Thursday, August 13, 2015

Quick Hits 4 U

Mushing in to work this morning I had three quick hits in mind, but I'm recalling only two now.  Maybe the third one will come to me.  Wait, just thought of it.

(1) For all the effort they put into the prank, I guess they had to burn some segments, but the Corby/Killer prank on Blake the Apprentice Engineer was a colossal flop.  Two segments -- the setup and the calls with Blake.

Blake's reaction -- none.   While he claimed it was 50-50 in his mind as to whether it was a prank, I don't believe he thought it was legit for a second.  And he didn't bite.

So the story became Killer's acting, which Danny jubilated over at great length.  I had a different thought when I heard Killer's calls.  I thought I would know this is a setup in 13 seconds.

No matter.  Sometimes pranks -- not my favorite Ticket things anyway -- succeed wildly, sometimes they crater.  This one was hard to listen to as Blake repeatedly shrugged it off.

(2)  This site is a long-time critic of Fight Night.  I don't like it.  I don't like the idea, I don't like the execution.  And I'm not an anti-boxing guy.

They're doing Fight Night again, of course, but it seems to me that they're really downplaying it this year.  Maybe it's because I have been away and not able to listen as much as usual, could be way wrong here. The shows are soliciting fighters, but they're not making that search into bits.   Just seems like the usual enthusiasm is missing this time around.

(3) The Brady hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman:

I'm not familiar with the collective bargaining agreement or the rules by which discipline is handed out in the Niffle.  I'm thinking that there must be a written, bargained-for procedure for things like this, with standards of review and whatnot.

So why are we in federal court?

While the U.S. and the state legal systems strongly favor the bargained-for private dispute resolution procedures, those procedures are not unlimited in what they can do.  For example, Roger Goodell or an arbitrator could not have imposed a death sentence on Brady.  So a party who is disappointed in a private dispute resolution can always ask a court to review it.

However, because the courts tend to defer to bargained-for procedures, the standard the courts use to review these decisions is strict.  Again, perhaps there is a different standard in this case, but usually the decision appealed from must be shown to be "arbitrary and capricious."  In other words, the courts will usually not substitute their judgment for those of the fact-finder/judge in the private proceeding.  There must have been something seriously unjust or procedurally outrageous with the private proceeding for a court to intervene.

It's my understanding that Goodell's decision was mainly based on Brady's lack of credibility under all of the facts and circumstances -- Brady says he wasn't guilty, but he acted very guilty.  Goodell says -- taking all of that into account, balancing the facts we have before us, you're guilty.  Four games.

But the news accounts today suggest that Judge Berman, instead of deferring to the fact-finder's determination of credibility, which always receives great deference by a reviewing court, is substituting his judgment for Goodell's and crediting Brady's denial over the circumstantial evidence of guilt. 

I dislike Roger Goodell a lot.  But it seems to me that the federal court here is overstepping its bounds unless, contrary to usual practice, an appeal from the private disciplinary process is reviewed on a take-a-fresh-look-at-the-evidence standard.

Gut:  I think Brady is lying and I think the Patriots are exceptional cheaters in a league where there are a lot of them.  I thought four games was lenient.  So there's my dog in the hunt.

If anyone knows the actual standards for court review of a Commissioner's decisions in these cases, I would be very grateful if you would fill us in.  If the standard isn't "arbitrary and capricious," then -- surprise! -- I'm wrong.


Anonymous said...

There's a new way to stream, if you have iPhone money.

I haven't heard any Rdio ads on the station in a while, but Cumulus is a big investor in that streaming service.
Well now you can stream select Cumulus stations through the Rdio app, including the little Ticket:

So far this morning, no video ads (IHeart) or Norm-in-a-bathroom preroll spots. It just started streaming the Musers in all their glory.

Arky P1 said...

The prank was completely failed. I'm sure Blake is a nice kid, but there has been way too much Blake over the last few weeks. The "twink" talk, while just a joke, is creepy to me.

Fight Night may be on it's last leg considering they are having to beg for fighters on the day of the weigh in. I have never really liked it either, especially when entire segments were being dedicated on THL to interviewing fighters.

