Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sorry, It's Just Quick Hits

Sorry I've been away.  It's going to continue for awhile.

I teased a coming Scorching Ticket Disquisition in the comments to the last thread.  This is not it.  I'm rethinking it.

I had heard something that made me a little angry but mostly sad and I shut off the radio and didn't turn it back on.  It was a Hardline segment a couple of weeks back.

But I found myself agreeing with one of the later comments on the last thread that there's been a lot of Hardline-bashing on MTC lately.  Too much, probably.  Mostly deserved, in my judgment, but yeah, I am getting a little tired of it.  Although THL seems to be bouncing back in the ratings -- not back to its previous lofty position compared to the competition, but doing better.  However, I have to agree -- while THL has its moments, and it's still my go-to PM drive diversion, overall it is a show in noticeable decline.

So I'm thinking crud-a-mighty, if the show is irritating me to that degree, what's the point of listening?  Who's going to be interested in a blog called "My Muser Confession, with Intermittent Mentions of Norm and BaD?  Not even me.

Having said all that, I decided not to pile on just yet.  And I'm not making any rules about "no Hardline/Mike/Corby shots," but let's try to find something else to talk about.

You can post about T.C. if you want, or Jake, but that's getting pretty tiresome too, unless you have a specific point to make.  I reserve the right to decide that something's just a naked shot or the same jamoke saying the same thing over and over and not worth the pixels.

So for now, I'll just quick hit some notes I've made over the past little while, some Ticket-relevant, some not very, some falling into the "listening/watching too hard" category, which tendency of mine seems to upset this site's Reddit critics.

(1)  For you Twitter followers:  Apologies once again for the hack.  I got infected through a message from one of the founders of this site's success, former Ticket Traffic Twist Barb Smith.  It was a message that some post about me or this site on a linked page was "nasty."  Although it was somewhat surprising to hear from Barb again, it was not a crazy thing to imagine considering the bile directed our way lately on Reddit and elsewhere.  So I took the bait clicked on the link.  And I'm guessing some of you did, too.  Thus completing the hack.

(2)  I love Gordon's Troy Aikman imitation when George's Fake Michael Irvin calls him up.  Very dry, very understated, very Troy-like.  Witty in an understated way, love it when Gordon gets less Keithly and lets the gag emerge from the character rather than the writing.   There are probably some interesting politics there, after Gordon's ill-advised interrogation of Troy on one of his call-ins that got him in trouble.  In any event, it's really good, as is George's Irvin.

(3) As if The Hardline didn't have enough trouble, it is the Musers' car-leasing pals at, of course, D&M Auto Leasing that have won the DealerRater Dealer of the Year Award in Auto Leasing.

(4)  WATCHING TOO HARD:    There's something disturbingly off about that Mark Cuban AT&T ad with the adorable Lily Adams (portrayed by Milana Vayntrub).  I don't think they shot that scene together.  He towers over her and doesn't seem to be looking at her when he's speaking to her, but instead something off in the middle distance.  Could be cue cards, I suppose.  But then at the end, where she tells him what a swell negotiator he is, they reach out to shake hands -- as if to establish, awkwardly, that they are having a real conversation in a single filmed scene.  But before they touch hands, the shot cuts away to behind and to the right of Cuban -- or is it?   It does look something like his profile, but it is far from clear.  Also, in the shots framed from directly in front of them, they're standing much further apart than they are in the shots from behind the Cuban figure.  I'm guessing they shot their parts at different times.  I need a hobby.  Other than this one.

(5)  LISTENING TOO HARD:   There's a Ticket ad where Conrad uses a word that gets beeped out, and the word is "assholes."  But they've screwed it up -- Conrad uses a long "a" before the beep is edited in, and then after the beep you hear the "s" sound.  The problem is that, if The Hardline is any indication, "ay-holes" is permissible, but "assholes" is not.  But the latter has a short "a" sound.  So it makes no sense to pretend to censor "ay-holes."  The beepout would only make sense if the first vowel sound you hear is a short "a."

(6)  George Dunham now mispronounces the names of two shows on The Ticket.  Norm Hitzges (George has said "Hitchges" for as long as I can remember, and I believe we have established that this is not a bit), and now he's calling Mike and Cash's show "Cirque de Sirois."  He's not the only one, but come on -- learn now to pronounce the names of the hosts and shows on your station.

(7) Gordon no longer maintains his blog.  I'm not sure when he quit.  But I clicked over to it the other day.  There's a nice photo of him after the "you are loved" screen.  Check out the threads.  Very interesting that he labels himself "writer, broadcaster," in that order.    And that fountain pen in one hand and some hard copy under his arm.  He's been writing!  And increasingly, I think that's the way he sees himself and where he sees himself ending up when The Musers pull the plug.  He was short-listed -- very short-listed -- for a Pulitzer for one of his News columns, and I'll bet he's thinking that journalism, not performance, is where he'll make his name for the ages when the Ticket run breathes its last.

