The Story Behind the Ticket’s New App

TicketTomorrow, America’s favorite radio station, The Ticket, will begin promoting a new app called, appropriately enough, Ticket Drops. Now all P1s (and even P2s) can turn their phones into a drop machine. Now you can be your own board op. Annoy everyone in your next staff meeting by repeatedly playing the Tony Romo “football” drop. Or how about nonstop Corby cackling? Fire it off as many times as you like. (If you don’t listen to The Ticket, none of the foregoing will make sense to you. Just know this: there is a funny sports talk station in town. You can use your phone to play some of that station’s funny audio clips.) And now I will tell you how this app came to be. If you care.

Last summer, my wife and kids and I took a weekend trip with two other families to Hochatown, Oklahoma, where we rented a sweet log house and puttered around Broken Bow Lake on a pontoon boat and ate and drank all manner of things that weren’t good for our bodies. On the way up there, the boys rode in one car, the girls in another. For obvious reasons. Behind the wheel of the boys’ car was a man named David “Big Wood” Heidle, an I.T. manager and former horse trainer. Riding shotgun was Matt Thompson, a programmer by day and musician by night. Also, he’s a drywaller and a cabinetmaker. I rode in back. I write blog posts.

Cruising down I-30, the three of us listened to classic Ticket bits in David’s truck, because we are dorks. Somewhere along the trip, we came up with the idea. Wouldn’t it be funny if you could load a bunch of the Ticket drops on your phone and play them when you’re talking to people, just like you were doing your own radio show? And then, when a new drop suddenly becomes popular on the station, you could buy that drop with your app. Maybe every month a new suite of drops gets released. I hasten to add that we also talked about geopolitics and all the books on the New York Times Best Sellers List that we’d recently read.

Anyway, much to Matt’s wife’s chagrin, he brought along his laptop. It wasn’t too long after we’d gotten settled in the house that he was clacking away at the thing, mumbling to himself about scripts and scraping sounds from The Ticket’s site. He paused only to get more Stellas, as he drained bottle after bottle. One night in particular, he stayed up way after everyone else had gone to bed, the blue glow of his MacBook illuminating his bloodshot eyes.

In the morning, his wife left him for a dock hand she’d met at the Beavers Bend Marina. That was sad. But the upside was, Matt had finished building a rudimentary version of the app. By the time our Oklahoma sojourn ended, Matt, Dave, and I had the thing on our phones. We played fart drops and giggled all the way back to Dallas.

Here’s where I play a seriously crucial role. A week or two later, I sent an email to someone. You see, I used to work at a sister station of the Ticket. During my time there, I met the man who would become the station’s program director, Jeff Catlin. So I sent Jeff an email. With my fingers. And my computer. I told him that he needed to meet my friend Matt, because he knows how to hang drywall but also because he had an app that Jeff should see. The rest, as they say, is the foundation for the future lawsuit I will file against Matt and Dave and Cumulus Media, which owns The Ticket, seeking the millions that I am owed for my intellectual property.

I’m kidding, of course. This whole thing was Matt’s doing. Neither Dave nor I have any financial interest in this operation. We’re just happy that our silly idea has come to fruition. Even Matt’s wife, when she heard he’d struck a business deal with The Ticket, left the dock hand and returned to her husband. A happy ending all around.

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