Bits and Pieces, Odds and Sods

(If you recognize the name of an album in the title above, and can name the band, you are an above-average human being.)

THE BULL RIDING HALL OF FAME IS RELOCATING

The BRHOF is starting work on building its new location in the Cowtown Coliseum, so now’s is the time to send in your dollars, folks. Contributions are tax-deductible, because The BRHOF is a 501c3 (nonprofit) organization. Here’s where you can donate or become a member: http://TheBullRidingHallofFame.com/
Email if you have questions: BullRidingHOF@yahoo.com.
Also, in September, members will be nominating bull riders for inclusion in The BRHOF, so if you want to vote, join up; there are different levels of membership.

PETE FARLEY

Wait till you see what Pete Farley’s been doing in Australia. He’s bought some land and started his own business, K3F Custom Leather. Keep track of Pete on Facebook and see some examples of his work, including a filigreed belt with metallic underlay, chocolate borders and initials, and some snazzy chaps.

MARKUS MARILUCH MAKES THE BELL— THE WEDDING BELL, THAT IS.

It happened back in May, but I like the photos so much I wanted to run them. Gottta love the expression on Aden, the furry one between Markus and barrel racer Megan Williams.

Markus will be riding in the PRCA for the rest of this year. Little known fact: under his beard, he has dimples. Shave, boy!

Markus and Megan Megan's amazing dress Bride and groom

 

 

 

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR, PRCA | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Delay in our regularly scheduled programming…

There will be a delay in my (semi-)regularly scheduled programming while I recover from a car accident concussion. If you saw what this message looked like before I corrected my typing, you’d understand.

For anyone whose phone number I took down, if I didn’t call you back, it’s because I reversed some digits and have been bothering strangers. Another symptom.

Hope to get back on track in a couple of days.

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Watch This Space

Yikes! Been too busy to post anything, but I do have a few tidbits coming up this weekend, so watch this space!

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Drinking the Kool-Aid: How do you solve a problem like Rasmussen?

On May 20, a concerned PBR fan (not me) wrote the following to a PBR representative:

I am reaching out to you because I believe that you are a fair, level headed person. I have been gone since last Sunday. I was watching the event on May 2nd. People are rioting in Baltimore, Missouri and other places for racial issues. PBR is trying, I believe, to be a global sport. I was appalled when Flint commented on Ruben Barbosa and called him whiplash the cowboy monkey. Howard Cosell (long before your time) was fired for commenting and calling a black player a monkey.

Flint, in my opinion, crosses the line nightly. I am offended when he says things about the riders and calls them “girls”. Twerking? Looks like dry humping on the shark cage. They pick a kid dressed like Flint for the fan of the night, then he calls people degrading names?

Corporate PBR needs to take a step back and look how they are coming across to middle class America. They need to look how they come across to women who watch the sport. Do they want to sell sex (Monster girls half dressed, Flint tweaking etc.) or a sport that everyone can enjoy? I hope that you share this with others in PBR because I am not alone in my concerns.

Response from PBR rep:

I will try to address your concerns one at a time. I know that Flint’s comment about the comparison to Whiplash was not racially motivated at all. If you have ever seen his act, it would remind you of how Barbosa rode that bull. Flint would have said the same thing about any of the riders that rode that way. The Whiplash act is pretty funny.

Also, all of the riders all get along great with Flint and everyone knows that he does and says a lot of crazy stuff in the arena. As far as a lot of the other stuff, I don’t find some of his stuff funny, but I don’t think there is anyone that will find everything funny. In the Western World, he is undoubtedly the best and most popular entertainer there is. As you can guess, he is under pressure all of the time to keep the show going, but there will always be people that don’t like certain aspects of every show. He is under pressure to try to fill in every spare minute and that is a lot to ask. I don’t know of too many people that would be able to do what he does.

As you can also probably guess, he hears it from all sides and it is a tough line to walk. Everything from, He is not cutting edge enough to too cutting edge. He does not reach out to the younger fans enough to he does not reach out to the older fans enough. He doesn’t do enough to court the newer fans to he doesn’t do enough to keep the longtime fans happy.

It goes on and on, but everyone has to realize that it is a very tough job and there will be many people, including everyone at PBR, that will be sad and scared when he decides to retire. If you watch other bull riding or rodeo events, there aren’t many people that hold a candle to the entertainment he provides to such a large audience every single week. Most of the other acts I’ve seen, and I’ve see a lot, are pretty bad and I have seen many jokes that seriously cross and are embarrassing. Lastly, I do want to state that I’m not a fan of some of the stuff that he says and does sometimes, but I do like more stuff than I don’t, and that is good enough for me.

Fan:

Thank you for taking the time to address my concerns. I respect your views. You are probably the same age as my boys..,early 30s? I agree that I have seen much worse entertainment. Flint is a good entertainer. But if you are trying to reach a global market, he may have to dial it down. PBR is no longer a “local” good ole boy sport. PBR has chosen to take it to a higher level. They can’t afford offending a large group of fans (women, not girls, women) by their entertainer’s act. I know he has daughters (2) and a wife. This is his work, not personal.

Your last statement about “that is good enough for me” could be very gender-based. My husband of 42 years, after all of these years, sees gender issues very differently. What seems like something that’s not a big deal to a man may offend a woman. I am just a concerned fan of many years.

PBR rep:

I just know, that no matter what, he will not please everyone. I wish that he could. As you can probably guess, he has legions of fans. If you go to one of his autograph signings, it is primarily women and children. When I get requests to meet him, it is almost exclusively women who do so. I know that he does not appeal to everyone, but there are a lot of women that like him more than the riders.

Again, I don’t necessarily like everything he says or does, but I don’t think there is anyway that I could. He is an entertainer, and he tries to do and say entertaining things. I think that coming from someone else, many of the things he does could be taken the wrong way. I definitely can’t envision too many other people twerking, but he can get away with it because of the entertainment aspect and because people know why he is doing it. I would only ask, what would people think if we didn’t have an entertainer? The show wouldn’t be what it was without him.

Fan:

More thoughts. PBR should know who their target market is. It is very expensive to go to an event. I went for one day in Des Moines. Tickets cost me over $200. Many of your fans can’t afford this. Please keep our concerns (fans who can pay the big bucks) in mind. If I continue to be offended (as others my age and economic bracket may be) we could chose to spend our money someplace else. I just renewed my membership and got PBR US Bank credit card. I am not a casual fan.

Please take my concerns (and I speak for others) into consideration. Please pass our concerns on to the higher ups. I am not anti-Flint. But I continue to believe that his remarks are very anti-Brazilians, anti-“girls”….very “good ole boy” mentality…locker room stuff that we are trying to get away from in K-12 schools.

PBR Rep:

Oh, they know. We have weekly meetings, and I lead the portion about Fan Concerns. Everyone has to realize that there are many stakeholders and also many concerns. I try to pass on everything that I hear.

Fan:

Please pass my concerns on about calling a Brazilian a monkey. This really is what it was all about. Flint and the announcers are laughing about it. High school students in Des Moines are committing suicide over bullying and name-calling. What Flint says may be funny to some but could send another person over the edge. Words hurt.

PBR rep:

Well, Flint is closer to most of the Brazilians than many. He hangs out with them a lot. I do know that most of his fan letters and requests come from women and children, so again it’s trying to strike the balance and trying to keep a lot of people happy.

Fan:

I am just asking for some sensitivity. That is all. It is all about perception. You should know, being in the media.

PBR rep:

As we are starting to explore possible people to replace Flint, for when he retires, I would like to ask you and others, who would you suggest as a replacement?

Many have suggested Dave ‘Showtime’ Meyer. If you have seen his shows, we will definitely need to tone him down a lot.

Fan:

What about a male and a female? Not a female half-dressed bimbo. Retired barrel racer?
I do not know Dave Meyer. It needs to be someone professional if PBR wants to be a “professional” sport.

PBR rep:

The problem with Flint and trying to alter him too much, is that even though some do not like him, his overall popularity is off the charts.

Then, the problem with trying to find a replacement, and we have been, is that in the Western World, there just aren’t many polished entertainers that can carry a show for as long as he does.

Fan:

Does PBR want to be WWE or NFL? That is the question that needs to be addressed. WWE…Flint-like will be fine. NFL or NBA… different look. What do the new owners want? Like I said, I am not anti-Flint. Maybe the problem is that I listen/watch on the computer each week and hear the same stuff every week. Maybe if you only heard him once a year he is not offensive. We live in an era of the here-and-now. If you hear him every week, his act becomes offensive.
I hope you are not taking any of my thoughts personally.