(8)  All-Pro Foundation Repair is once again claiming it is mathematically impossible for its piers to fail.  This gives me the opportunity to say once again how this concept terrifies me and to link to a post that is one of my personal favorites:  All-Pro and the End of the Universe

(9)  Can Applebee's possibly think that its bar menu has, or will ever, inspire rounds of friendly betting on bar-menu-related games, or that it can persuade consumers of it?

(10) I don't want to get to heavily into the Cowboys cynical signing of Greg Hardy, but I will share this one thought:  Smacking women around is really, really bad.  And something we should all be worried about and condemning.  But if you were a Niffle owner, wouldn't you be a trifle more worried about the fact that the victim testified that Hardy threw her on a bed covered with 30 loaded guns, "assault weapons and shotguns"?  The judge made him produce those weapons, which included a Tavor SAR, L1A1 Sporter, POF P-415, ISSC MK-22, SSAR SBS, ISSC MK-22, Highlander, Century Arms Inc. AK 149, Mossberg 590, and Benelli M-4.  I would be less worried about having hired another Ray Rice than a future Aaron Hernandez. 

There's just something about those old Chevy pickups.

(11)  Anyone else get sad listening to those Dallas Stars ads talking only about Tyler Sagan "putting the league on notice," etc.?  Putting the league on notice of what?  That the Stars only have one notable player and remain pretty much beneath notice as a serious professional franchise?

[Comments to this site are moderated.  

Before posting, please read Rules of the Confessional.  Thank you.]

And look, guys:  If you wonder why your comment didn't make it through, you MUST send me an email.  There is no way for me to respond to comments other than on this site, because I don't have your email.  I will tell you what my answer is likely to be:  Read The Rules of the Confessional.  You probably took a shot at a commenter or group of commenters, probably accused some Confessor of being some other Confessor, or something equally transgressive.  


Saturday, March 14, 2015

bubba begs somewhat to differ

Confessor bubba had some thoughts at variance with Larry in Mowry's.  I'm not sure they're contrary, but bubba does pitch matters a little differently.  He thought they might work as a post, and I did too.

I am delighted to receive proposed posts from Confessors.  However, if you want to suggest some text for a post, please send them as emails and not as comments.  It is easier for me to handle them that way.   If I like your submission but decide not to use it as a post, I'll stick it in a comment myself with attribution if it meets the Rules of the Confessional (link at bottom of this post).  So one way or the other you'll get published.  Thanks.

I'm hopeful to have Larry in Mowry's exegesis on ESPN's offerings sometime soon.  

I have edited bubba's text very lightly for cleanup and clarity.

*     *     *

Back to Larry's main comments re: the Fan/Fail (to be referred to as the ‘F’ in this post for ease) and the way it has so effectively ripped from the Ticket as to make it their own  --  I disagree. And by that I mean no disrespect.

Yes, they have done a decent job of the whole "guys talking guy stuff in addition to sports," but their station totally lacks the thing that makes the Ticket so unique (and nearly impossible to copy):  a steady, long-term relationship with its listeners.

Maybe they will get there at some point, but that rapport takes years to build.

Just look at this blog and others (unTicket, reddit etc) as an example. What other radio station (anywhere) has enough dedicated listeners to put together multiple sites in which all they discuss is all things related to that station? We’re like a bunch of women gossiping about "The Bachelor" or some soap opera for heaven's sake.

And the ways that relationship was built will not be easily duplicated (by the F or anyone). The inside jokes that take months or years to get up to speed on as a listener, the vast library of drops, the way you feel a kinship with each host in some personal way (which requires a steady hosting lineup over long periods of time), the way the hosts and the whole station laugh at themselves and celebrate their own mediocrity.

I truly don’t think we will see another station/relationship like this in our lifetimes. Which I guess is kind of distressing in itself. What will we turn to when/if the beloved Little One is no longer?

Does the Ticket have problems? Absolutely. I don’t disagree with what people are saying about their complacency nor the need for Corby to back off/Mike to step up and for the web site to get out of the 90s. But to worry that the F will be able to supplant the relationship the Ticket has with its P1s seems a bridge too far (though why doesn’t someone at the Ticket use some version of the ‘F text’ during shows? It would be easy to do and it’s a great tool).  

