QUICK INTERVIEW WITH JOAO RICARDO VIEIRA – Aug. 23

“I tried riding at the beginning of the summer, but I got hurt, so I took the rest of the summer off. It’s good now, I’m recovered, because I rode last weekend and it felt good, it didn’t hurt; I’ve gotten on a couple of bulls, so I’m good.” [in Nashville: Ante Up, 85.50 and Sheep Creek, 87.50]

BRM: Does Adriano have a few more young riders to send up to the States?
(Joking) “Adriano doesn’t want anyone coming over here to ride!”

“I used to ride in PBR Brazil, then I came over here in 2012 and started riding in the Touring Pro Division, and then I rode in the World Cup on my own after being here for a little while. I don’t remember my first ride in the States. I was in a Touring Pro event in Mississippi, close to Texas; I covered all my bulls and made it to the final round, and ended up fourth in that event.”

“I always study the bulls. I like to study my draw before. I study how they’ve been performing now versus before, also to see if they’re healthy, and their temperament, besides which side they go to, and whether they have a high kick, and all that stuff. I prefer the ones who have a high kick, that they jump in the air, and that they go to your left, and also the ones who don’t come out of the chute strong immediately, because it doesn’t give you a chance to figure out what’s going on.”

“I don’t really remember a lot of the names of the bulls, but one of them I’d like to get on is Air Time.”

BRM: What are the best rides you remember?
“Last year I rode a bull for 92.50, the highest score I’ve gotten, and then a 92 in 2014.”
[Note: ProBullStats says he’s made 15 rides for 90 points or more.]

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Correction re Guilherme Marchi

Okay, I just got the official word from Robson Palermo that “Mar-chee” is the right pronunciation of Guilherme’s last name. Apparently when he first came to the States, the announcers were calling him “Mar-kee.” In one of the first two episodes of Fearless, his mother was joking about it, but because there were no subtitles at the time, I got the opposite end of the stick!

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Fearless

Leave it to the PBR–what starts out as a great idea–a mini-series about bullriders, giving the Brazilians their due, with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, including from the Barretos Rodeo–ends up cockeyed.
I watched the first two episodes as Netflix screeners, and couldn’t believe it. NO TRANSLATOR, NO SUBTITLES. I’m listening to in-depth conversations with Silvano Alves and Guilherme Marchi, in Portuguese, with no way to understand. It didn’t occur to the powers behind the series that an awful lot of Americans don’t speak Portuguese??
So I politely suggested to the middleman that, um, people might be disappointed. The word DUH comes to mind. In a while, the techies involved fixed up a couple of episodes with what’s called “forced English” — a.k.a. subtitles.
Oh goody, I thought, ready for some binge-watching.
Wrong.
The next day, only one episode remained online–with no “forced English.”
Not to mention: what genius thought it was a smart idea to start the series during the first PBR event after the break? Are we supposed to be flipping back and forth between Nashville and Netflix?
Meanwhile I’d like to know if anyone out there has seen any of the episodes, and whether they had subtitles.
P.S. Apparently we all have been pronouncing Guilherme’s last name wrong. Everyone in Brazil was calling him “Mar-kee.” I guess he’s been too polite to correct the PBR.

Later I’ll post some notes about what I saw.

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ICYMI: Sage Steele Kimzey 2015 interview

Sage Steele Kimzey just set a new standard on the Road to Cheyenne: he’s the first bullrider to take both the CBR Finals event title AND the World Championship– and this is his second CBR World Championship. I dug up the interview I did with him last year; I think it’s a good time to air it again. So here comes the re-run:

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock—or maybe too focused on the PBR—you’ve heard about the winningest rookie ever to come down the pike: Sage Steele Kimzey. (If you haven’t, you’ll see him compete in The American rodeo on RFD-TV tomorrow night, with the PBR’s Top 10 Riders and a handful of the Touring Pro’s best.)

He’s the 2014 PRCA and CBR World Champion, PRCA Rookie of the Year, and winner of the RAM Top Gun Award. And get this: he was competing during the daytime in the Frontier Days rodeo, and at night in the CBR Finals.

As for the numbers, he’s astounding:
• 4 of his CBR Finals rides were scored 90, 90, 90.50, and 91.
• He rode 8 of his 10 bulls during the PRCA/NFR Finals.
• He’s only the 2nd rookie to win the PRCA title; the last one was in 1963.
• He broke the PRCA record for rookie earnings by more than $100,000.
• He broke the record for most money won in a season, when he was a permit holder.
• His 2014 riding percentage was 63.77%.

And he’s only 20 years old.

CBR Cheyenne '14 0413 Sage Kimzey-Crimson King(MEL)

Kimzey Style

According to CBR founder Tuff Hedeman, Sage is “a rare talent who rides fundamentally flawless.” (The English major in me wants you to know that the correct word here would be “flawlessly.”) Kimzey’s technique is smooth, calm, and so sticky, you’d think he’s got rosin on his butt.

That made Sage laugh when I told him my first impression of seeing him ride. I asked how he keeps so focused and calm on a bull; I don’t see any panic moves.