PBR rep:

Not at all. I enjoy hearing all opinions. It is the only way we are going to get better.

Fan:

Thank you for listening to my concerns. I hope you will share them with your team.

PBR rep:

We don’t want to be like the WWE and we will never be like the NFL, as our sport is just too different. If anything, we look to what UFC has done.

Fan:

I will continue to address my concerns to you as I get raked over the coals by the drink-the Kool-Aid group.

PBR rep:

Of course we also worked very closely with everyone at ‘The American’ as we all are trying to change and evolve western sports.

The new rodeo association, the ERA, has stated publicly that they are modeling their business model after PBR.

Know that I take all concerns to our weekly meetings.

BullRidingMarketing’s response to Fan:

You expressed your thoughts very clearly, and they were heartfelt. You are 100% right on each issue. Flint’s act often denigrates women and girls, includes sexual innuendos and racist “jokes,” and even occasional smarmy pedophilic comments. People who say “but a lot of women aren’t offended” are taking about UNCONSCIOUS women who don’t want to see the reality of how women are perceived and treated. They can’t look at it because it would topple every belief they have, and they’d have to see the truth: women are often treated as a sub-human species– even by men they love.

People who defend sexist or racist or pedophilic comments always fall back on the excuses, “It was only a joke,” “He didn’t mean it,” and “He doesn’t hate women–he has a wife and daughters.” A sexist or racist comment is NEVER a joke, or accidental, or funny. The fact that a person makes such a comment and thinks it’s funny means s/he DID mean it, and IS racist or sexist, because if s/he weren’t, s/he wouldn’t make the comment! If some people don’t perceive the sexism or racism, that doesn’t mean it’s not there!

Having a wife or daughters means nothing in terms of sexism. Plenty of violently abusive men have female partners. Plenty of pedophiles have children of their own. Flint doesn’t beat his wife, but he obviously thinks nothing of including sexist slurs in his act; he’s clearly made a choice to include that material. That shows a disregard for any female in the audience, whether she understands that or not.

It doesn’t matter how much time Flint has to fill, there’s no reason to resort to, as you put it, “dry humping,” degrading females, or sexualizing children by inappropriate “jokes,” such as telling a little girl that when she grows up, she shouldn’t go over to the end of the arena where the cowboys are, or telling a high school girl that now that she’s 18, he can dance closer with her, or asking a little boy if he has a girlfriend, and “Is she hot?” What is a child going to learn from watching Flint twerking ? What is s/he going to think? Newsflash: a person can dance without imitating sex acts, and make jokes without being sexist, racist, or pedophilic.

“Crazy stuff” doesn’t have to be racist, sexist stuff. That cliché of “not everybody will think everything is funny” is another way to say that PBR doesn’t care who it offends; it’s like when men say feminists who object to sexism “have no sense of humor.” As for which fans Flint “reaches out to,” for years only boys were chosen for Fan of the Night or Best Dressed Fan. Women were ignored, except for the occasional Barbie doll, chosen so people could ogle her on TV. Older people were ignored except if they were willing to make fools of themselves dancing badly. That situation has only slightly improved, but the females Flint prefers to interact with are usually a batch of semi-drunk “girls.”

If PBR can’t find someone who can fill the time appropriately, they aren’t looking in the right places. They need to hold professional auditions, view professional videos, and contact the performer unions. That’s how you find professional entertainers. Flint is not the only person in America who can entertain a crowd, and it would serve PBR and its customers better to make an effort to find someone who can be funny without being insulting. “Cutting edge” does not mean sexist and racist. Those diseases are the opposite of “cutting edge;” they’re relics of the past and should stay there.

Any child watching these events is getting the message that males participate in the action and control all the communication, and females get to stand around with half their bodies exposed while they applaud the men; and that men can insult and make fun of women and girls and be applauded for it, while the women and girls should laugh and smile.

The old chestnut of, “We can’t please everybody, we have to balance out everyone’s needs” always amounts to, Women’s needs aren’t important. PBR really doesn’t want to acknowledge that it should make an effort to change its behavior (since financial reasons are PBR’s only motivation) in light of the fact that half its customers and audience members are women, and women control a lot of purse strings. God forbid they should make any changes out of plain human decency! PBR has made no attempt to alleviate the sexism we see on TV and at events. Their ideas of a nod to women include a perfume with an insulting tag line, and website “blogs” or “stories” by “Wives of the PBR,” which they sometimes title “Women of the PBR,” when it’s still the wives talking—most of whom have drunk gallons of the Kool-Aid— with only the occasional stock contractor.

As for the fact that Flint gets along great with the riders, SO WHAT? They’re male coworkers, end of story. So what if the ERA (ironic acronym!) models its business on PBR? That’s just about money. It’s not about good customer relations, or ethics, or humane behavior. And if UFC is the model PBR is shooting for, they could hardly aim any lower.

As for changing and evolving Western sports, the front line of action needs to be eliminating the sexism and racism! THAT’S how you broaden your audience. It’s such a DUH– but then, PBR has never been “cutting edge” when it comes to people. Their treatment of Brazilian riders has revealed every ugly aspect of their “good ole boy” mentality. They’ve got a long way to go before they arrive in even the 20th century, let alone the 21st.

On 5/14 PBR rep replied to the Fan again:

I will try to cover the top issues you mentioned, but please let me know if there is other information you need, as we cover a large number of subjects each week:

  • Whiplash – There was no racial connotation intended, but everyone realizes that there is a large part of the audience that probably have never seen or know about Whiplash, so it was definitely something that is not understood by the larger audience.
  • Brazilians – As I stated Flint is closer to many of them than many people at PBR. This is part of the reason, he can give them a hard time on certain subjects, as he is so close to them and they like being able to interact with him, as it helps to promote their relationship with the fans.
  • He states that he tries to be an equal opportunity offender and tries to throw a dig out to everyone that he can no matter who they are or where they come from.
  • Women – It goes a little bit back to the last statement. He is definitely not biased against women and tries to dole out jokes to everyone no matter what race, sex, size, look, or anything else.
  • He is definitely not going to start becoming completely PC or his act would grow very stale quickly.
  • He has to be able to improvise during each show.
  • Also, the complaints are monitored and if we receive too many complaints about anything, whether it is Flint or anything else about PBR, then they are addressed.

Currently, the complaints voiced about Flint are very few and the ones that we do hear are differing in subject matter. Flint’s popularity continues to grow, as a whole, but he recognizes that he needs to appeal to all ages, demographics, and sexes, so he continues to try to cater his show to everyone while not crossing any lines. This is something that he works on every week. He knows that he is not perfect and that some of his acts and jokes will not always appeal to everyone, but he tries to do different things to appeal to the differing audience.

I hope that I have helped. Know that we continually evaluate everything and adjustments will continue to be made as we hear from fans.

5-15-15

BullRidingMarketing’s reaction to PBR rep’s statement, “I will try to cover the top issues you mentioned, but please let me know if there is other information you need, as we cover a large number of subjects each week.”

Information??

Right there is the exact problem with PBR: condescension. Nobody asked for information. This fan understands the issues perfectly well, and is giving PBR information, not the other way around! This person wants acknowledgment, serious consideration, and action.

The PBR executive (not the rep’s) approach is always: “Let me explain to you why you’re wrong, and why we won’t do anything about the issues.” They don’t want a real conversation. They just want to present their “storyline.” Their style is one-way communication, which fans have complained about for years. They are a stone wall. As for the “large number of subjects each week,” I guess the treatment of human beings and what style of rope a rider uses are equally important; just get this first issue out of the way quickly, and get to the next one, which of course is of colossal importance.

About Whiplash the Cowboy:

Clearly PBR still doesn’t see that explaining Whiplash the Cowboy (a rodeo act, in which a monkey dressed like a cowboy is on the back of a dog) doesn’t justify Flint’s comment. It doesn’t matter if some people think the act is funny. Even if Flint didn’t deliberately set out to insult a Brazilian rider, his lack of consciousness about using the monkey analogy is appalling.

The usual excuse people use after they’ve insulted someone is that they didn’t do it deliberately. The fact is, if they made the offensive comment, they have the offensive attitude. There’s no way of describing an American rider in equally insulting terms. I saw J.B. Mauney hanging sideways, upside down, and every other way off Code Blue, and Flint didn’t come up with that analogy. So far, I’ve never heard Flint make insulting comments about American riders. And just exactly how does being offensive about Brazilian riders help to promote their relationship with the fans?

