Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wishing All Confessors, Even the Snotty Ones, the Very Merriest of Christmases

And we should also remember this date for another reason:  On December 24, 1906, Reginald Aubrey Fessenden demonstrated his radical new alternator-based transmitter (as opposed to a spark transmitter) from a tower in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, by playing a recording of Handel, performing "O Holy Night" on his violin, singing a Gounod song, and reading from Luke.

It was the first-ever radio broadcast of entertainment material.

And here we are.

I believe that hardware was later reassembled and installed at Victory Park.

Best to you and your loved ones from My Ticket Confession.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

This is Very Disturbing

Some topics for a holiday weekend:

(1)  Cover Story.  After five years, I hope I have earned the trust, respect, and affection of the Confessor.  Oh, there are those who loathe the site and me, and why they keep returning to disturb our merry discourse I will never know.  (See item 5, below.)  But in general, I sustain myself with the thought that on the Big Subjects, the Confessor and I would manage to find some common ground.

Bart's cars salute as he passes.

 But now, I'm not so sure.

I'm becoming intrigued with those Reagor-Dykes ads.

The ones that start with the high-production-value brassy fanfare and an actual radio voice-for-hire booming in sparkling hi-fidelity:  "REAGOR DYKES AUTO GROUP -- KEEPING IT REAL."  (May not have the wording entirely right -- next time I hear it I'll make a note and come back and correct.)  Followed, however, by the same phoned-in-from-Arcturus spiel from Bart himself, demonstrating the ways in which he keeps the car-buying experience real.

I confess (of course) that this calls my judgment on other matters into some question.

But I find myself kind of getting sucked in to the aw-shucks sincerity.  I find ol' Bart's persona likable.

And anyone who will spring for the high-quality intro but won't take the time or spend the money to get himself into a studio to cut a decent-sounding spot -- there's just something quirky about that that sort of draws me in to Bart's World.

Don't know that I'd buy a car from the guy.

But I'd let him give me a lecture about leasing.

(2)  Gushing.   More ad weirdness:  Those oil-well investment ads.

In the first place, what a terrible time to run an ad talking about ever-rising oil prices, at a time when the world is absolutely awash in petroleum and natural gas (hilariously contrary to the decades of predictions we've heard from the "limits to growth" crowd) and prices are plummeting and are likely to stay low for the foreseeable future.   Unless they're giving shares away, probably a poor time to invest.

In the second place, oil-well investment, like precious metals and other natural-resource investments, are home to some of the most virulent scams out there.  I don't expect The Ticket to investigate the claims of all of its advertisers, but if you are among the numerous very wealthy P1's thinking of making an investment (they usually require some minimum investment, typically but not always in the mid-five or low-six figures), please make your first call to the Texas State Securities Board to see if the investment is registered.  If it is not, find out from the investment company why it believes it is exempt from registration, and have them cite the statute or regulation upon which they are relying.  Don't invest without reviewing a complete prospectus.

In the third place, oil production revenue and taxation are hugely complex topics, and investors at your level do not take dollars off the top.   I'm not going to get into working v. carried interest, depletion, direct participation, and so forth.  If you have the dough to invest, spend an extra few grand and engage a reputable oil and gas lawyer to advise you.

Finally, don't do it.

(3)   T.C. Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon.    Okay, okay, he may not be the favorite of The Confessor.   I get the criticism, but it really does seem overblown among the commentariat.  (I do not delete T.C. criticism unless it is scurrilous, overly personal, or violent.)

But someone out there likes him.

Or maybe his rates are attractive, because he's now doing advertised promotional appearances.  Sponsors have judged that he's a draw, that he'll bring people into their establishment to meet the increasingly famous Source Ragonk, and if sponsors think that, then Jeff C is probably prescient in having taken him back on.

Doesn't mean he's great -- just means he's appealing to certain sponsors.   And I'm guessing if you went to one of his appearances you'd see lots of folks shaking his hand, getting their pictures with him, collecting an autograph, and telling him to keep up the good work with The Ticket and IJB and ragonking the absolute bejeebers out of him.

And that, if nothing else, will keep him popping on.

(4)  Jake.  Sorry.  Still think the guy has got a lot and sounds good on The Ticket.

His sports talk is no worse, and, I think, better than that some of the hosts.  Wrong about everything?  Oh?  Well, if I'm recalling correctly, he was the only Ticket person who thought the Cowboys were going to be improved this year.

Yes, his voice has a Dylan-The-Argumentative-Teen lilt to it.  And I do count myself among those who wish to hear less socio-political-current-events commentary from him, but I wish the same thing about every other talker on The Ticket.   He's smart, he can be funny, he's knowledgeable.  Smarty-smug sometimes, sure.  But jeez, it's just not going to bring down the station like some seem to think.  If he proves to be a fixture on a daily show in the future, I can absolutely deal with that.

(5)  Moderation Report.   Every time I get to a screen I check the pending comments, so hope that hasn't slowed things down too much.  Certainly hasn't slowed the hits to the site, and I hope we can all agree that the conversation has returned to its historical lofty level. 

Just to be fair, let me report that some readers, or maybe only one or two, believe that I am an idiot and a bitch.  And some are unaccountably convinced that I have been doing this so I can be good chums with Ticket guys.  If so, then I am indeed an idiot, if not a bitch, because after close to 700 posts now, I have yet to meet or speak to a single Ticket employee or former employee.

Uh, Rudolph, I've got some bad news for you.
Some of the posts I get are actually amusing in their apparent lack of clarity on the concept of moderation:  profane, furious, violent, and one or two with factual assertions that are demonstrably false.  But all of them still seem to think that someone other than me is going to be reading them.  Their words live on the screen for about 1.7 seconds, most of those words probably unread by me, and they're gone.  What satisfaction there is in this effort on the other end, I have no idea.

*     *     *

Thanks for doing your Christmas shopping at My Ticket Confession, everybody, and have a Holly Jolly Ticket.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Confucius Say

All things in moderation.

