically that I am a Hardline P1. It is only during the extended commercial break following WTDS that I might venture off in that first hour or two. Yes, Corby irritates me on occasion but not so much that I want to leave. I agree with him on some things and not others. I get just as irritated with Dan and Norm and Gordo.

As soon as I heard about Bruce Elliot's blogspot where do you think I went? I really liked this week. Gordo harassing truckers and any other unsuspecting denizen of West Texas (the area, not the town. feels like I gotta toss that in) and THL up north in the city with Big Shoulders.

I don't care if I am called a Hardline apologist. I like what I like. If you think Grandpa Urine is doing a better job, head on over there. Down here at the enchilada end of the dial I have found a home on the drive towards the casa.

ok, let me make sure I have this right. Mike is split up with his wife? If this was mentioned directly some time previous I missed it. It has been hinted to on here at least once in my recent memory. I just want to make sure I heard it right.

Yeah, count me among those that really don't want Greggo back.
He wasn't the same at the end. Shit happens and things change. Life goes on. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mike and Renee have been finito for some time. My question to those in the know: how many times has Rhynes really been married? He plays the 4 or 5 for schtick, right?

Anonymous said...

You want to know where things are at now? REALLY know where things are?

I am a bona fide D1P1. I shit you not.

I've been a regular contributor to sites: from rowdyhatinwalt to grubesismyleader to myticketconfession. And many other boards in between.

Again. I am a real deal listening to the cycle feed then Skip Bayless comes on full guns a blaring, P1D1. And again, I shit you not.

We are at the end of an age with this thing. The shit that's going down with CBS and Cumulus and the entire industry will destroy what we, for almost 20 years, have known around here.

That DW poster has been in a subtle, and yet screaming fashion, telling or rather yelling at you what's going down sooner rather than later.

What you can't stand; that is your future; your near future.

happypappy said...

You never listened to the old days of the hardline. If you did, you would realize how great is was, how horrible it is now, and how even if greggo did come back, it would never be the same again. Fact of it is, the whole thing is fucked. The station has lost its mojo. It's living on the past. Like the early 90s cowboys, we know what happens when we live in the past. Ticket is no 1. Yay. Won't be there too much longer if it keeps trying to relive what it's no longer is.

slinky said...

Anyone remember the Hardy Awards Show THL would do every year? It was those kind of bits that made the Hardline a "don't even think about leaving" kind of show! They were great! I don't really like Corby, tho I'm prolly a little too hard on him. He just makes me think of the little pompous, smartass you knew in Jr High. I agree with Rhyner tho, I wouldn't want THL, even in current state, to go away.

birq said...

I heartily agree, Plainsman, that this has been no New York trip for THL. I really enjoyed the Old Town Ale House story and the history of Wrigley the other day. I don't have any problems with their Chicago trip, per se, I just think the really interesting segments that are relevant to the trip are few and far between.

I think you're spot on with your THL/P1 respect theory. I give them a lot less slack as compared to what I give The Musers, mostly because of the disdain and hostility THL shows the P1. It started for me with the infamous Pete Stein incident. That crystallized for me Mike's attitude toward everyone that isn't 1) chesty 2) famous 3) required that he has to talk to 4) that can get PT booked somewhere. Pete Stein is a broadcasting professional, and he rated a dismissive countdown. It's arrogance and complacency, and I don't think it's just a bit. It's reason #1 why THL gets no slack from me, though.

Turtle Creek said...

The THL problem as I see it is this. Corby is a good yuk monkey but not a great show host. Early Greggo was a great host and provided strong sports content & opinions to the show but we all know that didn't end well. Corby lobbied hard for the chair and I am sure he is trying his best, but he is really best suited as the resident frat yuk monkey. Unfortunately Mike can't carry the show on his own and is too set in his ways to buddy up with someone new so we are stuck with Mike and the OverCorby. Its not classic Hardline anymore, but it still is better than anything else on the dial. That said, I think the Chicago trip shows were great and probably did them all good to get out of their regular routine. The one thing that really makes me turn them off is their music snobbiness. I almost wonder if it is fake and for shock value, as I play bass guitar and none of the folks I hang with bash music we don't really care for like they do. We did when we were teen-agers, but we have since grown up.

DA said...

While all hosts have to keep a listener active, even if Management loves to tell us to "listen longer", they take it for granted that the typical Ticket listener has the station on for hours. We listen a lot and therefore remember most (sometimes with the help of the unticket).
In return, hosts take the intelligence of the P1 for granted with the repetitiveness or that listeners can actually travel outside the city limits, which really comes to light during specific times like Super Bowl, Training Camp, and roadshows. There is a lot of "talking down" as if the majority of the listeners are like characters" Gordo's "Ed Carter" and Mike's "Ray Gilley".

THL problem is with the "staleness" and while show prep is part of the problem, it is more that the show has essentially insulated itself from most everything. While Val Kilmer was a surprise guest, it became them going to IMDB to try and fight it. The lack of guests outside of your DMN scribe just makes it more like three guys talking to each other who do not want to talk to each other.

For the most part, both ENews and CQH are typically way past the newscycle in the era of the listener looking at news on his/her smartphone. Unless it is a Pearl Jam/Neil Young/Widespread or something from a late night show, ENews is obsolete gossip. This Chicago trip seemed to be as if it was sponsored by the Chicago Chamber of Commerce. So Corby was able to book rooms in the recently created, mid-priced property within the IC Hotel chain which classifies itself as "upscale boutique". Yea, Corby! It is not a Marriott property, so Corby is not brand loyal.

I think that BaDD Radio actually does try to liven the product up or at least give others: KT, Tom, Sean, an opportunity. Plus the long production items like "BaD Radio Reports", "Behind the Drop", "Sports Movie Review" and others makes up for still having G/NG.

If I do not like what I am hearing, or have already read about they they are going to talk about (which is more common than it was five years ago), I will quickly change to XM Radio, typically XM105, national NPR, or one of the 30 podcast I subscribe to.

lovin'everyminuteofit said...

Mike seems to change his mind about everything once he actually encounters it. Open minded? Maybe. Or maybe it shows an insular, knee jerk reacting person who, once exposed to things outside his comfort zone, finds them not so alien or unappealing after all. Me, I like my curmudgeons to be curmudgeons. Not some act put on for others until confronted with "the other" and forced to say "yeah, I like it after all."

THL was better in the old days. Plain and simple. THL hasn't been THL since around the 9th month to 1 year period of the insertion of Corby. From that point on, Greggo spiraled down and down (I am NOT blaming Greggo's downslide on the introduction of Corby, not one bit), and Corby began to be the dominate voice. And now we have the Corby and Danny Show Featuring Mike "Rhyner's Dead" Rhyner. And guess what? It's not very good. It IS stale. It IS boring. And they do the show for themselves and only for themselves. It's like Mike said "we don't owe you anything." They have "evolved" to live by that utterance.

It/They are insulting and disrespectful to us listeners. At least to us actual D1P1s. You see, what you Plainsman and I'd wager to say that many others who haven't been with this station from the get go is this: THL IS the reason we became P1s. It was their realness, their honesty, their "man, we ARE JUST LIKE YOU" earthiness that made us P1s. And guess what? They REALLY were JUST LIKE US. If you ever went to an old road show, you'd know exactly what I mean. So many of us old callers and road show attendees became actual friends with not only THL but the entire station. Again, they were us, we were them, and the bunker mentality consisted of us listeners and the station as one Ticket Army. You bet, The Musers were a part of that. But there's a reason why they sing "Sweet Hardline." There's a reason why they are the Legacy Show. It's not because of "The Snake's" abrasive ways. Or their silly (sorry, it's true) tribute bands. It was their down to earth, unpretentious, local centric, the dude next door, we're ALL in this together, guy and sports talk. In short. They RELATED to US. It wasn't some asshat Howard Stern thing where we are privileged to get a glimpse into their kick ass local yokel stardom of a life. Which is what it's become.

There ya go, Plainsman: Why THL is a shell of its former self. And I didn't even go into their staleness.

Ditto, brutha.

slinky said...

I was just listening to chan 8's live Boston coverage. They were interviewing the car mechanic of one of the bombers. This guy would have been a perfect candidate for the "you know" bit...another classic old school Hardline gag.

MikeG said...

POSITIONING STATEMENT: I've been a loyal listener to The Ticket since week 2 or so. I still classify myself as a P1, even though the textbook definition doesn't apply to me anymore. I'm right in the 25-54 demographic they purport to cater to (will be 40 this year) and
I used to VIOLENTLY defend this station to anyone who didn't seem to "get it'.