I honestly could not care less about the Deflategate thing. I think the Patriots cheat, but so does everyone else probably.

Anonymous said...

All of Corby's pranks are flops. Once upon a time, they could be pretty funny. And it is about killing segments. I didn't hear the prank; I made sure I was out of there.

bubba said...


What’s with the Tom Brady/Patriots hate? Did he steal a girlfriend of yours or something? Is your cousin Peyton Manning?

This is your blog, and you are free to say whatever you want on your own blog, obviously. But one of the things that makes this site great is that it’s pretty agnostic. Not regarding the Ticket, of course, because that’s the whole point of the thing. But this site rarely if ever delves into politics, religion, and other controversial topics.

But for some reason, you have written entire posts about Tom Brady and/or the Patriots and have vehemently claimed what cheaters they are. And you don’t say it like it’s just your opinion, but like it’s irrefutable fact.

Well, it is NOT irrefutable. In fact, it’s quite refutable.

I’m not surprised that a team as dominant as the Patriots have been in a league literally designed to be ‘equal’ (parity) would receive a great deal of ire from the other teams, fans, coaches, media etc. But I am at a loss to explain how a team can be absolutely convicted in EVERYONE’s mind (except dyed-in-the-wool Patriots fans) of the most heinous of cheating offenses. It’s inexplicable to me.

Ask anyone on the street who knows anything about football what the Patriots were doing as cheaters, and nearly every one of them would say they were either filming the other teams’ practice or they were filming opposing coaches’ play-calling, both of which, they say, are illegal.

First, on the play calling thing. Let’s get one thing down in writing for all time: IT IS NOT, AND NEVER HAS BEEN ILLEGAL TO RECORD THE OPPOSING TEAMS’ PLAYCALLING!!

From the Wikipedia page on spygate: “Videotaping opposing coaches is not illegal in the NFL but there are designated areas allowed by the league to do such taping.”

What the Patriots got accused of cheating for is for taping calls IN THE WRONG LOCATION. You can do it in the right places, but the Patriots guys were a few feet away from these designated locations. So obviously they are filthy, dirty cheaters.

Second, on the filming walkthroughs (also from Wikipedia): “Nearly six months after the incident, the Boston Herald reported, citing an unnamed source, that the Patriots had also videotaped the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough practice prior to Super Bowl XXXVI in February 2002,[7] an allegation denied by Belichick[6] and later retracted by the Herald.”

This story gained a ton of traction in light of the knee-jerk reaction of Goodell on the wrong-location play-calling imbroglio. It turned out to be false, and the paper retracted the story and Goodell did not sanction the Patriots for this episode.

Yet in spite of these FACTS, everyone still says what cheaters the Patriots are.

Consider these situations and if you can tell me the Patriots breaking of minor rules is still worse, then I guess we just can agree to disagree:

• Cleveland Browns GM was texting coaches during the game, a major cheating violation
• Bountygate
• Jerry Jones partying with NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino. Imagine if the Patriots did this!
• Broncos players Mark Schlereth and others were popped for oiling their jerseys with Vaseline before a playoff game
• Vikings have been caught warming footballs on the sidelines in outdoor games
• Chargers fined for using Stickum to catch footballs
o Hilariously, Jerry Rice was really upset at how Tom Brady impugned the integrity of the game, after which it was discovered that Rice admitted to using Stickum himself during games. I love righteous indignation and hypocrisy. They seem to go hand in hand.
• Atlanta Falcons were fined for pumping fake noise into their stadium to make it harder for opposing teams to call plays

I get it, you don’t like the Patriots and you think they are the worst cheaters in a league of cheaters. Fine. No amount of evidence or proof will change the fact that nearly everyone is convinced of the same thing.

But can we just tone down the accusations just a bit? That’s all I ask.

Thanks for your time and attention. Whatever you decide, I love your site and appreciate the forum you provide.

Gopher said...