“Equal opportunity offender”

Since when is good comedy based on insulting half or more of your audience? (Jerry Seinfeld has a brilliant career, not based on insulting groups of people.) If Flint really considers himself an “equal opportunity offender,” he should also be taking shots at American cowboys, Jeff Robinson, the WME/IMG execs, Cowboy Church, Jeb Bush… You can bet Flint will NEVER make fun of religious people or the armed forces. That “equal opportunity offender” business is bullshit.

The statement is full of contradictions: “equal opportunity offender” means someone who has no regard for anyone, even children, yet we’re supposed to believe Flint is trying to appeal to everyone! That’s another classic PBR “Gaslight” technique: tell us the opposite of what’s real, and try to make us believe it. If Flint wants to appeal to women, stop the sexist comments. If he wants to appeal to people of other nationalities, ethnicities, or races, stop the biased comments. Does he make offensive comments about the stock contractors? No. The sponsors? No. The money people? No. Once I saw him make a joke about one of the Spire Capital people, and it wasn’t an insulting one.

PBR makes money through venture capitalists, riders, sponsors, stock contractors, and PEOPLE, half of whom are women who buy merchandise, memberships, tickets, and Pay Per View events. Of all these revenue-producing streams, the only group Flint makes insulting comments about is women. Obviously we and our dollars don’t matter as much as our male relatives, friends, and spouses and their money. There’s no way PBR can rationalize that fact—we see it in action at every one of Flint’s performances.

As for the “he’s not biased against women” nonsense: the bias is clear, because Flint’s most frequent target is women. Who else can you insult with sexist remarks? Only a few intelligent men in the audience will take offense on behalf of women, because there are a lot of unconscious men. And since when is insulting other races, overweight people, elderly people, etc. a joke?

“PC”

And what exactly do “good ole boys” mean by “PC”?? I’d love to hear one of them define it! They can’t, because it’s a meaningless phrase invented by prejudiced reactionaries. They use it as a dirty word. They think respecting people is a gag order that politicians invented. What do they mean, “politically correct”? Since when is it a “political” issue to treat everyone decently? It’s a HUMAN issue.

And yes, it’s “correct” to treat everyone respectfully. Prejudiced people think speaking humanely is a restriction imposed on them by a government. They use “PC” as a catch-all excuse for sexism, racism, ageism, and every other prejudiced behavior. They think it’s their “right” to insult or harm people who don’t fit their own profile.

In case these so-called Christians (which most of the PBR organization considers themselves) have decided there are only 9 Commandments, does this other one ring a bell? “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Making sexist and racist comments is putting across lies about women and other targets: that they’re inferior and deserve insults.

Does Flint’s behavior in any way align with the “Golden Rule”: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12)? It seems very convenient that when it comes to women, PBR has made an exception to the Golden Rule. And let me state here that I’m not a Christian, but I sure as hell know how I should treat others!

Newsflash, boys: sexist and racist comments are not free speech, they are “hate speech.” The First Amendment doesn’t cover hate speech, because hate speech encourages and often leads to violent actions. Hate speech helped terrorize and lynch black Americans, murder millions of Jews, and inflame white South Africans into murdering black South Africans. I’m using extreme examples so PBR can get the point.

Improv

Flint has to improvise—SO?? A talented performer should be able to improvise without making women or Brazilians the butt of “jokes” that aren’t funny. These aren’t jokes, they’re sexist and xenophobic remarks. (Xenophobia means “fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.”) If he can’t riff on what’s happening in the moment without being insulting to women and Brazilians (or making disgusting remarks to children), then he’s not as good as PBR thinks he is.

Do they think Flint’s popularity will wane if he stops making sexist, racist, ageist, and pedophilic comments? Then they don’t have confidence in his talent. They’re saying, We don’t care how we treat anyone except “good ole boys.” I can’t understand how anyone with a brain doesn’t see this.

Monitoring and addressing complaints?

PBR “monitors” and “addresses” complaints by censoring them. Ask anyone who’s tried to post a negative comment on their website. Don’t tell us that if they receive “too many” complaints, they address them! What do they consider “too many”? It must be a very high bar when it comes to complaints from women. Some examples of how PBR addresses complaints:

  • I once received a call from a prominent PBR flak who harangued me for complaining on my blog about how PBR does certain things. It was an angry, insulting tirade, not a conversation. I actually felt threatened about what he might do next.
  • Women have complained for years about sexism during events and broadcasts. PBR’s response: ignore them. Period.
  • People have complained for years about vindictive judging and selective application of rules. PBR’s response: a complicated new points system designed specifically to prevent Silvano Alves from winning another world title. They couched this desperately low move in language such as, “the new point system rewards bull riders who perform at the highest level both within individual events and throughout the season” and“This new point system does a significantly better job of rewarding those riders who consistently perform at the highest level and strive to win on every bull.” So I guess Silvano doesn’t “perform at the highest level” or “strive to win on every bull”? The fact is that he does, but the judges make it look as if he doesn’t, with lowball scores, constant harassment, and DQs.
  • People have complained for years about audiovisual problems with PBR Live, fewer Fan Club perks, and rising ticket prices. PBR’s response: periodic attempts to fix PBR Live, then offering the equally screwed-up Carbon TV as an alternative. They ignored comments on perks and ticket prices.

More contradictions:

First of all, what are some of the complaints? I’d love to hear what the “differing subject matter” is. Does anyone complain about Flint not being sexist and racist enough? If Flint needs to appeal to all ages without crossing any lines, he needs to learn where they are! He does cross them—for example, in remarks he’s made to children.

The issue is not that his material “will not always appeal to everyone.” The issue is SEXISM AND RACISM. Why should sexism and racism appeal to anyone? If he’s trying to appeal to an audience that enjoys sexism and racism, then PBR needs a company shrink—or why don’t they just arrange special seating that segregates women and Brazilians from the rest of the audience, and have the other men wear white hoods and Playboy Bunny logos? Half of the “differing audience” is female. Why can’t Flint appeal to the female half by eliminating sexist material??

Unhelpful response

There’s nothing helpful in that response, other than showing how someone can be forced to parrot the company line, and how entrenched sexism and racism are in the PBR organization. It’s just plain insulting to pretend to listen to fans, then do absolutely nothing but explain why PBR and Flint are right. Polite pacification doesn’t count as action.

Yet, in spite of all this interaction, nothing has changed so far, and the rep who had the courtesy to reply to the Fan is no longer with PBR. That’s just how they roll

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR, PRCA | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

What They Did On Their Summer Vacation

While the Built Ford Tough Series is off duty, not every PBR cowboy is lounging by the pool guzzling margaritas. Some gluttons for punishment are working out in the Touring Pro Division and on the BlueDef Velocity Tour. Basically, they’re bait. It’s not like some of them need the points.

I mean, really, does Matt Triplett need to ride on the BlueDef Velocity Tour? He’s #2 in the world, the new scoring system has fixed it so a guy (we know which guy) can’t win the world title unless he wins a bunch of events, and since points from other circuits don’t count as much as BFTS points, now it’s just about the money (while he increases the likelihood of an injury).

I understand Marco Eguche, Fabiano Vieira, Robson Palermo, and Kaique Pacheco doing it: Marco, Fabiano, and Robson are trying to make up for lost time while they were out with injuries, and Kaique is young and hungry. I may be selfish about wanting to see him ace the Finals, but I’m the most disappointed person on earth (except his family) every time a Palermo shoulder pops out of place.

If “big names” draw people to BlueDef events, the audience will hear other names, too, so new riders will have some name recognition when they get to the BFTS—if they get to the BFTS. I don’t know why PBR thinks it needs a third touring entity to accomplish this, when they have plenty of Touring Pro riders who deserve attention, but—what on earth am I thinking?? It’s about the money. Three revenue streams are better than one. (I’m not counting sponsorship, merchandising, Pay Per View, Fan Club, and other ways PBR makes money.)

PBR has now hooked into the best pipeline ever: the PRCA and CBR. They’re starting to cherrypick riders that PBR fanatics weren’t aware of—until J.W. Harris finally jumped the fence. As I’ve said umpteen times, it’s about time the world got a load of J.W.! The only other person PBR doesn’t seem to mind bopping back and forth is Shane Proctor. Could it be because they don’t want to make waves with his brother-in-law?