When Greggo "disappeared' several years ago, I was very concerned that what we are seeing now is what would end up happening to THL. That's not to say Corby is 'the problem'. He was a known quantity that added value to an established show. If he had gone away and we were left with Mike and Greg, it wouldn't have been a terrible loss. I like Gordon but he wears on me some days and I can't imagine a show with him and George with no Junior. I feel like is what it has been since Corby and Mike have been THL 2.0.

In recent months, I had started bouncing between The Fan and ESPN from noon thru afternoon drive because, quite frankly, the content was better. Now that RaGe is gone, I'll bounce between ESPN and THL, but it will be more of the former and less of the latter because THL just wears me out. Danny does ZERO for the show and needs to go back to having an off-air role. My biggest fear is that, when Mike sees the writing on the wall (or Cumulus decides he's done and puts him out to pasture) that THL 3.0 will be Corby and Danny.

At any rate, unless something drastic happens, I most likely won't be there to hear it.

Anonymous said...

Well put, sir or madam. Well put, indeed.

DoktorStrangelove said...

I enjoy Mike's jabs at the listeners. However, Corby's utter lack of prep and complete disregard for accuracy make me insane. I don't expect, nor do I want, a smooth-as-glass production. I enjoy their off-the-cuff conversation. But, at least some actual research by Corby would be nice . . .

And I love Danny. Danny is the unsung hero of THL.

Anonymous said...

luvin', you flippin' nailed it dude. THL used to be a clique we were all a part of. It was like finally getting into the cool guy club and finding out they're schmoes just like you. That made it all the better. Now it's a clique alright. A clique we're no longer a part of and a clique that doesn't want us. From their cover band gigs to name dropping local musicians they hang out with---ironically so, because they're name dropping names no one knows, which only makes it worse because they're doing it for the sake of being hip and a part of that clique---to droning on about their multi per year vacays. I stopped listening about 7 months ago and haven't turned back. As soon as BaD is done, I'm out. Here's to hoping that Ben and Skin bring it.

Anonymous said...

@lovin'everyminuteofit - You are spot on.

DoktorStrangelove -
You are on to something with the lack of accuracy.
Specifically Danny and Corby, they are both very guilty of throwing out random thoughts about topics they know nothing about and becoming a self appointed expert before the conversation is over.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


Where to even begin with you. For one thing, the lies about who Greggo screwed and about playing pro ball were not revealed until Whitt's "Hard Lie" came out. No listener knew Greggo had an issue with the truth. That was fallout from his departure/firing. So excuse me if I don't buy your D1P1 status. Neither Mike nor Gregg hazed Corby when he first began to work for THL. What are you talking about? THL has never been GAC. That's what GAC does. Your credibility is zero, "D1P1." What's more, listeners dislike Corby because they, uh, dislike his superlative, facts be damned, coolest guy in the room attitude. It has nothing to do with Mike. So as Danny is wont to say: Get your ass hung up on now you idiot!.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you're definitely a sucker. Crap, the end of your post sounded like a parent who after receiving a drawing of a stick figure dog, pats his kid on the head saying "atta boy, Sterling, you did your best and that's SUPER!"

LIke the Hardline underestimates its audience's intelligence, you do the same to Cubs fans. We know about all that stuff, dude.

There's one born every minute.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to go off subject, but check @richiewhitt and the billboard.

If that doesn't prove what an a self centered SOB he is, I don't know what will.

I wish nothing but failure on that cretin.

Anonymous said...

WOW! That is something else. And man oh man does it say A LOT about Mr. Whitt and Ms. Sybil. Go check out Whitt's Twitter account and check out the photos. There's a Tweet in his timeline that explains it. It is for real, it is not a joke.

Anonymous said...

Sybil Summers ‏@sybil1053 4h
Giant humans. RT @richiewhitt Up through Sunday. 635/Preston. Thanks to Midtown Galleria Media. Enjoy. Embrace!
View photo

Anonymous said...

He's also offering, ahem, "vintage" RaGE t-shirts to those who follow and re-Tweet his crap. Sheesh.

The Plainsman said...

515: Watch the language, sir. Actually, don't. I'm taking you down.

612: What on earth are you saying? I lived in Chicago for many years, been to countless Cubs and Sox games, had WGN on 24-7. But I don't take stuff down for incoherence.

Anonymous said...

Chicago born and raised. Cubs fan in the womb. Knew all the stuff they were throwing down. So does my old man, my brothers, and all my buds.

slinky said...

Fan's timing was horrible! Greggo's terrorist rants would have been F-ing priceless! I hope Fan keeps Greggo on some kind of retainer. Get him a good team. I'm already missin the old dude.

The Plainsman said...

Interesting -- some comments agree with my "appearance of disrespect" analysis expressly, others take a different tack -- but almost everyone posting criticisms here is passionate, mad. I think this tends to support my overall point, which is that The Hardline inspires anger in its detractors in a way other shows don't. Like a friend who takes you for granted.

cactusflinthead said...

"You never listened to the old days of the hardline."
Damn sure did. Like cheap gasoline, Dublin DP and the passenger pigeon those days are gone.

Bottom line is that they are still my favorite Afternoon drive time show. Show prep doesn't matter a bit to me really. I get just as irritated at Norm for his over-prep micro-analysis of some Sports! issue as I do Corby's ill-informed, unprepared Community Quick hits. To each his own.

@Anons and other critics
People have been predicting the demise of terrestrial radio for quite some time now. Hasn't happened yet. What exactly would happen if the Ticket just fell apart tomorrow? Reverted back to static and a blank spot on the dial. Would you miss it? Do I need to remind the critics of our alternatives elsewhere? If you are stuck with an ESPN affiliate for your sports needs there is no doubt about your morning drive talkers or the inevitability of Cowherd. Every single one of them is stuck with Bristol. If I want to hear something about New England and nothing about my local teams I will listen to them. East Coast bias personified. Let's look at our siblings down in Houston. What do they have to offer in comparison?
Not a whole heckuva lot. Gimme Gay or Not Gay, Mike's Mind and Everybody loves Doing the Greggo every time.

Be pissed off at them. No skin off my back. I'll still be keeping my ears listening.

lovin'everyminuteofit said...

So in other words Cactus, you don't mind it when your favorite restaurant goes down the tubes. I mean, heck, it's still better than Jack-n-the-Box, right? Besides, other restaurants have their problems, too; why shouldn't my favorite restaurant, that once had superior standards, be held up to such a high bar?

You're a lazy business owner's dream, Cactus. Work less, try less, let things go, and yet still get rewarded as if things were being done in an opposite fashion.

Just because something is still better than than the crap around it doesn't mean it's still a (to quote Emmitt) "a diamond surrounded by poo poo."

There are very few commenter who say they wish THL was replaced. Yes there are a few, but again, very few. The overwhelming majority of the criticism, while prima facie Corby-centric, is at root a desire or wish for THL to return to its former greatness. And no, you don't need twisted, sad, and dodgy Greggo back in the mix to make that happen. What you need is a Mike who steers the ship; a Mike who leads, not follows; basically a Mike who actually wants to do the job he has, and on a daily basis. Not when it suits him.

Anonymous said...

I completely disagree that the Chicago trip was a success. I think it highlighted what the show has devolved to - The Corby Show. Lots of Corby overstating the obvious and speaking with authority about things he knows little about to go with the same old bar stories. The trip was a boondoggle that added nothing to the listening experience for me. TCS (the Corby Show) pioneered guy talk but has arrogantly assumed that guy talk means they can talk about anything and it will be a de facto success. But the bottom line is NO CONTENT. If you listen carefully, 95% of what is said is meaningless - no real take just babble. Their continuing "success" (and my continued listening) is more due to a lack of alternatives that compelling radio.

Anonymous said...

Anybody catch the Orphanage CDS mix today? Big Dumb Danny must still be buzzed from last night. He sure sounded like it when he spilled some beans probably best not spilled. He let everyone know that Grubes is no longer on the wagon and he not so subtly put it out there that Rangers closer Joe Nathan was with a very attractive lady friends who wasn't his wife. Nice work, Pizza Man!

cactusflinthead said...

