Well, about 40 days after I decided that it had become a big enough "story" that it was worth writing about (and the state of the broadcast booth at large), #cookietalk died a peaceful death last night, as Tom Grieve explained that, in essence, people were inundating the booth with so much food that they had to put the kibosh on the on-air shoutouts and move all the words of appreciation to a special section on the FSNSW website called "Tom's Treats":
(As an aside, TAG mumbling uncomfortably near the very end of this clip is funny to me.)
They also provided a suitably informative graphic!
I've received a lot of requests to write something about this today, but, honestly, I'm not sure what else there really is to say about this. I have no reason to believe that TAG isn't being honest about this; I imagine the quantity of food flooding into the booth actually had gotten out of hand, and I suspect that TAG felt guilty about not being able to shout out every single person who had sent something up there, so taking the shoutouts online kills two birds with one stone -- they will probably get less food now that people can't squeeze a free on-air shoutout out of the deal, and they can properly thank everyone who does still send stuff. It's a win-win.
It's also a win for the telecast and for the viewership at home, although I must admit that, for me at least, #cookietalk had made the unexpected transition from annoying to amusing, because it was still a ripe breeding ground for Twitter bits, and, since Buzz has jumped to the television side, we really haven't had another incident where TAG droned on about food for nearly 10 minutes over the span of several half-innings, or where #cookietalk noticeably interfered with the call of the game. The telecast itself has also improved overall since Buzz was called over from the radio side to cover for Dave Barnett (who we all hope is improving), so, you know, there's that.
I'm also not under any delusions about the impact (or probable lack thereof) of the #cookietalk post itself. FSNSW and the Rangers knew that the people inclined to complain about the shoutouts were the diehard fans who weren't going to turn the game off anyway, so, from a ratings standpoint, that wasn't a concern. It wouldn't totally surprise me, though, if certain high-ranking people with the network/team had themselves noticed how obstructive the shoutouts had the tendency to be at times, and if they made it known that TAG rattling off names for minutes at a time wasn't something they were necessarily on board with.
So, yeah, honestly, I'd be shocked if that post was even slightly responsible for affecting any change on the telecast. But I also know that people employed by the Rangers and by FSNSW read BBTiA and the rest of the Rangers blogosphere, and I know that voices were heard on the matter ... so if you want to call that a victory, well, there you go.