Basically, PBR takes what it wants, but the PRCA has a different attitude. This story  illustrates the difference: last year, young Brazilian Junior Nogueira came to the U.S. with a rope and a suitcase. Jake Barnes (7 world championships, ProRodeo Hall of Fame) took him in, helped him train, and got him into the PRCA—the first Brazilian roper to qualify. Jake paired up as his roping partner. In PBR Land, when great young bullriders come to the U.S. from Brazil hoping to succeed—it’s called “the American dream,” folks—they get slagged off by judges, commentators, and some fans. (Not all of them, mind you; some of us are decent human beings.)

More riders now are making the rounds of the different organizations: Kody Lostroh (you won’t see him back with PBR), Ben Jones, Jay Miller, Brady Sims, Neil Holmes, Luis Blanco, Robson Aragao, Bonner Bolton, Alexandre Cardozo, Cooper Davis, Gustavo Pedrero, Luis Blanco, Beau Hill, Markus Mariluch, Jory Markiss (although that may not be voluntary), Craig Jackson (hey, we want the braids back!), and more. I like that the bosses have decided to play nice—at least, until PBR hijacks the SS Kimzey, and then there’s gonna be a lot of gnashing of teeth. (Didja ever notice how there’s no gnashing of anything else?)

One funny example of this new organizational cross-pollination: in the middle of a televised PRCA event, CBSSports ran an ad for the PBR. The cable network sure is hedging its bets.

Who Are Those Guys?? (Props to anyone who recognizes that line.)

There are noteworthy riders that plenty of bull riding fans know about, but PBR fanatics don’t. You have to live in an area where PRCA and CBR events happen—or watch FoxSports at odd times, catch delayed broadcasts of CBR or PRCA events, check out the CBR website that has half the rider bios missing, the PRCA website’s list of hundreds of athletes not categorized by event, and put up with an hour and a half of other activities to get to the half-hour of bull riding at the end of PRCA events.

Maybe you’ve already seen these bull riders, maybe not; if you haven’t, may I quote Sage Steele Kimzey: “There’s a ton of great riders out there; it’s just a matter of who hits their stride when.” Sage, at 20 years old, won the CBR world title, PRCA world title, PRCA’s Rookie of the Year title, and its Top Gun Award. And did I mention he’s at the top of the Xtreme Bulls standings and leading the 2015 PRCA Standings? He’s quite the crossover king.

From CBR, keep an eye on:

Joe Frost!!, Josh Frost!, Aaron Pass (smart dude: “If I ever feel negative, I just stay home.”), Ardie Maier, Corey Maier, Rorey Maier (yep, they’re all related), Brennon Eldred, Chandler Bownds, Clayton Foltyn (yes, Dad is that Foltyn), Codrick Murphy, Cody Teel, Cole Echols, Cooper Kanngeisser, Corey Bailey, Eli Vastbinder, Cody Rostockyi (“Your reaction has to be right on time; if you’re thinking, you’re late.”), Elliot Jacoby, Francisco Morales, Jarrod Craig, Josh Barentine (“You can take a little hang-up if you make the whistle.”), Kanin Asay, Luke Kelley, Tanner Bothwell, Tim Bingham, Trey Benton III, Tyler Adrian, Venn Johns, Wesley Silcox, Wyatt Rogers, Zac Peterson, and may I repeat, Wyatt Rogers!!

A word about Wyatt: he won his first CBR event about a minute after he turned 18. About his debut: “I had a bunch of people try to make me nervous—try to make me puke and things… I just gotta keep proving myself.”  Well, he did. (Proved himself, not puked.) He rode Little Moody for 89 points, because when he was 15, “He bucked me off then; I couldn’t let him buck me off again.” Wyatt’s now #7 in the CBR World Standings.
CBR and PRCA fans will have to excuse me if I’ve left out their favorites; these are just the guys I see taking care of business on the televised events.  Plenty of CBR riders also work in the PRCA (or vice versa). I’d be giving you a list of PRCA people to watch, but their website archive of riders is huge and kinda outdated; they’ve even got J.B. Mauney listed, who rode in PRCA events in 2009.

If I were you, I’d make an effort to keep an eye on PRCA and CBR riders, especially since more of them are jumping the fence into televised events.

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Health Insurance for Bull Riders

We all know bull riders aren’t crybabies, and sprains and strains are nothing to them. They shake off injuries that would put defensive linebackers out for weeks or months—while those linebackers are still on salary. Fat salaries—with health insurance, and the best healthcare.

I can vouch for the healthcare: I had a knee repaired at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, and was in their recommended rehab center for what seemed like months—those are the two places pro football players go to get their booboos fixed. Same kind of booboo I had. It’s not cheap.

Some injuries bull riders can’t ignore. Pistol Robinson couldn’t ride with two broken legs, even though two broken legs means big hospital bills and no income. Some riders return to competition way before their bodies are ready, and some resist surgery even when it’s obvious they need it. (I’m talking to you, Fabiano Vieira! Scared of needles?! You get on a 2,000-lb. bucking bull, but you’re scared of needles?? Você está me matando!)

I’ll bet I could count on one hand the number of riders who have full insurance coverage. For a rider in the million-dollar-cowboy bracket, surgery and rehab costs aren’t going to cause bankruptcy; those people can even afford to stay out of action for months. Medical costs are devastating for other riders.

It’s not uncommon to see on Facebook and Twitter pleas from family and friends of riders for donations to pay for surgery and rehab. These riders literally have to ask strangers to contribute so they can have an operation, recover, and stay afloat financially while they recover. I’d guess that for most of them, that’s more humiliating than a buckoff.

One example: in 2012, California bull rider Colin McTaggart was injured at the Ross Coleman Invitational in Molalla, Oregon: he was bucked off and trampled; an artery in his abdomen was ruptured, he had injuries to his liver and intestines, and three ribs were broken. In a coma, he underwent multiple surgeries at Legacy Manual Hospital in Portland, and spent 10 days in the ICU. A McTaggart Donation Fund was set up at Bank of America in San Luis Obispo, CA. Friends and family kept people posted on Facebook about his progress, and continued to request donations.

The PRCA’s helping hand is the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. This is from their website (emphasis is mine):

”With no guaranteed salaries or injured reserve provisions in the sport of rodeo, these professional athletes are often left with no place to turn when faced with serious, sidelining injuries and the accompanying financial hardship. Recognizing that serious injuries can be traumatic enough without the additional burden of financial worries, the Justin Boot Company formed a partnership with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) to establish the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund (JCCF). The Fund incorporated in 1990 and was granted 501-C3 status as a non-profit charity organization in 1991.

JCCF had awarded in excess of $6.7 million in need-based financial assistance to more than 1,000 injured rodeo athletes and their families. For the 2013 Fiscal Year, JCCF received donations totaling $277,662 and distributed $251,250 to 43 injured rodeo athletes and their families. At the end of 2013 the organization has net assets of $1,133,544.”

Those numbers are slightly different from what’s on their 2013 tax form, but according to these figures, that’s roughly $5,800 to each athlete in 2013. That might be fine for a short time-out, but it doesn’t cover medical care. Also, the athlete has to meet certain qualifications. Many of the injured athletes are still in college, so the money helps them finish while they’re injured, but what about athletes supporting families?

As of right now, no impact statement is available to show the exact results of funding. And since the organization has no salaried grant writer, it depends largely on donations and fundraising events.  Further, “Because JCCF does not have an extensive endowment, historically the fund has not covered medical bills but has concentrated on assisting with basic monthly living expenses for those who qualify for assistance.”  

No endowment? Bad news. Investment income? $213 in 2013, half of what it was in 2012. What the hell is going on out there? You can see the need for a grant writer.

PBR’s equivalent safety net is the Rider Relief Fund (that’s one of many names it has). I’m glad they exist, but sad to say, according to their website, “Since 1998, the Rider Relief Fund has provided more than 450 athletes with assistance totaling over $1.4 million.”

That’s $3,111 per athlete—and it took them 17 years to get to that point! I’d say their illustrious sponsors aren’t pulling their weight. On the other hand, the support is available to PBR riders at any level of competition—if they meet certain criteria.

The organization’s financials aren’t impressive. The total of their contributions and grants is half the intake of the Justin fund—except that the RRF actually has some investment(s) that brought in more than $14,000 in 2013.

The net assets of each fund show that the PRCA and WPRA are better at raising and handling money than PBR is: $390,000 better (unless things have changed in the last year—but neither organization has filed its 2014 figures yet). Nobody is paid to work for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, but the RRF pays one part-time person a salary that jumped by almost $19,000 from 2012 to 2013. It’s not what they pay their accountant; that’s a separate number. I’ll be damned if I can find who this person is, because s/he’s not named on the form. I’ll just have to assume s/he worked additional hours.

