BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX—it’s a month later.

SUNDAY

I liked that cinema verité opening in the locker room with Jesse Byrne and his brother Tanner discussing Tanner’s draw, Little Bighorn. They actually sounded natural. Then in comes The Hokey One: Flint with his set lines, and BLAM! We’re back to B.S.

500
So happy they replayed Guilherme Marchi’s 500th ride; I missed it happening in real time. Twitter was all lit up about it. Now let’s count how often we see it, compared to JB Mauney’s ride on Bushwacker, which I think I’ve already seen 50 times—and I don’t even catch all the events, or watch the LEC. (You know that stands for Let’s Extort Cash, right?) Speaking of—if he rode Pandora’s Pyxis for his 500th ride, how much you wanna bet the score would be 10 points higher than Marchi’s 84?
Jesse Byrne: “I can’t say enough good things about Guilherme Marchi.”
Brandon Bates presented Marchi with a plaque; Marchi’s comment: “I thank God for make me happy and a good guy.” We do too, Guilherme!

NAMING NAMES
I’ve decided that from now on, if the broadcasts name the judges and I don’t blink while they’re listed onscreen, I’m naming them here—or at least the ones I can catch. I’m sure we all want to know which one is the shithead on the chute who’s DQing Brasileiros right and left. The only ones I could catch this time were Chad Pighin, Allen Jordan, and Jeff Shear.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEN
Ben Jones is 35 years old today, and his present was Meat Hook. Bummer. Last time they met, the outcome was a left rib fracture for the cowboy, and another notch on his belt (or wherever) for the bull. Lately it’s becoming easier for the bulls to buck him off, so now Ben’s fighting his head. Again. 44 for the bull this time.

THIS IS WHY THE BULLFIGHTERS GET PAID THE BIG BUCKS (NOT!)

  • Hideous hangup: Claudio Crisostomo put the bullfighters through their paces, with his whole leg stuck in the rope and the upside-down rest of him bouncing and rebounding headfirst under No Regrets. Jesse Byrne leaped onto the bull’s back to free Claudio’s spur, struggled, and got bucked right over the bull. That can happen when you weigh about the same as a Thanksgiving turkey. (Eventually Claudio was freed and walked away, but with a fractured left clavicle.) Jesse’s salary can’t possibly be enough.
  • As Winter Jack chased him around, Jesse was giggling! He ended up breathless at the broadcasting mics. Justin McBride (who rarely opens his mouth without saying something that’s going to offend someone other than a while male): “Jesse’s laughing all the way through it—I’d be crying like a little girl.”

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Renato Nunes, needing 86 to lead, scored 92.50 on rank Air Time. Yesss!
  • Mr. Feiger, half-brother to Bushwacker, son of Reindeer Dippin’, pounds each jump, front and back hooves—and fast. As soon as he ditched Sean Willingham, he kicked so high over his head, he almost did a headstand, then kicked his hind hooves on top of the Shark Cage. Good genes!

I’M JUST SAYIN’…
It’s been interesting (and depressing) to watch Renato trying to find the sweet spot: Should I be back on the end of my arm? Should I try staying over the front of the bull? When did this start being a problem? What’s going on with me? My backflips are gonna rust

I’M JUST YELLIN’…
Silvano Alves was DQ’d for taking too long in the chute—they stopped him in the middle of wrapping! Silvano actually looked mad, which happens about once every two years. What I heard the judge yelling to Silvano: “10, 5, 3, Out! Stop! Stop!” How does anyone think this guy has what it takes to be a professional judge? This was downright juvenile, petty, and ugly.