In the beginning, the only people who read this site were me, Michael Gruber, and a few others.

It grew a little bit.

Then Barb Smith dropped off a couple of comments after she left The Ticket.

And some guys linked to me.

And it took off.

And a lot of cool folks started following the site and left thoughtful comments.

A few jerks, but not too many.

Then a whole lot more people heard about the site and started reading.

A lot of cool new folks started commenting.

But more jerks, too.

Too many jerks.

The responsible Confessors urged this site to adopt comment moderation.

Good idea.

It was a headache for Your Plainsman, but not a big one.

But after awhile, Confessors said -- we don't like moderation; not spontaneous enough.

OK.  I listen to the Confessor. No moderation.

But as time went by and more people discovered the site, more jerks.

Way too many jerks now.

I really don't want to do registration.

I really don't want to disable comments when things get out of hand, only to re-enable them and watch the whole stupid cycle start over again.

So we're going back to moderation.

Let's keep this site a place where thoughtful Ticket listeners can come and have some fun, throw out some thoughts, engage in irresponsible, but not scurrilous, speculation.  If you remember from the earlier moderation experience, almost everything got through, but it sure got rid of the dils and the guys who were posting notices for the next unlistenable bit on The Fan.

I'll get to stuff when I can.   That may not be more than 1-3 times a day.  If there's breaking news I may dump moderation so people can check in with timely updates, but my guess is that this will be more or less permanent.

Sorry, but I'm keeping this site safe for grownups.

Promise I won't shut this joint down without saying goodbye.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Grumpy Quick Hits for Friday, December 5, 2014

Going negative today in (1) - (3), but ending (4) on a hopeful note.

 (1)  The Musers' Cowboys Radio Theater 1310 during the 5:30-6 am segment, where they comment over the replay of the Cowboys post-game interviews, isn't working.  Their level is the same as the level of the interview so they just end up with two (or more) people talking at once at the same volume, and neither their bon mots nor what is being said by the interviewee (which no longer relates to the bon mot, which is addressing what was said just before, so the spoken-over content can neither be heard nor remarked on) can be understood, at least by me, standing at a sink with the Crosley two feet from my ear, water not running.  Also, because the interview responses are entirely generic, there's no material there to joke about, so when what our radio lads are saying can be understood, it turns out not to be innarestin.  Maybe they figure that half-hour is a ratings give-up anyway, so why not goof it.

(2)  It's rare that an ad infects both TV and radio with its colossal, tedious, insulting stupidity, but the Subway "big hot pastraME" campaign succeeds.  At least on TV you get some slapstick.

I ordered one once. It wasn't bad for a chain pastrami; actually pretty good.  I'll regret not being able to order it ever again as long as I live.

(3)  Confidential to Gordon Keith:   Retire the running gag of not knowing how to pronounce words and names.

(4)  Anyone out there detecting an uptick in Mike Rhyner's level of apparent interest in his own show, and in his performance in non-Hardline appearances, since the two recent ratings books?  I think I have -- could be imagining it but would be interested in your views. 

Here's an STD for you:   It makes The Hardline better.

Have a splendid holiday weekend, Confessors.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Will Someone Capable Confessor Please Fix The Ticket's Wikipedia Page?

I was looking for a factoid I thought I remembered, being that The Ticket was the ratings leader in its demo almost from the first months of its operation.

I went to the KTCK Wikipedia page, and read this:

"The sometime controversial station has posted strong ratings in the Dallas radio market, especially its Arbitron top-rated shows[1] The Hardline (who entertain the denizens of the metroplex) and Dunham and Miller, which have been the anchors of the station's success throughout its existence. And thanks to T.C. Fleming, created RAGONK!"

Let's put aside the baffling construction  of the sentences starting with The Hardline (so Dunham and Miller don't entertain "the denizens of the metroplex?), the wrong syntax ("the sometime controversial station"), and the inappropriate tone for Wikipedia.  The last sentence washes the entire entry in sophomoric jokiness, in addition to making no sense.  Who created RAGONK?  If not T.C. (who may have uttered it, but didn't create the phenomenon), then why are we thanking him? 

The whole passage is stupid.  More than stupid -- it's cheap.  RAGONK is a passing bit like hundreds of others -- although it may have legs -- and has no claim to this degree of prominence. I don't know much about the editing rules for Wikipedia.  Can anyone get in and strike this crap?  Please advise.

PS:  I don't blame T.C. for this -- doesn't look like his work, nor has he embraced the phenomenon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

This Is More of a Radio Question Than a Ticket Question

Yesterday at around 4:30 The Hardline mistakenly ran two ads simultaneously, one right on top of the other.

I thought -- someone will catch that, push a button, and fix it promptly.  But it didn't happen.  The ads ran for their full length, completely incomprehensible gibberish, until the next ad came on, which had no similar problem.

It got me wondering:  Who at the station listens to the station?  At any given time, who knows what audio is going over the air?  I guess I thought that would be the board operator, but perhaps he has other duties as the ads play.  I picture Jeff Catlin with the station on in his office, but he has duties for stations other than The Ticket, and at any given moment he may not be near a radio or iHeart or SportsDay or whatever.  Of course, the P1 listens intently and I'm sure Tweets or emails directly when he hears the occasional error.

Anyone know who actually "supervises" the minute-to-minute sound of the station?

*     *     *

What in the world is with Gordon today?  Starting with the Observation Deck and continuing through Muse in the News, he's operating at Paul Harvey speed (and even sounds a little like Paul Harvey from time to time).  I'm thinking some meds.  Something's off -- actually, it's not really unpleasant to listen to, just sounds like someone's finger's on the reel. Uncharacteristically mellow -- it sounds like he aged ten years overnight.

*     *     *

I used to follow baseball more than I do now, but I do follow a couple of teams a bit.  Not much anymore.  And, of course, I listen to SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket, a local sports-talk station.