Okay, the numbers are boring. The upshot of all this math is that the Rider Relief Fund needs to pull up its britches. The Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund is doing the work without anyone being paid (if we’re to believe the tax form).

Bottom line: those funds don’t subsidize medical expenses. So what do bull riders do?

PRCA members get comprehensive accident insurance coverage; it’s covered by their membership and annual permit fees. I’ve heard it covers $300,000 worth of medical expenses for disastrous injury. Regular health insurance coverage is something else, though, and those monthly premiums are the rider’s responsibility.

I know that a very good individual health insurance plan from a commercial carrier would cost me about $950 a month, not counting deductibles or co-pays. If you have dependents, you’re looking at a lot more.

PBR is murky about its insurance coverage; you have to get the information out of them privately. This is from their website: “All competing contestants will be insured for a limited amount against injury while competing at PBR events. The insurance coverage is subject to a deductible to be paid by rider, provides a percentage coverage requiring co-payment from the rider, and is subject to change anytime. Please check with the PBR office for more information about coverage amounts, terms and conditions.”

Pretty lousy, huh? So many loopholes, it looks like Swiss cheese.

Sure, safety equipment and concussion evaluation technology are becoming more common, but riders still get seriously injured, and half of them still don’t wear helmets.

Riders don’t have a union to offer them health insurance. They could group together and get a reasonable rate. Being their own union, their own source of health insurance, doesn’t give anyone else power, it increases their own power and gives them some bargaining ability, especially those who don’t have strong agents—or any agent at all.

If a union makes PBR nervous, all the better. Maybe they’ll ante up and provide sufficient accident insurance, and even health plans, without all those caveats.

The other alternative, the one that exists right now, requires no unionizing, comes in all sizes, and is available to all. It’s called the Affordable Care Act. Most people don’t know what it actually offers—except for the 8 million people who signed up last year, and people who set aside their attitudes toward the President to read what the Act provides. If you don’t want to read the reality, skip right to the video and let James tell you how it helped him. http://youtu.be/THIw2cfOIIg

Here’s what the Affordable Care Act does:

Affordable Care Act video

  • Provides a choice of several health insurance plans, depending on where you live and which companies and states have agreed to participate. This is called the Health Exchange Marketplace.
  • Some plans are sponsored by the federal government, some are state-sponsored. Each state has its own website where you can compare plans.
  • The cost of the plans is less than those offered commercially by all private insurance companies.
  • The Health Exchange Marketplace takes into consideration your income level and tax return as to which plans are available to you. Some people may qualify for extra help paying, with a government tax credit.
  • The insurance plans come in different price levels, Silver (the least expensive plan) Gold (the medium-priced plan), and Platinum (the most expensive plan).
  • The cheapest plans have higher deductibles, the more expensive plans have lower deductibles.
  • The cheaper plans have higher co-pays, the more expensive plans have lower co-pays.
  • The cheaper plans have smaller networks of doctors and hospitals.
  • The expensive plans have larger networks.
  • All plans offer an optional pharmacy plan. Medicine prices are determined according to a formulary that’s also available on the website.
  • You can buy a dental plan as an add-on under certain policies.
  • You can buy a vision plan as an add-on under certain policies.

You can check all this information and get the pricing and lists of benefits, on the Health Exchange Marketplace websites. You need patience, because sometimes a website has glitches, like half the other websites in the world. You also can call a number and talk to a person to get information. You may or may not get someone who knows how to help you—just like if you call Customer Service at any large organization. Don’t blame the President if this happens. That would be just plain idiotic.

Guys: take care of yourselves. Do yourselves a favor and set aside whatever you think of the President. This Affordable Care Act works. It will give you health insurance.

You’re welcome.

 

Posted in ABBI, Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR, PRCA, Tuff Hedeman, WNFR | Tagged | 7 Comments

LAST COWBOY STANDING – PART 2

NOW THAT YA MENTION IT…
Craig Hummer commented on how nobody’d been put on the clock. Yeah, and wasn’t it nice? I don’t think I heard the chute bully yelling at anyone, either. Less tension for the cowboys, and less aggravation for those of us who care about fairness for all. I like it—and it didn’t seem to slow down the event at all. PRCA and CBR manage to keep their events on track (even too fast for me); they don’t seem intent on DQing people. I never scream at my TV when I’m watching those events. Those might be different in person, but for now, this is my take.

FRESH NAMES (some more so than others):
Some of the riders were invitees, some were guys we don’t see often, some came from other circuits, some I didn’t recognize:

  • Guthrie Long (debut), Luis Blanco, Mason Lowe, Tyler Harr, Dakota Louis, Roscoe Jarboe, Dallee Mason, Michael Lane (BlueDef #6).
  • Australia had an actual contingent: Cody Heffernan, Troy Wilkinson, Roy Dunn, and Justin Paton (first rookie in PBR Australia history to win the Rookie of the Year award and finish runner-up to the Australian title).

REBOOTED
Gage Gay looked pretty perfect on speedy Recovery Time, for 88 points. Guess he took that name as a good omen. Leah Garcia asked Gage whether LCS being an outdoor event made a difference to his riding. Gay said it felt like he was in the practice pen, and that taking away the fireworks and all the rest made him more comfortable. “I made the whistle and I haven’t done that too much this year, so I’m happy.” Us too!

ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT APPLIES ONLY TO CERTAIN RIDERS OR WHEN THE MOON IS IN THE RIGHT (OR WRONG) PLACE FOR TY MURRAY’S BRAIN
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Ty Murray talk about how shameful it is for a rider to dismount on his feet, and that he’d take flak from guys in the locker room. Does it mean the bull was too easy, or was the rider that good? (From what a lot of us can see, that depends on the rider’s country of origin.) Would a guy lose points for sticking the landing on a dismount? It didn’t look like it this time.

Shane Proctor, who landed on his feet after riding Paige Stout’s bull Camo for 86 points, made it look easy, “and that’s your job,” said Ty, who has been known to contradict himself (HOLLA!!). “He looks like he’s just stepping off the curb.” And it looks like the judges didn’t hold that neat dismount against him. Thank goodness, every once in a while Ty says he wouldn’t want to be a judge.

BULLS

  • Not my imagination: almost every bull did a hard cut to the right on the way out of the chute but then skidded a little or shortly after, in a sideways maneuver. It looked like they all took Shepherd Hills Trapper lessons, but there also may have been something about the dirt that wasn’t right. Or somehow Cody Lambert found every bull in the association who could waltz.
  • Rough ‘Em Up Tuck has become the money bull. Look at the scores guys have gotten on him: Bonner Bolton, Stetson Lawrence, Rubens Barbosa, Silvano Alves, Kaique Pacheco, Mike Lee, Eduardo Aparecido, Luis Blanco, Kanin Asay all were north of 85. On the other hand, in this event Nathan Schaper didn’t score. Ty’s comment: “I’d pick one with smaller horns.”
  • Breakdown was very impressive: blew up several times and had some hang time, too.
  • Julio Moreno, in a neck collar since a horse flipped over backward on him, said he has some Bushwacker calves bucking. Look out, world: the next generation is here! The B-Man himself, though, spent the weekend at the pool. Must be nice.
  • Not a good thing: Cracker rolled in the air as he kicked, and overshot the ground, landing upside down, then on his side—I wondered if he’d get up at all. It’s the first time I’ve seen a bull almost knock himself unconscious.
  • Great big pat on the back to whoever named the bull Jake from State Farm! No matter what he does, he’s going to get a big laugh every time he steps into the chute. (If he shows up wearing khakis one day, I’m going to bust a gut.) This time he wasn’t so funny: he knocked out Roy Dunn (Troy’s nephew) as Roy was helping Cody Nance prep. One clonk of horn to head and Dunn went down.
  • Maverick is one mean bull, per Shorty Gorham, and beat up Frank in the past. Shorty’s warning to the bovine: “One thing you don’t wanna do is make Frank Newsom mad.”
  • Neil Holmes scored 86 on Tahonta’s Magic for weathering quite a storm, then the bull went after him, hooked him, and for good measure, kicked Jesse Byrne in the head. That’ll show those damned two-leggeds! (Neil is so not into being interviewed, especially when Leah asks pointed questions, it’s almost funny. I think he may be too smart for this crowd.)
  • Gentleman Jim stumbled to his knees and pulled some lowdown scrabbling-on-the-dirt moves. So many times the commentators think this means the bull is so smart he’s coming up with these things on purpose, but frankly, dudes, this time it means the bull stumbled and scrabbled because he wanted to get back on his feet. Meanwhile, Michael Lane raked in 88.
  • Mississippi Hippy, at 1 for 32 (!!) has everybody so scared, he’s going to be bucking only about once a month; he’s a nervous diva. One or other of the resident cowboys always talks about the bull’s size, and this time proclaimed, “That’s like sittin’ on top of a house.” Yeah, a Hobbit house. And god, I would walk to the moon to never again hear Craig call the Hippy “a big mammajamma.”