THE BROTHERS BYRNE
Cute to have Jesse comment on his brother’s ride last night. Tanner started out with a borrowed glove; he left his in the locker room. I had to laugh at Craig explaining that pop Ryan Byrne couldn’t be a judge at this event because Tanner had qualified, “and the PBR didn’t want any sense of impropriety.” HAH!! This would be the only they ever cared about propriety!
Nice bit on the dirt: “Heads up, he’s coming back,” said Jesse to his dismounted bro at the fence, as the bull decided to revisit his rider.
Craig Hummer: “Jesse, I got so caught up in the excitement, I called you Shorty!”
Jesse: “I’ve been called worse.”
Tanner concentrated very well, racking up an 88 on Compact as Jesse cheered him on. After Tanner got hit by the bull, Jesse reassured him that he was all right—as the kid developed a bruised eye.

I’M JUST ASKIN’…

  • Do NBA sportscasters say, “Chinese American, Jeremy Lin?” Get over it, PBR. You wanted international reach, you got it. The name is not “BrazilianJRVieira” or “NativeAmericanGuyTsosie.”
  • How is Jesse Byrne so little and Tanner Byrne so big?
  • Matt Triplett scored 88.25 on Shepherd Hills Stockman (barely). Uh, isn’t it a little weird that one of his sponsors is Shepherd Hills? Can you say “conflict of interest”? I knew you could.

A FIRST

  • I think this might be a first: João Ricardo Vieira’s bull hipped himself and changed the direction of the ride, Vieira challenged what would’ve been a zero, and his challenge was accepted! (I know; I had to pick myself up off the floor.) He was given a reride. Smart move, dude! “A very good challenge from the Brazilian,” blathers Hummer.
  • This might be a first (maybe a second): Silvano Alves, still recovering from a separated shoulder on his riding arm, accepted a re-ride after his not-very-pretty out on Frontier Outlaw.

PAY ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Very cool: Catapult Sports has Gary McCoy scientifically monitoring and analyzing rider and bull movement and force. If he’s too accurate about which rider stayed on or didn’t stay on, though, and he gets objective numbers, he might find himself out of a gig.

HUMMERBLATHER:
“JB Mauney still continues to lead.” “Still continues”?

FASHION ALERT
Jory Markiss rocked a great turquoise shirt.

MAN OF FEW WORDS
What did Mike Lee know about Tank ahead of time? “He’s red and white.”

JUST SO YA KNOW
David’s Dream has been ridden 3 out of 34 outs. Valdiron de Oliveira rode him 2 out of their 3 meetups.

COWBOY DICTIONARY
Stanley Fatmax “has a lot of rare,” says Ty Murray, presumably looking forward to a Stanley steak when Fatmax retires.

AHH, YOUTH!
“He didn’t seem like nothing special.”—Gage Gay acting nonchalant about picking Tennessee Honey, because he rode him last time with no problem.

LOWLIGHTS
This is the 4th time Valdiron rode Sue. He scored 85.75, but got beat up: hoof in the face and back of his head, and stomped all over. How can he even stand up, let alone walk out?? He has to have a concussion after that. Helmet!!

HO-HUM, THE “LEGEND” CONTINUES (You know Hummer’s gonna start calling JB a “legend” pretty soon, right?)
JB needed 87 to win on Team Elk. McBride predicted 90. Of course they scored him 89.25. (Surprise surprise.) Too bad for Tanner, who was #1 for a moment, having ridden all 3 of his bulls. (And yes, that is the correct verb tense.) “I’da handed it to him, but it’s everybody for himself when you’re riding bulls,” said JB.

About Bull Riding Marketing

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9 Responses to BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX—it’s a month later.

  1. Elizabeth Butterfield says:

    The best I have heard yet was last week they changed Silvanos bull for some unknown reason which was never told. The new bull they gave him ( funny thing) Asteroid who hadn’t been bucked out since March. I prayed so hard and he came so close. He and the others just laughed. So many people just can not see what beautiful humans they are, you never see them get mad, throw fits or throw there riggings. They always just laugh and tease each other. If it should be a 90.00 it will be an 88.75 or 89.25.
    JB jr. can’t even think of his name he wears the feather in his hat now and throws fits like his hero.
    Love your writings and thank you so much for seeing through these jokers. Hummer, Jeff Shear and Shorty I think are the worst.

    • Thanks! It’s always been my job to tell the truth, and I have the scars to prove it!

      For last weekend’s Bucking Battle, though, Silvano and Asteroid had been matched up in advance. Funny how last year’s almost-World Champ was matched with world #2 bull, while “World Champion” was matched with Rock River Red, #106th-ranked bull. Kinda obvious how PBR, specifically Cody Lambert, gave it his best effort to try to keep Alves from scoring, and gave JB a bull that he was sure he would ride. (Well ha ha, Cody: your boy got bucked off–no offense to JB). PBR now resorts to just plain blatant lying, when they announce that the world’s top 15 riders will be matched with the world’s top 15 bulls.

      You noticed the judges’ “ding” method huh? Last year they kept dinging Alves by .25 to keep decreasing his lead. They obviously thought that if they did it less blatantly than the year before, no one would notice their bias. (The other tactic is to keep him in the 84 range, no matter what–unless his ride is SO obviously worth a lot more that they scored him higher so people wouldn’t throw things at them.) Yes, I have yet to see a Brazilian rider display any temper, except for the time Renato Nunes threw his hat in the direction of a judge. That’s ONE incident in 4 years.

      I actually don’t care if a rider shows he’s angry; they’re human. For some reason, certain sports think it’s not acceptable. It’s bad enough when a rider feels he’s made a stupid mistake or got bucked off a bull he should’ve been able to ride, but when judges DQ him for bogus reasons, or make a bad call, he’s sure got a right to be pissed off and show it.
      JB Jr.–LOL! Love it. By any chance do you mean Stormy Wing?

      Yeah; Hummer is unbearable to me. Jeff Shear needs glasses (I’m being charitable here), and Shorty sometimes says the stupidest things, even though most of the time he knows what he’s talking about; he toes the party line. However, he can be really offensive on Twitter.

  2. esther says:

    Just finished watching my recording of last weekend’s event in Billings and having read your blog first I decided to count the times the words Brazilian, Canadian, and Australian were used. Brazilian used 2 maybe 3 times and never in front of a rider’s name, Canadian used 1 time but not in front of a rider’s name. They did say Native American Guytin Tsosie, when they should say Navajo Guytin Tsosie. It’s like saying European instead of German or Asian instead of Japanese. I’ll be listening and counting this weekend again. It’s hard to give credence to your statement about what sportscasters tell us when you say you don’t watch other sports. How do you know what they say?

    • Maybe we saw different days of the event. I know I’m not hallucinating when I hear Craig Hummer constantly saying “the Brazilian(s)” this and “the Brazilian(s)” that, and “Brazilian” so-and-so. If I looked through the rest of my posts, I’d find plenty of examples. I just don’t have time.

      I should correct my statement: I don’t watch other sports on a regular basis, but when I catch some Olympic events like swimming, skiing, or ice skating, or visit my family while golf, baseball, or football are on TV, the only time I hear constant references to athletes’ nationalities is during the Olympics. Where countries are competing against one another, it makes sense to identify their team members and remind people of who’s doing what, especially when they’re all in the water or covered in ski outfits and it’s hard to distinguish them. From the televised CBR events I’ve seen, an announcer may state that a rider’s from Mexico, and that’s the end of it; he doesn’t continue to repeat “the Mexican” or “Mexican” so-and-so. Hummer has an extremely limited vocabulary.

  3. Cowgirl19114 says:

    Amen. I thought it was just me thinking some of those things.

  4. Gary says:

    I dont get it – Do you watch other sports? At the Masters this weekend they always state the nationality of the golfer. They also put an icon of the country flag on the scoreboard graphic.Throughout the weekend they would say – “Adam Scott was the first Aussie to win the Masters” or “No European golfers have won since 1990.” I also watch bicycle racing on tv – they always state the nationality of the riders. On the printed results they put their country of record in parenthesis. Baseball also makes a point of revealing the players nationality – announcers will say for example -”Japanese left fielder Ichi Ro” Watch golf or cycling this weekend and see. Sports are international today and people like to know if their country of origin is being represented! This isnt a sign of racism or prejudice or even disrespect. Let me know what you see when you watch. Gary

    • I don’t watch other sports.
      Do those judges and referees and umpires treat all those other athletes respectfully and apply rules the same way to everyone? The PBR doesn’t. That’s what I mean by prejudice and racism.

      • Gary says:

        You asked a question in your post – “Do NBA sportscasters say, “Chinese American, Jeremy Lin?” Get over it, PBR. You wanted international reach, you got it. The name is not “BrazilianJRVieira” or “NativeAmericanGuyTsosie.”” I let you know that yes – most sports do point out nationalities of the players.

        As far as racism and prejudice? That is a serious accusation to make about anyone. There are no stats or fact to support that. If anything the stats prove just the opposite – In the past 10 years 5 champions are American and 5 Brazilian. Since the percentage of Brazilians is much lower than the percentage of Americans the stats point out that Brazilians are overall better riders and they are judged accordingly.

        Since you are like a month behind you may not know that the PBR now has a clock in the chute and it is on the tv screen. Judges have the discretion to start it over 3 times I think – if the bull is causing delays. In the last couple weeks a few Americans have been DQ’ed for taking too much time.

        If you really think the PBR is racist why do you watch? Better question is – “why would the Brazilians leave their family and home to come to the USA to ride if they didnt think they were being given a fair shot? Fact is their best riders are here and more are lined up trying to get here. I know that the PBR goes to great lengths and expense to get them here since it isnt exactly as simple matter these days. Alvez has been a chronic problem in the chute. This has been going on since he started riding here. There are plenty of reasons why the rule needs to be enforced. Just because he gets nailed for it doesnt mean there is “racism.”

        BTW – right now six of the top ten riders are Brazilian

      • Well, now, let’s see if I can untangle a few things here. Yes, some sportscasters tell us the nationalities of some athletes– but not every single time, as if it’s literally the athlete’s first name. In the Olympics, sure– athletes are supposed to be identified by their team affiliation. I certainly am not the only one fed up with this constant emphasis. If announcers concentrated on the sport rather than the riders’ nationality, maybe some people wouldn’t resent the Brazilians’ success so much.

        Statistics are a tricky thing. The results don’t tell the backstory. If you look at the scoring week after week, and see how riders from different countries are treated, it becomes glaringly obvious that the judges favor American riders, and will stoop to lowballing Brazilians and ignoring American slaps if they can push another rider up the leaderboard. (The number of times I’ve heard an announcer say about an American rider that “He got away with one,” compared to a Brazilian rider, is about 5 to 1.)

        Alves consistently is offered the lowest scores with a choice of re-ride, while quite a few other riders haef been offered 80+. For more than a year, the tactic of choice has been to ding him (and others, though not as regularly) by .25, even if his ride or bull is superior another rider’s. All those dings added up– it wasn’t just a declined re-ride that kept him from being the three-time World Champion last year.

        The fact that despite the odds, the Brazilian riders still make a great showing doesn’t belie that fact that they’re often treated badly by judges. It shows that they have extra “TRY,” they keep their eye on their goal, they’re not crybabies, and like it or not, are generally superior riders. If they weren’t constantly harassed at the chute, denied re-rides, offered insulting scores as an alternative to a re-ride, and underscored to the point where even Americans in the stands boo the judges–and if they always had a translator to explain to new guys what’s going on– imagine what the scoreboards would look like? Just because we don’t hear judges call the riders racist names doesn’t mean there’s no prejudice. Actions speak louder than words, and they know enough not to say certain things in public.