You are making the assumption that I have no complaints about the Hardline. I do. Plenty. But,I don't see that Mike has absolved himself of a leadership position. Letting the others have input is part of it. I still like the recipe they are throwing down. Yep, if the restaurant goes down the tubes, which in this case I do not agree with, I will complain and take my business elsewhere. It is certainly your right to do the same. For me saying that there are worse alternatives is not to say that I dislike what they have become. Do you somehow to expect to duplicate what was before? It is gone. I lament the fact that a band can go through changes and morph into something intolerable to me. If that is indeed the case with this show for you, then by all means be their nemesis and hound them daily. It is not that case for me. I do have my complaints concerning THL but I am still satisfied with what I get for my TSL.

Boats said...

CDS gets it.

Anonymous Ron said...

As full of HSO's as Greggo was, he was still capable of taking segments off. That kept Mike on his toes, never knowing when he was going to have to grab the wheel. I think one of the things that made Corby an accetable replacement was his willingness to take over and drive the discussion any place, any where, any time. Thus Mike has become lazy. Just plug in Corby, have a fajita, and surf the internet for awhile.

Shaggy said...

I think since Grubes isn't in school anymore, his sobriety isn't quite the priority/necessity it was originally.

Anonymous said...

Did he finish school already, or did he stop going again?

lovin'everyminuteofit said...

Cactus, you dig what THL restaurant has become, fine. I totally disagree with you when it comes to Mike giving up the helm to Corby and now, Danny (hell, I think he'd give it up to Jake if he could). No one said anything about reliving the past. Actually, I said quite the opposite. There's no need for Greggo. There's no desire for his return. Not by me, at least. He's had it. He's been done for a long while now. No. What I and I think others want is THL to return to being THL, not a day late-dollar short TMZ radio show that also comes off as a dorm room full of sophomore music snobs who in turn like to spout off on subject matters they know little or nothing about yet see fit to make grand pronouncements on. See, Mike doesn't do that last thing. But he let's it happen nearly every day. Because he's handed the show over to Corby and Danny. If Mike were to take back his leading role, things would get better in a hurry. The days that he decides to do so, THL is far and away the best show on The Ticket. Sadly since about 9 or so months after Corby came aboard, that's been a rarity.

And come on, Cactus, don't be dramatic: "nemesis," "hounding daily." This comment is my 3rd or 4th one on this blog. Hardly a daily hounding. Hounding whom, by the way?

cactusflinthead said...

What exactly do you want him to do Lovin? Where is he supposed to drive the bus?
If he is on that middle aged crazy loop of figuring out the self, I can understand some meandering along the way. It happens. Yeah, I still like it. I don't agree with their assessment of music. But, I hear a lot of hot sports opinions concerning music and what passes for it in every day life. If they want to pass judgment on this or that band, whatever. What sort of leading role should he play? Be the consultant for a moment. What exactly do you want him to do? Show more interest? Not go to Chicago on road trips and talk about the bars they went to?
I liked the vicarious adventure to Chicago. I was glad to hear Danny say that a road trip with Ranger Nation was better than spring training in AZ. Yeah, this morning on the award winning background noise.

You don't like Corby I get that. I don't mind the sophomoric attitude the show takes on a daily basis. Look forward to it actually. I would rather they pushed the envelope. I miss the Over-Cusser. I like the spontaneity. I don't want too much planning or any sometimes. If all the run sheet says football and riff on that for a while. fine by me. Do I care if Mike lets the bus meander around while Corby takes the wheel for the Blowhard? Not a bit.

You can't force a man to have passion about a subject or anything really. I don't think you can instill it in a human being with criticism.

Not trying to rile you up. Calling it how I see it.

The Plainsman said...

Nice stroke, cfhead. Sums up my own feelings about the show. After exasperation for a period of time over the show prep, Checkout Mike, and the rest, I figured hey, that's the show. That's just the show. Might have been better in the late nineties, but I wasn't there and I was enjoying what they were slinging now. I may have a slight -- very slight -- preference for The Musers, but I can tell you for sure that I laugh out loud more at The Hardline than any of the other shows.

I remain mystified by the unhappines of some over the Chicago trip. So, a very sincere question for those folks: What should they have done? Let's say that you are the Hon. Jeff Catlin, and you call The Hardline into your office for a chat. You say "I have some things I would like you to do in Chicago, look for opportunity to do segments on these things." (This is, of course, fantasy, since I would guess that Mike is well beyond taking direction from any CTO, other than to show up at remotes.) "Here is a list of some suggestions: ___________________ _________________."

Fill in the blank.

The Plainsman said...

Wow. Listening to That Shake Joint Thang. Mitchell Karasik comes on for a Ticker.

I was immediately struck that he was speaking verrry slowly, very relaxed delivery.

And he's slung three perfect Tickers. Nice work.

lovin'everyminuteofit said...

What we would've liked Cat to say means nothing. What's done is done. The trip is over. Besides, do you believe anything Cat would've or could've said would've had any bearing on THL? I think not. If you and cactusflint deem the trip a success, and that THL is better than its competition so it's good enough for you, warts and all. . . . good for you guys.

To me, and I'm going to go out on a not so fragile limb here and say to many others, the trip was pointless; it was the same old same old, except in Chicago. The tourist tour of Wrigley and just about everything else that wasn't booze related sounded contrived. It came off as "OK, we've gotta put on a show for Cat and Cumulus, ya know, prove them wrong, so let's do a x, y, and z. They all tie into our "baseball vacation," yada yada yada." In short, it felt forced. The rest of it was Howard Stern light. I mean, come on. What sort of show-for-the-listeners-baseball-trip-that-has-no-actual-tie-in-whatsover-with-the-Rangers requires a former employee to come along? Look, this is not a knock on said ex-employee. But you must admit that as far as show presentation and cohesion goes, it's unconventional to say the least (not judging or trying to ferret out said ex-employee, by the way; merely stating facts -the fact that he made THL Chicago trip a personal vacation, and that THL made it a part of their show). The trip was nothing more than a paid vacation that we listeners got to hear about while it happened.

Do I believe that THL meant it to be that way? Nope. But it's symptomatic of their two main issues: Prep and Leadership. Spring training IS a Ranger-centric endeavor. They are interviewing and interacting with players, management, and the entire baseball environment. The listener gets a glimpse into the world of their hometown baseball team. And they get the bonus of tales of debauchery. But it's a bonus, a dessert, not the main course. Chicago, not so much. It's the other way around. It's all about them. Again, it's Stern Light. This happens because there's no leadership and no prep. Spring training is a self-contained atmosphere that lends itself to a narrow scope of possibilities; "leadership" is forced on them. Because of the nature of Spring training, prep is in many ways also forced on them. Not so with Chicago or back at the Mother Ship for that matter.

As to the early days and nowadays. . . .they no longer do the show for both us and them, as a Ticket host/P1 team. It's now all and only for them and their cliques of friends who listen. That strong bond between listener and show has weakened considerably. They've basically frittered much of it away by taking far too many things for granted. "We don't owe you anything." If you want to find the root of the problem, look no further than those words from the founder of the thing, Mike Rhyner.

Cactus, it's pretty obvious at this point that you don't mind anything THL does (though you state the opposite in a previous comment). You are OK with Mike not only checking out from time to time, but basically staying checked out. Just as you are a lazy business owner's dream patron, you are also a lazy employee's dream boss. "Ah, c'mon, if a guy's not motivated, he's not motivated, whatcha gonna do? Shit happens. Deal with it." As far as the trip goes, I mean, sheesh, Danny said it was better than going to Spring training. Well, that settles it. The producer who has a hard on for Chicago (per many Orphanage segments over the years) gets a paid for vacation while getting paid to said city. Gee. Go figure. I mean who would rationalize it in that way? Yeah.

cactusflinthead said...

Lovin, you keep making judgments about me. You don't know me.

The best part of the Dirk interview was after they got done with the basketball parts. I like the Howard Stern Light as you call it. Which is what it has to be post wardrobe malfunction. The over-cusser disappeared after that. One of my favorite bits. Does Mike have to order Corby to go out and work the crowd on mic or is off mic ok? Is he supposed to be interested in subjects he has no interest? Yet another discussion of why the Cowboys will be mediocre again? Compelling. Simply riveting. I had rather hear about Kim Kardashian's fat ass and her soap opera life than an in depth analysis of an AA pitcher that I will probably never hear from again.

Do any of the performers or actors owe us anything? Nope, nothing. Just like he didn't owe us an explanation. Sorry that hurt your feelings, but he doesn't owe you or me a damn thing. Not when Greggo left or now. If he packed it in tomorrow and walked away like so many good bands and good restaurants I have watched disappear, it still would have been a fun ride.