“No, there’s not,” he says, just as calmly. “I would guess it’s just because I’ve been around rodeos so long; it’s a place I’m very comfortable. I’ve been around bulls all my life… I’ve had some situations that were at the time as big as the NFR to me, but I was comfortable on the back of the bull. I guess it’s just a personality thing; I don’t really get too wound up about anything.”

I mentioned how smooth his countermoves are; he’s in control and in tune with the bull. There’s even a touch of J.B. Mauney’s free arm glide. “Well, thank you,” Sage says. “That’s from a lot of practice, a lot of trial and error.”

The How-To

As far as he remembers, Sage probably got on his first animal at age 3. Does he remember when he first made 8 seconds? “Shoot; no. When I was four years old, probably.” What was the first event he won? “Shoot; I couldn’t tell you.” I’m thinking, If he keeps riding like he’s been doing, eventually he might not even remember the first World Championship he won.

“I’ve had a few hiccups here and there in my training, but I’ve been working at it since I was three years old, to where I got everything down right. There wasn’t anything that I really just had to focus on, like that was the only thing wrong with my ride. I just had to work out the kinks, and everything went good.” I’d say that’s a holistic approach to bullriding: not obsessing about where his feet are, or in which direction the bull spins.

Sage spent time training with Gary Leffew and his own father Ted, a former rider and experienced bullfighter. (I hate to call them “clowns;” there’s nothing funny about what they do.) I asked if they gave him any secrets to help his riding. “Not any specific secrets, I’d say; they’re not anything like that. Dad always tells me to stay square and in the box, which just means stay square with the bull, and don’t throw your free arm or move out of position, just stay in position and make the bull buck you off. A bunch of guys buck themselves off, with the wrong countermoves. I try to stay away from that, and it works out pretty good, usually.”

Kimzey’s Hit Parade

In terms of role models, Sage has plenty of the best: “I’m a huge fan of rodeo and the history of the sport, so I’d say, Donnie Gay, definitely; I loved Jim Sharp’s style; [Ring of Honor member] Clint Branger, Cody Custer, Tuff Hedeman—all of them; I can’t just name a couple of them. I appreciate everybody for their style and the way they do things. I’ve looked up to pretty much every good bull rider that’s ever come down the pike. I’ve watched films on everybody, even up to now.”

I asked him about riders competing now. “I’ve idolized J.W. [Harris] for six or seven years. J.B.’s [Mauney] phenomenal, just from the fact that some of the moves he makes, guys should just not be able to make. He makes stuff happen that shouldn’t work at all, but in the end it does come out. Silvano’s an absolute beast—I’m a huge Silvano Alves fan.” I cheer a little at the fact that an American rider doesn’t have a problem with a Brazilian rider. He laughs.

Kimzey on Re-Rides

I asked his take on the flak Alves gets for turning down re-rides. His answer is so mature, it’s hard to believe that two years ago, he was in high school: “There’s definitely a time and a place to take one, but there’s a time and a place not to; it doesn’t make you any less of a cowboy if you don’t take one. It’s all about your decision at the time and without any time to think about it.”

Did you hear that, all you folks who dislike Silvano because he doesn’t like to take re-rides? It doesn’t make you any less of a cowboy if you don’t take one. And I think this cowboy ought to know.

“Hindsight’s definitely 20/20. You have an instant to think about it and make a decision on the spot; you just gotta go with it and not have any regrets. There’s never been a time that I haven’t taken a re-ride that I regretted it, or when I did take a re-ride and got bucked off and regretted it. It’s just the kind of decision you just gotta learn to live with.” I recall Silvano saying something similar about having to make a decision on the spot, and trying to think about how it will affect him later. Apparently great bullriding minds think alike.

The Bulls

It might seem silly to ask someone just past the rookie stage which bulls and rides stand out for him, for better or for worse, but I did. Yep, one did stick out for him, with good reason. “When I was 18, I got on Magic Train, D&H Cattle owned him at the time, and I was 93 points on him; that was the first time I’d ever been 90. To be 93, being an 18-year-old kid—that’s definitely a ride that’ll stick out in my mind. For the worst rides that stick out in my mind…” He starts laughing, and I never get an answer.

As to whether there’s a specific bull he wants to try: “I like to get on anything that bucks, really. I’m not too picky. Anything that’s going to push me over the 90 mark—shoot, I’m happy with that.” No mention of what type of action he’d prefer, or whether the bull spins left or right—I think he’s got his head on straight.

He also has a “one that got away” story: 3rd ranked Crystal Deal (88.46% buckoff rate, according to ProBullStats), belonging to Don Kish. “I had him at the Redding [CA] Champions Challenge last year, and he actually got crippled in the bucking chute…much to my dismay. So Kish pulled him. I didn’t want that to happen to him; I really wanted to get on him. I was really looking forward to getting on him.” The result of the incident: no score for Kimzey, and a re-ride that didn’t pan out. “I’ll tell you, there’s one that I have a little personal vendetta against that I need to get back at him for.”

I asked him about buying any bulls. “Not bulls; I own just about 30 head of heifers this year. I probably won’t ever own one; honestly, they’re a lot of hassle. That’s one thing, the stock contractors never get enough praise for dealing with the animals and all that. It’s very definitely a task that takes a lot of time and a lot of effort… The connection between a stock contractor and one of his animal athletes is—you can just see the love and affection that Julio [Moreno] has for Bushwacker. It’s just like anybody raising a child, really. You see them from conception, birth, where they’re just starting out growing up. And the stock contractors love them as much, too.” I said it’s sad when they retire.