I’M JUST SAYIN’…

  • It’s just weird that a cowboy can get into a Championship Round without having made 8 in the previous round. Then Livin’-in-Egypt Craig declares, “This is a sport where close doesn’t count.” Uh, well, then nobody should’ve won the Iron Cowboy.
  • Talking about Rough ‘Em Up Tuck, I saw that the Dallas Morning News (front page of the Sports section) and Yahoo! Sports both ran big photos of J.B. Mauney “riding Rough ‘Em Up Tuck out of the chute” in New York—and both neglected to say that he didn’t score. That in a nutshell is how PBR PR works: disinformation. Any decent reporter would ask what the score was. Were the writers told not to include that information? Anyone who didn’t watch or attend the NYC event would assume J.B. made the whistle (and scored high).
    Heading into The American, which is when the Dallas Morning News ran their story, there was no reason to feature a photo of J.B. Mauney, let alone Mauney on a non-scoring out at an event he didn’t win. (Interview in the article too, of course). Was there a betting ring that decided in advance he was the winner of The American? Well, yeah, only they’re not allowed to call it that. Was there favoritism over all the other riders? You betcha.
    Counterbalance this stuff with the fact that if you go to the PBR website (today, anyway) and look up J.B. under the “Athletes” tab, this is the message you get: SORRY, BUT THERE ARE NO RESULTS FOR “J.B. MAUNEY.”
    Are you kidding me??

WISHING BEN THE BEST!
Ben I-have-nothing-left-in-my-body-that-ain’t-broke Jones will have a neck operation. I’m sure he’ll want to get up and ride before the bandage is off. He’ll probably take it off with his teeth. Somebody be ready to stop him! Oh, wait a minute. He’ll have to use his hands.

DOES THIS MAN HAVE THE FASTEST REFLEXES IN THE PBR?
When Stetson Lawrence finished with Knight Rider Six (81.75), he launched himself off the bull and started rolling away in the air, even before he hit the ground. Great self-preservation! Now that’s doing the bullfighters a solid. Take note, all you guys with the wonky dismounts.

I’M JUST ASKIN’…

  • When Aaron Roy didn’t make 8 on Bad Touch, why did Ty have to rant about how you can’t come in with “I just have to make the whistle”? Roy is climbing back from what could’ve been a career-ending injury, or even paralysis. Even if he seemed a bit tentative, SO EFFIN’ WHAT? He suited up and showed up. Shut up, Ty.
  • Why does Ty keep changing his mind about whether a rider or whoever’s in the vicinity should or shouldn’t push a bull over in the chute?
  • Roy (The Dude’s bro) spun wildly as he faded and drifted all the way across the arena, still kicking, for a 46.25. I want to know when judges decide a bull has “covered too much real estate,” because I have yet to see any consistency on that score. (ha)

IT’S ALL COMIN’ UP COOPER
Cooper Davis is #2 in the Rookie standings, a new father in snazzy chaps, and now the guy who made a snazzy ride on Heavy Dose for 87.50. Not a bad week!

RE-RIDES:  A CRAPSHOOT

  • On exiting the chute, Dave Mason’s bull scraped Mason’s knee against the chute, and Dave ping!ed off the metal. Re-ride granted.
  • Past Time messed up Mason Lowe’s out: practically slid into third right out of the gate, his head smacking the dirt; I think his motion stopped. As Mason headed over the bull’s skull, the bull got tangled up with him; it’s lucky Lowe got away relatively unscathed. No re-ride.
  • Jake from State Farm went bonkers in the chute. It looked like Cody Nance got that right spur hooked in nicely, but because of Jake’s performance being inadequate, Nance was granted a re-ride, which he accepted. His re-ride was Gold Rush. How did they not see his right spur hooked in there right out of the gate? 83 is the answer.

MAKE HIM STOP, MY HEAD IS HURTING

  • “That can be very hard if you let your brain understand that,” says Ty, trying to explain what goes on in a cowboy’s head—or at least in his head. Dangerous neighborhood.
  • Dallee Mason made a good ride on King Buck, but did he touch the bull? Someone decided the ride needed reviewing; the replay was inconclusive, so Dallee got an 81. Ty then started to think Mason slapped the bull and got away with it: “I can change my mind.”
    Nice shot, Craig: “You certainly can, and you often do.”
    Sez Ty: “You’re never wrong that way.”
    That explains it.
  • Justin McBride, still grinding on about Vieira: “…haven’t seen any proof that J.R. can ride bulls going away from his hand.” Who cares, dude? He won, like it or not.

HEH HEH (and it’s not a Craig quote)
“This is such a game of inches,” said Ty Murray, talking about Lachlan Richardson’s latest buckoff. I don’t think Ty meant it either of the ways I took it.

NEED SOME OVERTIME HERE
Shorty’s take on the Unfinished Business players: “I’m gonna be workin’; those guys are old and slow now.”

TRUE DAT (if people even say that anymore)
Ty joked that with the size of the Unfinished Business arena, and Mike Lee’s age, if he rode, they’d have to bring out an oxygen tank halfway around. Mike: here’s where you challenge the lil’ dude to a foot race (after he’s ridden for 8 seconds).

OH YES, HE DID
“Rectify becomes a day of reckoning,” began Hummer with one of his laborious word plays.
He also referred to newbie Guthrie Long as “another one of our debutantes.” I’m sure the dude from Pecos, Texas, would be thrilled to know that he reminds Craig of someone in a fluffy gown with a corsage pinned to his wrist. If I were Hummer (a nightmare of epic proportions) I’d be careful what epithets I toss around in the company of bull riders.

WEIRD BOOBOO LIST
Reese Cates may have appendicitis. Billy Robinson came in with pinkeye, and now has the flu.

LOUD BANG OF THE NIGHT
No, I don’t mean the explosion at the opening of PBR events that probably would still make me jump even if I were in the parking lot. I’m talking about what’s louder: the noise Billy Robinson made when he hit the ground off Wolverine Construction, or the hideous pop! of Stetson Lawrence’s head-to-head contact with Buck Dynasty. Thank god Lawrence’s face was in a mask and his head was in a helmet, or both would’ve been hamburger. Or should I say, beef burger? Mike Lee has been the consistently loudest plopper-off-er so far, but there may be some competition in the offing.

RIDE OF THE NIGHT
João Ricardo Vieira finally got his own back on Percolator, who had beaten him twice. Vieira stayed solidly in position, with that sitting-on-my-hand-stuck-to-the-bull seat that’s a Brazilian trademark, for 90.75. That positioning is why his score was higher than J.B.’s Round 2 88.25 on Cochise. That and the fact that I would fly out there with some plastic explosives and head right for the judges.

I hear Homeland Security knocking on my door. Gotta go.

Posted in ABBI, Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, cowboys, PBR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

LAST COWBOY STANDING – sorta

STOP IT! JUST STOP IT, PBR!! STOP SHOVING J.B. MAUNEY AT US!
We like him, we really, really like him, but KNOCK IT OFF!!

LCS could be broken down into the following categories:

1) THE PBR’S DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN

2) The J.B. Mauney Hour

3) Insulting Los Brasileiros

4) Re-ride Bullshit

5) Wild Bulls

THE PBR’S DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN

By giving J.B. Mauney so much attention and airtime (more than ever before—who would’ve thought it possible??), PBR tried to make TV viewers, especially any new ones, believe that J.B. Mauney is the current world champion, the most important cowboy ever in the sport, the gold standard, everyone’s favorite; G-o-d, with a capital G-O-D.

LOOK: J.B. MAUNEY IS NOT THE WORLD CHAMPION, SILVANO ALVES IS.
J.B. MAUNEY IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT COWBOY IN THE SPORT.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, ADRIANO MORAES IS, regardless of whether he’s retired. And if anyone reading this blog doesn’t know why, you haven’t been paying attention for the last 10 years!