I'm completely embarrassed that I never heard of Giancarlo Stanton until this morning. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

There's a Right Way to Confess, and Some of Y'alls Is Not It

A note of explanation:

If I delete a comment for any reason, I might also delete comments responding to that comment even though they themselves might not be offensive. That is, I'll take down the entire thread started by the deleted one. Otherwise, I get comments saying "hey, what got taken down that this guy is responding to?" Makes my head hurt and craps up the thread.

Now, I'll say this again, and if I have to issue these reminders too much more frequently I'll take this joint down and I ain't-a-bluffing.

If you are the kind Internet participant who believes it is helpful, funny, or persuasive to call someone a name or insult his intelligence, or generally act like a putz, ask yourself two questions before confessing:

(1) Is the point about which I have composed a comment (in the particular case from the last thread, whether T.C. went "postal" or reacted in some non-"postal" way) significant in the context of interesting Ticket issues? If and only if the answer to question one is "yes," go on to question (2):

(2)  Have I included gratuitous insults and demands that waste my time (because I'm going to be deleted) and that of anyone who reads it?

If (a) you reach question (2) and (b) the answer to question (2) is "no," then, and only then, hit the "Publish Your Comment" button.

Then, and only then, will I hear your Confession.

And before anyone accuses me of oversensitivity and a hair-trigger delete-button finger -- a fairly recent development, I should add, since this site has gotten a lot more popular in the last year -- please recall that there are lots of sites with standards a lot looser than this one that would welcome your patronage. If you're going to visit here, get used to mine. 

"Confess to The Plainsman in an appropriate tone, else I shall be forced to apply the soft pillows."

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Handful of Reactions to the Surprise Dual Ratings Dips

ITEM:  An hour each of The Musers and The Hardline suffered a loss to competitors on other sports stations.  (Barry Horn report here.)

(1) Agree with those who urge not reading too much into that.  Recall that BaD showed a similar dip not long ago, and it turned out to be a one-book phenomenon, although truth to tell I haven't done the Internet research.  I just haven't heard that it repeated.  The severe dip for that one hour of The Musers looks especially anomalous.  So yeah, just sort of massage your butts lightly for now.

(2) Agree with those who think that this might well have animated Checkout Mike to show greater interest in his show and guest appearances on other Ticket offerings, the latter of which had become a severe embarrassment to him and the station in recent years.  You can be a curmudgeon on your own show, but his is-he-really-there? appearances on other shows, pre-games, and round tables had started to suggest something approaching a lack of respect for the rest of the station.

(3) My guess is that Jeff Catlin did not lecture anyone about stepping up his game as a result of this ratings book.  No inside info here; just tidbits I pick make me think that with the exception of correcting seriously bad behavior, The Pan-American Catman is fairly hands-off with individual performances.  Also, these guys probably see the ratings the minute Cat does -- they don't need any additional motivation.

(4) The Musers' dip was in a heavy Gordon-inflected hour.  Confessors know that I am a Gordon admirer, but in recent months I have wished for less juvenilia/sex talk/perversion talk/political talk and more of anything else.

(5) Confessors also know that I am not a Corby basher, but after a comeback from severe OverCorby/Checkout Mike a couple of years back, The Hardline has noticeably backslid into lassitude, severe misogyny (I thought that had left the building with Greg Williams), and, well, OverCorby/Checkout Mike.  (I don't have a big issue with Danny's participation most of the time, with a big carveout for current-events talk, where he's dog-paddling with Corby in the low-information punditry fever swamps.) 

(6) Confession:  I'm one of the ones who is tuning into Mosley and Cowlishaw more and more.   Switch back and forth.  (Sorry, KT, just can't warm up to Ben & Skin.)  They're off the air at 6, so I usually get me some solid slabs of late-show Hardline, but from 3:30-6, while I always start with The Hardline and most of the time find something to engage me, it's taking less and less for me to dial in the next preset down the dial.

"Sorry, Mike and Corby.  More than three vagina references per show sends me to Tim and Matt every time."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I'll Be Away for a Bit

Keep an eye on the place.

As you may have perceived, this site is battling a particularly hateful, foul troll.  I've tried to cut him out whenever he pops up and I expect we'll see him again soon with his witless, bilious offerings, to date attacking Jake, T.C., and Your Plainsman.  His schtick is to take the name of Ticket employees or Gordon characters.

I received a communication from The Ticket that the same tiny-brained individual has been invading their inboxes.  

I'll check in when I can.  In the meantime, please don't post saying "I don't know why Pman leaves stuff like this up."  I'll squash him when I can.  This guy probably doesn't even hate the site all that much -- he's just trying to blow the thing up to compensate for deficiencies elsewhere.  

Please pay him no mind, don't respond to him, and I'll get to it when I can.  Thanks.

"I'll call Pman a 'little bitch.'  That's a good one."

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Ticket Confession Would Like to Be the First to Congratulate Mike Rhyner on His Induction into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame

Unfortunately, I'm way behind in getting to this.  But wherever this site falls in the queue of fans lined up to offer best wishes, it does so sincerely and with the hope that his voice stays strong on The Ticket for many years to come.

What's on your mind, Mike?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Rare Weird Tense Moment on the Musers

Usually the tension pops up between Bob and Dan, Mike and Corby, Norm and  caller.  The Musers are gentle.

But there was a surpassing strange moment early this morning.

I think it was the throw-away 3-minute segment before the 6 AM ads/Stick It (welcome back, Becca!)/Ticker.

Craig was talking about Robin Williams's children throwing out the first ball at the World Series last night.  Billy Crystal introduced them.  There was apparently also a nice video.  Craig said it was very touching.

Then George said -- and I wish I could transcribe the whole weird exchange, but I'll have to approximate -- "Goes to show you shouldn't do yourself in.  Could have been you out there, showing out the first pitch.  Robin Williams, big Giants fan."

Craig initially seemed to think that maybe George was making a point about not being able to see one's children do something like that, but no.  Craig, smooth operator that he is, didn't miss a beat.  But he missed a fraction of a beat, just enough to create that frisson of anticipation as to how he would react.