He agrees. “It’s the same thing as a kid moving out to college or anything like that. It’s the whole thought that—like I said, they’re with them from Day One til the day they retire, and usually til they pass away, too, so it’s a whole process. It’s special to see the connection like Julio has with Bushwacker, or any of the other contractors with their top athletes. You can tell the love that goes back and forth.”

The Zone

Back to his phenomenal results in Cheyenne: I recognize when someone’s in “the Zone.” It doesn’t happen just with athletes. I’ve seen it in great musicians (Jimi Hendrix, amen!) when they take off into an entirely inspired realm and can do no wrong; and I know I’m not the only actress on the planet who’s experienced the amazing feeling of being the character and watching from outside at the same time, never putting a foot wrong, and taking the audience along for the ride. Sage sure took people along for the ride last year. Other rookies might choke—even seasoned pros do—in a run for any World Championship. Instead, Sage was king of the Zone. I asked how he kept his concentration.

“It seems any time I go to a big event and the pressure’s high, the stakes are high, that’s when I really get into the zone. In the big moments where there’s a lot of money up, and a lot of pressure, the title, the prestige behind the event… that’s when I really step up my game. It seems to bring the best out in me.” No kidding!

He explains, “I handle it a lot different than most guys do. It really calms me down, being in a big moment like that. I’m revved up, and I’m kind of nervous in a way, but it’s more anxiety than it is being nervous or scared of the big moments at all. That’s just what I’ve been gunning for, the big moments. It slows down everything for me and it makes the ride really easy, honestly. I don’t know why it is that way for me, but everything’s just slow and everything seems to work really good whenever the stakes are high and the moments are big.” Most people get that slowed-down experience during a car wreck, but hey, this is a bull rider talking.

Does he have any kind of pre-ride ritual for luck? “I pray right before I get on, but other than that, I’m not really a superstitious guy at all,” he says, which isn’t what another writer reported. That guy mentioned a lucky hat, lucky boots, and not changing socks all during the Finals. I don’t ask. I just mention what I’ve seen Guilherme Marchi, Ryan McConnel, and Ben Jones do in the chute: does he ever slap his own face? He gives what may be the funniest answer possible coming from a bull rider: “Not me. I don’t want to inflict any pain on myself.”

How-To for the Newbies

What would he tell a young bull rider coming up? “Practice makes perfect. That’s what it comes down to, how bad do you want it, and how bad do you want to work for it. You hear it all the time, but that’s really what it comes down to: how many hours of sleep are you willing to lose. I get on practice bulls probably three days a week when I’ve gone home… spend hours on ‘em. Call it my art, that’s what brought me early success in my career. It’s all about how hard you wanna work.”

I commented on guys who go out partying the night before an event (not mentioning any names); those are the ones I see being airmailed all over the arena. His response is amazingly mature: “You can tell pretty quick who wants to be successful and who doesn’t. There’s a fine line between having fun and being a little excessive with it. I’ll go out and have a good time, but when it comes down to business, I make sure that I take care of it.”

Sage says he doesn’t have a motto. “Not really. I just live with no regrets; just take every day, day by day.”

Downtime?

Kimzey spends virtually 24/7 on the road with traveling partners Tanner Bothwell and Brennon Eldred; as we spoke, he and Eldred were sitting in an airport waiting to fly out to Denver for the Colorado vs. the World Invitational. “Then I need to take a little ski trip, then head over to Vegas,” he says. “We’re not going to do the Cowboy Downhill; we’re actually up in a rodeo that same day. Maybe next year.”

What does he do when gets home? “Just hang out with friends and family, and bull riders I know. I just like to hang out and live a normal life.” Again: sensible.

Taking Care of Business

Kimzey may seem like Superman, but there’s only so much a guy can do with 24 hours in the day. He completed two years toward his business degree at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (during which his high school declared a Sage Kimzey Day), but had to leave school: final exams took place during the PRCA Finals, and the CBR schedule conflicted with the college rodeo schedule.

Business degree? Yep—he knows bullriding isn’t just a sport, it’s a way to build a foundation for your future. “Since I don’t have very long to ride bulls—I figured a long career would be about 10, 15 years—I figured I’d go ahead and get it while the gettin’s good, and if I feel like it after I retire, I can always go back to school.” Kinda sensible for a guy who took the top prizes on two of the biggest circuits in the most dangerous sport on earth.

Seriously sensible: with his $100,000 in CBR bonus money, Sage bought a 25-foot motor home for himself and his traveling partners, and “a bunch of cows and stuff like that, so after I’ve finished riding I’ll have something to fall back on.” I ask if he’s tried out the fancy one-of-a-kind Juan Munoz Andrade trophy saddle he also won. He laughs. “No, I haven’t. It probably won’t ever hit a horse’s back. It’ll be one that I just keep inside. It’s something that every bull rider in the PRCA thinks about attaining. It was definitely fun.”