        Let me try this analogy: XYZ Company has 10 male execs and 7 female execs, and is hiring more women. They never say anything negative about their female executives, and they interview plenty of females for jobs. From the outside, that looks like XYZ is trying to be fair. On the inside, however, are the salaries equal? Are the women treated differently from the men? Is there an unspoken double standard? Do the women lose their jobs as they age, while the men stay? Do the men get promoted faster? Do the women have equal decision-making power? That’s the stuff that doesn’t show up publicly, and only if you work there for a while do you see patterns of discrimination that no smart boss would ever put in writing or say out loud. Real life example: I worked for a world-famous institution where in a period of 18 months, 6 women (that I knew of) over 40 were fired or “encouraged” to resign, 4 of whom held high rank, 2 of whom had brought in more than a million dollars worth of revenue, and one of whom was harassed by the president and had her job threatened because she took a longer than usual sick leave while she dealt with cancer! From the outside, someone might say, Wow, that place has 3 female VPs and a female Executive Director– how great! Inside: age discrimination, harassment, bullying, sabotage, and lies–but no one can say they don’t hire women.

        I keep watching PBR events because PRCA and CBR broadcast events are few and far between, and they don’t bring events to the Northeastern U.S. Brazilian riders want to come here to win money, period, and they’ll put up with crap because there’s more chance of making a decent living here. When you come from a dirt-floor shack and are one of 11 kids (Adriano Moraes) or out of a jungle town (Robson Palermo), you do what it takes to get what your family needs. They’re not stupid; they know when they’re targeted by the judges, or when there’s been an unfair call; and when Renato Nunes thought things should be fair, and took action on that principle, he was vilified so much that he was on the verge of giving up riding in here and returning to Brazil. Their work ethic is astounding, considering how much negativity they encounter–we never see tantrums, and I have yet to hear any stories about them getting drunk on the job.

        You can say Alves takes too long in the chute, but have you seen how long Cody Nance or Stormy Wing take? How many times have you heard “Let’s go, Stormy!” compared to how much you’ve heard “Let’s go Silvano!” “Let’s go, Valdiron!” before they’ve even finished wrapping? Maybe in Brazil they don’t care how much time a rider takes, or maybe Alves is an obsessive perfectionist who wants to make 110% sure every little thing is 110% perfect. Maybe he’s like that in the rest of his life, too–who knows?

        As Ty Murray often says, The more time you spend in the chute, the more chance you have of getting seriously hurt in there–so do you think any smart rider would purposely waste time in there? If Alves had been timed since he first got here, I wonder how often we’d hear the judges yelling at him before his time was up? Also, the more people are told certain things, the more they believe them even if they’re not true (hence the success of the advertising industry, and, unfortunately, Adolf Hitler). The more the judges yell at Silvano, the more some people think he’s the problem– why don’t they think the judges are the chronic problem?

        Just because I may post something a month later doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s going on. I was at the NYC event when they first tried out the chute clock, and I could see it from my seat. The judges have the “discretion” to add more time to the clock twice (some people say 3x, but we were told 2x), and they sure didn’t add any time for a Brazilian rider, no matter what was going on with the bull. I took notes on whatever events I’ve seen since then, and it may have escaped my memory, but I think the only riders who had time added were not Brazilian. It’s so rare that a non-Brazilian rider is DQd, that I gasped in shock when it happened recently. Again–I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen it happen in 5 years.

        PBR is not granting Brazilian riders a favor out of the goodness of their hearts by helping them get here. They know damned well that those guys are bringing in more revenue: viewers and ticket buyers, including a huge audience in Brazil, and that they’ve upped the ante in this sport. They’ve made American riders step up their game and get serious about training. And now there are a couple of Brazilian sponsors on board up here. PBR doesn’t foot all the bills for the riders, either. I remember a couple of years ago that one rider didn’t have the airfare to get to the next event, so he drove some ridiculous number of hours and miles to be able to participate.

        Yes, rules need to be enforced, and as I’ve said a jillion times, they need to be enforced the same way for everyone, not selectively applied or jiggered according to which rider is involved. Different rules and different treatment for people from a different country spells racism to me.

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