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  .  .  . 


blergoyen said...

I reacted with a dramatic "NO WAY IN HEII" the last time you posed the NFL franchise in CowTown, but after a re-think, it's as likely as any other scenario. I think there are two new things we can draw from Cowboys 2015, 1)2014 was the exception, not the rule, 2)Garrett is the inert gas in a large can of pepper spray.

A Fort Worth NFL franchise is never going to happen, but given the desperate situation, it's worth a try.

Anonymous said...

The weakest part of your argument is also the most pivotal. You fail to prove that these rich folks have been so personally embarrassed by Jones that they'd risk billions to go up against him in a pissing match. Don't forget that as bad a GM as Jerruh is, he's an equally brilliant an savvy businessman who continues to grow the Cowboys in value. Case in point: according to Forbes, the value of the Cowboys grew 39% in the past year! Why would savvy businessmen take on one of the premier savvy businessmen in their own backyard? The personal embarrassment would need to be much stronger than simply "the Cowboys and Jerry's antics generally embarrass all Texans, and rich Texans specifically because he makes rich people in Texas look like buffoons."

Anonymous said...

Sometime during the past couple of months one of the hosts, I think it was Bob Sturm, mentioned an article written by someone who spent a lot of time with the Cowboys and how it portrayed the whole scene around them as a circus. I'm trying to find that article, but I don't know the author or the source and googling is getting me nowhere. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Tangent said...

Anon 2:38 try this...its a longshot but the only thing I could come up with...

John Van Natta Jr. Its a good read.

Tangent said...

*Don Van Natta Jr.

East Texas P1 said...

I have read this before when it came out but a good read still. Maybe even a better insight seeing what this season gave us.

Anonymous said...

This season shouldn't count in Cowboys history. Romo got hurt, nothing else matters. The "circus" narrative is overblown because the Cowboys are more transparent than others and frankly enjoy the attention. This is Will McClay's team now, and the organization is run in a very professional manner.

Nonononever said...

Please, please let Manziel come here. The sports talk will be so rich.

Anonymous said...

Condolences to Gordo on the passing of his father. Losing both parents in such a short period of time is tough.

The Plainsman said...

This site extends its sincere condolences to Gordon Keith and all of his loved ones on the death of his father. RIP.

Anonymous said...

so happy the real talent at the ticket is back however as I'm beaten down having to go back to work today I wake up to hear that Jack Kemp is still on the air. What a beat down.

Very sorry to hear about your loss Gordo. Please hurry back. You are missed.

Hoping 2016 brings us less IJB.

The Tricky Kid said...

These comments disparaging Jake are bullshit. The guy brings it every time he is on the air. If you can't realize it, then that's on you, not him.

Anonymous said...

The Jake Defense Force is always amusing.

I for one was ready to transition away from The Jaket this morning and was kind of beaten to wake up to him doing the O-Deck. He's completely fine when he's in a position to have to answer to elder statesman at the station on-air, but he definitely needs someone who will call him out on his mouthnoise. Sean is not that person.

KP in Dallas said...

I was really disappointed Gordo wasn't there this morning until I heard about his dad passing away. However, I thought Jake did a fine job and his 8:40 bit was very strong.

The Plainsman said...

Watch the personal comments concerning posting Confessors, please. It's been a pleasure not moderating comments and not bouncing OK comments that contain intra-Confessor personal disparagement. Don't create more work and profound personal disappointment for Your Plainsman.

I'm leaving up Tricky and 144 as cautionary.


Anonymous said...

Sad to hear that Gordo was out again today but happy it was The Great Donovan (Woo) filling in for him instead of others.

Those of you saying the 10-3 ticker guy is getting better I hope you were by the channel just now when he turned his own mic off in the middle of his update. Amazing.

Go Browns.

Boo! said...

I've heard THL reference David Moore being on a podcast a few times now, but they never gave the name of the podcast...Maybe Dan joking about the CTOs not being ok with mentioning non-ticket related media was a little bit true-er than I thought. Am I crazy?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that link, Tangent. I'm not sure that's the article they were referencing, but it was quite a good read, indeed.

My impression was that the article is more recent and more about the whole team, not just focused on Jerry. I think they mentioned something about Dez and some of the other players.

Celery said...

Donnie filling in for Gordon shows a complete lack of respect (for Donnie). Is he a co-host or not? If so, why is he filling in for Gordo? Probably not the first time, but when was the last time a host doubled up on shows?

Anonymous said...

You'll never be able to accuse Donovan of mailing it in.

ed fes said...

Agreed, Celery.

