Saturday, November 30, 2013

Those "Diamond Broker" Ads Would Be a Lot More Credible if Its Spokesman with the Odd British Accent Would Stop Pronouncing It "Jewlery"

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Happy Thanksgiving to All Confessors

Especially thankful for you this time around as, alas, my posts have been fewer and further between over the past several months and you guys have kept the site interesting and fresh.

Please stay safe.  Hands at ten and two, as Jason Garrett told the 'Pokes on the flight home from New York City, although according to something I heard on The Ticket today, we'd all be better off with the mitts at nine and three.  Although don't most modern steering wheels have stuff  attached across that diameter?

I digress.  Watch the booze, be thankful, forgive your friends, and keep it on 1310 AM and 96 7 (no "point") FM.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Whither the Orphanage?

The demise of The Orphanage is regularly predicted by Confessors. I was never sure why, except that the show seemed to get under the skin of some listeners who show up here. It's been away the last two weeks. If there has been an explanation for its absence, I haven't heard it.

I only heard a bit of its replacement on Saturday. I believe it was Bruce LeVine and maybe Josh Bogorad? I didn't hear a name, but Bruce made reference to his partner, so I'm surmising. Nothing wrong with the show. Nothing distinctive, but an OK listen.

But it wasn't the Orphanage.

Some have tired of what they believe to be Danny's "act," the aging hipster music snob. Some feel that the ages have passed Dave Lane by. Some don't like the attitude, the nose-thumbing at show prep, the sometimes hung-over flavor to the whole thing.

I like all of these things, and I like The Orphanage. I would not like to see it leave the air.

But to everything there is a season, no? I am doubtful that either D or D is handsomely compensated for spending his Saturday morning on the air. Danny has gone into business which must require some of his professional attention, has musical irons in the fire, and he's still full-time on The Hardline (with, it seems, more absences than in the past).

No one has dropped me a line with any inside dope on the disposition of The Orphanage. Perhaps someone will. If it is the case that we have seen the last of it -- and, as Norm might say, with the greatest respect to Bruce LeVine and the other guy -- I hope the CTO will continue their policy of looking for some fresh voices among the JV. I'm not sure who it would be. For my money The Ticket has hit a home run with Cirque and The Shake Joint, and I also very much like any combination of Ty Walker, David Newbury, David Moore, Stewart Cedar, guys like that.

In the meantime, I'll remain hopeful that the Teebox will continue to hand off to Davey and Danny.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Demo Redux

ALERT:  Long.  Repeats comments you may have already read.  You've been warned.

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The last thread had some very thoughtful pieces and responses on where The Ticket might possibly be headed.  Here are some of them (sorry about the formatting irregularities -- Blogger's word processing is pathetic), and then I have a couple of thoughts:

This first one, from Anon 225, doesn't focus on the Hardline, but on Ticket competition generally:

Flipped on 103.3 today. Elf and Friedo have a show. Nice to hear Elf on the airwaves again. Like B&S and Greggo, he's now done the trifecta. Except in a way, working for 103.3 is sort of a return back to The Ticket. On that note, by the way, the cross over between the two stations is already underway. Programs on both frequencies are beginning to cross reference/mention the other. In a friendly manner, too boot. While listening to Elf and Friedo (sorry, Dick Hicks, I know it's the last Race Week of the year, but I can't deal with it), I started to think how 103.3 might be about to embark upon cracking the code that is The Ticket. How? By taking the IDEA of The Ticket and making it their own. Instead of, like certain ESPN programs in the past (looking right at you, B&S) and well, every single FAN show, copping Ticket lingo, segments, and just about everything - basically aping The Ticket to a T with zero success - they've decided to take the "guys just being guys who happen to know about and have inside info on, sports" concept and run with it. But do so by actually being themselves, and not trying to be THL of The FAN or whatever. It's early in the game, but so far they have my attention. Pman's too, for that matter. I'm looking forward to the ratings books over the next six or so months to see how this shakes out.