The main thing the Ticket needs to worry about is NOT the F or ESPN taking their place. They need to worry about staying relevant and bringing the next generation of P1 into the fold. Because if they can’t create a relationship with the new P1 like they have with us, then all they have is "guys talking with guys about sports," and THAT’S where the F and ESPN could have an in. In fairness to Larry, he hammers this point home as well.

I am pretty comforted by the fact that BaD could easily take over for THL when Mike hangs it up, and there are several good choices to fill after noon (TSJ, Sirois). Norm is virtually irreplaceable from a knowledge/chops standpoint, but his time slot isn’t as important and can be filled with current talent. But when the Musers hang it up, especially if it’s near Mike’s retirement, then we’ll really need to hold on to our butts. Here’s to hoping things change organically enough that the Little One remains relevant for us and the next generation of P1 long into the future.  

Likely not bubba

Likely not relevant to bubba's post

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hello, Larry

A week or so back an Anonymous Confessor who later identified himself as Larry in Mowry (love it) submitted a three-part comment.  (He said he had commented in the distant past, but was recently inspired by the uptick in comment quality.)   Many of his observations will have been made by Confessors from time to time, but I thought the presentation was original and thoughtful and the writing colorful.  I'm going to give you all three parts here, so it will go on a bit.  I have edited very slightly for for clarity.

I was purposely flipping between TSJ and The FAN this morning. Heard an interesting B&S ad: "Two best friends who grew up in Richardson and who relate to you...The Ben and Skin Show." Those weren't the exact words, but damn near. Obviously it's a double-edged sword strike. 

     --  1. "THL doesn't get you anymore, they're too big time." 

     --  2."We're like The Ticket and THL used to be; we live like/where you do, think like you do, have the same problems you do." 

Maybe I'm a sucker, but I thought it was a pretty effective commercial. There was another spot that touted K&C Masterpiece being "guys like you and your buddies," and one more about how The FAN has more local programming than the other two stations. Again, me, a sucker?, perhaps; but I found them effective.

Overall I've tried to give The FAN a fair amount of listening the past few weeks--during all hours of the weekdays/nights and weekend days/nights. In full disclosure, I'm a D1P1, so yeah I'm biased towards The Ticket, even if I'm trying my best not to be. Having said that:

Flat out, The Ticket is better than The FAN across the board where weekdays are concerned. Flat out. "No question," as Corby would say. I'd go as far to say that other than Mike Bacsik (Ticket ex-pat) and AT TIMES B&S (Ticket ex-pats), the shows and hosts are not good to plain awful. GBag, the show Bacsik is on, might be the worst of the lot (though he's solid). Then again New School might be the worst. But.

I can see why The FAN (I'm going to devote likewise listening time to ESPN for the next 2 weeks beginning Monday, so I'm not discussing them) has gained on and in some places tied or even surpassed The Ticket. Moreover I can see why this isn't a trend, why it'll most likely continue, and thus how we are probably witnessing, barring some big gestures by The Ticket, Rome fall. Not go away, mind you, but to no longer be an empire.

     -- 1. The FAN has, on every level, coopted damn near everything The Ticket does. This includes lingo, attitude, aping Ticket hosts, copying promotions and listener-love events such as Ticketstock and Summerbash, and damn near everything and anything else and in every possible way that makes The Ticket, The Ticket. They have been doing it long enough now that, they've gotten really really good at it. To the point that it sounds organic, seamless. It used to not be that way. However, they have hired enough Ticket ex-pats and have done enough homework, and have hired management types such as Gilbert and now Spittle who either helped shepherd The Ticket to its heights (Gilbert), or aped The Ticket to such a degree (and to such a success) in another market (Houston) that that station's hosts and listeners actually get pissed and think The Ticket has ripped them off (Spittle).

      --  2. I also heard the Corby "I love you Jeff (Staubach)" moment last week. That plays right into [the] B&S spot I heard. Frankly, the spot has a ring of truth to it. One thing I didn't hear from any FAN host was the self-promotion for one's band or the kickass concert seats/suite or being in some local celeb's suite for the Mavs or Stars game or about hanging/texting/chatting with local musician celeb A, B, or C. You might hear a sports figure's name dropped. But it's always tied into the sports topic at hand, and not in a personal "my close friend/running buddy"kind of way like we find on The Ticket (mostly THL, to be fair).

      --  3.While the guy talk aspect of the equation is definitely a player on The FAN, sports takes precedence. Other than Norm and to some extent BaD (at least for the B side of BaD), it's the other way around at The Ticket. I know this is going to sound crazy to the bit lovers out there, but the majority of sports-guy talk listeners tune in primarily for sports talk.

      --  4. Signal. Signal. Signal. You can hear The FAN anywhere in the DFW area and even into the vast hinterlands. The Ticket, not so much. The FM signal is not good. It's better in some places, worse in others. Indeed it's the perfect counterpart to its AM sister.

      --  5. "I" know who CBS is, what's a Cumulus Station?

      --  6. Website, apps, and web presence in general. The FAN = solid, industry standard job; Ticket = Y2K disaster did happen, but only to The Ticket -- which never recovered.

Final Analysis: [LiM is engaging in a little theater of the mind here; he's a D1P1, recall.  Sorry for the overexplaining.] I'm new in town/I'm 15-16 and discovering sports radio.   Hmmm. OK. Here's a CBS station called The FAN. I know what CBS is, and hell, it's the station that comes in the best. They have the Cowboys and the Rangers. If there was another station, I've never been able to pick it up where I live, or not very well. Wow. These guys speak to me. They're besties from Richardson who dig what I dig and have the same problems I have (maybe not the young "discovering" listener). They have cool listener appreciation gatherings. Etc. Oh, I finally found out about and gave The Ticket a try. I don't know, their supposedly badass show, THL, does nothing but gossip like my wife or gf with her friends about tv shows and Hollywood and talk out of their asses about everything they have no knowledge on (and about music like a teenager or college student does) .  .  .  and has no interest in talking about what they actually know, or are supposed to know (sports and everyday mundane guy crap). Besides, both stations sound just alike in lingo and for the most part in presentation. Except The FAN breaks at regular intervals and has more content per hour.

Then you have the Ticket listener, from D1P1 to P1 to P2 who, after having been kicked out of the treehouse so to speak by the cool kids, says "I'll try something else for a while," and finds out that yes, The FAN isn't as good on the whole, but the dialogue and language itself is familiar; and you know what? they actually seem to want me in their club. These guys are dealing with the same bulsh I am. We're all sitting in Section 233 at the Stars game, having some beers, having a good time.

The Ticket IS a much better station. But The Ticket is in trouble. Not sure if they can fix it. One thing is for sure, they did it all to themselves.

Not Larry in Mowry
*     *     *

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

LEAKED: From Mike R's Inbox

From a remote Cumulus information technology administrator, exclusive to My Ticket Confession:


TO: (mike_rhyner)

FROM: (jeff_catlin)

DATE:      March 2, 2015

SUBJECT:   Some Thoughts from Bruce

Hey, OGW, hope you're staying warm. 

Listen, you know BG stopped by the station a few weeks back on his "grand tour" of the Cumulus sports talkers.  Great to see him again, hope he got a chance to stop by the show by to shake your hand.  Looks great, dunnee?! 

He told me he was going to have a few thoughts for us after hanging in Dallas and talking to people and driving around listening to the station for a few days, said he'd drop me a line.  Got a note from him this morning.

Turns out, he's got a little homework for you.

He's jotted down a few phrases he'd like you to study carefully and start working them in during the broadcast.  Actually, he used the phrase "tell Mike to memorize and use now."  May want to print this out and use it as a cheat sheet.

Look, man, I know you're the godfather, the founder of the feast, the inventor of sports radio in Dallas.  Gotta tell you, though, with respect, this sort of isn't a suggestion.  You know how a boss can sometimes throw something out that looks like some kind of random shit but you know it really isn't?  This is like that.  Gotta do this.  After these last two books our leverage with the parent to shuck the BS that usually comes from Atlanta ain't what it used to be.   Kinda under the microscope, ya know?

When I drove him back to Love he mentioned he was going to be popping in on iHeart to see how things were sounding. 

So you may want to start with this as soon as you've got them down, like today.

Cut and pasted this from BG's email.  Here are your phrases that pay from Bruce:

"Let me finish."

"Just hold on a minute before you start in."

"Look, I'm talking here."

"Jesus Christ, don't you ever stop talking?"

"Don't interrupt me, I'm saying something."

"This is my segment."

"Let me tell YOU something.  I was rockin' Gertie's and the Longhorn Ballroom all night and doing radio all day when you were just a glint off the bottom of a jigger of your pappy's Old Grand-Dad." 

"My turn here."

"Me taking a breath is not your cue to start talking."

"Here's the deal: I'll talk while you re-check that story you just found  on forty-seven seconds ago so you don't accidentally misreport that Jesus has returned or the sun has exploded or Taylor Swift has married Dwaine Caraway."

"You want to shut your mic off there?"

"You know, it's absolutely amazing to me that What's On Mike's Mind is coming exclusively out of your mouth."

"Christ, even Bob Sturm has been known to let someone else talk for up to 12 seconds at a time."

"This is your quiet time." 

"Please, just  .  .  .  just  .  .  .  let me talk for awhile."

"I want my Hammer back.  That's not a drop."