Sage & Saddle

The Future

Sage says he might visit the bullriding scene south of the equator. Fellow riders who attended the huge event in Barretos, Brazil absolutely loved it, he said. “I’d like to go down there just to see the difference in culture; not so much the difference in competition. That’s something I want to do, tour the world. My Dad had a chance to go whenever the bullfights were really big. He had a chance to tour Germany, just tour different cultures of the world, and see how the world’s different in so many other places. I think that’d be cool.” Sage definitely could give “cool” lessons to the xenophobics here. (Look it up, folks; it’s a fancy word for being scared of cooties.)

After he’s done being a star (he didn’t say that; I did), Sage intends to go back to the family ranch in the teeny weeny town of Strong, Oklahoma (there’s debate about whether the population is 30 or 49) and run it with his siblings. “For sure, ranching is a lot of work,” he says, “but there’s a lot of rewards, too; shoot. I love the Western way of life and the Western heritage. Being an American cowboy is near and dear to my heart, and that’s what I want to do: just be a cowboy, day in and day out.”

P.S. Sage Steele Kimzey is one of the few bullriders who doesn’t cite Lonesome Dove as his favorite movie. His is The Shawshank Redemption. An intelligent movie for an intelligent cowboy.
P.S.#2. But we both love Family Guy.

Posted in Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, Tuff Hedeman, Tuff Hedemann | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tick tock

The clock is ticking: in another month PBR Built Ford Tough Series bull riders will be wrapping, and the bulls will be bucking. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the action. I think the summer break has been good for not only the cowboys but also the fans: media saturation had created eyeball fatigue. Also, my ears are still bent from all the commentator yammering about J.B. Mauney.

Before then, on July 25 and 26, Championship Bull Riding is holding its Finals in Cheyenne, so you don’t have to suffer a drought. You can see their events on primetime TV, on Fox Sports News. The schedule is posted on their website: http://www.cbrbull.com/cbrtv.ht. No yammering, just good riding.

And don’t forget the PRCA: their CBSSports Network broadcasts start on Aug. 6, although that one’s a Cowboy Christmas Season update. Go figure.

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR | Leave a comment

The Krazy Kowboy Grammar Book

While I’m twiddling my thumbs waiting for the televised bull riding reason to appear, I assembled a few goodies going as far back as 2010–and this is without trying very hard. There’s plenty more buried in other posts– and this season will add to the list. Can’t wait (as I writhe in my seat).

THE KRAZY KOWBOY GRAMMAR BOOK

“It’s amazing to see how far the PBR had came.” I think ya might call that the Past-Past, or Double Past tense.

“That bull knew he done been rode.” In English, that would be the Past-Past-Past tense, but in bull ridin’, that’s the Cowboy Emphatic tense.

“He is got that down.” I think that’s the present tense; couldn’t say for sure.

“They had just a lot of mediocre good bulls.” Okay, not a case of scrambled verbs, but I kinda think a bull’s either mediocre or he’s good, so this would be called Oppositional Adjectives.

“He rode as good as he has rode in the last couple of years.” That is definitely the Past-And-Really-Past tense.

Latest development: Forget “rank,” “really rank” or “very rank”—the new superlative is Double Rank. McKee ran out of adjectives.

“I don’t think anybody has rode two bulls going into the championship round with two 90-point rides.” That ol’ Simultaneous Present-Past tense.

“I believe I’ll get him rode today.” Now that’s the Present-Future-Past tense, courtesy of Ross Coleman.

“Holdin’ onto his bull rope, that’s certainly gonna be the difference-maker here.” Sounds suspiciously like being “the decider.”

“and a whole lot of power Brazilian strength.” As opposed to that power Brazilian weakness.

“When Brendon’s riding well, everything seems to be clicking for him.” Uh-huh, because you’d hate to have that clicking going on when you’re riding badly.

“Now let’s move even further into the present.” Wow.

“…after they see what he may have went through.” There’s just no excuse for this, boys.

“Most bulls got more personality than most people.” If I had to guess, this sounds like Cody Lambert talking. Or somebody talking about Cody Lambert.

“He absolutely efforted himself through that ride.” Ty Murray has invented a whole new language.

“That bull got kind of an effervescent feeling.” You know, like Alka Seltzer.

“I was beat up, crippled up…” Sounds like the opening of a cowboy blues song.

“He has got his fire under his motor.” A motor on fire is not a good omen.

“He’s goin’ in his own motor hisself.” I don’t know what the heck that means.

“Looks like he could’ve ate a sandwich up there.” I don’t think the verb tense is the issue here as much as it is the amount of time Cody Nance takes in the chute.

“He coulda rode this bull all day long and all day tomorrow, too.” Past-future tense?

“It’s the real filthy kinda dirt.” As opposed to the real clean kind of dirt.

“He disgusted hisself.” I think what fools the guys here is that “herself” is a real word, so they assume “hisself” must be, too. Wrong.

“He’da a broke me right there.” As in, breaking a horse?

“I thought my pelvis was broke.” What have they got against using the last “n” in the word?

“He’s gotta get one rode here.” So far not one cowboy seems to know that there is such a word as “ridden,” which would solve a lot of their f’ed up verb tenses.

“Marchi never faced a real injury that has shooken him up.” No, but I think he may have been shooked up.

“Look at the rare” on him. Rare, as in steak?

