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One Man’s Appreciation of The Ticket

George Dunham, Mike Rhyner, and Craig Miller began yukking it up on The Ticket 20 years ago today. Photo by Elizabeth Lavin.
George Dunham, Mike Rhyner, and Craig Miller began yukking it up on The Ticket 20 years ago today. Photo by Elizabeth Lavin.

Early this morning, before the sun was up or the coffee was brewed, my 5-year-old son asked me if I knew what day it was. “Friday,” I said, not sure where he was going with this. “Noooo,” he replied, clearly disappointed that today’s significance was lost on his poor, dumb father. “It’s Ticketstock Day,” he said in a singsong voice as he danced a little jig.

It’s easy to understand the kid’s laser focus on The Ticket, Dallas’ first and best all-sports radio station, which went on the air 20 years ago today. It’s been the soundtrack to his life and, as I’ve written before on this blog, his parents’ marriage. I mentioned my wife’s status as a P1 (The Ticket’s name for loyal listeners) in our wedding vows. My 5-year-old received an on-air shoutout on his most recent birthday because his mother emailed a hot selfie to the hosts of the “Why Today Doesn’t Suck” segment. He and his brother are staying at Grammy’s house tonight so my wife and I can attend Ticketstock, the station’s annual celebration of itself.

You don’t need to tell me that The Ticket’s hosts don’t talk enough sports. I’ve heard that line many times before; it didn’t matter then, and it doesn’t matter now, because the sportsiest segments are usually my least favorite ones. (I immediately switch to a music station when Jason Garrett’s press conferences hit the airwaves.) I listen to the station religiously because of the hosts’ ability to make me laugh. Segments such as “The Emergency Brake of the Week,” “1920s Reporter Guy,” and “The Overcusser” have been entertaining my wife and I for years. Then there are the Musers’ daily “8:40 bits,” which were detailed so well on the Observer’s Mixmaster blog this week.

After listening for so long, I feel like the hosts are friends of mine, especially the hilarious morning crew of George Dunham, Craig Miller, and Gordon Keith. Around Christmas and New Year’s, I always find myself feeling a bit off — maybe even depressed — because the three of them are not on the air. Listening to them is as much a part of my daily routine as showering and shaving. Someday, that trio is going to be broken up, either by a more-lucrative job offer or retirement or death. And when that happens, it’s going to feel like a member of my own family has passed on.

Thank you, gentlemen, for all of the joy you’ve brought us over these 20 years. Here’s to 20 more.

No funeral. [Cue gunshot.]