My friends, both of them, have begun speaking in a new language. They often claim they are "beaten down" and "whipped" by things that once merely irritated them; they celebrate the "greatness" of those they admire; they refer to the inferior among us as "spares"; they greet each other with a curt "Hey, buddy" before they, well, "curve it around." It's rather astonishing how one AM station has reshaped our vocabulary by tossing out phrases that catch on like a virus in an airplane full of the infirm. But KTCK-AM (1310, 1700) -- otherwise known as The Ticket -- has, in its nearly six years of existence, become something of a staple even among those with little interest in the doings out at the Pepsi Compound. There's a reason the station sold out the lower bowl of Reunion Arena for its upcoming Charity Challenge on Ice hockey game -- because the lunatics have taken over the asylum, and they all hate Jerry Jones.
Or perhaps it has something to do with Motorcycle Greggo, the Old Gray Wolf, the Great Gordo, Junior and Jub-Jub, Corby, Gen-X Davey, and Norm and his stuffed panda Andy. Imagine a radio station full of nothing but characters, fictional or otherwise (or, in the case of recent addition Norm Hitzges, both), who sit around all day long and belch forth their informed HSOs and other nonsense about sports and all manner of pop-culture errata. It all sounded rather frightening and repellent at first -- it took the demise of Howard Stern's show here to bring me around to The Ticket -- yet the station has become a respite from the top-of-the-plops static and idle blahblahblah that defines the local landscape. And on top of that, it's hardly as foolish as its critics would lead you to believe: The roundtable discussions following the firing of Chan the Bland and the hiring of Dave Campo were as erudite as sports-talk gets.
This weekend's Ticketstock 2000 -- an annual mix-and-mingle featuring on-air talent and such guests as star Star Mike Modano, 1980 "Miracle on Ice" captain Mike Eruzione, and The Wrestler Formerly Known as Mankind -- is one more event that will prove wrong those cynics who dismissed The Ticket as nothing more than mindless "guy talk." Thousands will show up, and The Fish will wonder once more where it all went so terribly wrong. Yeeeeah.
2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway
— Robert Wilonsky