So, the "station announcement" promo......ends with "bottom." "Bottom" as in "hold on to your butts"? It says you probably think it's about Ticketstock (which would make sense), but does so in a coy way, then ends in "bottom."

The only things non-Ticketstocky I think it could be are: 1. an announcement of a new weeknight or weekend show (in-house or even a Ferrall replacement); and 2., seeing how music-centric The Ticket is, a Local Ticket-Fest or some such.

Other than that, yes, it's the commencement of Ticketstock season, and the accompanying song that will beat us into submission for 2+ months.

Anonymous said...

I don't see it as disrespectful to Donnie, and I have really enjoyed him being on. I am sure it was his choice. He is a hard working dude.

I ordered my BaD Radio calendar yesterday. Can't wait to get it. It would be nice if they donated any profits to one of their charities. Maybe the clothes closet that Bob supports with his "Drop your Pants" event.

One more question. Does THL have any pet charities or charity events through the year? I know the Musers have Captain Hope's Kids, Senior Source, Gordo's clay shoot, Bob has the Drop your Pants, and of course there is the Normathon. I can't recall THL doing anything like that. Not being critical, just curious. I know Corby is a big animal lover. Would love to see him do an SPCA fundraiser or something.

Anonymous said...

Funny, THL is the only show who has no charitable cause. It's also the most self-indulgent, "is me is me is me is me,"" we'll do what WE want to do and you'll love it and if not we couldn't give a rip" modus operandi (which was, interestingly, the very attitude that drove Rhyner to loathe Rocco) show by a long shot.

That's not to say that each one of them doesn't give money and-or time to charitable causes on their own. Whether they do or do not is none of my business, and I wouldn't dare judge them on it, either way. But you'd think that after 21 almost 22 years, they'd have some sort of annual charity event; to use their immense popularity for something beneficial to the less fortunate in the greater community.

Then again, throwing rocks at glass houses and all that.

As regards Donnie, I agree that it's weird that he's doing the fill in spots. I thought he was a full-time host? There has been a time or two over the years when a varsity host would help out another show, but this isn't a one off for Donnie. However, there's no denying that he's working his ass off, doing a good job, and becoming a better broadcaster with each passing week.

Shaggy said...

The Hardline doesn't get credit for all the years of the Charity Challenge on Ice/Great Game/Flag Football?

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize Charity Challenge/Great Game etc. were Hardline driven. Thanks Shaggy.

Anonymous said...

I guess, sure. But wasn't that more of a station wide thing that was more associated with than spearheaded and driven by THL? Besides when was the last charity game of any kind?

East Texas P1 said...

Sorry to hijack the thread and, Plainsman, feel free to delete if it is too far afield from the purpose of this blog. I saw this and remembered that there was some copyright infringement action that took the Hitler movie from the realms of YouTube. In one of the comments there is a link to make your own Hitler parody. Maybe some enterprising P1's can use that. (There, I justified my posting.)

Also, I plan to be at the remote at Golden Chick at I-30 and Bobtown for the THL benefit. If any one wants to meet I will be the short chubby guy that is Jeff Fisher's (St. Louis Rams coach) doppleganger. Will probably only be there from 3 - 4. Rhyner said today that they rarely get "east and south". I think I have been to every "east" remote and this will be the third in five years.

The first was at the Hilton Bella Harbor about 5 years ago. Then the Musers did one in downtown Rockwall about a year or so ago one morning. And I think tomorrow will be the third (unless I missed one).


Anonymous said...

I believe Charity Challenge was born from the Hardline's relationship with Ken Hitchcock.

blergoyen said...

when was the last time the Ticket did a CCoI? Each segment corky yaps about his kids, creeping a 20-something musicfest or weed (and probably all three sooner or later) takes away 2 years of CCoI, so I'm pretty sure any credit they deserve has been wiped out.

Shaggy said...

Wait music festivals and weed are only for 20-somethings? Shit.

Anonymous said...

Ideally, Shaggy, yes.

Justin Montemayor said...

East Texas P1 supporting Golden Chick, good man

Anonymous said...

Yo, Ole Monty, when are we gonna get another Ticket Late Night Vidja Game Show? Totz McDiggins'd the first one.

Anonymous said...

Re: Victor McClure and his equit index annuities commercial. He says that there are no fees. Of course not. Because he caps the gains the customer might have received in the market, invests it in the market himself and reaps the gains himself. And he's willing to make sure that he will guarantee no loss because he knows that over time, his gains will far exceed what he has to guarantee. Jerk.

Gopher said...

How many board ops will be sacrificed to cover this?

T4 In Rockwall said...

I went to the remote at Zanatas in Rockwall...met Bob Bland there as well.