You don't like the show? Don't listen. I could not care less. I asked you what you thought might improve the show overall and you responded with yet another attack. Great job.

I don't particularly care one way or the other if you listen or not. Or you miss the old days or want them to be an entirely different show. I asked you a question about what you would do to improve it and you throw it back at me that I am not only a poor customer, but a bad employee as well. I don't give a damn what you think about me. But, you evaded the question mostly. About the only thing I got from you is that you had rather them have gone to spring training for a whole bunch of boring segments about minor leaguers and Nolan and Jon and angst. Fake enthusiasm from Mike? Enthusiasm for what topics?

lovin'everyminuteofit said...

I addressed by saying THL is going to do what THL is going to do, so there's no reason to play CTO, like Plainsman suggested. I also addressed it by saying what needs to happen to make the show great again is for Mike to take control and be a leader. The days when he does that (e.g., when he has a guest co host or when something Ranger intensive comes up), the show is the best one on the station that day. And just to add, I said the drinking stuff and the rest is a good thing; but only when it's a bonus, not when it's the focus of the show. Of nearly every show.

If you're more interested in the Kardashians, then I suggest you listen to Kidd Kraddock. Perhaps you do? It's The Ticket, dude. It's a SPORTS station with "guy talk." Were you around for the Ron and Don Show? If so, you were probably a fan. Ir not, too bad, you would've loved them. You would've been a LIVE 105.3 P1. You must've liked Big Dick's Wild Ass Circus, yes? And look, there's nothing wrong if that's your bag.

jNow as to making judgments: "Sorry that hurt your feelings" (referring to Mike's statement). You do realize that that's making a judgment about me. And it's something I neither said nor implied. I only said if you want to know the root of why, for many of us, that special listener/host bond with THL has waned, that's your source. A far cry from hurt feelings. But that's OK. The only reason I pointed it out was to show you that if you want to play that game. . . .it's a loser's one. No one is going to win.

And no one is personally attacking you, Cactus. You appear to be touchy. Oops, was that personal? I only make comments based upon your comments. Dig? I say you're a lazy business owner's dream patron because, going off of your own words, you don't care if they put out the best product possible; you'll still buy it. I say you're a lazy employee's dream boss because, going off your own words, you don't care if they work that hard at their job/do their best; I mean there's nothing you can do about it, "it is what it is" and you're cool by it. If you honestly think I'm truly calling you a lazy person, then I apologize. However, you said you don't care what I think about you. Well, darn it, Cactus, I just can't win, can I.

Again. I did answer your question. I answered it before you even asked it in a prior comment on this same thread. I've now answered it 3 times. On all 3 occasions it was answered rather plainly. Maybe if you'd get past looking for "attacks" aimed at you and read what I've actually written, you'd realize you're not being "persecuted" here. But you are being argued against.

Finally. The "you can go do______ all you want, but me, I'll do/I'm just fine with____" is pointless. It's a given. We have our tastes and inclinations. I'd make a little light hearted joke here, but I don't want you to think I'm attacking you.

Grubes said...

While I haven't exactly been ferreted out, I do want to clear a few things up because, well, I can.

Yes, I went off the wagon for a bit lately. I mostly got on the wagon last fall because I needed to focus more on school. As I explain below, that's not an issue at the moment. But now that I've had my fun for a couple months and the Chicago trip is over, I plan on getting back on the wagon.

I didn't make it back to UNT for this spring semester. Why? Because I got a job at Fox Sports Southwest and I couldn't make a good class schedule around it. While I did indeed leave the Ticket with the intention of not working for two years and focusing entirely on my degree, plans changed. The FSSW gig was too good to pass up.

So where does that leave me with school? Well, I still want the degree, but it's not quite as high-priority. I have every intention of finishing eventually, but it won't be within the next two years. Probably finish out with online courses and stuff.

Now, about the Chicago trip...really, I don't get what "lovin" is driving at. I heard about the Hardline trip a while ago. Then a few days before the trip I realized I wasn't working from Monday until Thursday night. So I figured I'd try to make some tentative plans and see if it could happen.

Luckily, my buddy Jerry was the linchpin of this. He got me sponsored by his bar, Scruffy Duffies. So all of a sudden I have my accommodations and meals (and yes, drinks) taken care of. All I had to do was book the flight. Totally emblematic of the ridiculous life I've somehow lucked into, I fully acknowledge.

So now I'm in Chicago and so is the Hardline. Do you expect us not to hang out, and if they so choose, make me part of their on-air stories? Even at that, I didn't go on the air with them once. Just got mentioned if it was relevant to their stories, which as far as I could tell was "Oh, and Grubes joined us" and maybe an anecdote or two about me.

So yeah, it was definitely unconventional, but when has the Ticket (or myself) worried about that? Those guys are like family to me, and they seem to feel the same way. And while I'm an ex-employee right now, the door isn't closed on either side for a possible return as far as I can tell. I don't really see that happening, but why would we not still have a great relationship?

So I hope that clears things up. Love you all.

East Texas P1 said...

Grubes - Nice to hear from you. Not going to address any ticket stuff with you at this time.

Just want to give you some of my educational background. It took me 12 years from the time I graduated HS to finish my degree. Five or six years was a period when I took zero classes. Had a kick-ass job and traveled all around. However, the other six years were mostly spent taking Tues / Thurs night classes, maybe one T/T day class etc.

One day I looked up and was just about 12 credits shy. So adjusted my work schedule to get this done.

This was all pre-internet so in today's online world I think it is much easier. And part of my reason for taking class was it kept me occupied and, to a large extent, out of the bars. Keep after it and don't ever think that just taking one class a semester is not worth it. It adds up in the long run.

Grubes said...

ETP1- I've only got 42 hours left, so it would be silly for me not to finish. Thanks for the advice/encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Good luck to you, Grubes. I'm in my 40s, didn't start college until my mid 30s (didn't even graduate H.S., got a GED), and now I'm about to earn a doctorate. True story. Do what you have to do. Do what your heart says is right.

The Plainsman said...

@ the somewhat misnamed lovein'everyminuteof it:

We'll agree to disagree and I'm hopeful cfhead concurs. I will say this: "I addressed by saying THL is going to do what THL is going to do, so there's no reason to play CTO, like Plainsman suggested," you say.

Well, there's no reason to do it if you personally don't believe anything can be done to improve The Hardline's trip or the show generally. While we don't pretend to boss the CTO around, talking about things we'd do differently is kinda, uh, the point of this site. And I'm not suggesting Mike would pay the slightest attention to the CTO -- I'm asking what you, as their boss, would have requested. If I'm getting the tenor of your remarks correct, your answer is -- nothing.

But I will say that your comments are instructive in one important respect: We shouldn't get big heads around here about influencing matters at The Ticket. Every once in awhile I hear a little something that I think might have started hereabouts, but, as we have cautioned ourselves from time to time, what may be the most successful broadcast day in all of radio (second only to the Beebs in online listening -- or is it downloads, I forget) is not going to make any material changes on our account.

Thanks to you both for shopping at My Ticket Confession, for what it's worth.

lovin'everyminuteofit said...

Like I said, I wasn't trying to ferret out said ex-employee. But I guess I did. What I was getting at, I stated, as did you, Grubes: that it was a pretty unconventional situation. It had nothing to do with you, your partying, job, school, or whatever. I now regret bringing you into the conversation. I was only trying to illustrate why THL's Chicago trip had more to do with being a paid for vacation while being paid for taking it, than some sort of enhanced listener experience. It was one of several examples. I shouldn't have included you in it. Still. . . .and as you admit, it wasn't conventional; I can't seeing any other show doing something like that. Plus, what I was getting at has zero to do with your relationship or future status with Ticket people. I was talking about that trip in particular; more specific, that trip matched up the with the NYC ALCS trip, and how, for me, neither added anything to the show. They might as well have been hanging out at the Barley House. Again, your presence was merely an added thing, not "the" thing. And again, I now regret having brought you into it.

The Plainsman said...

Michael: Great to hear from you and congratulations on the FSSW engagement. As a veteran Conestoga wrangler, that wagon can be a bumpy ride. Take care not to sit too close to that backboard . . . .

Grubes said...

All good, lovin. No harm done here. Just wanted to give my side of the story about the trip and the college thing. But I also shouldn't have addressed you personally, either. Let's tickle and then get some ice cream.

lovin'everyminuteofit said...