“JB Mauney has slayed the dragon!” Putting aside the apocalyptic tone of that sentence, “slayed” is wrong, and I’m not going to tell you what’s the right word because I’m sick of this Mauney Messiah business.

“He’s came here and he’s rode…” I’m surprised they don’t think there’s a word called “roden.”

“I thought I had him rode until I nodded my head, and that’s where it all went wrong.” P.F.F. in itself; if everyone could think themselves into making a ride, there would be no need to get on the bull.

“The time has completely ran out.” Ya hate when that happens.

“We’ll see how well the judges think it is.” That one came out of Craig Hummer’s mouth—he’s suddenly channeling cowboys.

“We’re gettin’ bruised an’ sored up.” Yes, those are the correct medical terms.

“Guilherme has rode for so long…” What can I say? It’s true—though not in that verb tense.

“The consistencies that he’s rode with…” I just don’t see why you have to back into a sentence like that. How about, “he’s ridden with consistency”? I’ll bet it sounds wrong to Ty Murray.

“The pendulum has swung back to the judges’ discretion.” OMG, this is another Hummer gem—the verb may be okay, but was the pendulum swinging back to the judges’ indiscretion before?

“Pain hurts.” Wow.

“He’s even threw up while he was in the chute.” Sounds like he got it done before he was even in the chute.

“From this angle you’re not gonna be able to see the trueness of how it was.” Sometimes you just can’t top Ty Murray for bizarre mangling of the English language.

“That can be very hard if you let your brain understand that.” I don’t know about you, but I can keep my brain from understanding a lot of things.

“It’s already like an explosion has went off.” So much for the element of surprise.

“JB gets better when he gets sorer.” As in madder? Or as in, “beat up, crippled up”?

“I don’t think he has came back with it.” I don’t think he has went with it, either.

“The strongest guy in the world is not gonna be able to strength his way through this.” Just like he can’t effort his way through it.

“You can’t just be settin’ up there in a prone position.” I am in despair over this one.

“All the inertia going away from you.” I wonder what it would be like if all the inertia came toward me.

“He almost is like dancing on his feet… knuckling them over…” Most dancing is done with the feet, unless you’re in Cirque du Soleil. And I don’t think most bulls have knuckles, but I could be wrong.

“That was as well of a controlled bull ride as you’re ever gonna see.” The difference between “well” and “good” seems to be a lost cause.

“Another notch in his pistol.” Bedpost would’ve been better, although out of context here.

“St. Louis, I didn’t ride very good, so I needed to refresh my brain.” Put it through the wringer, dude.

“That bull’s kinda terrible wild.” Well, “kinda” terrible wild is better than “really” terrible wild, I suppose.

“No one has rode more bulls” No one has ridden more bulls, either. Ever. In the history of the world.

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, cowboys, PBR | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LAST COWBOY STANDING – Sunday

Nearly the first second of the broadcast was about J.B. Mauney—but they also featured Robson Palermo and new kid on the block, 18-year-old Jess Lockwood. They are all losing their minds over Jess already, just like they did over Cooper Davis. He is exciting to watch, though.
Later in the event, poor Jess took on Air Time, the $50K bounty bull. “That’s gonna buy him a lotta corsages for the prom,” cracked Craig. We heard the loud smack of Lockwood’s head against the bull. The kid looked all shook up, fading across the lot to the trailer, disappointed. I’d hate to be inside his head at this moment. Probably questioning his place in the universe. 47.50 for the bull.
We also had to hear (again) about J.B. being a mentor to Lockwood. Didn’t we just go through that with Derek Kolbaba? How many riders is J.B. “mentoring”? And does that consist of telling them, “Don’t stop trying till your head hits the ground”? Just asking. Same quote from J.B. as last time, slightly revised from “He’s going to be around for a long time, longer than I am” to “He’s going to be around for a long time.” Interesting.

QUOTABLE (FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE)
• “That kid [Kaique Pacheco] mechanically is as good as anyone we’ve got.”—Ty Murray.
• “When you see both legs straight up, that’s what tells you the bull is in control.”—Ty, master of the obvious.
• “You have to try as hard as you can without trying too hard.”—Ty again.
• “They can kill you on accident.” Ty has a serious preposition problem.
• Every time I hear Hummer’s “Derek Kolbaba has been able to dominate the potpourri of power” I laugh. It just doesn’t get old.

SHANE PROCTOR’S BUMMER OF A SPRING
“It has turned into a season of discontent” for Shane, Hummer said; I wonder if he even knows where that phrase is from. 25 consecutive buckoffs, and yet Shane’s #7 in the world. He’s going to have surgery to get some screws and metal taken out of his arm(s); it will keep him out of action for a few months.

RANDOM THINGS YOU SHOULD BE REMINDED OF
• Kaique Pacheco came in with a 49.07% riding percentage, and finished with 50.75%.
• Fabiano Vieira came in at #4 in the world. By Round 3, he was #3, with a 51.61% riding percentage.
• Eduardo Aparecido is #6 in the world.
• Jay Miller had football scholarship offers.
• Cochise scored 45. Interesting double kick right at the gate.
• 15 guys rode in Round 1 (that’s a lotta rides), none better than Robson Palermo on Swashbuckler for 89 points.

