Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SPORTS: My Best Friend → 20 Yrs RIP → Widow → Cousin → Scott Linehan

I thought I remembered her telling me once that her cousin was an up-and-comer in football stuff awhile back, but it didn't click until this recent appointment.

This is a thread-refreshing place-holder.  Anniversary/Ticketstock weekend has stirred up some Ticket thinkings that I'll try to sketch out sometime in the next little while.

Are we in general agreement that Ticketstock was a grand success?  It was not a good listening Friday and Saturday for me, unforch, but what I heard was fun and sometimes touching.  My stroke on this is that whoever was primarily responsible for assembling the weekend, which I believe must have been Jeff Catlin from certain remarks dropped during the broadcasts I heard, did a fine job meeting the expectations of the P1 and memorializing two astonishing decades in America media.  Thanks to him, Cumulus, and everyone at The Ticket.

And y'all.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Two Decades

Confessors, I feel I have let you down.

You've been kind enough to join me here for the past several years to talk Ticket.  Here we are coming up on the biggest Ticket date in forever, and I disappear.  No excuses.  Well, I have some, but who cares?  I finally tore myself away from other stuff I needed to do at least get one acknowledgment of this event up here before it passes entirely.  Thank Jah for A P1 Wasteland for throwing up some solid content for you.

I don't have a topic.  Oh, I got a bunch written down, but none of them are good for an event of this magnitude.

So I'm gong to meander a bit, toss out a few Tickety thoughts as they occur to me.

I moved to this area in 2004.  I was happy to do so, for Mrs. Plainsman's family was down here, and it's a wonderful family, and Mrs. Plainsman is wonderful.  And Mrs. Plainsman was from here, and had moved to my city Up North to pursue and marry me, a goal in which she thankfully succeeded.  And Mrs. Plainsman had job prospects down here.  And many friends.

I wanted to stress all that about the great family and great Mrs. and my pleasure in making them happy by moving down here, because I'm trying to take some of the edge off the pathos when I report that I had no job prospects, no family of my own, and no friends in this area.

But I had a car.  It had a radio.

I don't know the date of my first tune-in to The Ticket, but I know exactly where I was to within a few feet of roadway.  I believe the first voice I heard was that of George Dunham, although it took me quite a long time to figure out who was who and even the name of the damned show (was one of them named "Donovan Miller"?) -- at that time I didn't tune in at 6 AM where the Musers introduce themselves.  For some period of time measurable probably only in days, I believe I thought it was George's show, with Craig as his sidekick and Gordon as local color.  That didn't last long and eventually I sorted everyone out.

I loved the humor and the sports talk, but what really drew me in was the cadence and tone of the show.  It wasn't blustery, it wasn't announcerish, it wasn't stagey or overly bit-driven.  There were topics that served as a pretty loose skeleton for conversation, but that's what is sounded like -- conversation.  It wasn't intimate or too-inside, it just hit the right balance between holding you at distance as an audience to be entertained, and inviting you in as a friend.   It never bored.

I don't have a strong recollection of my introduction to the other shows.  I'm sure I left 1310 on in the hope that I'd actually found an all guy/sports station for DFW in that unlikely spot on the dial, and sure enough, here comes along The Hardline, and BaD, and even Norm.  That turned out to be the last good time for The Hardline, and a good time it was.  Mike was fully engaged, Greg was a native wit, and Corby filled in some gaps that needed to be filled.

I don't recall how I discovered 104.1 FM, it wasn't right off the bat -- but it was where I parked for almost ten years.

Eventually I got a job,  Got some better ones as time went by.  Family kept growing.  As you know from past reports, I've never really warmed up to the Metro, but when you spend several hours a day with The Ticket, you really don't need to be much of anywhere else.

But one thing was missing:  No one I knew listened very much to The Ticket, not even the male relatives in that great family I told you about.  Those who did know the station didn't listen to it for hours at a time like I did and so didn't have same attachment to it that I did.

And because of the nature of my job and my time commitments, I didn't really make any guy friends (more pathos) and so when I'd think of stuff that interested me about The Ticket, I didn't have anyone to talk to about it or say "hey, did you hear  .  .  .  .?"

So on  Tuesday, June 30, 2009, at 8:38 p.m., I tossed up the first post on My Ticket Confession.

And now, I have lots of friends.

Thank you.