Believe me, Plainsman, I am lovin'everyminuteofit. And yes, we'll have to agree to disagree. But I must say again, I've given my suggestion as how to return THL to greatness (and because this is to you, this blog's proprietor, I will once again): Mike needs to lead; Mike needs to stop deferring pretty much the entire show except his one obligatory segment (What's on Mike's Mind--which many times is hijacked by Corby) to both Corby and Danny. The days he actually leads (like he did when Greggo was around), THL is better than any of the other shows, hands down. When he leads, he brings a sense of that original Ticket feel; that "we're all in this together, buddy" vibe that makes the thing special. When he leads, the cliquishness disappears. But when he doesn't, when he does as Corby and (yes, he's a great dude, but he ain't perfect, people) Danny do, we get Over/Superlative Corby in high doses along with Music Snob Danny. And with that comes the rest of the negatives. I hope that is clear.

So THAT'S what I'd tell THL if I were Cat. But as far as the trip goes, I don't think anything said to them would make a lick of a difference. In fact, I'd bet the farm that Cat DID say something to them to the effect of "not another NYC, fellas." So they fit in a tourist excursion to Wrigley. Yay. What a tie-in to the Rangers. Oh, and Danny said this was better than spring training. Hell, I bet it was!

lovin'everyminuteofit said...

Grubes, absolutely.

Anonymous said...

My little birdie is at it again. Chris Arnold will soon be leaving The FAN and heading over to 94.5 FM. Leaving on his own accord? Getting out of dodge before the storm hits? We'll just have to wait and see. But like I always say, my little birdie knows what it knows and it knows it well.

East Texas P1 said...

Really weird derailment of the post, but... I read earlier today that Terrell Owens was still thinking trying to get back with a team (Bears).

Came home tonight and picked up a book from the "old" pile. John Grisham, "Playing for Pizza" about the NFL teams in Italy. Any chance that TO, Chad Johnson or other players past their prime look down on playing outside the U.S.?

Anonymous said...

I can derail you one better ETP1...

your Playing for Pizza reference made me think of COACH JOE! who was coaching in the league that book is about when he passed on.


East Texas P2 said...

@Anon 11:52

I so forgot about that tonight when I made my my post. When Coach Joe passed I remember thinking about the John Grisham connection

Then it kinda passed my collective that he was in Italy. Coach Joe was so much a part of the Dallas Cowboy sideline. Incredible.

slinky said...

Oh man, I witnessed true patheticism tonite! I was stopped at the red light of 635 service rd & Preston, and I caught a glimpse! It was a quick pic of Sybil & Richie on the Billboard. It changed so quickly that I couldn't read it, so I pulled in parking lot to catch it again. The pic appears in little 5 second intervals and reads "Rage may be Dead and Gone, but long live Sybil & Richie"...Sybil need to dump this dude!

Shaggy said...

Is this the first year they finally told Norm he couldn't do draft coverage from NY? I can't remember if he was there last year or not. If so, I wonder how pissed Norm was about that.

The Plainsman said...

I thought I heard Jer, or maybe it was Killer, saying that he was going to New York to work the draft with Norm.

The Plainsman said...

The thing about the Whitt/Summers billboard is not so much that it's up there at all -- it's that it bespeaks a lack of awareness, or of caring, that RaGE was a failure.

It's not like this were Neil Sperry or Ron Chapman being displaced by some kind of corporate change and saying "Hey thanks, fans, I'll pop up again somewhere" (although I doubt that either of those worthies would self-promote in this fashion). This was a show that, despite a lot of promotion and the featuring of two very well-known guys, flopped.

I'm sure there are some people absolutely devastated by RaGE's demise, but hardly enough to justify the expense of stoking their yearning for Whitt/Summers's (but apparently not Greggo's) reapparence on the air with a billboard.

Anonymous said...

I do find it curious Greggo wasn't included in the billboard.

The Plainsman said...

BREAKING: Just came across this on the most recent Whitt's End:

"The other night at a DFW Rescue Me charity auction benefitting dogs, I bought a billboard. That’s right, a 15×50-foot billboard, at the busy intersection of 635/Preston in North Dallas. Now, what to put on it? A photo of Sybil in a bikini along with my twitter address? Or just a phone number to see what kind of wacky calls I’d get? A 105.3 The Fan “Embrace Your Rage” logo? Stay tuned."

So the story is that he'd already bought the billboard? Yeah, could be, since the posting is dated 4-12 and RaGE expired on 4-15.

Changes things a little in Whitt's favor. Actually, a lot. If he'd already spent the dough, he had to put something up there. And the message, basically just promoting their Twitter accounts, is fairly unobjectionable under those circumstances. And in the bargain, he supported doggie rescue.

So Richie, if you're swimming through, I owe you (and Sybil, although we might have wished that Richie had gone with his initial bikini instincts) an apology for my remarks.

Anonymous said...

Whew! Some pretty intense exchanges going on. Good points by all. I'm a month or so after the station started P1. What does that make me? A M2P1? Ha! I have to side with lovin'everyminuteofit. lovin' speaks the truth. Not sure why cactusflinthead and Plainsman keep asking what he'd do to change the show. He says it in every comment. I guess I shouldn't say he. He could be a she. Whatever. I see where cactus and Plainsman are coming from. Sometimes things change and that's it. THL has become what it now is. It's better by far than anything else on at the same time. So you ought to feel lucky you have it. I do. I get what they mean. Though I do say that lovin' captures exactly what's wrong with THL. LIke I said there are good points on both sides.

Shaggy said...

I could have sworn they (during WTDS or over the weekend) referred to the draft coverage and mentioned Norm would be in studio with everyone, but you're right--Nirm will still be in NY, at least for Thursday night and his show on Friday. It wasn't clear when he'd be flying back.

What a waste though...there is simply no good reason for Norm to go anymore, with the advent of Twitter as well as the TV coverage.

T4 In Rockwall said...

I agree with lovin's comments on how to improve THL also. When Rhynes is engaged, I'm locked in. When he's not, I'm more obliged to change to Pandoro or podcasts. Not sure if it's too late for Mike to make an about face and take back control of the show or if his bands plus laziness has already set in for good. They would go back back to being my favorite show, even as much as I love the Musers.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the show would be better if Mike was more engaged or leading more often. However, I completely disagree with the whole argument against Cactus' position and the restaurant analogy seems a bit ridiculous. In this analogy, based on Cactus' opinion, the restaurant is still better than all the other restaurants and still costs the same. Your only alternative at that point would be to start eating at home (listening to music). It doesn't make him a bad customer or bad employee, it just means you were getting amazing value for your meals at the restaurant before and now you're getting not as much value but still more than if you eat at any other restaurant.

So what are you doing Lovin', eating at home or eating at inferior restaurants (in Cactus' opinion) because they supposedly try harder?

The Plainsman said...

Would someone check me out on this? Perhaps this is known to everyone in DFW radio, but according to the photo (fuzzy) that Greggo tweeted of his separation letter from CBS, his first name is "Robert." "Robert (Greggo) Williams," it says.

So now "Robot Greggo" has a dual meaning.

lovin'everyminuteofit said...

Yes, it's Robert. Robert Gregory Williams. Many a Fake Greggo bits would include his full name.

3:54, you're making a lot of assumptions on both mine and cactus's part. I don't think you know what ridiculous means, first of all. And secondly you seem to misunderstand the analogy. It's not cost-benefit analysis, Anon. Even if it were, that doesn't entail the two alternatives you present. I appreciate your criticism and support, but I think you got too cute with it.

I don't think this issue can go any further so I'm not going to push it any further. Plainsman, cactus, and myself have expressed our views, and that's that. At least on my part. Thanks for the exchange, Plainsman and cactusflint. Enjoyed it.

Looking forward to another topic. Love the site.

Anonymous said...


For the restaurant analogy to work it has to be a cost benefit analysis. That's why I'm pointing out that it's a bad analogy (since listening costs are equal but restaurant costs, especially vs eating at home, aren't) and the subsequent characterizations of Cactus using the analogy as context were bad as well. I really don't think I made any assumptions but whatever, moving on.

Unfortunately, I missed all of last week traveling so I didn't get to hear any of the road trips. Would have been nice to hear the Chicago stuff (doubt I'll get a chance to catch up on the Unticket).

I did notice that there seemed to be some issues with discussing ratings in the last thread. I didn't see anything which should have necessitated the end of the discussion but perhaps I missed something?

Shaggy said...

Hardline showing their complete ignorance of the facts of the bombing. Why are they even trying? They had no clue that Jahar ran over his brother with the car, and they thought the huge gash in Tamerlan's side in the morgue photo was from shrapnel. Guys...PLEASE prepare for the F'ing show!