I am not dissing J.B. His riding and personality have nothing to do with the insane, ass-kissing, slobbering, panting hero worship the PBR has been performing for years. The guy is actually looking embarrassed lately when he gets treated like he’s Mount Rushmore.

Hey, PBR: why not just make a 14-hour documentary about J.B., or better yet, a TV series that runs on a loop, and get it out of your system?! Craig Hummer is so in love with J.B., it’s excruciating to watch (not to mention, hear). He actually blushes if the guy gets near him. Nobody talks about someone that much unless s/he’s in love with him. Thousands of us are fed up with this man-crush. Either he should do something about it, or STFU.

PBR NEEDS TO TREAT OTHER RIDERS WITH EQUAL RESPECT.
The blatant favoritism is sickening! PBR NEEDS TO STOP TREATING VIEWERS AS IF WE’RE IDIOTS, and that all they have to do is say something to make it true.

I and thousands of others refused to cough up for the Pay Per View event (and PBR thought it was so clever, dropping the J.B. bomb right before the event, to boost sales).

BTW, did you know that Unfinished Business is “the most important night in history”? (That’s right: they said HISTORY, not bullriding history.) Another lie to suck in any CBS viewers who don’t know better, so they’ll fork out $30 for the event. I guess a little thing like the Finals isn’t a big magillah.

My observations on the Sunday broadcast are from its second half. I missed the first hour because I just forgot it was on TV; I guess my subconscious wasn’t all that interested in another cheaters convention. (The rest of the report will be in another installment, because yes, there was plenty of good stuff, too.) I can’t imagine how much Mauney Time there actually was, if you add that hour. Here we go, with the highlights from

The J.B. Mauney Hour:

• “And JB Mauney—well, of course he’s on a hot streak,” says Craig Hummer, for the newbies who don’t know that God is in the house. That sentence caused my first scream of the day. This bit of disinformation was intended to put across the myth that J.B. is the most consistent, fantastic rider ever in the history of the sport, and it goes without saying that he’s unbeatable. Wrong on all three counts. P.S.: Who want to take odds on how soon Hummer starts calling J.B. “legendary”? (if he hasn’t already) Or maybe they’ve got that one in the chamber in case he wins the Finals or makes noises about retiring.

• After Robson Palermo got shafted out of a re-ride (more about that later), Hummer of course compared Palermo with J.B., for some reason that made no sense. Apparently everything reminds him of J.B. You know, like when you’re in love. I wish I remembered the exact segue; it was ludicrous.

• Guilherme Marchi (riding percentage: 47.27%) had just finished not making 8 on Houla Hoop (my second scream of the day), and somehow Craig and his fellow Booth Bozo managed to drag J.B.’s name in here, too. They may have been talking about Marchi still riding at age 35 and not planning to retire, because he still enjoys it. The concept that someday J.B. will hang up his spurs has started to dawn, and PBR is prepping us all for the inevitable by having J.B. do a commentator stint for part of “Unfinished Business.” That’s the prelude to “I’m thinking about retiring.” The boy will never lack for work, one way or another. The day they let Marchi work the Booth, I’ll eat my hat.

• After Sanchez bucked off Bonner Bolton (and yes, that’s the right way to say it—if you’re using English: the bull did it to the cowboy, not vice versa), making Bonner the bull’s 10th consecutive victory, Ty somehow found it necessary to quote J.B. (and every other cowboy in the PBR, PRCA, and CBR) saying, “I have to remember to have fun.” That’s what they say when they’re not on a hot streak—when they’re trying to fix the problem, and they’re gonna “go back to the basics,” bla bla bla. There really was no reason for this J.B. reference, either.

• There was all the usual Hummer hysteria: “Still to come! J.B. Mauney…he continues to show why he can’t be counted out for another gold buckle” (talk about a double negative!), “the ride heard round the world,” etc. This is the part of the movie previews when you go out for popcorn or a pee.

• Then even more Hummer hysteria about J.B. at the 2013 Finals—like we haven’t had that sham forced down our throats often enough. McBride joined; that moony-eyed stuff is catching (ha ha). J.B.’s bull Jukebox Hero crashed against the gate, and I think it definitely was a re-ride situation: the bull fouled himself. Instead, they scored J.B. 82.
Says the object of the PBR corporate crush: “Ain’t gotta be 90 every time, you just gotta stay on him.” Whoa—hold up! Isn’t that the opposite of what he’s supposed to say, per the scripted storyline? You know, that “swings for the fences” thing.
Craig said something about “a wrinkle in the rule,” and another scream came out of me. Do we really need another “wrinkle”?? As it is, the PBR rulebook could ldouble as a Shar-pei. Ty got himself all bollixed up, trying to argue against a re-ride, as if what happened was just a challenging moment and didn’t completely screw up the ride; then he ended up agreeing that the re-ride was given because the bull fouled himself. Ty’s schizophrenia is getting worse.

• “We’ve got 24 qualified rides, J.B. Mauney one of them…” babbles Hummer. Yeah, and 19 of them had higher scores, so AARRGGHH!! “It’s not about the points in the round…” Oh, I see; because J.B.’s score was 10 points below the usual, they became not important, but if his ride was scored a 90-something, of course it would be all about the points. This is more of that hypocrisy that makes me sick.

• Unfinished Business “features J.B. Mauney and other World Champions,” says the commercial. Another scream from moi. Who green-lighted that line? It’s absolutely insulting to all the nameless World Champions in ANY organization. This “billing above the title” thing is shitty and unacceptable, and I wish all the rider agents and sponsors would get together and BEEF. The billing is supposed to go: PBR, World Champions XYZ, other PBR cowboys. J.B. Mauney is not The Messiah making a special appearance.

• Reeling off the names of riders who scored, Craig compulsively adds, “and of course, J- B- Mauney.” As if he always scores, he never gets bucked off, he’s perfect. I am too fucking sick of Craig’s J.B. obsession. Somebody needs to rein him in—with a serious bit. If he’s this maniacal before the season break, what are we in for as we approach the Finals? Get the rabies shot ready.

• BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! This is truly incredible. Just when you think there can’t be any more bullshit left, PBR comes up with the MOST RIDICULOUS THING I’VE EVER HEARD, in a tone solemn enough to introduce a Nobel Prize winner:
“When we come back, we’ll sit down with World Champion J.B. Mauney. Don’t miss this rare glimpse into his perspective and his motivation.” OMG!! RARE GLIMPSE?? These people have been drowning us in interviews every 10 minutes on what might as well be called The J.B. Mauney Channel. AGAIN: HE IS NOT THE WORLD CHAMPION, SILVANO ALVES IS. Of course, new viewers have no clue. They’re being pushed to think that J.B. Mauney is the World Champion, and that an interview with him is practically a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The brilliant exchange:

“There’s no better life.”
–Why would you want to be a bull rider?
“No boss, and you get to do what you love doing, and to make a living doing it.”
–Who or what would stand in your way of winning the world championship this year?
“There’s only one person who can stand in my way, and that’s me.”
[ACTUALLY, THERE ARE A COUPLE OF PEOPLE WHO COULD: SILVANO ALVES AND JOǍO RICARDO VIEIRA.]
–About the difference in his life after his daughter was born:
“…it took me a while to get settled.”
–“…the great bulls you’ve already ridden… Bushwacker, Asteroid—who would you like to ride next?
“Mick E Mouse…He made me look dumb.” (I don’t know why he hasn’t been paying attention; Marlene Henry pulled Mick from the lineup weeks ago.)
Re how many championships he wants:
“I want at least two more, and I’m gonna do everything I can to get them.”
IMHO: There will not be two more championships. The judges will give it their all, though.

