I have been a slacker lately; reporting for a newspaper fulltime cuts into my bullriding blogging! I have a backlog of notes, but people get testy if I post something too late, so I let the events go by. The only way I’d get to cover a bullriding story is if a rider or bull lived along the Hudson River below Tarrytown and above Manhattan. Not likely. But if anyone does know of such a creature, please let me know. I wouldn’t want the story assigned to someone else!
The headline is, THE BULLS WON.
Of course the first name we hear is JB Mauney’s, even though he had to doctor out of the event, but to give the PBR credit, they did update their opening montage with several Brazilian riders.
The Top 5 riders are separated by 300 points, so I wouldn’t be “coronating” J.B. just yet, boys.
João Ricardo Vieira is tied for the most 15/15 wins.
THE BIG 500
Mike Lee’s 500th ride happened this weekend on Tahonta’s Magic; not a shabby bull, either. Lee joins Guilherme Marchi as the only other guy to break 500. And they’re both still ticking. You can bet that was the happiest run around the ring Mike’s had.
THE STATE OF ASTEROID
It’s Asteroid’s make-or-break appearance. Can you believe this? The bull had a year and a half of retirement, and hasn’t quite got back up to his own standard, which compared to other bulls is still superior. Give the boy a break, Lambert! He’s got a 92.98% buckoff rate. Ever optimistic co-host Justin McBride predicted at least a 45 score for Asteroid, even though Lachlan Richardson was on his back, and yes indeed, the bull scored 45.
YOU COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG. (which is SO not good English)(neither is that)
- McBride predicted a ride for Derek Kolbaba on Brutus. Kolbaba is #1 on the BlueDEF tour, but the bull’s 3rd jump snapped him off his back. I mean, literally. The bull’s backfield gave him a push that send him flying and earned the bull 44.
- Cooper Davis on Wicked resulted in a slap, buckoff, and hangup. Said Craig Hummer: “A ride that could have been headed for the record books turning into a wrecking…” whatever. 44.75 for the bull.
- Stetson Lawrence got on Crossfire, who once was ridden by Cooper Davis for 91.50 in Albuquerque. The bull’s stat: he’s downed 23 out of 24 riders. Score: 44.25. Hummer to McBride: “I really thought you were going to say that’s the first time you’ve ever been wrong.” Justin bursts out laughing. “No. Just ask my wife.”
- Gage Gay took on Long John, defending World Champion Bucking Bull, with predictable results. From the twisted tongue of Hummer: “He just seemed to overdominate Gage Gay.” 46.50 for one of the two bulls everyone loves this year. (Air Time being the other)
- Kaique Pacheco is in a –gasp! – sophomore slump. Who’da thunk it? Beaver Creek Beau was his 11th (I think—I can’t read my typing) straight buckoff. 44.50 for the Beau. (I decided that’s what he should be called. If Hummer can make shit up, so can I.)
- Big Cat is unridden, and has 13 straight buckoffs. But the bull smacked his butt against the chute on the way out, and bounced in the other direction. Eduardo Aparecido couldn’t take the re-ride, though. He was stunned on the ground when other Brazilian riders jumped to his side and sports med came out to take care of him. It’s great how the older Brasileiros take care of their puppy.
OH NOT THIS AGAIN
The new Bad Boy Mower Ho clearly got her job with her measurements, because she sure stinks as an actress. I suppose we’re being trained to think this is an improvement because she’s not wearing hotpants and a belly-button shirt half unbuttoned. It’s still gross that dirty old men think she’ll be theirs if they ride around on their lawns on a noisy putt-putt.
- Mike Lee in his interview: “Being 30 is a different life age.” Ponder that.
- It was nice to see his first-ever ride in Tampa in 2002 on Bubba. He won that first event. He’s been bull riding since he was 18, and he’s now 33. Mikey, your math…
- On Seven Dust—Aww! He made it to 7.04. The bull was pulling some low down moves, spinning and kicking up dust. After he dispatched Lee, he got a piece of Shorty and bullfighter extraordinaire Frank the Tank. “That’s a big scary bull, and I went at him,” Lee said truthfully, then spun off into his Biblical rap. Sigh. Does he not get that this is TV, and they want sound bytes, not your philosophy of life?