I’M JUST SAYIN’…
• In Round 2 Ryan Dirteater‘s bull Calypso hipped himself and his rear end came out in a different direction, but there was no re-ride offered. Whatever happened to that “changing the trajectory of the ride” thing?
• J.B. Mauney came in with a 53.49% riding percentage, and left with 54.17%. Justin McBride called him the best rider in a decade. Where is your brain, McBride? I’ve got two words for you: ADRIANO MORAES. As I saw J.B.’s ride on Moto Moto, I thought to myself (who else would I be thinking to?), “Watch the score be ridiculous,” and sure enough it was: 89.75, which of course moved him to #1 in Round 2 (his only ride). The judges had to have him win something. (“He’s never won a major, he’s never won a major,” was the repeated refrain.) The Booth Boys were all rah-rah, even after he kept getting bucked off. They even gave us “more inside information” about J.B. Why don’t they just post his X-rays online? I’m sure there must be some nook or cranny of him they haven’t told us about.
• Round 3: Stanley Fatmax had been ridden by only one guy (Tanner Byrne, for 86.75), and Eduardo Aparecido became the second. 85.50?? YOU SUCK, YOU JUDGES! This bull obviously has a big difficulty factor, and you shaft Eduardo with a mediocre score? If that was J.B. on his back, it would’ve been 90 or more. To add injury to insult (yes, I meant that), Aparecido took a big shot to the face–without a face mask.
• I love how in “Behind the Ride,” J.W. Harris talked about Tuff Hedeman (no love lost between Tuff and the PBR) and Don Gay, instead of the usual PBR icons. I hope they don’t slap him down for this. The PBR can be very gangsta.
• Kaique Pacheco on Wicked scored 89.75 – they couldn’t squeak out that last .25? Ding!
• Big Cat is unridden. Ty described what the bull would do, and it was good enough to get rid of J.B. Mauney, who exited grimacing and half-hobbling. All I could think of was Flint Rasmussen’s crack a few years ago that if you buck off, you’d better walk out with a limp. J.B.’s been taking that very seriously.

DULY NOTED
During this event there was a brief trio of boxes in the upper right hand corner of the PBR website homepage about bareback bronc riding, barrel racing, and one more event I didn’t catch. Is this an inkling of future plans to expand into rodeo events?

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS?
PBR has announced a bull riding “Academy” for junior high, high school, and kids in special camps. Sounds great—but there’s a dark side. The behemoth has found another way to screw over the smaller fry. What about the bull riding clinics run by Shane Proctor, Wiley Peterson, Dustin Elliott, Cody Custer, Terry Don West?—not to mention Gary Leffew! Unless they’re geographically insulated from PBR outposts, they can’t compete. Maybe the PBR could just finance them, like a franchise, and they could keep going; of course the tradeoff is, all their best riders graduate to PBR school. And no doubt PBR scouts will be scouring clinics and camps for fodder to put in their pipeline. I bet they’ll offer scholarships for guys they think are BFTS-bound. I’ll also bet they won’t be spending money importing more Killer Bs. In fact, this whole operation smells like Brazilian-protection. It’s not just about stepping up to rank bulls.

HAPPY ENDINGS
Pacheco wins Round 3.
In Round 4, there was only one ride: the winner.
Eduardo Aparecido had to take on Asteroid five minutes after a blast of Stanley Fatmax. How come there was no big fuss about this, when the Booth Boys get all sympathetic for certain other riders if they have to take another bull just a few minutes after the last one? 44.25 for the bull.
Kaique took on Little Red Jacket for 88 points, $100K, and the #1 in the world slot. Not bad for a day’s work. The fun part was seeing Guilherme Marchi and Silvano Alves hoisting little Kaique in the air and Adriano Moraes giving him a bear hug.

THE FLY IN THE OINTMENT
There was no televised interview with Kaique. The PBR never has a translator any more. This way they can talk about J.B. not being #1 instead of Kaique being #1. Shitheads.

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Elite Rodeo Athletes results from Albuquerque event

From their email:

On the other end of the arena, [Cody] Ohl turned in another impressive performance. His bull Bushwacked bucked off ERA’s then No. 1 bull rider Kanin Asay in an extraordinary 2.54 seconds, remarkably similar to his three-time World Champion father Bushwacker (Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls).

After four consecutive no-score competitions, Canada’s Ty Pozzobon rode to his second win of the season aboard Red Neck with 84 points. Cody Campbell (Summerville, Oregon) captured second place, a repeat of Friday night’s results, with an 81-point ride on Buster (TNT Rodeo). A third place finish for Chandler Bownds (79 points) resulted in a return to the No. 1 position in the ERA bull riding world standings for the Lubbock, Texas, cowboy. Campbell moved from sixth to No. 2 in the overall rankings.”

I’d keep my eye on Bushwacker’s son if I were you.

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THE BULLS WON

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!🙂

Billings 15/15

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.

RANDOM NOTES:
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.”

GAACK

  • 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.

WOW.

  • 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.

LOST CAUSE
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.

WHAAA?
Paolo Lima, #4 in the world, looked like he jumped off Little Red Jacket. 44.50 for LRJ.

NOOO!
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.

TA-DAA!
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.