Bad timing on Fight Night coming on the back side of training camp.
This needs to be a dead zone thing in the spring and before it gets so freakin hot.
I also wonder if crowd control might be an issue. Haven't the last two years been rather rambunctious with fights in the crowd as well as the ring.

T4 In Rockwall said...

The Ticket (not trying to bash here) is all about being the trendsetter in the market because they can't do what we do. I've never heard of a station where they play pranks on each other and that seems to be what you can expect now a days. I'm sure that's why Blake wasn't surprised and I'm sure most everyone who works there does so with their radar up all of the time. Like Anonymous said, it's really all about killing segments and people are gonna do what they know and that's tune in, regardless of how bad the segments are.

I also agree that Brady is probably guilty. He's gotta feel like a heel because he knows that America knows he's guilty and how he looks in the spotlight.

As far as Fight Night, I have no interest and have never listened or shown up for an event. The only good reason to listen is to hear Gordo or a mix batch of hosts comment on the air.

The Plainsman said...

bubba: I dislike Brady, Kraft, Belichick, it's true. It's mostly instinctive. I remember one segment of a multi-segment post and the recent one on the phone, but that's about it. I don't wander into sports all that often, with good reason.

Hey -- I gotta burn segments just like Ticket hosts do. Sorry you disagree with my viewpoint.

But I would like to know the standard of review the federal court is employing on this one. I'll bet there's a sportsy lawyer out there who is following this closely who knows.

James said...

Bubba, I will partially agree, but only partially.

History will record the Patriots as dominant for a 15-year span. In truth, they won 3 Sb's by 3 points each, including two kicked in the closing moments of the game. They deserved to win, but they weren't dominant. And of course, they won a 4th SB because of a terrible play call by the opposing coach.

Brady is right in that the NFL apparently dis something very dishonest when they told him they didn't need his cell phone, then used the fact that he got rid of his phone as a primary reason for keeping the suspension at 4 games. Considering that the whole point of Goodell's decision is about keeping the integrity of the game intact, it looks ridiculous to do something dishonest in the name of upholding honesty.

That said, your list of other things that other teams did wrong (or got accused of doing wrong; Bounty Gate was a joke and should never have resulted in any punishment) is misguided. Pointing out the failures of others is not a good way to defend one's own actions. It's something I expect from kids from time to time, not adults.

Anonymous said...

George, Craig, and Gordon are the only show winning their day part. We're going to miss them when they're gone. Truly a legendary radio show.

bubba said...


It's a fair point on the deflection but unfair to accuse me of being childish in doing so. My point wasn't to defend actions. I did that in the prior paragraphs, which I notice you did not even discuss.

I pointed those things out to show the inconsistency of the league, fans, media etc. in how they treat teams that run afoul of the rules. I take umbrage at being called misguided for merely being frustrated at how one team is excoriated for doing similar things that others are slapped on the wrist for. Not justifying either behavior. Just sick of lopsided punishments.

Anonymous said...

It's no longer an anomaly. Tweaks to BaD and Norm on the way, perhaps? Maybe THL, as well?

James said...

My apologies for the tone of my comment. No umbrage intended.

MoronDog said...

"George, Craig, and Gordon are the only show winning their day part. We're going to miss them when they're gone. Truly a legendary radio show."

This is an accurate statement. Has anyone who has listened to the Musers since 1994 like I have, even begun to ponder the void that will be in their lives when they go off the air? I literally almost broke down the other day just thinking about it. Maybe it's because I'm now 37, having a midlife crisis and facing my own mortality, but these three guys are my best friends. I get up every morning and get to hang out with them for 2-4 hours. When they go on vacation it's like a kick in the nuts every morning. Call me sentimental and you're right, but I'm going to miss these guys so here's to 10 more years of gentle musing so the inevitable is that much further away. And, Gordo's corner this morning was amazing. I mean, phone sex talk was greatness.

The Plainsman said...

DA has left a new comment on your post "Quick Hits 4 U":

The most important thing to know about ratings is Voltair. Look it up.

CBS Radio uses it in their top 10 markets (+ #11 Miami) while word on the street is that Cumulus just started using it.