MISERY LOVES COMPANY
- Tanner Byrne is in a depressing mini-slide right now: 6 buckoffs in a row, even after winning in Anaheim and Duluth (the first two event wins of his career). Little Joe didn’t help matters anyway, bucking him off quickly, even though Canadianaaronroy was helping him at the chute. I put it down to sleep deprivation. New daddies be like that. However, “The great thing about Tanner Byrne is that he doesn’t have a panic button,” McBride said. He compared Tanner to Owen Washburn, 1996 World Champ.
- Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, who is leading the rookie race, said that Slinger, Jr. reminds him of Brazilian bulls. He’s got 11 straight buckoffs. McBride voted for Wallace, Shorty for the bull. So far the only person to ride him has been Stetson Lawrence. “I’m an eternal optimist, Craig,” was McBride’s explanation. The bull didn’t even have time to go around to the right, as he was supposed to do at some point before he bucked off de Oliveira.
- Shane Proctor, too, is on a 15 buckoff streak (15 so far). Bruiser made it 16, and scored 45.
Even João Ricardo Vieira stood no chance against Stanley Fatmax, who’s caused 70 buckoffs in his 7 years on the Built Ford Tough Series. He’s 1 for 43. This was the third time he bucked off Vieira. Score wasn’t great (43.25), but why isn’t this bull in the running for World Champion? Just ‘cause he’s not flashy?
BEHIND THE RIDE
This segment was basically the PBR’s big pat on its own back, but it’s nice to hear the riders’ side of how they feel about fans. Those autograph sessions and photo ops really are one of the best things the PBR does, and they’d better keep doing it, because they need the good will. BTW, for all the hot air about J.B. Mauney being a “fan favorite,” how many times has he ever come onto the dirt or done a session for the fans? Even in New York, which is an event the PBR always makes a big deal of, he doesn’t show his face. At least not for the past 5 years he hasn’t. People should pay attention to actions, not words.
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
Ryan Dirteater has won two events this season, Phoenix and Little Rock, and keeps getting better and better. Unfortunately Fire & Smoke spoiled it (and scored 44). It really looked like Ryan was going to make the buzzer, until 7.32.
Paolo Lima, #4 in the world, looked like he jumped off Little Red Jacket. 44.50 for LRJ.
Cochise attacked Fabiano Vieira; this was their third pairing, and I guess he was sick of the dude. Fabiano’s shoulder and right thigh were bothering him (get the surgery!!), and he came off the bull when he opened up with his outside leg, at 7.94. Vieira challenged the time, god knows why, and in the review, he lost time, bringing it down to 7.6. I’ve seen a rider gain time only once, and I wish I remembered who it was. How he could’ve thought he was closer to 8, I don’t know, but I guess the #2 rider in the world doesn’t have to flinch at losing $500. In any case, I still resent and have my suspicions about having two different clocks for the judges to choose from.
HERE’S THE THING–
Asteroid’s average score is 45.6. Hummer says he’s been ridden one out of 34 (or was it 35?) times. Either he’s forgetting J.B. (is that even possible?) or the rides have been since Mauney rode him, but at least he didn’t forget that three-time (some still say four) World Champion Silvano Alves rode him at the last Finals he won. Get this: poor Lachlan Richardson has been on the bull four times. Mathematically, what are the odds, Cody? Anyway: this was a classic example of the Catch 22 of scoring: if the bull bucks off his rider too soon, he gets a lower score because the judges don’t see enough of what he can do. Hello, he bucked the guy off; what more do you want? And if a guy rides him for too long, the bull gets a lower score, too, because he couldn’t buck off the guy sooner. Asteroid still scored 45, but if Richardson made it to 7 seconds, would the score have been better, or lower? Nobody has ever clarified this.
THE WORD FROM ON HIGH, FROM THE GUY WHO CONSTANTLY CHANGES HIS MIND
Cody Lambert now says Asteroid is good enough; “He’s still got it.” Still has the potential to be the World Champion. Lambert, you’re making my head spin.
The bulls shut out the cowboys, and there was no buckle or trophy or check to the cowboy who came closest to staying on for 8 seconds, as I’ve seen in an occasional other event. (One was a Touring Pro event.) Neither did they give one to the bulls—or did they? Does a stock contractor get money if his bull was the high scorer? I think Long John’s 46.50 should’ve won him a buckle. It would have to be custom-made to fit around that waist, though. (What waist?)
So the world standings are: #1 JB, #2 Fabiano, #3 Paolo, #4 JRV, #5 Shane, #6 Wallace. I’m pretty amazed at #3 and #6.