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, cowboys, PBR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Albuquerque

For all the guff about how cool “The Pit” in Albuquerque is, the fact is, the arena has been named “Wise Pies.” Sorry, too goofy to be cool. I also don’t get what’s supposed to be so cool about those horrendous stairs. I can just imagine what an ordeal it is to find the ladies’ room before you pee your pants.

“One man will cast his spell over the Land of Enchantment,” burbles Craig Hummer, and we’re off and running.

OUT, OUT BRIEF CANDLE
Shane Proctor is no longer #1 in the world. He’s had no qualified rides since winning Iron Cowboy. This was an 0 for 3 weekend.

QUOTABLE (FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE)
• “When you’re gonna get on those mean bulls, the safest place to be is on his back.” —Ty Murray
• “It’s almost like they’re freaks of nature,” says Ty, talking about the handful of guys who have been riding for years: Guilherme Marchi, Mike Lee, Valdiron de Oliveira. “They’re the veterans of the veterans.” Are you calling them old farts?
• Red Bone worked New Zealander Fraser Babbington off to the right side, and “Red Bone should be called Red Barn—that bull is huge.” This time Hummer was right.
• “I still think he has great mental control of his brain.”—Ty. Seriously. Talking about Silvano Alves.

THE ACTION
• Cooper Davis had head-to-head contact with Slow Boogie. He challenged the “no score” call. It was amazing seeing him keep his hand in the rope even as he was flying upside down near the bull, but it just wasn’t in there long enough.
• Reese Cates, 2008 Rookie of the Year, went missing from the BFTS for a bit, then earned his way back from the BlueDEF tour. It didn’t look to me like he made 8 on Hammer It Again, but the ride was reviewed for time twice, and he did just make it, for a nice fat score of 88.75.
• J.B. Mauney almost got bucked off in the chute by Told Ya So in Round 3. And now all the hymns of adoration start, because he won the previous two rounds and became #1. And BTW, god forbid they should put him on the clock. 44 for the bull.
• Alexandre Cardozo is back from having a broken neck. He got bucked off Handsome Jeff, and his legs banged against the fence; he was on his knees for a while. Meanwhile, on his way down, his spur hit Frank Newsom in, um, an unprotected area.
• Aaron Roy (oh dear, I forgot to say Canadian) was slammed flat on the ground by Wicked Stick, and stumbled away dazed. Any time Roy gets bucked off now, or even if he rides and hits the dirt, I gulp, hoping he doesn’t break his back again.
• EEK. Tanner Byrne made noisy head contact with Catfish John, and then the bull swung him around and hard into the ground. Cornball comment from the peanut gallery (and I think you can tell which nut this is): “It’s Catfish John who sets the hook.”
• Eduardo Aparecido’s countermoves and balance on Grandpa Joe made for a pretty perfect ride, in Ty’s opinion. And yet 86.50 was all that perfection got him. Classic case of the brown skin deduction.
• Pearl Harbor was lurching forward hard in chute, and out on the dirt, Silvano bounced several times on the bull’s front end. 45.50 for PH.
• Tanner Byrne was swinging around Stuntin’ Like my Daddy’s side, still holding on. The judges reviewed it for time, but there was no way he made it, much as I would’ve liked to see 8.
• Crossfire has dished out 21 straight buckoffs, but helped earn Cooper Davis a 91.50. Now that was a ride.
• “Cue the music,” gushes Hummer, and we know we’re about to get an overdose of JB. The two times Mauney scored on Long John, in Thackerville last fall and Springfield this spring, JB’s takeaway was 92.25 and 90.25 respectively. It looked like he was glued on and headed for another 90, but—shock, horror!—he got bucked off, and the bull’s takeaway was 46.75, high-marked ride of the night. J.B. slunk away.

HUH?
• What was that?? Don Gay’s head popped into an ad for the Touring Pro Division’s Lafayette, LA gig. Is he now shilling for the PBR?? Or is this the PBR’s attempt to get the CBR into their pipeline? I wonder how Tuff Hedeman feels about it.
• Asteroid is not bucking in this event. Wonder why? Is everyone soured on him now because he wasn’t sensationally outrageous in his last out?
• “Stetson Lawrence is Native American and he feels the crowd better than anyone,” says Ty. “The Navajo Nation is here.” Yeah, but is Stetson a Navajo? He’s from North Dakota. I did like his powwow dance move after his 83.25 ride on Red Dirt Traditions.

LIKIN’ IT
• Seeing the video of J.W. Harris riding Long John. Can’t wait to see J.W. back in action after he finishes recovering from surgery.
• Silvano Alves rode Rebel Yell, which he’d also done at last year’s Finals. He made it look like a piece of cake, and was awarded an 86, while the bull scored 44. He flashed a rare Silvano smile.
• An Athlete’s Profile on the bullfighters. Great idea.

CUTE MOMENTS
• This time the “Hitch’d” supposed comedy segment wasn’t abominable. It was cute seeing Ben Jones “guessing” which rider Shane Proctor’s flash cards are talking about. Of course JB has to be one of them, but at least the hint wasn’t “Fan Favorite.”
• The Mini Bull Riders are adorable. Those little boys are brave and crazy. And where are the girls? I’m sure there are some brave and crazy girls out there—if their parents don’t squash it out of them.