He said, just before going to break, "So that was the theme of the World Series last night, don't do yourself in."

George missed the sarcasm.  "Yup," he said.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Three Quick Hits to Get Another Thread Going

(1) I'm not the biggest fan of the more juvenile aspects of The Ticket, but I have to confess (of course) that the Hardline's new "Throw Down Your Anus" challenge had me larfing mightily in the old Conestoga yesterday on the way home.  The guy ("Ted") who was talking to his girlfriend/wife about giving medicine to the cat, and her absolute I'm-not-having-any-of-your-nonsense responses while putting away groceries (and knocking down a shelf in the process) -- ya know, one likes to think one is a sophisticated consumer of highbrow humor, but Ted (who is apparently a law student) and his anus talk and w/g's responses about had me driving off the road.

(2) We have a pretty amazing population of Confessors here.  All of the people signing themselves "not" someone triad of obscure philosophers or fictional characters  .  .  .  I don't really even care if the writer had to look those people up or whether they knew who they were to begin with.  I'm getting a nice education just looking them up.

(3) Listen up, pilgrims:  You got a point to make, make it.  I'm reading along in some of these comments, and the comment is fine, well-put, legit, and then, in the last sentence, the author seems to feel the need to take a shot at another commenter's intelligence, motives, identity, whatever.

As Bob Newhart said:  Stop it.

[Tried inserting the video itself, but Blogger wasn't having it.  You have to click on the hyperlink.]

Thursday, October 16, 2014

BREAKING / EXCLUSIVE: The New World Catman Confesses

Well  .  .  .  it's not a Ticket Confession, exactly.

Jeff "Cat" Catlin ("The Catman of the Americas," as Mike R calls him), Ticket Program Director, flew by the site the other day.  He doesn't do that frequently, he says, but perhaps it's like binge watching a TV series.  He takes some time and browses the site a time or two a year.  And, if the spirit moves him, he might drop me a line with some impressions, corrections, and occasionally a nugget.

He did that a couple of days ago.  I asked him if I could post his thoughts, and he was kind enough to agree.  Bear in mind that this is not a planned essay of the exquisite construction you have come to expect at My Ticket Confession -- it's just an email that he has graciously allowed this site to reproduce.  It appears between the asterisks without editing.  So don't look for a distinctive beginning, middle, and end.

I'll have a brief note after his remarks.

*      *     *

First I think its nice and even charming and I LOVE p1s for having the attitude that The Ticket somehow operates outside the normal rules of a business. Wish it did, but it doesn’t.  We have to follow EEOC, Hippa Laws etc and all the rest. Long gone in radio and on the Ticket are the days where “one employee can get another employee blown out because they don’t like them”.  In radio wholesale format changes and blowouts went by the boards in 1996 when the telecommunications act was passed. But I digress.

Point being, employees are let go because of actual real performance issues. It has nothing to do with anything else. And certainly it’s not on a whim because, for example,  the Musers decide they didn’t like someone.

Side comment as it relates to Sean moving, TC on BaD,  etc. (See comment above about EEOC) the Hosts aren’t in management. They don’t hire or fire anyone. It sounds fun and all on the radio but its just not true. I hire these guys with corp approval. Now do I ask the shows for opinions? Of course I do. THEY Have to work in the studio with these guys every day. I don’t.  But the decisions I make, I make for the good of the station, the good of the show and how all the other pieces fit together and based on normal employee evals or interviews. Not everyone likes every decision and I can live with that. I don’t love every content segment every show does, but I respect the ability of the guys to make those choices, and I like to think they in turn show that same respect to me when I make a decision they disagree with, but still support.

And a word on the subjective "like vs dislike" —I get it, its radio, they are on air personalities….TC left here in the proper way. At least to me, he gave notice, he was trying to better himself in his career and all that…And he got blown out in Pensacola and I did what I thought any human being would do. He called me, and I extended a hand—I didn’t give him his old job back, I didn’t offer charity. I told him what I had available and how it would work and then he had to decide himself if wanted to start from the bottom now he’s here.  He did. I give anyone credit for that.  I also recognize that he HAS gotten better,  because he has.  And all of us in life have had situations that have helped us grow and change. Kudos to those that actually do. He got the ticker job because he was most ready for it right now and his tickers were consistently the best of the group that applied. (PS-some of the other guys that applied will be heard on weekends PT)

Sean moved to AM Drive because (see above again) It was best for the station, best for the show and best for all the other pieces. And he’s still planning on doing Dtalk next season.  He was happy and excited to do it..and no I didn’t really give him a choice. But he saw the writing on the wall when I asked him to start getting his head right with it. But he knew it was the best move as well. Everyone up here, to a man, is a team player. When it comes down to it, everyone wants to do whats best for The Ticket first.

Justin IS good at tickers and he’s growing. He is on the proper career path here and he will get more opportunities to grow. But at this time for this spot, TC was the choice.  (BTW BaD Radio nor Jake hard sold me on adding or not adding TC to the show. In fact they told me when I asked, that they were cool with any move I ended up making including keeping Sean 10a-3pm) J.

Newbury’s role at the station I think has actually increased with his presence on Cowboys Countdown to Kickoff.
Jake is doing a fine job as BaD Radio Producer….and all of the guys, All of us,  LIKE Tom. For real. He still works here.

The Shake Joint has the highest ratings of any weekend show on the ticket and that is pretty consistently true and its usually a pretty significant margin.

*      *     *

I would ask that Confessors bear in mind that Cat's doing us a nice turn here and that criticism or disagreement be expressed in your inside voice and like your mother is at your elbow.

He mentioned that he likes the illustrations.

Thanks, Cat

My thanks to the Western Hemispherical Catman.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

LISTENING TOO HARD: There's a Problem with Norm's Crest Cars Copy

I've heard this ad, the one that focuses on Crest Cars' service organization, a dozen times like we all have.  Each time, I pause and think there's something odd there, can't quite put my finger on it, but it's just an ad, it's there and gone, who cares.

But this morning when I heard it, I stopped in mid-stroke.

(I was shaving.)

I hope I hear it again before I post this so I can get the words exactly right, but here's the gist of it, emphasis mine:

"If you think you're getting the best service for your Mercedes, Infiniti, or Cadillac, you've never been to Crest."

We know that the copywriter meant to imply the conclusion:

" .  .  .  because if If you had ever been to to Crest, you would think that Crest [and not whatever lame service place you're going to now] provided the best service."

But when I heard it this morning, it jumped out at me as more naturally implying the following:

".  .  .   because if you had ever been to Crest, you would never think you were getting the best service for your Mercedes, Infiniti, or Cadillac [i.e., because it sucks]."

Mind you, I am agnostic on the excellence (or not) of Crest service.  I'm sure it's great, or else surely Norm would not be endorsing it.

I know.  Don't call him Shirley Norm.

*     *     *

Speaking of endorsements:

A commenter to the "It's Just Lunch" post of a few days back noted that IJL was being sued in a class action for fraud, and the judge has ruled that the suit can proceed as a class action.  I won't go into details but it's an interesting claim plaintiffs are making -- essentially, that ILJ falsely represents the "custom selection" feature of the service.  In fact, I think there's more than one of them.  Check it out:

This looks like a brand new one with more serious allegations of fraud:

And while I may be projecting my knowledge of these suits onto Gordon, it seemed to me when I heard him reading that copy today, that he had lost interest, that his presentation had taken on the "do you like good food?" level of enthusiasm.

But, as I say, I may have been projecting.

AMENDMENT:   Just heard Norm's Crest ad.  Think I wrote down the material phrase correctly.  It's:  "if you think you're getting the best service in town, you haven't been to" Crest.  Point stands.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

This is Pretty Interesting, but Not Really

From The Observer's "Best of" list, including text, excerpted without permission:

Best Sports Radio Station Dallas 2014 - KESN-FM 103.3 ESPN Radio

Readers' Choice: KTCK-AM 1310 The Ticket
Sure, many might object to this choice. That one station, the one that just turned 20, inspires such rabid passion among its followers that it's hard to fathom that sports fans might tune their radios to anything other than that other station — you know, the one that's won this category here forever. This year, we thought we'd offer some praise to the other guys. Being an ESPN fan is almost like being a Texans fan in a Cowboys city, but for listeners who want mostly unadulterated sports talk without the frills, 103.3 is their destination. We're sure there are people like that out there, and for them ESPN is just the ticket.

*     *     *
I confess:  When my attention wanders between 3:30 and 6, I switch to 103.3.  I do like Cowlishaw and Mosley.  Not that it happens very often, but it happens.

As one of the commenters to the Observer article said, ESPN wins the award basically for just showing up.  It is interesting, though, that the "other guys" they chose to recognize was the partly-outsourced ESPN, and not the homegrown Fan.

Of course  .  .  .  Cumulus programs KESN.

Monday, September 29, 2014

BREAKING: You Can Grab Just One Butt-Cheek, Only for about Twenty Seconds; Better, Just Fondle It Gently

International radio industry sources are tweeting on the Deep Twitter:

Sean Bass:  Permanent Muser Tickerman.

Nothing too butt-worthy there, long-predicted outcome.

T.C. Fleming:  Permanent Midday Tickerman.

"Permanent," of course, being an HR term and not one that necessarily describes their likely tenures.

Someday, someone will tell me an interesting story about T.C.'s return to The Ticket.  Maybe pretty soon, who knows?  How, after a peculiarly graceless exit from a station that had given him generous exposure from extremely humble beginnings, and a much-ballyhooed but brief stint as a host in Pensacola, he has returned as a regular voice on The Ticket.

The man has some skills, as I've suggested in the past.  So perhaps the Western Hemispherical Catman is exercising prudence in promoting someone who knows the station, its personalities, and its traditions, and who can put together a produced segment on short notice.  Probably not a talent that's easy to find.

Perhaps it's that.

Someone knows.

All right, get your hand out from under your trousers.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Oo, Oo, Weckerly Woman -- PART 3

We now have a couple of reports on today's hearing.

Very interesting.

A few observations:

(1)  Defendants' attorneys repeatedly condemned the lawsuit as "lies."  Of course, a defendant who denies the truth of a pleading is going to take that position.  But as I've noted, the court is not going to assess the truth of the complaint at this point so that isn't going to get the Cowboys/Jones anywhere.  And it sounds like it didn't get defendants anywhere today.

(2)  Weckerly's lawyer made the argument that the statute of limitations should have been stopped during any period that the defendant is out of the state, as he alleged in the original complaint.  Defendants' lawyer argued that the law didn't apply because Jerry is very well-known and could have been found at any time, in or out of the state, to be served.  The judge was skeptical of this argument, suggesting that Jerry was arguing that he should be treated differently from any other defendant. 

Score one for Weckerly.  However, I don't see how this overcomes the Cowboys' statute of limitations argument.  The corporate "person" of the Cowboys never left the state.

(3) This site suggested in an earlier post that a better argument for stopping the statute of limitations involved the concept of "duress," illustrated by the allegations that Weckerly was subjected to a variety of pressures from defendants to keep quiet, which would prevent her from taking advantage of the court system while the statute was running.

Judge, it's like Dirty Harry said in Magnum Force:  "A man has got to know his limitations."

Now, Weckerly has explicitly made that argument.  From the account in the Observer "Weckerly, Bowers said, accepted the money, which she didn't want, under duress and without a lawyer.  'Having just been a victim of sexual assault, she was coerced by forced payments and threats,' Bowers said. 'We've got a mountain of intimidation and threats.'"

 (4)   Weckerly's lawyer has also added conspiracy allegations.  I don't know too much about this.  I don't think Jerry can conspire with the Cowboys, which is why Weckerly has now added the Cowboys' lawyer as a defendant.   (I'm not sure whether a lawyer can be held liable for conspiracy for actions in the course of representing his client.  Maybe, under particularly outrageous circumstances.  No idea on this one.)  The point of the conspiracy allegations is to allow Weckerly to argue that the statute is extended for an additional period measured from the last act of conspiracy -- in this case, the alleged forced payments.
Another hearing is set for October 16.  The judge said that the parties could argue the facts at that time.  It sounds like it may be an actual mini-trial limited to the limitations issue, where sworn testimony will be presented.  This seems a bit premature -- I would have thought that the parties would have been given the opportunity for discovery on the limitations issue, but sworn testimony is sworn testimony, I guess.  Might also be presented via affidavit.  Again, no idea on this one, although I would think that the pretty short hearing date might marginally favor Jerry.
It's hard to say, and we'll see what Weckerly can prove or credibly testify to on October 16.  On balance, I'd say this round went to her.  The judge could have ruled that even if Weckerly proved her allegations the statute would still have run out and he would have dismissed the case.  But it appears to my unschooled eye that the judge thinks that Weckerly's legal theories on the limitations issue are correct, and that if she proves what she's claiming factually -- the case will proceed.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Oo, Oo, Weckerly Woman -- PART 2


        Oo, Oo, Weckerly Woman, She Got the Moon in Her Eyes

        Speculation AND a Rant]]

*     *     *

We learn today that Jana Weckerly has amended her complaint to allege that -- well, we're not entirely sure how it's amended because the Court has sealed the new complaint and imposed a gag order on the parties and counsel.

But the reports are that the amendment alleges that she was "coerced" not to disclose the events giving rise to the pathetic Jerry photographs by the forced deposit of money into her account.


(1) While the Musers thought that if the Cowboys' payment to Weckerly could be proven through bank records it would be bad for Jerry's case -- with which I agree -- I'm guessing that this may have more to do with attempting to beat back Jerry's statute of limitations defense.  Remember my account of this from the prior post.  She's got statute of limitations problems with her case unless she can show that she was somehow "unnaturally" prevented from acting -- subjected to "duress" -- during a time that the statute was running (or, as she alleged, Jerry was out of the state during a long-enough period of time that would get added to the end of the limitations period).  This would account for the odd locution that the money was "forced" on her to buy her silence.
(2) There's something else that no one is focusing on, which is that the first complaint alleged that the Cowboys forced her to sign a document, not described in her original complaint.  What was it?  Was it a document where she agreed either not to disclose the events, or possibly even not to file a claim, in return for the payments (i.e., a release)?  If so, that's bad news for a "duress" defense against the statute of limitations argument, unless, as her first complaint alleged, she was also unnaturally pressured to sign the agreement, which would be hard to prove if she accepted handsome cash for it

One way or the other, she has got to get around the Cowboys' facially appealing statute of limitations argument, although she doesn't need to show an extremely long period of time either of "duress" or Jerry being out of the state, in order to extend it past a period that would postdate the filing of her lawsuit.

If that document was a release, then it also could be a good defense by the Cowboys/Jerry to the substantive claim of assault and the other torts alleged.  But if it was only a nondisclosure agreement, then it would not preclude the civil liability claim (although the claim itself might breach a promise of nondisclosure -- will be interesting to see if the Cowboys file a counterclaim for breach of either a release or nondisclosure agreement).

(3) What effect will the sealing of this amended complaint and the gag order have on Roger Goodell's no-doubt energetic and fearless investigation of Jerry's misconduct?  Will he say to the Cowboys, "uh, what about these payments and the records she says she has?"  And will the Cowboys say to him, "Geez, sorry Rog, court says we can't talk about it"?  And would that be a good argument for stonewalling an NFL investigation?  I don't know how far a gag order extends, but I don't think it would trump an independent obligation of an NFL owner to cooperate with an internal investigation.  Don't know.

(4) OK, Roger Goodell, you pusillanimous pretender.  You're probably going see evidence pretty soon that Jerry paid off a stripper/hooker either to keep her quiet about something worth keeping quiet, possibly even the sexual assault of a drunken or drugged woman.  Wachoo gonna do about it?

(5) OK, Gene Jones, you laughingstock to some and object of pity and derision to most of the rest of us, wachoo gonna do about it?

"I read me some MTC 'cause I loooove me some redheads."

(6) OK, Dallas sports and news media (finally, an MTC connection), wachoo gonna do about it?  Gag order doesn't extend to investigative reporting.  Who will be the first to understand the potential dynamite this case represents and investigate and report it accordingly -- starting, perhaps, with what reporters "know" about similar Jerry behavior with other women?   

Who will be the first to ask Roger Goodell how he is investigating the sexual assault claim against one of his biggest supporters?

Who will be the first to ask the new "consultant group" of women whether they've been asked to consult on the Jerry Jones charges?

Who will be the first news organization to petition the court to unseal the record, and to appeal it if it is denied?  (Picture the Dallas and Fort Worth papers and every local TV and radio outlet and ESPN seeking this, and what effect this might have on how the judge -- who is elected -- rules on it.)

And who will be the first to ask  -- even if only theoretically at this point -- whether an ongoing drumbeat of unsavory details of Jerry's underground activities could affect the management or ownership of the Cowboys?

Waiting for the next pictures, the next hooker, the next lawsuit.

Or, more likely, the next payoff and interment of another sordid Niffle scandal.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Tale of Two Jerrys

Was it a week ago?  I think so.  I was listening to the Tuesday 6:40 replay of the Monday 8:40 Fake Jerry interview.

Gordon started the bit not with his Cartoon Jerry foghorn voice, the one he always uses, but instead his Actual Jerry genuwine impersonation that he brings out once in awhile, but only rarely and briefly.  He only got through a phrase -- possibly even less than a sentence -- when he decided it wasn't happening the way he wanted, and he made a very brief reference to it not working and then shifted back into Cartoon Jerry for the balance of the bit.

But not this week.  He did the whole interview, for the first time I can recall, in his Actual Jerry voice.  Which, for my money, may be even more brilliant than Cartoon Jerry.