And thank you, George Dunham, and Craig Miller and Gordon Keith and Norm Hitzges and Bob Sturm and Dan McDowell and Donovan Lewis and Mike Rhyner and Corby Davidson and Danny Balis and yes, Greg Williams, and all JV past and present, and the stout leatherlunged Tickermen and hearty and unthanked board operators, and by Jah, Jeff Catlin and, why not, the whole damned CTO.

See you at Ticketstock.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mrs. Plainsman Explains the Musers for You + More Ratings Talk

My lovely wife doesn't much care for The Ticket and she does not read this site, although she encourages me to keep doing it for some reason.  However, she does allow me to listen to The Musers when we are getting ready for work in the morning.

This morning, she looked at me and said:  "I know why people like this program."  OK, says I, I'll bite:  Why do people like this program?

"Because," she said, "people like to listen to men giggling."

I wasn't sure I heard her correctly.  She explained.

"These guys giggle a lot," she said.  "And when you hear a man giggle, it just makes you want to giggle along with him."

(Point of clarification:  She was not referring to Gordon's soon-to-be-retired faux-laff commercial intros.)

I don't know about the cause/effect she has identified, but I realized that she's right:  The Musers do giggle a lot.  I suppose it could be called laughter, but in fact our boys do a fair amount of gentle (of course) chuckling that doesn't really pass into the realm of all-out larfing.

Mrs. Plainsman, at least, finds it amusing and indeed, I will frequently hear her giggling along with the hosts even though she may not have been paying the closest attention to the topic on the table.

*     *     *

I'm still puzzled by the ratings switcheroo we've been discussing, and I really do wonder if it might be an outlier.  Wondering if has something to do with the loss of 104.1 and the gap before 96.7 kicked in, as some Confessors have speculated.  I always strongly suspected that whole lot more people in the north metro listened on 104.1 than seemed to be generally acknowledged, and its loss without an FM replacement ready to go may have had a more damaging effect than Cumulus anticipated.  (This move seemed really ill-advised to me at the time.)   It went Ticket-dark the first weekend in October, so we had at least the better part of a month before the 96.7 went online, right?  But why would that affect the midday disproportionately?

As I say, puzzling.  Won't shock me to see midday rebound in the next book.  Nor if it doesn't.

I was out of the office yesterday midday and tuned into 103.3 to see what was up.  It wasn't a good sampling because Friedo was off that day.  Otherwise, I found the show pretty generic, although sportsy, and before too much time had passed I was back to BaD, gently drifting off to sleep (and from lane to lane) to the sound of one of Bob's oral essays.  Wonderful stuff.

*     *     *

Now that we're all celebrating two decades of Ticket Greatness, we remind ourselves of the incalculable damage wreaked by the incompetent move to Victory.  All that marvelous material, fully digitized and easily transportable, completely lost.  


Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Fun Suggestion from Distaff Confessor Liz

Always love to get suggestions for topics from the Confessor.  Especially love to hear from the ladies, good to know we have a civilizing influence checking the site from time to time.   Liz emails with a thought that segues nicely with the anniversary reminiscing now current:

"In the past twenty years, we've had non-hosts pass through our listening lives. Junior's "what ever happened to..." line in Scattershooting made me think of this. 

"For example - back in the days of Fax Fodder and when THL actually took calls, we were introduced to Glenda (God rest her soul), Danny in Lake Highlands (we know where he is), Rogers Hammerstein (probably got the name wrong, but have no idea what ever became of him), BDH (in Vegas now? )...I think you get the point. I'm guessing that several of us will be reminded and remind others of named we had since forgotten."

Not Liz
So especially you long-time listeners, give us your recollections of some of the characters who used to call in (or otherwise participated) in the shows.  You can fill in some info on the ones Liz mentions, Glenda, Danny in Lake Highlands, Rogers, BDH.  (Maybe some of them are posting here.) 

By the time I got here in 2007, the shows were already greatly de-emphasizing the callers.  I can only remember two:  Blue, and the crazy Vikings guy ("Viking ________," can't remember his name.)  And of course there's Hakim in Frisco who calls the post-game show.  Hong Kong Paul, there's another one.  And wasn't there some guy, perhaps of Middle Eastern descent, a younger caller with girl problems (i.e., no girl)?  

Not Blue
Regale us, Confessors.  And my thanks to Liz.