Long form rant here...
Honestly, their Campound/Cowboys Camp/Super Bowl weeks are what I listen to in regards to The Ticket programming since it differs from their regular, very predictable show formats and content.

To me, The Ticket is like McDonald's, but unlike McDonald's, the Ticket seems even more reluctant to change. People love the McDonald's breakfast menu and DFW listeners love The Musers.

Younger people are OK with the McDonald's breakfast since they were given it in the car as a kid on the way to school, but now shy away from McDonald's for everything else. The Ticket has the same issues. The Musers as doing well, but it tapers off after that. McDonald's is trying to change it while The Ticket (aka Catlin) doesn't and blames the listener for poor streaming, like the drive-thru would blame you for not speaking properly when your order was made improperly.

I may hear an hour of The Musers ,WTDS and possibly “Mike's Mind”. However, 80% of the time, I know the “Mike's Mind” story seconds in and what THL will talk about better than they do, thus I waste my time. Also, I do my best to avoid 5th man/Ticker guy from Norm to BaDD Radio. I just passed 40, but I cannot stand the Tom Grieve Show and theme is bad theme song. Yuk!

In the afternoon, The Dan LeBatard Show is more entertaining to me now than any Ticket show or Ben/Skin. Bob, Donovan and Dan are the same age as LeBatard and Stugotz, but that comparable hour for material is in favor for LeBatard and their producer is younger than Jake without the cynicism but with the NBA knowledge. Homer Call of the Week was once funny, but the LeBatard March Sadness is better.

Plus, this Thursday Night 7PM entertainment really has little impact, especially if there is no live sporting events aired. They are asking those who listened at work or in the car to turn on at home and not relate with their family.

As college football season approaches, The Ticket really suffers during the week as there is little talk of what is America's #2 sport and it has been so since I started listening. It is bad on The Ticket since their three biggest CFB people are really OU/BigXII guys (Craig/Corby) and the other was stuck watching UNT for the last decade plus in Jub. Catlin telling the listener that the station covers the sport well is not true. I can go to The Solid Verbal for generic talk and CBS Sports, ESPN, and FOX Sports for more detailed information on local teams and those are podcasts. TCU may have turned them away from the poorly conceived “Salute to Colleges” since you really don't talk about them until the end of the year., but NCAA football is more important to the local and national stream than baseball, yet Rangers talk will be a quick topic for people to tune the F out. They have SMU rights, but typically leave that talk to Norm's ten hours per week.

The Ticket shows are beholden to daily format, like a local TV news broadcast which is the opposite of LeBaratd and Stugotz, it is forced to used. Even in his hour which is not on national radio and just for Miami (and streamers) only, LeBatard has for years has just gone with the current and talked about it but would have guests. I don't have to wait three to five days for things, like college football segments.

Lastly, the Fight Night promos really show the station's age eve more than the downfall of boxing in the mainstream media. The youngest boxer the ad brings up is Mike Tyson, who is 49! A Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini reference is to bring in a younger audience, who does not already live in The Village? Mancini's last fight was in 1992!!!

The Plainsman said...

NOTE: The foregoing comment is obviously from our friend DA. I was having some trouble posting recent comments and I had to cut and paste from email. Sorry I did not get the explanation up in time but Blogger was going through one of its temperamental phases. More cut and pasted comments below from Blergoyen and Anonymous:

blergoyen has left a new comment on your post "Quick Hits 4 U":

Now that Darrell Hammond is out and Norm McDonald is in as the new Colonel, do any avid WTDS fans think the "an' a big ol' cookie" schtick will be cast aside? Repeating that quote has taken up about half the segment for the last couple of weeks.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Quick Hits 4 U":

Did anyone catch the hip hop artist mike and cash just had on cirque? I think his name was hamel go hard? Dude was hilarious. Very much in the same style as ali g, but everything he said had me rolling. His tune they played was pretty damn good too. Thumbs up.


From The Plainsman: I did catch that, Anonymous, and agree. It was the guy from Lazer who does that Norm intro.