Gordon, you're getting me all  .  .  .  confused.

Wondering why, not that I care.  Both Jerrys are very funny.  I wondered briefly if Gordon might be thinking that Actual Jerry might be more amusing -- the shock of recognition -- to a national audience that might pick up one of the bits during a time that the Cowboys are more in the national  spotlight.

Nah.  Nah.  Anyway, it was excellent.

*     *     *

NOTE:  Earlier versions of this post made erroneous reference to a "5:50 replay."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jason Garrett's Personality is 8-8

That phrase occurred to me the other day.  Just thought I would share it with you.

Other quick hits:

(1)  I said it about Wade Phillips;  I said it about Jerry Jones:  Why should we think that they talk to their underlings any differently than they talk to the public -- i.e., incoherently and ineffectually?

Same question about Garrett.  What evidence do we have that what he says to his players evidences any more creativity, emotion, accountability, or interest than what he says to us?

(2)  I try to keep ad hominem reasoning out of these pages.  However, I am going to grant myself a dispensation this occasion to say that from the moment of his hiring I have loathed Roger Goodell because I didn't like his smug, thuggish, privileged, self-regarding face.  I'd never heard of him and knew nothing about him, but I've disliked him ever since.

Everything I've heard about him since confirms my unfair first impression, even before the recent evidence of his unsuitability for running anything.  The Ticket guys have from time to time described encounters with him, to the extent one can have an encounter with someone as cocooned by his entourage as this grossly-overpaid monarch.

(3)  I have only spoken with one person about the Goodell interview with Norah O'Donnell, the one were he looked stupid, inarticulate, and truthless.   She said to me exactly what I was thinking myself:  This guy's a big, hard drinker.

Small-eyed, red-faced, blotchy, trouble forming sentences. However, I just googled "roger goodell alcohol" and the only thing I come up with is "drunk with power."

(4) I've been punching out on the Central Market "are you really into  .  .  .  ?" commercials for quite some time now.  They show no sign of abating.  I'm sure I've missed me some good Ticket lately.

I'm missing more.  I'm now punching out on the Evil Cat telling her owner about Dropcam.

The first reason I'm punching out on it is that the accent is stupid.  Can't decide whether to be British or East Coast Patrician, really inept.  There have to be better voice actresses around.  Maybe one of the no doubt thousands who really have an accent?

The second reason I'm punching out is that the narrative is stupid.  The end of the commercial forgets what's in the beginning of the commercial.

     --   The Evil Cat says "you're not here right now" -- meaning not present in the house, or else the whole Dropcam premise is nonsense -- at the beginning of the ad, and finishes by ordering the owner "now get in here and pet me."

     --   The Evil Cat says it "hates" Dropcam because it shows all of the naughty things she is doing, but then it says there's a "bright side" because the cat "can't wait" for the owner to view "what I'm doing to your sweaters."  The "bright side" is exactly what the Evil Cat claims to "hate" about Dropcam.  

Listening too hard again.

Apologies for all of today's negativity.

I do like The Ticket.  There.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

OPEN THREAD: Create Ur Own Topix!

I know, it's always Open Thread around here, but thought we needed a little thread-freshener.

Here's my topic:  The David Newbury segment with David Moore (the latter on the phone) on yesterday's afternoon show (Newbury/T.C.) was the best ten minutes on the Cowboys I've heard this season.  The focus:  Tony Romo has been given too much power to run the offense, change plans, dance around until the play clock is a microsecond away from delay of game.   I can't remember the last time I heard a weak segment featuring either, and when they're both on, it's must-listen.

Will we hear The Boomtown (David & David) in a show this year?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oo, Oo, Weckerly Woman, She Got the Moon in Her Eyes

A couple of posts back I threw out the thought that those photos could, under certain circumstances, affect the ownership, control, or management of the Cowboys.  Or, at the very least, this possibility should be considered by the commentariat (other than Your Plainsman).  It did not get much traction.

I would now like to revisit that topic in view of Weckerly v. Jones, et al., Civ. No. 14-10061, District Court for Dallas County, Texas.

Just some random thoughts upon reading the complaint.  Bearing in mind that your simple Man of the Plains is no expert in sexual assault lawsuits, statutes of limitations, and the like.  But I think there are some things an observer can take away from this with a little effort.  (Since I haven't heard these thoughts elsewhere, it tends to suggest to me that, um, I may be missing something.)

First, it's interesting that this was filed in Texas state court.  If Weckerly is presently a resident of Oklahoma, she could have filed it in U.S. District Court here.  Maybe she no longer lives in the Ardmore metro and has moved to Texas.  But if she does still live in OK and she could have filed in federal court, I wonder how her lawyer decided to file in state court.  One possibility is that a state court judge would be more likely to be sympathetic to the local team.  But the local team ain't making too many locals happy lately, so maybe the calculation is t'other way around -- a state court judge would be inclined to hammer Jerry to please his restless constituents.  Also, if it gets to trial, a state court jury might be more plaintiff-oriented.  The law the two courts would apply would be the same -- state law, because they are state law claims.  But, fairly or not, the bar widely believes that the federal bench (unelected) is more learned and more likely to apply the law somewhat more expertly than a state court judge (elected).  Would that favor one side or the other?  DNK.  (Also, some state-court plaintiff practitioners are less comfortable with the federal procedural rules.)   Don't have a strong conclusion on this -- just an interesting strategy move.

Second, I just heard Intentional Grounding read from some motions filed by Jerry's team earlier today, asking for a temporary restraining order and dismissal on the grounds that the lawsuit is unbelievable and scandalous and a money grab.  In the absence of any factual record whatsoever, and in the presence (in the judge's mind, if not the record) of those pathetic photographs, the dismissal ploy is unlikely to work.    (I thought Texas didn't have a strict motion to dismiss, but rather an archaic form of pleading called "special exceptions."  I need to track down those filings.)

Third, at present it does appear that the technical issue is going to be the statute of limitations.

