Wednesday, December 30, 2015

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Look, I Know It's Impossible, but Jeebus, This Was So Much Fun I'm Going to Make You Read It Again

One of the nice things about having one's own site is that one can blow it out with some loony tunes theories and advice and speculation.  It helps if one is self-aware enough to understand when something is crazy, and this is.  

But I like thinking about it, I don't have anything much new here during Drydock, so I'm trotting it out again -- not all that dated -- from 2013:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything Has Its Price.

Including Jerry.

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

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

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

Then what?


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

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

There's always:


How do you get leverage over an ego?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because we're winners.  

Sign here. 

*     *     *

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Wishing All Confessors a Merry Christmas

Keep it safe out there.  May dip into the archives for the next week or so but hope to be back soon with some fresh material.  Your ideas and contributions always welcome.

A special thanks for keeping things light and clean and civil during the no-moderation experiment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sum Ting Wong

What's the problem with The Ticket's FM signal?  I forget exactly when I noticed this, sometime within the last week or so, but 96.7 FM -- or "ninety-six seven FM," as Ticketarians are instructed to say -- has lost its FM sparkle.

The top and bottom end of the EQ, or something, is missing, and the overall sound has an almost AM quality to it (but it hasn't gone all the way to the primitive AM midranginess fuzz of 1310).

It doesn't make the station any more difficult to listen to, but that signal now has a slight but very noticeable muted, muffled quality to it.  The clarity and resonance and overall sizzle it usually has are missing.

No big deal, but thought I'd mention it, see if anyone else noticed.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Quick Question from the Bench

I happened to turn on Ferrall last night (Thursday) around 8:30 or 9, and he was talking about The Ticket.  I wasn't near the radio when he began, so I didn't catch all of what he was saying, but I believe he may have specifically mentioned BaD Radio. 

He was talking about the Cowboys at the time, making the same point that Jerry made in almost the same words, that he was "stunned" that they didn't win any of those seven games.

Anyway, if anyone heard this, please report.  Sorry I didn't catch it all clearly.

Maybe this will make you feel better.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday Morning with Rick and Craig

A couple of weekend quick hits:

I had an errand to run up north today  and it being the first Saturday of the month, I thought I would grab a young auto enthusiast relation of mine and drop by Cars & Coffee at Classic BMW.  The Teebox Golf Show (that's what they call it on The Ticket website) usually broadcasts from that event.

Never been there before.  It was quite a thing.  Huge crowd of women and (mostly) men and some amazing vehicles.  Parking was a double sawbuck, but there was no place to park -- actually, the cool older cars were kind of interspersed with the regular old parking.  I found a place where my heap wouldn't look too out of place.  I was interested in the vintage cars but my companion made a beeline for the Ferraris, Maseratis, and his favorites, the Lamborghinis.  I asked him how much he thought they cost.  He was off by a factor of about forty, so I suggested that he go with the leveraged buyout specialist as a career choice, and maybe put "Jedi" on the back burner for the time being.

I looked around for the Teebox, looked for the mast of the broadcast truck, couldn't find either.  I was looking for the usual remote setup, hosts sitting at a table, speakers blasting the show.   Then my companion saw some guys and said, "Is that the radio show?"   Sure enough, there were a couple of guys, Rick Arnett and Craig Rosengarden, with headsets on relaxing on some comfy chairs smack in the middle of the showroom with a couple of guys, an engineer and some other guy who was just kind of a guy sitting there enjoying the presentation and checking his phone.  (Craig on the left with the red cap, Rick with his back to the camera on the right.)  

[[CORRECTION:  I am reliably advised that the "kind of a guy" checking his phone isn't just any old guy, but the guy who is a good friend of Corby Davidson, the one and only Eric Maas, owner of Classic BMW.  By the way, if you haven't been there -- it's a gorgeous dealership.  Wonder what he'd take for the Conestoga.]]

A Coupla White Guys Sitting Around Talking Gahf

There were no speakers set up in the showroom to broadcast the show to the shoppers, and I wonder how many of them even knew that one of the original Day One Ticket guys (Rick) was even at that  moment broadcasting in their very midst.

*     *     *

By the way, Rick Arnett has a nice Avid Golfer blog you should check out.  Gahf and babes.  It's listed on the Ticket-Friendly Links, and here it is:  Avid Golfer Blog

*     *     * 

Did someone throw some cold water on Eli Jordan?  I was listening to a Ticker this morning and I thought -- I know this voice, but there's something different.  It was Eli, speaking in normal human tones. 

I like Eli's overheated narratives.  I hope they haven't asked him to calm down.

*     *     *

Back to Cars & Coffee for a minute:  When we drove out there was a long line of people along the Parkway.  They seemed to have a couple of banners but they were kinda crinkled up and I couldn't read them entirely, although one displayed the partial phrase "CROSS THIS LINE," as though it were some kind of demonstration.  Anyone know what that was about?

*     *     *

I may regret this, but I'm going to suspend moderation and see what happens.  I was browsing some older threads and came across one where the Confessors were talking about moderation.  Some liked it, but a thin majority didn't.  So I thought I'd take off the leash and see if the dog stayed close.

Take it easy, Confessors.  I derive no joy from deleting comments.  The Rules of the Confessional remain in effect:  READ 'EM HERE

Comment moderation suspended (for now).

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

If This is Wed., It Must Be WED // BREAKING: Enhanced Babe Elephant Photo

Okay, Confessors, let's get some real-time reactions to White Elephant Day.

Bob, Norm Craig, Sirois have been great so far.  May have to leave the Philco on all day today, hide from the field chief.

Sirois's hep-cat beatnik poem is cracking me up.

I will try to check comments frequently to get stuff up right away.

*     *     *

BREAKING:  You have perceived that I try to match ginger photos with the theme of the post.  Not always possible, never easy.  Try Googling "gorgeous redhead with elephant" and see what you get. Help has arrived in the form of an email from Confessor The Road Not Taken, who offers this replacement for the kind of girl-next-door photo above.

Thank you, Road.