Things got rolling with runitandrunitandrunitandrunitandrunit, expanding on Anon 225's point:

Exactly right, 2:25. What's going on at ESPn is kind of what went on during the first years of The Ticket. They're getting for the most part locally known talent who've been around the media scene for a long time who 'get' the DFW area mentality and who have lived here and know the area intimately. The demo for sports talk radio is not going down. It's still the same as it's always been: mostly approaching, in the midst of, or about to exit middle age/d white dudes. The young aren't listening, and the scant numbers that are diminish with each year. No getting around it.  *  *  *  If you've ever been to a remote or a bigger event, you see their demo first hand. All of this means that on the whole (please note that part, "on the whole" which means of course there are exceptions) the majority of the listening audience wants to "converse" with guys like them. Not snarky younger guys who come off as knowing everything (whether they do or not is not the question), are into music that is for the most part alien to them, and who are experiencing and relating their adventures that most listeners went through themselves years, decades ago. They want the guy next door who gives the knowing nod, not Jake, not TC, not Sean, not Machine, or whomever. It's not a knock on the guys I just mentioned, at all. It's just the way people are and how they relate to others and to whom they relate to. LIke seeks like. Unlike might be interesting for a bit, but in the long run it isn't. 

Thus the picture here is that with a demo that ever remains the same and yet will inevitably shrink, and an up and coming demo that really doesn't exist, and the little that does keeps dropping off, you've got yourself a shaky future for The Ticket because they have no veteran replacements. Due to the probable future of the industry a youth movement is actually counterproductive. Cheaper, yes. So the upshot is that over the next years don't be surprised if a group of vets who've passed their 20 year mark begin to set sail, a group of (absolutely deserving) up and comers take their places, and the once mighty Ticket begins to slip in a most major way. Falling prey to its sibling with big mouse ears and a largely aging talent pool that connect with a largely aging demo.

runit had some additional thoughts in the thread you may want to check out.  Anon 111 had an interesting contrapuntal observation:

As someone who is probably in the younger end of the demographic (too old to start a high school fan club but around the age of the up and comer JVers), I am amazed that we are listening to the same shows. I love the Musers but The Hardline is my show of choice. 

I started listening right around when Greggo left. Thanks to our pals at the Unticket, I've gone back and listened to the old shows and I probably wouldn't have been into the show that much back then. Greggo just isn't my thing. And maybe it's coming to the station towards the end of things with him and just not being there Day 1 but he leaves me with a big old meh when I listen to archived Hardline shows. 

Corby can be too sheltered/pompous/privileged. I like Mike's music and TV segments and hearing old band stories. But I really like the weekend guys a lot and think they're finding their niche. Shake Joint and Cirque are solid and most people I know in my age group that listen agree. Again, love the Musers too but that didn't seem to be a point of argument here.

All very interesting.  Got me thinking.  

First, I am no expert on the overall radio audience, but I have a hunch that when it comes to The Ticket and its competitors, the demo business is somewhat overblown.  The market for sports itself is huge and growing.   The NBA, MLB, and NFL are prospering even in this dismal economy.  Driven mainly, by guys, and guys of all ages and levels of prosperity.  They get in the car, they turn on the radio, they want to hear sports talk.  They stay for the guy/pop culture talk.  Maybe that talk is by guys in their 30's, maybe their 50's.  But as long as it's good, and knowledgeable, and doesn't insult their intelligence, they'll like it and hang.  Check between the three stations, see which they like the best.  But still a huge audience to go around.   This, of course, does not address the relative popularity of the shows.

Second, the Ticket has been on top since almost the day it came on the air.  That's 20 years.  If a demo is going to change, it's going to change over two decades.  And yet The Ticket is more popular than ever, and The Hardline -- which has taken it in the jewels in the comments for the past little while -- if I'm not mistaken, is the highest rated show on the station.  This, of course, does not address what some here have urged to be the waning popularity of terrestrial radio generally.

Third, I'm willing to listen to our experts who predict the coming decline of terrestrial radio.  But if anything iHeart Radio, SportsDay Talk, podcasts, and even social media have, if anything, expanded the radio audience, so I'm guessing that radio -- or programming produced for radio -- isn't going away anytime soon as a destination for sports fans.

And one more thing:

Fourth, I have a feeling that the demo for this site is not closely representative of the P1 universe.  I'm thinking possibly somewhat older.  Perhaps more critical.  Just perhaps.  So when I see lots of comments slagging The Hardline (not that it doesn't need some slagging now and then) or predicting the coming decline of The Ticket, I do wonder.  Now, of course, The Ticket will change with the passage of time.  Stars will retire or leave -- almost lost Bob and Dan there awhile back.  Rome fell.  But it took a long, long time.  Gibbon's book is three heavy and closely-printed volumes.

And with Cumulus bringing a different strategy to ESPN -- which, on the evidence of the afternoon show, may be exactly as Anon 225 described -- it should be an interesting few years.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Seems Like a Good Day to Review My Unworkable Cowboys Proposal

Yesterday on the Musers when they did their Fabuloso Fan Feedback or whatever it's called, the first P1 email cited by Junior was a guy who said that someone should look to putting another team in Cool Metro.  This reminded me of my proposal of awhile back that earned absolutely no notice whatsoever, because, in all likelihood, it is completely impossible.  (As Junior said the P1's proposal is.)  Unless I can find some guys with crazy money.  I re-offer it today because as America's Team continues to slip irreversibly into becoming only Jerry's Team, everyone's got a solution.  So here's mine, again, from January 28, 2013.

*     *     *

The Time Has Come to Reveal My Far-Fetched but Deeply-Held Belief on Solving the Problem of Perpetual Cowboys Mediocrity; or, The Brontosaurus Theory

Confessors, with a title like that, I deem that you have been given fair warning that this is one of those blessedly rare Plainsman sportsy posts, wherein I demonstrate rather small knowledge about sports.  I suppose that's what comes of listening to The Ticket.

But, in honor of the entrepreneurial spirit embodied in Danny Balis (there's your Ticket connection for this post), let me ask you to put aside preconceived notions and use your imagination.  You can probably come up with some variations of what follows that may make more sense.

The conventional wisdom – and this view is held not only by me and many of you, but by an acquaintance of mine who might in fact be the No. 1 Cowboys fan in DFW, I kid you not – is that the Cowboys will not return to greatness as long as they are owned by Jerry Jones.  That the Cowboys will, in fact, get worse as his ego continues to eat away at judgment with the passing years.  Because Jerry Jones will not give up control as he struggles to cast off the shadow Jimmy and win a title for which he can claim principal credit.  And because Jerry Jones will not sell the Cowboys, their averageness-or-worse will soil that beastly stadium out there for years to come.

I grant that this is a very likely scenario.  But it is not the only possible scenario.  Let me toss out a few concepts.

Jerry Is a Very, Very Bad General Manager and Owner.  I won't spend much time on this, we all know it.  His latest machinations, castrating Jason Garrett, loading up the coaching staff with people he selects, is a recipe for failure.  It is widely accepted that 2013 is make-or-break for Garrett – but what earthly sense does it make to (1) reduce his responsibility for the offense and (2) stick him with personnel not of his choosing and then to increase his accountability?  I happen to think Garrett bears a large share of the blame for fielding offenses that apparently don't know the plays after two-plus years and that can't get them called before a half-second remains on the play clock.  Maybe Jerry has selected players of incorrigible stupidity, but more likely is that they're not prepared, or the plays require calls that are not appropriate for the hurly-burly of the gridiron, or Tony doesn't transmit the playcalls efficiently.  But if that's the way you as GM feel about the guy, fire him, don't play games for another season that do nothing more than establish the head coach's lack of authority and your own poor judgment, begging yet the further question:  What accomplished, self-respecting coach would play for the  meddlesome savant-wannabe caricature that is Jerry Jones? 