The lawsuit has several claims, each a tort:  (1) Sexual Assault; (2) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; (3) Negligence; and (4) Conspiracy to Cover Up Sexual Assault.  The complaint alleges criminal conduct, but violation of the Criminal Code does not give rise to a civil claim beyond the torts described by the alleged conduct (I think; not sure about that).  The statute of limitations for tort claims in Texas for personal injuries caused by torts is two years UNLESS the conduct involves violation of the Penal Code in certain respects, in which case it is five years.  I understand that the encounter in question took place more than five years from the filing of the suit.  But, if the conduct took place in 2009, not a whole lot longer than five years.  Hold that thought.

So, is Weckerly sunk?

Her lawyer has thought about this, and alleges that the statute has been "suspended" pursuant to "TCPRC sec. 16.063."  (That's "Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.")  Well, let's Google that and take a look.  It states:  "The absence from this state of a person against whom a cause of action may be maintained suspends the running of the applicable statute of limitations for the period of the person's absence."  In other words, the limitations clock stops while the defendant is out of the state, starts up again when he gets back.  Well, that would not work against the Cowboys, the other defendant, which hasn't left the state as a corporate entity.   But Jerry?  The incident was alleged to have taken place in "May or June of 2009," so the deficiency is not going to be more than about four months.  Could she show that Jerry was out of the state in the aggregate longer than that since the incident?  A month per year?  Dunno.  But if I were the court I think I might at least let her proceed with discovery on Jerry's whereabouts at all times between the assault and the filing of suit.  Maybe there are some technical interpretations of that statute that make this all more complicated than I'm making it seem, but they haven't jumped out at me in my Internet reading.  So -- maybe not a bad argument for Weckerly.  Maybe.

But there's something else that really, really intrigues me that I haven't heard mentioned anywhere, at least as far as this limitations issue is concerned:

       --  Paragraph 26 states that Jerry and the Cowboys "threatened Plaintiff so that she would not tell the police." 

       --  Paragraph 27 states that they "intimidated Plaintiff and told her to keep quiet and not tell anyone else 'or else.'"

       --  Paragraph 28 states that they "bullied Plaintiff into believing that she would somehow be in trouble if she told anyone about the sexual assault." 

       --  And most intriguingly, she drops this nugget:  Paragraph 29 states that they "intimidated her into signing documents against her will, without giving her a copies (sic) or access to legal counsel."

       --  Finally, she concludes in Paragraph 30 that those actions "placed Plaintiff in imminent fear of her life, safety and well being."  

I only know what I read in Google search results.  But I am pretty sure that statutes of limitations clock gets stopped or delayed, or "tolled," as it is called, if the plaintiff has been subject to "duress" during that period that tends to discourage her from filing suit within the proper period of time.  

These four paragraphs describe situations where plaintiff was pressured not to take legal action, and may have been pressured under threat or fraud to sign a release (guessing at what the "legal documents" might have been, if they exist at all), all of which would have served artificially to have caused her to refrain from filing suit while the statute was ticking away.

However -- Weckerly has not alleged duress as a ground for delaying the operation of the statute of limitations.  An oversight?  Or something that her attorney thinks he cannot prove?   I think I might say more about that "document," if there was one, even if she doesn't have a copy.   DNK.  But if he's smart, he'll find some other ground for tolling the statute, and based on what he's alleged, that ground should be duress.  Which is something that itself would be subject to "discovery" before a court would rule on whether it were a factually supportable theory for beating back the limitations defense.  At the every least, I would think it would serve to keep the lawsuit alive.

The point I wish to make is that no matter what you think of Weckerly, her motives, or her truthfulness, the wisdom of Google suggests that there may well be enough in this complaint to survive the initial technical challenges.  Again, the complaint is very, very unlikely to be dismissed just because it seems crazy, as seems to be Jerry's initial legal position.  (Really -- does it seem all that crazy?  Or, in light of those photos, does it ring highly possible?)

Fourth: What if it doesn't go away?   The suit could go on and depositions would be taken and it would devolve into the classic he said-she said, and maybe these "legal documents" surface, and maybe more pictures, and lurid accounts of Jerry's misconduct.  Maybe it gets settled; maybe the court grants summary judgment against Weckerly based on the discovery in the case (i.e., her case turns out to be factually deficient based on the sworn record in discovery); or maybe it goes to trial.

A whole lot more interesting is what Roger Goodell -- or his successor -- will do.  If Jerry is accused of sexually assaulting a drunken young woman, with photographic evidence that something happened, and that case lingers with her allegations potentially subject to a jury's decision, his hand may be forced.  Irsay.  Rice.  Rampant NFL thuggery.  A tsunami of disgust over the Niffle's handling of criminal conduct of its constituents has got to have them running scared in the executive suite.

All kinds of other things could happen aside from NFL discipline (or worse).  Gene cannot be happy that a jury will be asked to decide if her husband f-f'd a young woman and got fellated while requiring -- or even inviting -- Weckerly to admire the performance.  What's her level of tolerance for thoroughgoing mortification?  Fans could vote with their season tickets (as they're already starting to do). 

"So, set 'em up, Joe  .  .  .  . "
Again, my sports-radio-related point in suggesting that the complaint may not be as cartoonish as it seems is that at some level this is a sports story because, now more than ever, it could impact the operation, if not the ownership, of the Cowboys.  That it happened five years ago is irrelevant.  The Niffle consumer (and his spouse) are in an ugly mood, and Jerry looks, acts, and sounds like the corrupt face of big-time American sports -- and incompetent in the bargain.  He'll probably survive, but if this story turns out to be her word against his -- that is, if this case not thrown out on limitations or other technical grounds and is headed to trial, whether it gets settled or not -- it's hard to see how Jerry can continue to be the ubiquitous public face of his team and influential in the inner sanctum of the NFL.  And that would be a big change for the Cowboys even if he doesn't sell the team or move out of management.

And, finally -- what if this isn't the only time something like this has happened?

Even that insufferable jocksniff Papa John might stop calling.