It's also making me a bit ill for them to be laying all the blame on Tamerlan and making Jahar seem like a
sympathetic figure that got duped by his older brother.

Anonymous said...

THL is an idiotic show. You got a guy, Rhyner, who used to be my leader but who's now just another idiot. Way to go Cat. You wanted it to become the Corby Show Featuring Corby Davidson and Friends. You got it, you cheese ball metal head. Funny that someone mentioned the Ron and Don Show. Cuz that's exactly what the Hardline is now. The very show they used to make fun of to no end. Congrats guys. You did it!

East Texas P1 said...

@Shaggy and all else-

Just heard Corby's talk about West, (commma) Texas and something like 60 dead. Has he not read the DMN this whole week???!!!! The mainstream media first reported 50 - 60 dead and this was quickly debunked as stations rushed to "the story".

Why is he reporting crap from a week ago? My explanation, he/they don't even bother to skim the DMN headlines.

Jesus, get it right, at least? Okay? Do some prep

lovin'everyminuteofit said...

Anon, I'm not going to get into an argument over an argument with you, but it's only a cost-benefit analysis if you look at it from an economic standpoint. Quite frankly, that can be, and is done, by many; and on all subjects. The Economic Man, right? But that's not what this is about. At least not for me. The analogy was not meant to be analogous in the strict sense. If so, I'd have used something else. The assumptions you made pertained to, e.g., value. An assumption based on a cost-benefit analysis view.

I'm pretty damn sure we're boring the scheize out of everyone with this. So I'm out.

I didn't hear today's THL Boston talk. If it's as bad as everyone is saying, I'm glad I missed it. I wonder if they ever find themselves embarrassed by such stuff? It's one thing to be wrong. It's another thing to be ignorant.

T4 In Rockwall said...

I doubt any (maybe Danny) of them are embarrassed about their lack of prep. Corby probably feels somehow that people look up to him no matter what. I was literally almost shouting at the radio when I heard him say the 60 people are dead comment. All he had to do was look anywhere on the internet and see that 14 has been confirmed. To only have a smooze job like that. I guarantee you I wouldn't take it for granted as all of these countless people who are getting fired or should be on the radio. They all think they can roll out of bed and talk radio. doesn't work that way! And THL will find that their gravy train will end sooner than later.

RL1 said...

Perhaps the right resturant analogy is this- take a local start up (like a Mi Cocina maybe?) that had one small location. People loved it in the early years, but then it got bigger. Changes happen, management changes, owners changed, and one of star chefs of the dinner service left.

Now they're are going to be people who remember that place when they were one hole-in-the-wall location in Lakewood, Deep Ellum, or whatever. But there are also people who don't know the history of the chain, never ate at that one out-if-the-way place, but those people are perfectly happy with what they're served every time they stop by one of the chain "now with 8 conveinent metroplex locations".

Will some people always think back fondly on that one place? Sure.
Will some people be perfectly happy with what is now their favorite resturant?

Can both of those people be right at the same time? I say yes.

And I know that Plainsmen has banned further ratings talk, but if you look at the ratings, don't they kind of prove my point? Some of y'all admit that you're listening less, because they got rid of that chef, and you don't like the replacement (Corby) or sous-chef danny, etc. But there are a bunch of people out there who only know the current chefs, only know the new receipe, etc.

If the ratings were suffering, some of your arguments about how much the new place sucks might carry a little more weight. But there seems to be at least as many fans of the new resturant as the old one.

Maybe the new place is a shadow of the old place. But the Hardline isn't competing for listeners with the mid-90's Hardline. They're competing with the usual suspects: ESPN and the Fan and KLNO and KZPS and all the rest.

In my analogy, the resturant is not competing with Dean Fearing's best resturant from the 90's, or Stephan Pyle's best resturant from the Oughts. It's competing with what is open now. Love what the place used to be, but realize that times change. Places grow, move, change menus, etc. You're not being forced to eat there....

DA said...

Most of this is to @lovin'everyminuteofit; @ThePlainsman; @Shaggy; @East TX P1 and @T4 In Rockwall; however, I have the following thoughts...

About the time The Ticket won the 2007 Marconi for Best Sports Station was the time in which Greggo has his final issue and subsequent suspension and agreement with the station. 2007 was the second year in which there was a Marconi for a Sports Station, so I can accept that lack of a need to change since the previous day to day activities garnered an award as well as all the advertising success.

Secretly or not, it seems that BaD Radio was smart enough to adjust with a new co-host, and programming after Cumulus acquired Susquehanna. However, THL had much more time to deal with the sale and also time to deal with the Greggo situation and they decided not to "re-invent" themselves; they just do the same show with one less host and some renamed daily segments (Mike's Mind/How Do You Feed?/Pool Party).

The times which I really like THL are when they seem to go "off script" and have interviews with those on subjects they care about. The interview with ESPN's Howard Bryant, author of the Hank Aaron book, is one I really remember as being good to great. Yet, we get more Corby wireless trying to talk to a young woman now half his age and it is as creepy as Gordo when does it.

There are things they still do very well, like Cowboys post game. That show is the last thing people hear in their cars on a Sunday, which makes The Ticket what they hear first on Monday. That strategy was great in the booking era, but less important in the PPM era.

As far as Draft Thursday, I really do like The Ticket's coverage of the NFL and NBA drafts. While I little from Corby other than any Big XII games was players in, I believe that all the others will have had some knowledge on at least scouting reports, NCAA or NFL writers, and any Ourlad's books Norm was able to get from his pal. But if Donavon is out doing a real promotion at a Plucker's, he may have much less to input on Thursday than he has had in prior years.

Lastly, today, I heard a "b!tch" drop on THL. Now I do not listen to all four hours daily, but was that typical use? It seemed that since Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings went on The Ticket air to talk about the Rally Against Domestic Violence, every drop using that word went away. The "Stupid B!tc#" drop seemed to have went away the Mayor's appearance.

cactusflinthead said...

How often has a radio station caused such angst and passion?

I'll stand by the restaurant analogy. Still think the band one works too. If anything we are at least as passionate about what happens to the band we like than where we get enchiladas.

No harm, no foul.

I missed everything today. No Ticket whatsoever. Didn't even hear TC stumble through the Top Ten. I missed it. I was in a sports quarantine or something. It sucked.
No enchiladas at all. That is what I keep going back to. Memories of what is out there in comparison to what we have. The sports radio landscape is Grim in Texas outside of DFW. It bored me to tears. Look, I have said it before. I can get my Sports! damn near anywhere on the planet. I can boot up the phone and find it if need be, but out there in the wasteland is nothingness and it is empty and cold. I miss the Ticket when I am long gone and far away. The lively banter and ill conceived bits. MY sports of MY city. And the idiots that tell me about them.

Yeah, things change. It isn't the same, but I still like it. They added a new patio, fancied up the bar and told us to not smoke inside. Ok, fine. It is still the best place in town.

Shaggy said...

Just heard the Hardline discussing West. I can't fathom that not one of them had any clue as to the facts of the event.

Anonymous said...

If yesterday's Boston and West bare your ass as totally insular and ignorant talk didn't convince any one of you that the Hardline ought to be named the Hasbeens then I have a refurbished Magic Bullet I'd like to sell you. I could give a rat's ass about restaurants or anything else. It isn't about good old day syndrome and I don't need to use some analogy or cost benefit bulsh. I know when something's gone from great to blah. The Hardline definitely has.

The Plainsman cracks me up. His first blog post is about the Hardline being disinterested. I think it was about Mike being disinterested, yah? Now he's alright with whatever. Too funny. Just like our president and about everyone else in politics has all the sudden evolved on same sex marriage so have you on the Hardline giving a shit.

DA, EastTexas, T4, Shaggy and lovingevery all have it right. The rest of you are Hardline apologists. Enjoy your crap show. Yah I'll tune in from time to time. But I don't see how anyone can listen to them regularly. Unless you like being hit over the head with dumb and dumber every day.

Anonymous said...

@ Shaggy

I completely agree your take of "Corby Boston Talk" yesterday. I don't see why Corby felt the need repeatably paint Jahar as a brainwashing victim by his older brother. And create the picture that he was a nice "kid", well I'm willing to bet that most radical religious people are in general seen as nice (until they carry out jihad).

If THL doesn't want to do more prep for their "news" segments then they should just talk sports. I realize that Muse in the News poses "more questions than answers" but that segment is actually entertaining to listen to. Because it doesn't try to over analyze things that are beyond their knowledge.