And he's a bad owner because he refuses to hire experienced professional football management, or listen to the people in his organization who fit that description.
Since we all pretty much believe that Jerry is incompetent, why do I even bother to mention it?  Because:

Jerry Jones Is So Incompetent, That in the Process of Manufacturing Year After Year of Mediocrity and Worse, Jerry Jones Is Also Managing to Embarrass Texas in General, and, in Particular, the Wealthy of Texas.   Jones is pathologically incapable of keeping his piehole zipped.  And in its unzipped state, it emits torrents of disconnected phrases, 180-degree contradictions within a single breath, and downright nonsense.  It would be tolerable and possibly even charming if he'd shown a molecule of talent for running a football team, but since he hasn't, he looks like the kind of Texan, especially the kind of rich Texan, that non-Texans like to sneer at – ignorant, arrogant, incoherent. (Although he was born in Los Angeles and raised in Arkansas.)  The kind who thinks it's classy to hang the world's biggest video screen in his stadium, so big it renders the live contest irrelevant, and to feature caged go-go dancers.  You can't tell me that his pals in whatever the Rich Guy Club is in these parts (um, I don't belong) don't cringe when they see his latest high-wire act before any nearby open mic and hear everyone, even media types who might be expected to curry his favor, shaking their heads in disbelief that this well-meaning but thoroughly deluded soul is helming the destruction of the most valuable sports franchise in the country. 

There Are Lots of Really, Really Rich People in Texas.  And when you put a few of them together, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money.  And maybe they'd rather people think of them more like J.R. Ewing, and not J.W. Jones.

Everything Has Its Price.

Including Jerry.

Ah, but you say, Jerry does not have his price.  His pride would never let him sell the team while it's down, before it does something really terrific, at least get to a Super Bowl if not win it.

I agree that Jerry will never accept market value for the team, however that may be measured (although every year there are organizations purporting to do it, including one that reported today).  

So the first step is for a bunch of these rich guys who have had enough losing and ridicule to get together and offer Jerry crazy money.  I don't know how crazy it would have to be to let Jerry claim that as his ultimate victory.  Maybe he wouldn't take it.  Maybe the crazy money would have to be so crazy that not even a consortium of the extremely wealthy would consider offering it.  I would, however, ask you to remember the difference between the price Nolan Ryan's group agreed to pay for the Rangers at the outset, and what they eventually paid after Mark Cuban got the bidding way up there.

Then what?


Find some way to let Jerry save face.  Make him Chairman Emeritus.  Name the stadium after him and pay him for the right to use his name.  A permanent suite at the stadium.  (With parking!)  Perhaps work something where he keeps the stadium or some piece of it.  There are all kinds of ways to compensate selling business owners.   Insist that they pay him personally millions not to take his incomparable football management skills to any other NFL team.   Give him a consulting deal and actually have meetings and let him have his say.

OK, let's say that none of this moves the old Razorback.  

There's always:


How do you get leverage over an ego?

Include Stephen and Jerry Jr. in the Consortium.  Is Stephen Jones the Prince Charles of DFW or what?  Waiting for His Majesty to abdicate or die.  Perhaps it would be meaningful to Jerry (in addition to the crazy money, let's not forget) to know that his beloved offspring would have some kind of management and ownership role, and that he'd still have his son's ear on matters Cowboys, even if he would have no authority.  I can imagine that the boys (!) would have some reluctance to show up with a group offering to buy the team – I'm sure they love and feel loyalty toward their Pop and might fear a family falling-out if appearing to want to oust him.  Still, there may be creative ways to involve them in a subtle and diplomatic approach that would not offend Jerry.