NOT LIKIN’ IT
• Robson Palermo is out with a sore left hand.
• Even though Kaique Pacheco has a 44.12% riding percentage, he’d had 7 buckoffs in a row, which turned into a complete flame-out this weekend. “To stay with the numerology,” said Craig Hummer, completely misinterpreting the word numerology, “his good friend Silvano Alves has bucked off 8 in a row.” Yeah, but then—see above.
• I am so fucking sick of hearing “PBR Fan Favorite” whenever J.B. Mauney is mentioned—and since he’s mentioned every five minutes, I am REALLY fucking sick of hearing it. That monicker makes it sound as if JB’s not only the PBR’s favorite (which he is, and which nobody is supposed to be), but that he’s also the favorite of all the fans (which he’s not). There are other favorites, you ignorant folks at the PBR, and you’re pissing off all of us.
• Bellybutton bimbos on parade, standing at attention at the chutes in case anyone want to grab a handful.
• Valdiron de Oliveira, riding at 30.30%, is in a slump. Flight Plan stumbled and ruined his ride. He challenged the “no score,” but in the video replay, you could see that he touched the bull. The crowd, however, hadn’t seen it, or didn’t believe it, and booed when it was announced.
• Guilherme Marchi (“the Jerry Rice of the PBR” as Ty insists on calling him), suffered a disgraceful instant buckoff by American Sniper. Seeing Marchi scream and grimace on the way out shows he knew it.
• Marchi re-pulled his rope because his hand was too far down the side. Didn’t help his ride. “It really was never a question that Shaft was going to win that battle,” that from Craig, who has been particularly snarky.
• Eduardo Aparecido handled Little Red Jacket’s fancy footwork for an 88.50. How was this ride not worth a 90?? Oh, right—that special math again.
• João Ricardo Viera is riding with a broken nose, courtesy of Wipeout in Round 1—looked brutal in the photo I saw—and had to take on Cochise, no less, who has allowed three people to ride him since July 2014. Paolo Lima this January in New York had the highest score: 90. The bull hipped himself on the chute, but the judges didn’t think that changed the bull’s direction. I don’t like this discretionary stuff. The bull’s score: 44.50.
• Stetson Lawrence the only rider who was 3 for 3 until the Championship Round, cowboyed up and chose Bruiser. If he rides, he wins, no matter what the score. Craig applying his wet blanket: “Did Lawrence over-pick?” Um, did J.B. overpick when he chose Long John and got bucked off?

BOVINES ON THE BLOCK
• Red Dirt Traditions is a debut bull with potential.
• Seven Dust is still unridden, and is finally on peoples’ radar. My radar, I am proud to say, is far ahead of the curve. I noticed this guy right away.
• Big Cat – serious power – 45 – bye-bye Nevada Newman.
• Beaver Creek Beau. Pretty damned big animal. 44.25 for tossing Juliano Antonio da Silva in the Championship Round. (Not liking the tossing, just the performance.)
• Bootjack came into the event with a 1/23 record, and bounced his head off Reese Cates’s face. EEK.

SHAKING MY HEAD
Hummer’s description of Stone Sober: “the bovine version of a Rubik’s cube.” I think it’d be easier decoding a Rubik’s cube than Hummer’s brain. His next descriptive attempt: after we see a video of the bull leaping over a rider (I think it was Renato Nunes, but don’t quote me on it), his hind legs hooked up under him and scrambling, he’s “looking like a snow leopard leaping from a tree.” So apparently Craig has spent some time in the Himalayas and seen one of these rare cats flying through the air.

JUST SAYIN’…
• Notice how when J.B. gets bucked off, the announcers immediately pretend it didn’t happen and go on to talk about something else, instead of harping on the buckoff, as they would do if he were a Brazilian rider, who “can’t ride away from his hand,” or “is in a slump” or “is searching for a score” or “just can’t seem to convert,” etc.
• So Mason Lowe sneaks up and wins his first BFTS event. Note that he did not take a re-ride in Round 1, but kept a 79.25. He scored 86.75 in Round 2, got bucked off in Round 3, and scored 90 on Brutus in the Championship Round. That just doesn’t seem right to me.
• On the clock: Robson Aragao, Juliano Antonio da Silva, Valdiron de Oliveira, and Silvano Alves. Do we see a pattern? Oh, no; I must be paranoid. Conspiracy theory, you know…

A NEW LOW
After he ran through the names of which riders were out with injuries and who didn’t make the Championship Round, Craig Hummer actually said: “By the time we get down to the good ones…” Some of those not-so-good ones should kick his bony ass.

IRREPRESSIBLE
Robson Aragao suffered facial fractures not so long ago, but that didn’t faze Spiderman. “Besides, my face looks better now,” he told Ty.

RESULTS
#2 Stetson Lawrence, #3 Eduardo Aparecido, #4 J.B. Mauney (nobody made a fuss about this; what a surprise—just pretend it didn’t happen and he’s perfect and always wins), & #5 Cooper Davis.
I have no idea why they interviewed Cooper, instead of the #2, 3, or 4 guys, other than that they put him in The New York Times last month (you know: successor to the crown they so regularly bestow on JB), so the hell with the rest of the guys.
What I like about the interviews with Cooper & Mason: they’re succinct. No babbling.

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR, Tuff Hedeman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments