The PBR is officially in the business of fixing events. They might as well be the WWE and make JB Mauney wear a Superman cape.
No one can tell me this event’s outcome was legitimate. Fabiano Vieira won Rounds 1 and 2, and on Championship Sunday, he needed 86.75 to win over JB Mauney. The judges gave him 86.50. Another .25 ding to keep one of The Boys From Brazil from beating The Great White Hope. Instead, they declared a tie! When was the last time there was a tie at a PBR event? The interview with “the winner” was, of course, with JB. No Fabiano interview.
Does the PBR think all viewers and ticket buyers share their blind devotion to JB Mauney and anti-Brazilian prejudice (or at least don’t notice it). Here’s a wakeup call: at least half of us see through the smoke and mirrors, and more people are catching on.
What happened on Sunday was despicable. Twisting the rules and the scores to keep the “JB’s on an unstoppable winning streak” storyline going is degrading the sport. When will this stop? Does the PBR plan to keep shafting Brazilian riders all season long, to make JB win every event through the next World Championship? Jay Daugherty needs to do something about this—or maybe he agrees with it. Or maybe he doesn’t have the power to stop the will of the investors. Speak up, Jay.
Since the PBR has discarded integrity, fair play, and sportsmanship, maybe people who want bull riding to remain a real sport should agitate for creation of an overseeing body. Any mainstream sport (the status to which they aspire) has an overseeing authority, e.g., the Commissioner of Baseball. In the interest of the sport, that body would investigate any allegations of wrongdoing, and if warranted, take legal action, revoke a license, issue disciplinary sanctions and fines, and maybe make some heads roll, too.
WANNA HEAR MORE UGLY?
Of the riders who were sent out after the event to sign autographs and get photos taken at the rails, as far as I could see, not one was a Brazilian. Lachlan Richardson was the only foreigner. (And now looks younger than Justin Bieber!)
THE CHUTE CLOCK
From the good seats on one side, you can see a clock (hidden from general view) that times how long a rider is in the chute. It should be visible to everyone, so they can see how long certain riders are allowed, and how many are hassled after 10 seconds. Oh, what am I saying?? Then we’d have proof of “the JB clock” and the deliberate harassment of Brazilian riders, especially Silvano and Valdiron.
Kasey Hayes was a last-minute sub for Edevaldo Ferreira, and rode Cyber Cat for 86.50. Ty Pozzobon and Ben Jones weren’t able to ride in the Championship Round, but I missed both explanations.
- Boobage and navels flanking the cowboys’ entrance, surrounding the Shark Cage, and posing in the corridor for photos, while guys old enough to be their grandfathers’ age stand there drooling. SO gross.
- Sandwiched between the opening bimbo brigade and their later appearances: “Thank you for the opportunity to live in a free nation,” intones the pious clergyman who obviously has no problem with secondary sexual characteristics being on display.
- Decibel levels destroying cilia right and left, thanks to a sound guy who can’t distinguish between “exciting” and “obnoxious.”
HOW TO IMPROVE THE LIVE EXPERIENCE:
- It’s a blessing to be at a live event and not have to hear Craig Hummer yelling for two hours, or listen to Ty Murray’s stock riffs (scariest sport, trick your brain, declining re-rides, etc.), but there’s a boatload of downtime between rides, and Flint’s antics wear thin after a while. Why not have Leah Garcia’s interviews projected on the big screen? At a live event, audience members see no interviews; riders just come and go, we applaud and holler, but there are no up-close moments. We miss out on the “Pure PBR” approach. The riders must seem anonymous to first-time ticketbuyers; if you want them to stick with the sport, they need to get a sense of who these guys are, and those interviews would help.
- Attending an event means looooong waits between rides (and no stupid commercials to mock). I don’t understand why with two chutes they can’t turn ‘em out faster. The CBR riders and bulls zip by so fast I can barely catch their names; the PRCA keeps up the pace because they’ve got other events lined up—what’s the deal with the PBR? And don’t tell me it’s because the Brazilians are taking too long in the chute.
I figured out why Killer Bs were dropping like flies early in the day. It’s summer in Brazil—it’s too f***in’ cold for them in New York! Flint’s take on the messy weather described by meteorologists as “a mix of rain and snow”: “What is that? Decide!”
- The rank pen was outstanding! Each bull was intense; they made some of the world’s best look like amateurs. Among others, they skunked Austin Meier (Rango), Robson Palermo (Tennessee Honey), and Kody Lostroh (I’m A Gangster, Too—whose skull gave him quite a bang in the maskless face).
- DR. MARCHI IN THE HOUSE! Guilherme held a clinic Sunday, riding bulls in either direction, and landing on his feet: 85.50 on Smooth Talk (Hummer probably said something about it being a smooth ride) and another 85.50 for a trip on Paleface. Let’s keep an eye out to see if this is the score he keeps getting this season—you know, like Silvano’s string of 84s last year. Ty Murray’s assessment, on the broadcast later: “That was perfect.” Marchi’s victory move was also pretty perfect: he can kick his leg so high, he could’ve kicked off Flint’s hat.
- Emilio Resende on Tarantino–a beautiful sight. As Ty later pointed out, he matched the bull’s moves and speed in perfect sync, for 87.50 (you know– one of those 92-point JB rides).
- “I’m two days late in gettin’ a bull rode, but better late than never.”—Pistol Robinson, back at the scene of the crime, after scoring 87 on Extreme. Since I was at the event, I was spared the excruciating replay of his wreck that I saw in person last year. Of course, on the TV broadcast, the producer found it necessary to treat viewers to that experience yet again. Jerk.
- Lightning did not strike twice, though: in the Championship Round, David’s Dream’s mid-air torque flipped Pistol into a backwards somersault. I often wonder what’s going through a cowboy’s mind when he’s upside down in mid-air: “Why am I doing this?” “My mama shouldn’t have let her baby grow up to be a cowboy.” “I know I’m gonna touch down, I just don’t know which end of me is gonna hit the dirt first.” “Frank! Frank! Where are you??”
- Good news for the new kid: Nathan Schaper was one smilin’ cowboy after he chewed up Chewey (you know I had to say that, right?), who was 0 for 23. He broke that streak with an 82.50. Nathan’s apparently been taking Mauney lessons: his arm motion is so similar, and it works like a rudder; his countermoves were perfect on this ride. Ty’s right; he did make a rank bull look easy.
- Ryan Dirteater was perfect, riding all four of his bulls, including the fearsome Meat Hook for 87.75.
- “It’s the first time I ever kept my head when I got bucked off, and it all came out good.”—Ben Jones, talking about not losing his marbles last night after BootDaddy.com bucked him off; he came back today and maneuvered his way on Ludacris to 87.25 and a double dose of dancing. Seeing it in person was a riot; I think that ovation may have been the biggest of the night—the crowd went wild.
- JB Mauney, in his third try on Rock & Roll, gave as good as he got, earning an 85.50 (you know—a Marchi score). Here’s where Hummer gives the game away: “JB is unstoppable.” That oughta clue us in as to how the scoring will go this season.
- JB to Stormy Wing in the chute: “Whatever it takes… Don’t quit.”
- Oh, for God’s sake (literally): Cody Nance has a crucifix painted on top of his helmet. (If only He would help Cody keep his spurs out of the rope!) Little Big Horn gave him the business; then after Nance escaped his hangup and headed to the Shark Cage, the bull suddenly charged at his ass and nearly airlifted him onto the Cage.
BULLS (AND JUDGES) BEHAVING BADLY
- Buck Dynasty was a hot mess (not an expression I ever use): made a bad entrance, almost fell; but Shane Proctor got no re-ride. Why? While Shane was on his back, the bull was swinging his big ol’ head back and forth, moving fast, then when Shane was off his back, the bull chased him. Running for your life, and no score? Bummer.
- Ballistic is a bronc trapped inside a bovine. He pulled a stunt I’ve never seen: reared up like he belonged under a saddle at a PRCA event, rocked back, walked a step or two on his hind legs—then tossed LJ Jenkins like a salad. (OMG—did I just channel Justin McKee?) And yet there was no re-ride for LJ. Why?
- Mike Lee a salvaged a ride on Shotgun Red, who had no spin, and scored 79. He was given a re-ride option—why? It may have been a bad trip for the bull, but how was it any worse than what LJ’s bull did?
- Sancho, the bull built like a buffalo, flattened out near the end of his 8 seconds, ran out of steam, his hind hoofs weren’t far from the ground, he almost stopped—but no re-ride was offered to Robson Palermo. Somebody else would’ve had orange flags raining on him. To quote my much younger self: What a gyp!
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
- I think Renato Nunes got confused between his usual riding-at-the-end-of-his-arm style and the new idea of trying to stay forward on the bull. He tried his damnedest to stay in position and not touch Home Brew, but the result was a big ol’ Dang!
- It took all my strength not to holler at Craig Hummer when I saw him on the street. BTW, I bet I could take him in a fight; he’s not much bigger than Lachlan Richardson. Without his fake tan and blonde streaks and headset, he looks like a normal human being, and even spoke and acted like one when people asked to have their photos taken with him, though why anyone would want his autograph is beyond me. So who is this hideous evil twin that takes over when he’s on camera, slobbering over JB Mauney and shouting idiotic things like, “The ride heard round the world!”? Not a good acting choice, dude.
I’M JUST ASKIN’
- Why was Ross Coleman the only cowboy signing autographs on the Madison Square Garden Concourse?
- Why are there no tee shirts featuring any rider but JB? Weren’t there World Champions before him? Wouldn’t a lot of us buy an Adriano Moraes THREE-TIME WORLD CHAMPION tee shirt, or a Silvano Alves TWO-TIME (or three, depending on how you look at it) WORLD CHAMPION shirt? For that matter, do you not think millions of people would buy a Ben Jones “The Dancing Aussie” tee?? Wake up, merchandising execs! You’re missing an opportunity to “monetize.” (That’s the only language some people understand. Fairness? Equal treatment? Forget it.)
- We were told that JB Mauney tied Terry Don West’s record of 15 consecutive rides. But didn’t Tuff Hedeman make 36 consecutive rides, and didn’t George Paul ride 79 consecutive bulls, and didn’t Jim Sharp have 23 consecutive rides? What’s the real record for most consecutive rides, not just in the PBR? Does anyone know?
- Why on earth are we hearing “All the Single Ladies” during Ben Jones’s chute prep? Surely that can not be his song of choice!
- Why did they offer Ryan Dirteater a re-ride after his bone-rattling ride on Evel Kneivel earned him 77.50? He kept the score, anyway. Seems to be a trend. “I feel like an old man right now,” he told Leah afterward.
- Kody Lostroh and Silvano Alves both have less-than-flashy riding styles, good mechanics, and have been called “textbook” riders. There’s a lot of admiration on Ty’s part for Kody, but Silvano is boring? Weren’t we all, “OMG, the guy can ride anything!” when Alves first showed up?
- Craig informs us, “Stormy was part of JB’s team, along with Douglas Duncan, at the Finals.” Team?? Now JB has a team?? Aren’t they traveling partners? Equals?
- Stormy’s chute prep was WAY over the prescribed minute (I watched that clock from my seat), and he had a chance to re-set after Markus Mariluch’s 80.75 ride on Mr. Smooth. Markus made his grammar school teacher proud— then was bent double behind the chute, groaning, and required medical attention.
PBR’s latest misguided gambit to attract females (the kind who keep their boobs inside their clothes): special guest MARTHA STEWART, who handed out the prize to the Stanley Tools “Stud of the Night.” I couldn’t believe my eyes: ex-con Stewart in a cowboy hat, looking completely befuddled and Prozac-whacked, climbing into the stands to hand Stanley Stud stuff to some chubby hubby for making embarrassing moves. Once again, the PBR staggers the imagination with its oh-so-19th-century interpretations of women.
The real reason Martha attended: Dan Dienst, new CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is “a long-time fan of the Professional Bull Riders.” He’s an ex-scrap metal executive, who fired 100 employees—including the magazine’s publisher—a week and a half before Christmas. Martha meanwhile was whooping it up in Miami. Nice people.
Scary fact (per her website): PBR is owned today by 44 cowboys and Spire Capital. She may be hallucinating the 44 cowboys; I wonder who told her that? The only information on the PBR website is that Spire Capital bought out the founders. Fake fact (also according to her website): “PBR reports that most shows across the country are sold out.” I must be hallucinating those empty seats I’ve seen at every event I’ve attended, and the ones I see on TV when the camera forgets to avoid panoramic shots.
I couldn’t help it: I had to look at Stewart’s photos of the event. You know how JB never comes out to the rail to sign autographs and get his picture taken, or goes with the other riders to “meet and greet” sessions? (I’ll take the $500 fine, please.) (For those who have seen him do these things, you’ll have to excuse me—at the New York and Connecticut events I’ve attended for several years, he hasn’t, and I think New York’s kind of an important gig, don’t you?) For Martha, he had to get on a bucking machine and show her how it’s done. (Kinda poetic justice, huh?) Then she talked with Shane Proctor about “the fashion of the PBR.” She really is clueless—didn’t she see Reese Cates’s orchid shirt and apricot chaps? Okay; it was a good plug for Shane’s leather business, but how many of her fans are gonna buy his chaps?
THE TV BROADCAST:
- The usual “Let’s go, Silvano, let’s go!” at the chute about 5 seconds after he got in there. Another buckoff. Leah asked him what happened, but most of what he said was unintelligible, other than that the bull wasn’t good for him. Ty Murray had this to say about Alves’s rides, and I have to agree; the man just wasn’t himself this weekend: “All three of them were horrible, but for three different reasons.”
- Chase Outlaw was miked, so the ride went like this: “Oof! Oof! Oof!” Kaboom.
- Chase Outlaw hung up on Big Tex “Rocks,” got flung around, then crunched, and looked utterly stunned. Hummer’s attempt at being clever: “Flinging Chase Outlaw like a flea.” You know, Craig, just because words begin with the same letter doesn’t mean that the way you string them together makes sense. I mean, who ever saw anyone fling a flea? Sheesh.
LIKIN’ IT—A LOT
Brendon Clark on the job as spokesperson for the BFT Good Works (Ford.com/Goodworks) sweepstakes. He travels around visiting people who do good works for their community. The prize is $25K for the charity of your choice.
YOU GO, BOY!
Leah is thinking about timing Mike Lee’s arena victory laps. That math could get complicated; the arenas are all different sizes. But the PBR judges are really good at special math; I’m sure they can help her out.