It's pretty sad when I turn the dial to 1080 AM when I sense the Over Corby.

Anonymous said...

A freind of mine and I had a conversation last week. Both have been P1's since the 90's. I asked him, "have Corby and Danny ruined The Hardline?". This lead to an hour long conversation about sophmoric cussing, Danny forcing comments and obvious "pre-planned" one-liners. There's seems to be no flow in the show and no show prep. Then gripping about their trip to Chicago not being promoted by the station. It sounded like arguing with my 7 year old. Spoiled 40-somethings full of themselves. Really heartbreaking as I believe we are seeing the end.

ausgang said...

I have to agree with the gist of what lovin'everyminuteofit is throwing down. Though, lovin', no offense but I too thought the restaurant analogy was poor. And contrary to what you claimed, I also thought it was a shot at cactusflinthead.

The deal is that you got a show that once referred to callers and listeners they'd meet at road shows like RO, JD, Greek Man, Side Show Bob, Wayne, and many others. We all knew who they were because they'd call in. Yes Virginia The Hardline used to take callers. Back then when they did they actually respected them. Now we get references to what Mr. Chad or Joe Butcher (sp?) and The Officer did or like. While I've no doubt these gentlemen are fine people, who are they? They're musician friends of Mike and Danny who also run in the same circle as Corby. It's their own little bubble world. We're no longer in on the fun. We're not a part of the show. If you don't mind it, I have no problem with that. I'm not going to try to talk you out of it. But since we're voicing our opinions on the state of THL, I thought I'd poop out mine, as well.

THL to my mind has lost its way. It did long ago. I've always maintained (and I'm not the only one) that it started when Mike got PT up and running. From that point on the show started becoming his frumpy old wife that he's legally forced to deal with while PT and all that comes with it was his sexy young mistress on whom he dotes. How's that for analogy! You get the picture. The sad thing is, I believe THL will only get more insulated, more self-referential, and I'll call it how I see it: selfish, as time goes on. I think that's the rub: it's become a selfish show. It used to be the most giving of them all.

Agree, disagree, care not a wit, that's the way I see THL.

Anonymous said...

Ok, you're obviously trolling. Or your (wtf?) "little birdie" is full it. There is no storm coming at Fan, Chris' show is in fantastic shape, and he aint leavin'. SO misguided. Either you're deliberately making things up or your (seriously creepy) "little birdie" is straight up effing with you 'cuz he knows you're dumb enough to believe it.

Anonymous said...


Lol, didn't care for the restaurant analogy but I love your analogy. I think you may have hit pretty close to the truth with that one; the timing does seem to line up pretty well.

I usually only get to hear 1-2 segments of THL a day so while I hear what all the complaints are about it usually doesn't bother me much. I wonder if people who typically listen to more of the show are the ones with more of an objection to the direction it's taken. Personally, I very much enjoy their laid back demeanor but do occasionally get annoyed with the lack of knowledge on certain subjects while pretending to speak from a position of authority.

Also, someone mentioned the newew segments "Pool party", "how will you feed", "what's on Mike's mind"... these are all pretty uninspired additions to the show. I can't believe they couldn't figure out any better concepts which kind of leads me to the conclusion that they really mailed in the creation of the segments. I don't really have a problem with the concept of What's On Mike's Mind (just the content is weak sometimes) but the other two are terribly uninspired.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI, there is another option to this grinding of teeth and disenfranchisement with THL...just stop listening. I'm going on almost 3 weeks now since I've adopted that option, and my evening drive home is so much better. Don't listen to the other 2 station's nonsense, just don't listen to any of them. Makes you much more appreciative of what you hear the next morning with the musers. THL is dying a natural death, and eventually the problem will be resolved.

Shaggy said...

Today Corby just out-and-out lied about the Reese Witherspoon arrest video. Corby claimed the arrest video was out and said it was SO funny, you couldn't hear much, but you could see she was SO hammered, and the husband's hammered, and she was like, "you're about to find out who I am". He obviously didnt watch it, because all it showed was footage from the police station parking garage of Reese being led from the squad car in handcuffs and cop undoing the cuffs and leading her inside. No sound whatsoever, no husband, nothing funny.

Anonymous said...

A good example of Hardline analysis today. Danny said that even though the results weren't there Holland pitched really well last night. Corby said no he was terrible and looked lost. Rhynes said just like last year Holland is an inning to inning proposition and that last night he didn't have the consistency he had in his first three outings.

Anonymous said...

Is anybody else as annoyed as I am by the mock singing that has become so popular on the Chicken over the last year, especially during WTDS? Was that ever funny? Reminds me of a road trip with Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas. Do they sit around and listen to show tapes and tell each other "Now THAT is good radio! Let's keep that shtick going!". I have a more likely explanation "We're the Ticket-we can do anything and get ratings!"

BBQ said...

Why am I starting to think that there are a few anons and even newly named people who are agitators of some stripe? Maybe some sort of FAN black ops mission? I know that sounds goofy, but I've never seen such a dog pile like this one. And now it's getting to the point where anything THL says is being criticized. Excepting a few regular Confessor namesakes, it's beginning to take on a concerted look.

East Texas P1 said...

@Shaggy, 5:10 - This is typical and reflects my earlier posts concerning Corby seeing one small tidbit of information and expanding on it with no reflection of facts at all. I think it was CQH today when he was visibly (audio-bly, is that a word? Ask Rosengarten.) reading directly from a website and asking questions, courting discussion, on a subject he was seeing for the first time. At least, Corby, look at the website one break before you actually have to do it. It's called cramming for an exam.

@Anon, 5:16: I actually like the improv singing for two reasons. 1) Since I am firmly in the camp that WTDS has no show prep, it is all impromptu / spur of the moment. 2) When they get some fringe song which is part of my background makes it funnier. Although I missed most of WTDS today, not sure if there is a particular issue here. (I had to google you D&D reference; never saw the movie.)

@BBQ, 7:32 - I am not a member of the tin-foil hat gang, I do see an increase in the "dog pile". While I would not jump into this opinion whole-heartedly, but will look at it from this basis from time to time. (Conspiracy - 3 certain unnamed people now have a lot of time on their hands.)

Anonymous said...

ausgang @ 1:20pm.

You nailed it. I also think that was about the time we heard the "we don't owe you anything" from MR. As a long time P1, I always took that as a nut kick. It got me to thinking.... I believe it's a fact MR's career was made w/the advent of the ticket/THL. I know he was one of the players early on BUT, I think he had little to lose if it didn't catch on. I would bet he never made more than 28K a year in his life before KTCK. After a few years when he finally got that big contract, why didn't he issue that line "we don't owe you anything"? Cause he knew damn well it was listener loyalty ie...a P1 that caused businesses to pay those confiscatory ad rates that in turn drove that big contract. From where I sit, he owes the listener a crap ton of credit for the life he now has now.

With all that said, I still listen. I do turn it off when Corby goes into his "enlightened liberal social rants". Or when they get into "music" snob talk" which seems to kill a lot of segments of late. (What is it w/guys that have a successful talk radio career that makes them think the listener would REALLY like to hear them in a band?). BUT, most times it is still better than anything else in the same time slot...but not what it was in years past. This must be us getting what we are truly owed!

The Plainsman said...

Thanks to everyone for this (mostly) civilized debate.

Actually, I don't think it's that much of a debate. I know the blog-and-answer form doesn't lend itself to nuance, but at heart the pro- and anti-Hardline positions here are not all that far apart. [MEGO at the restaurant talk.] This site early and repeatedly bemoaned The OverCorby, Prepless Corby, and Checkout Mike. (I will say that other than his apparent misogyny, Danny pegs this site's Baconometer for consistent broadcasting excellence, so there may be some true disagreeance there.)

The difference seems to be to the reaction to this, and to what some Confessors have documented as a material decline in the show's quality since some time before Greg Williams's departure. I have no reason to disbelieve the latter.

The point of the original post, way, way back up there somewhere, was that the reaction to The Hardline's shortcomings bespeaks something other than just not liking what comes over the air. Listeners, some of us, feel personally affronted, disrespected, ignored, and the reaction is understandably personal. The station invites us to care personally about the shows and the hosts, and when a set of them behaves in a way that might be interpreted as taking listeners for granted, you're going to get the kind of anger and disgust we've seen here and in the past. We get listeners who adamantly refuse to listen any further. Any other show get anything like that reaction from a significant numbers of listeners?