The Brontosaurus Theory.  But here's my gee-whiz solution, and I'm sure that there are NFL-savvy readers out there who will tell me that this could never, ever happen in a squillion years. 

But, like Anne Elk (John Cleese) who offers her theory on the brontosaurus on Episode 31 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, this is my theory, and it is mine, and belongs to me, and what it is, too.  The next thing you will read is my theory:

This rich-guy consortium goes to Jerry – again, with their crazy money, maybe really crazy in light of this (my) theory and the thinking they want to inspire in Jerry, and they say this: 

Jerry, we have crazy money for you.  You know as sure as you're sitting there that this is easily a 30% premium over the highest valuation that any so-called expert places on this team.  You take that and walk away and you can hold your head high, laughing at your critics, knowing that win or lose, you, by the sheer force of your personality and will and balls in getting that stadium built, and, yes, winning three Super Bowls, created immense, incredible value, made this the second most valuable franchise in the world, second only to Manchester United.  Incredible accomplishment, Jerry.

You take this crazy money, Jerry.  You take it.  We'll put your name on that stadium.  Take a look at this term sheet, there's a bunch of other goodies in there, and looky here, Jerry, we're going to give Stephen and Jerry Jr. the opportunity to invest at a very high level and give them significant management responsibility.  You can be Chairman Emeritus.  

Take this crazy money, Jerry, and all the rest, because if you don't take this crazy money, we're going to keep an appointment that we made some months ago with Roger Goodell to discuss with him our strong commitment to putting an NFL team in Fort Worth, Texas.  As you can see, it will be hugely well-financed, with a stadium – oh, Jerry, it will not be a stadium like yours – it will be a big stadium, for sure, but it will be one that people will love, a real Texas stadium, like Fort Worth is a real Texas city, like people love the Ballpark at Arlington.  It'll be right near downtown -- those city fathers know how to work with businessmen.   Maybe we'll swipe Jacksonville or some other lame franchise – maybe we'll argue for expansion.  And Roger Goodell will listen, because Texas is a football state, and DFW is a gigantic market with lots and lots of people who have given up their Cowboy season tickets and lost all faith in you, and because major and lesser markets have fielded two NFL teams at once:  New York, Bay Area.  Crazy money, Jerry. 

You think your fellow owners would never allow it?  Think again.  Crazy.   And when we get that franchise -- don't you doubt us, Jerry, you know who we are -- we are going to treat our fans like royalty and we're going to get the best football people in the country and we're going to have a fracking party every week over in crazy Fort Worth over this team we're going to put together, Jerry.  Ground floor fans who don't give a bag of dirt about what your franchise did 20 years ago.  And we'll grab your fans, we'll grab your concession dollars, we'll grab your capital appreciation, we'll grab all of it and we will keep grabbing.

Because that is how we got this crazy money in the first place.  

It won't be hard . Crazy money, Jerry.  We got it.  We can get more.  

Because we're winners.  

Sign here. 

*     *     *

A bit melodramatic, perhaps.  And with a number of strategic difficulties. But God, that was fun.

Here's my point – we shouldn't assume that no circumstances exist under which Jerry would consider selling the team.  You won't know until you try.  Until you try, and let it leak that you're trying.  And I'm serious about a Fort Worth team.

So here's the plan, Confessors.  Send the link to this post to all of your billionaire friends.  Let's see, do I know any billionaires, let me think  .  .  . 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Placeholder Entry for Thread Refresh

On the run, sorry.  Hope to get back to a more regular schedule and better topics soon.

Junior's list of the Seven Manmade Wonders of the Metroplex is Exhibit 1 in why DFW is one dreary burg.

Man, now he's on the Natural Wonders.  Exhibit 2.

We gots The Ticket, which almost makes living here worthwhile.  Now, thanks to SportsDay Talk and iHeart and streaming and downloadable podcasts, everyone gots it.

OK, DFW natives and lovers, let me have it.