First, Kevin, an honest-to-god and not-pretend congratulations and wishes for every success at The Fan. Yesterday, of course, I was guessing, although when I thought back to that weekend Ticker vacancy I'd seen a few days ago, I had a pretty strong inkling. Now we know, and now I offer a hearty digital handshake and old-man slap on the back.
Although this is a Tickety site, we do survey the sports-talk radio horizon, as it says next to my little picture, so who knows? You know that Confessors, perhaps even I, will write about the new giant-slayers offered by The Fan. I hope you earn a blog with commenters every bit as loquacious and well-behaved as those who are gathering here.
And now, Confessors, back to the business at hand.
Many of you -- not all, but many -- have yearned for the day when The Fan was going to get some pitching in there to give you an alternative to The Hardline with which you have become increasingly annoyed and punching-out-on. The OverCorby, Checkout Mike, Uberkuhl Danny, endless commercial breaks, many things have excited your ire. Will there be enough of you to make a dent in The Hardline's ratings with your migration to Band S?
Many Confessors are doubting that Ben and Skin are the answer. I recall their Ticket show with residual fondness, something I'd keep on the radio when it came on during Saturday errands. Yes, I did weary of the Ben and Skin and Moebius Endless Self-Referential Conversational Loop from time to time, but it could be fought through. Same with Ben & Skin Disease (sounding too much alike). I didn't heard one second of their show on ESPN so don't know if they got cured of either of those things -- from what I'm reading, guess not.
But some of you are looking forward to it and are going to give it a fair shot. Good. No doubt I will give it a listen as well.
But before we get too enthusiastic about the possibility of an improved Hardline or a meaningful ratings nudge to Mike, Corby, and Danny, let's think back:
Don't think about what RaGE actually turned out to be -- think about what it started out to be: A very, very heavily promoted, slickly-produced, well-planned show with a legendary former member of That Very Hardline During the Legacy Greatness Years who still had lots and lots of fans, paired with a very well-known DFW sports writer and maybe the only one who worked in extended form, a big signal, network support, huge, really huge anticipation. Later, they even got TV exposure and a saloon. Forget about how disappointing the actual product turned out to be -- think about the excitement at the beginning.
And for all that excitement and planning and promotion: RaGE never, not ever, not even at the outset when people might have been expected to check it out for awhile, had the slightest impact on The Hardline. We have radio guys checking in to this site who can give us the details, but I do not remember the slightest burp in THL's ratings dominance or the margin of that dominance.
Are Ben and Skin, who debut with much less Fan-fare (sorry) and boasting likely to do better even if they are better than the Ben and Skin we've been hearing for the last half-dozen years or so?
[Side note: Some time ago, and I mean well before the current changes, I heard from a local radio talent that he hated their show. (Liked them personally.)]
Like everyone else, I'd like to see a more dedicated, mature, focused Hardline. But Our Lads didn't bestir themselves to make improvements when RaGE hit the air and turns out they were right not to expend the additional energy. Mike R saw better than anyone what was coming, and he correctly discerned it to be nothing.
So while I will be investigating the new competition somewhere along the line, and wishing a good career move for our friend KT, and some meaningful shoving of The Hard Ones, based on past history I'm skeptical that we will see a ratings book that looks much different than the last several dozen.
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