Don't tug on Superman's cape. Don't spit into the wind. And, unless you have an hour and a backup notebook or two, don't call Dale Hansen for a quick comment.
In the wake of the Dallas Cowboys' move to KTCK-AM (1310, The Ticket), I got tons...fine, 12 e-mails from readers inquiring if the WFAA-Channel 8 sports anchor, who moonlights on the radio station Mondays and Fridays from noon to 1 p.m., would return to the game broadcasts alongside ol' padnuh Brad Sham. Nothing wrong with the fine work of Babe Laufenberg, mind you, it's just that Cowboys fans remember fondly the broadcast team that mixed eloquence and entertainment while calling back-to-back Super Bowls in the 1990s.
So I called Hansen Manor, and for the next 35 minutes, he babbled like Charlie Brown's teacher while I managed to crowbar in some very important uh-huhs, rights and buts.
Sorry, folks, but he ain't coming back, mostly because the Cowboys aren't exactly rolling out the red carpet. Furthermore, Dale says, the timing stinks.
"I'd love to go back one day," he says. "But if they signed Terrell Owens, I don't think I could do it. And, in all seriousness, I don't think I could do it as long as Bill Parcells is here."
With the lovable and loquacious Hansen, the wait is usually worth it. So The Ticket will broadcast games without him, the Cowboys will probably play games with T.O., and owner Jerry Jones will, for at least five years, put off his dream of owning a radio station.
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Dallas' negotiations with stations up and down the dial had more awkward starts and abrupt stops than Belt Line Road. In fact, The Ticket's initial offer of $5 million per season, according to an industry insider, "insulted" Jerry Jr.
"In the fall I thought it would never happen," admits Ticket general manager Dan Bennett. "We quit talking for a long time. But then we both bent a little, and here we are."
There was almost a one-year extension with KLUV-FM (98.7), who paid the team a whopping $8 million in rights fees last season. There were also talks with ESPN and KZPS-FM (92.5), and so much interest in buying their own station that the Cowboys commissioned a study on the feasibility of building a state-of-the-art studio in time for the 2006 season...
Hold on, I think Dale's still talking. —Richie Whitt