I really think we've identified a strong strain of unhappiness with The Hardline, ratings notwithstanding, that is sincere and thoughtfuil and not of the CorbySux School of Ticket Journalism. I'm not sure Ben'n'Skin are a viable alternative, but it will be interesting to see if they make a dent.

oliver'sarmada said...

I must say that after reading what you said a lot of this thread, which started in the previous thread, does have sort of a staged feel to it. Seems like there's either one or a couple of anons who keep fueling the fire and jumping on every negative with a "yeah, that's right!" comment. By what I'm reading, you'd think THL is a dying show on its last legs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't their ratings as strong if not stronger than ever? They must be doing something right. I do think there are some legit gripes about THL, and that many commenters are sincere in their complaints. I also think that most complaints come from a place of a genuine caring about the show. But like I said at the outset, I agree with BBQ, there's something a bit fishy about some of these comments.

I hope B&S provide some solid competition for THL. It'll only make for a better HL. I am skeptical, though. If B&S keep the frenetic hyper self-referential schtick going, they won't last long. PM Drive isn't a morning zoo, and it sure isn't middays.

oliver'sarmada said...

Oh yes, one more thing. I've been visiting MTC for almost 6 months now, commenting every now and again. Maybe I'm way off base, but I think I've become fairly decent at being able to tell who has written what. Call me crazy, but is lovin'everyminuteofit in fact duckandcover? Sure reads like it. Also, and this one might get me in trouble. Is the anon who seemed to become RL1 actually Plainsman? Perhaps the MEGO inducing restaurant analogy was too much for him and he decided to address it in a way he wouldn't as the congenial proprietor of MTC? The style looks and reads like a dead ringer to me.

The Plainsman said...

Oliver and others who have speculated about who is who:

(1) If I can't issue you a big MTC welcome, since you've been around for awhile, I can at least welcome your name, which I believe is new (to us).

(1) I assure all that I have never, ever done a non-Plainsman comment on this site. And never will.

(2) Interesting speculation re duck/lovin'. I have no idea and on balance doubt it, but lovin's loquacity and eloquence does put one in mind of duck. I have wondered where duck hied himself off to, and was hopeful he might start a blog of his own. Or return here. Like The Hardline, MTC drives readers away in droves, but sometimes they peek.

(3) I don't think there's any piling-on conspiracy of RaGE or Fan refugees. These posts all look like very sincere reactions of faithful Ticket listeners. Not necessary to resort to conspiracy to explain the (relatively) large number of Confessors exercised by The Hardline.

The Plainsman said...

Apologies for the misnumbering above.

BBQ said...

I only made the suggestion (suspicious dog piling) because there have been many a negative Hardline thread at MTC. But I have never seen anything like this. We're at nearly 100 comments and 90% are negative. The last handful of Anon comments do seem to have a "You're right! And what's more...!" feel to them. I couple that with the couple (or maybe it's a single) Anons who appear to have some sort of affiliation with The FAN (especially the K&C Masterpiece show) that are regular contributors. I'm not saying it's a conspiracy. (I'm not sure exactly what it would actually accomplish) But I am saying that it wouldn't surprise me if a certain someone alone or in tandem with a buddy is not trying to stir the pot. And with that, I am now officially exiting the world of black helicopters.

T4 In Rockwall said...


A little Greggo humor there.

deezy said...


I think that Plainsman's solicitation of reader/listener opinion on the current state of THL has to have something to do with what you're seeing here. My thinking is that a lot of commenters feel this way (I too think they've gotten lazy, and I VERY MUCH think they've been taking us for granted) but within this thread it's on-topic, and therefore welcomed.

Think of it as asking someone to tell you what they think of you, and them actually seizing the opportunity to do so.

That's my take, anyway.

The Plainsman said...

deezy: concur.

Anonymous Ron said...

If I may touch the sports page, perhaps there is a comparison between the Hardline and our own Dallas Cowboys. If I am disappointed with the current quality of the product, all I can do is register my opinion, express dismay over the things they do poorly, and acknowledge the things I think show some promise for the future. But win or lose I'll be in front of the TV every week next fall, because it's the by-God Dallas Cowboys.

As for the Hardline, until something better comes along . . .

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder if Cat hasn't been following this thread? If so, I also wonder what he's thinking? The criticism is pretty much all the same: THL has been a lazy, self-centered, for them not the listener show that is ill prepared, willfully ignorant at times, and is seen as one that has taken for granted its audience and just how it came to be the juggernaut that it is. Pretty damning stuff. Yet they're number one by a mile. So what's a PD/CTO to do? Interesting.

T4 In Rockwall said...

If Cat has been following and might think this is a small portion (on acount that it's MTC, no offense Plainsman) of people thinking THL is failing, he should take into consideration of the percentage of those tuning into this website thinking along those lines. I would think the percentage is pretty accurate as to what the metroplex is feeling.

So Anonymous said...

if cat was to read this message board you know what he'd be thinking? hed be thinking that hes running the highest rated sports talk station in a top 5 market and the ratings for his afternoon drive show are amazing and that this place might be best suited with a couple dozen tin foil hats to pass around to some of you.

then hed think that maybe some hard core speed metal might be nice to listen to and hed go home to his huge house where the mountain of money hes received for leading such a successful sports talk station has afforded him the kind of massive sound system that makes just that kind of music sound great.

then hed laugh.

YOKOYOLO said...

"Hed" do all that, would he? So, So Anonymous, ever heard of an apostrophe?

Quick question for ya, pal. If this is a place for the tinfoil hat set, then what does that say about your presence? You've commented on more than one occasion.

To quote Plainsman: Thanks for shopping at MTC.
To quote Greggo: Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Cat is all too aware of the issues with THL. I doubt, given Mike's attitude and the show's ratings, that he would get very far suggesting improvements to Mike. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's tried several times already.

@so anonymous

The issues aren't imagined or opinion, they're fact. You can certainly disagree with the consequences people here attach to them and you may be right but you really can't argue the issues themselves. This is coming from someone who rarely complains about them and more often defends them.

mr les white said...

I'll just jump in. Corby and Community Quick Hits has become almost unlistenable.

His stories are almost always severely outdated. Most of us have seen or heard the story last night at 10, or that morning, or sometime during the day.

If someone asks him for any details to continue the conversation, it's "um, it doesn't say".

Until he finally reads ahead to the next paragraph and there may be the answer to the question from 5 seconds ago.

Many times, I've heard Rhyner or Danny interject something that is hours fresher than the copy Corby is reading from. He usually has no clue other than whats written.

"Um, it doesn't say.."

It's damned embarrassing.

I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon to hear Corby seemed to actually be aware that Bronco
Bama was about to touch down at Love Field about 6:35.

I punched over to KRLD, in hopes of some current traffic report around Love Field, and there is Tasha Stevens and her damn tired ass, vocal fry, croak voice. Which is another story all together.

I feel better now.

Good mornin' to ya.

Anonymous Ron said...

A tale two talk show hosts. I was annoyed during Corby's LPGA talk yesterday because it smacked of "look at me, I got to play golf with an LPGA player." Then this morning George has basically the same story but I was not annoyed in the least.

So it's on me that I approach Corby with that attitude, but it's on him that he has created that climate.

So Anonymous said...


the joy received by myself from you pointing out my lack of apostrophes, as opposed to the actual typo mistake of including one by accident, is immeasurable.

you are a treasure and deserve one of the afore mentioned tin hats.

the plainsman has created a wonderful place for conversation and is to be commended. when someone like him/herself lays out a plate of whatever it is that bees are attracted to, it is bound to attract all manner of bees, even the simple ones with brains made of bee poop.

no matter. the savvy show up as well, making this place the melting pot that it is.

and in case my point is obtuse, allow me to sharpen my comment. it doesnt matter how little work thl does, doesnt do, or makes you think they do or dont do.

as long as they kill in the ratings it doesnt matter and nothing will change because, much like deep throat told woodward and bernstein, all you have to do is follow the money.

YOKOYOLO said...

@So Anon Sorry, pal, there is no misplaced apostrophe. And hoo boy, we have some serious issues, don't we, So Anon. Too funny. Funny in a sad way, but still funny nonetheless.

By the by, you make zero sense. That and so's your momma.

Anonymous said...

You mad, bro?

Anonymous said...

I am a P1 as well. I listen to all the shows when I can, but I tend to change the dial when the hardline comes on.
I can't stand Corby, it's not just his grating voice that' is not a fit for radio, it's his lack of credibility when it comes to sports. His lack of knowledge, prep and overall arrogance make the show less interesting.