–“When Mauney sets his mind to something, he usually gets it.”—Another Craig love note. SO revoltingly corny, and complete bullshit. Remember 2011? Here’s the point at which I started screaming obscenities at Hummer. And we all know that when Silvano Alves sets his mind to something, he never gets it. Three times. (Some of us say 4.)
Then Ty did more raving about J.B. reaching for the fences…
–Somebody said J.B. “has been such a great ambassador for the sport.” Well, the PBR won’t let anybody else be, will they?
–“…another indication of what a rider means to everybody in the sport, everybody stops…”
We’re supposed to believe that the whole arena stops breathing when J.B. gets into the chute. Of course the commentators talk about how the bull is wild, trying to turn over in the chute; then JB gets off the bull. (Can you imagine what would happen if a Brazilian rider did that?) To divert attention away from this, the Booth Boys start Brazilian-bashing: “Valdiron de Oliveira is known to be very particular in the chute.”
“J.B.’s known to be very quick to get out of the chute,” Ty says. Um, I guess he didn’t notice that J.B. was no longer being quick, and we’re supposed to believe what we’re told, not what we see. And then there’s also that J.B. clock…
We’re told that Cochise pinned J.B. in the bucking chute, against his bad knee. When that happens to a Brazilian rider, we’re told the bull is standing just fine, he’s just leaning a little, the rider could shove him over, the rider had plenty of opportunities to get out, etc.
“J.B. Mauney does what he’s supposed to do.” This from Hummer. And what exactly is he supposed to do other than ride bulls, which I guess other riders aren’t supposed to do?
“He’s never really in the position he wants to be in,” says Ty—yet the score is 88.25. Other riders who aren’t in position lose points. Silvano gets shoved down to the high ‘70s or low ‘80s. After the ride, J.B. had to run from Cochise, who made a very interesting charge: twisting, unable to decide who to kill, the guy who rode him, or a bullfighter.
Another interview after the ride (does any other rider get interviewed after every ride?):
–Why do you thrive on this pressure so much?
One of the Booth Boys gives the same old rap about how J.B. shines the brightest when the lights are brightest or whatever that crap is that Hummer always spouts. Craig then gives a dissertation on J.B.’s bad knee, explaining that he took time off from the tour… of course, anyone else who has a bad knee is using it as an excuse.

• More disgusting hype: J.B. is “one of the biggest names in the business, who has a chance to insert himself into the conversation”—who else but Craig, talking about his honey. “He’s got his own theme music, he’s got the world title… he’s got the American…” Uh, he DOESN’T have the world title, it belongs to Silvano Alves, and anybody could have his own theme music, if he could be bothered. The shocker was Ty Murray saying of Mauney’s attempt on Little Red Jacket, “This is a dismount, this is not a buckoff.” Wow, I’m surprised Hummer didn’t slap him and start crying.

Insulting Los Brasileiros

• You already heard “Valdiron de Oliveira is known to be very particular in the chute.” Then there was “He just wanted off that bull.” –Justin McBride being snide about VDO coming unglued. Because Valdiron didn’t make it to 8 seconds, he didn’t get a re-ride, and we’ve been told that a rider must make 8 before he can be offered a re-ride. But there’s that wrinkle…

Robson Palermo’s bull Smoke Wagon was so fucked up, I can’t believe Robson didn’t get a re-ride. The bull was lumbering back and forth, rolling to the ground, gave a few good kicks that dislodged Robson, then fell down on his side and almost couldn’t get up. (And I just heard that commercial in my head. You know the one I mean.)

Fabiano Vieira made another unbelievable ride, with his free arm not looking so free, his upper arm held crunched against his body, on Western Hauler, no less, and was insulted with an 83.50.

Silvano Alves had surgery on his cracked left hip and will be out for about two months (starting last month). Therefore the PBR apparently is forbidden to mention his name.

Marco Eguchi’s ride on Supercool Cat was reviewed for time. I don’t know why; it was so obvious he made it. (You know I know why.) He deserved more points than 84, but at least he got a hug from Valdiron.

Rubens Barbosa (1 of 10 kids, started riding at 10 years old) got a bad out on Off the Rez. The bull hipped himself, changed the trajectory of the ride, and stepped on Rubens. Here’s that wrinkle: Ty said, “If you’re going by the way the rule’s written, that would be a re-ride.” So why wasn’t it? The usual reason.

Kaique Pacheco (#3 in the world, riding percentage: 40.91%) did what he could, but Hungry Eyes’s performance wasn’t great; he scored 82. Ty launched into his idiotic thing about how if the bull did this-or-that, or the rider had to do this-or-that, it would’ve been a buckoff. This time is was about Kaique riding on the end of his arm, and if the bull had been doing something else or kicking harder, that wouldn’t have worked. Here’s the thing, Ty: what Kaique was doing DID work. STFU.

João Ricardo Vieira (51.79% riding percentage) delivered a beeyouteefull ride on Kiss Animalize, and was given a (gasp!) reasonably fair score of 87.50. So instead of him being interviewed, Matt Triplett was, because he scored 87.

• Talk about fouled in the chute! Crossfire rammed Pacheco’s head into the inside of the chute twice, came out backwards, and changed direction—all the reasons Kaique should’ve had a re-ride. Wrinkle!

• Said Ty Murray about João Ricardo Vieira, “He can’t go out there and just pretend he wants to make the whistle, he needs to go out there and pretend like wants to win first.” Is that insulting enough for ya? I don’t think Vieira’s pretending anything, punk!

• I watched people reacting to JRV after his win. One guy gave him a handshake and clap on the back in passing. One gave a faint handshake. One gave a faint clap on the back. A sour-faced woman handed him a piece of paper. Nobody smiled at him. Not as bad as how they treat Alves, because they like this guy better, but still, shitty.

• The final indignity, post event: Again Ty presumes that the only reason JRV is there is because he wants to win a buckle—not the money, not the title. Uh, I think Vieira might be thinking something else. McBride was just plain bitchy: of course JRV was lucky, he got bulls going into his hand, he’s not good at riding bulls away from his hand, etc.

I’m fucking glad I missed the first half of Sunday’s broadcast!

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PBR sneaks in changes to new scoring system

Guest blogger Licoricewhip put his nose to the grindstone to figure out how the PBR’s new points system affects the standings now, and how it would’ve affected the 2013 and 2014 standings. Included below is the PBR’s longwinded explanation of the new points system (which I edited down), posted on their website.

Licoricewhip also discovered a change in the points system that the PBR snuck in under the radar earlier this year. That’s their standard m.o.: anything they think is a heckuva great idea is introduced with a load of fanfare and fireworks. (Remember Full Metal Jousting?) Anything that leaves them with egg on their faces magically vanishes. (Remember Full Metal Jousting?)

The problem is that the PBR doesn’t know the difference. The jousting was a sucky idea (A&E TV thought so, too; the show didn’t have a second season), but PBR can’t resist a chance to affiliate itself with the lowest common denominator: Ultimate Fighter stuff. (That’s actually a plan—they don’t do dumb shit by accident. Piggybacking on the UFC was a strategy. So how’s that working out for you, boys?)

Dumping Justin McKee as a commentator was a mammoth mistake equal to the new points system, but they ignored all communication from distressed bullriding aficionados. They even resorted to censoring comments on their website. They acted like McKee and the horse he rode in on didn’t exist. Talk about infuriating the fans! They just waited until the storm went away, though it took almost two years.

The new points system is destined to become congealed egg, when people finally catch on to what it does to riders in the middle of the pack. Most of us already know it was designed to fuck over Silvano Alves, in case he was on his way to a 4th (some of us say 5th) world title. I’m thinking this minor adjustment is a whispered “Whoops!” to lessen the sting for certain riders, but it ain’t cutting it, not by half.

Licoricewhip also found a Jan. 5, 2015 article about the changes—but not on the PBR website. They shuffled it off to the side, on the Wrangler Network, to make it less visible. Uhh, but when you use the same PBR writer, you kinda give away the game.

Here’s Licoricewhip’s exploration, step by step, our email conversations, his spreadsheets, and the aggravating discovery after all that slogging, that PBR had pulled the rug out by making an unannounced change.

Licoricewhip: 4-8-15
Once the new points system for 2015 went up, I wanted to figure out how 2014 would’ve played out under it. Specifically, I wondered if J.B. Mauney would’ve actually beaten Silvano Alves. So I made a big spreadsheet, and guess what? J.B. beat him. Big surprise, eh? Look at Sheet 1 of the attached Excel file. I had to figure out the points system based on what I found on the PBR website.

Alves vs Mauney 2014 – spreadsheet

BullRidingMarketing: 4-10-15
I looked through the 1st sheet, and unless I’m reading it wrong, a lot of aggregates are missing: 11 from Silvano’s side, and 5 from J.B.’s side: Missing Aggregates:

Alves:
Oakland                           Anaheim
Tulsa                                 Sacramento
Des Moines                     Chicago
Fresno                              Denver
Tacoma                            Duluth

Mauney:
Asheville                           Colorado Springs
Arlington                          Anaheim
Duluth                               Chicago
Oklahoma City

Even if a rider has only one score, shouldn’t that be considered his aggregate from that event? I decided to add up just the aggregates, and Silvano beats J.B. by 1,000 points. (I couldn’t even deal with the other Excel sheets.)

Also, J.B.’s scores in the 2014 Finals were ridiculous: 94, 88, 93.25, 90.25, 88. The judges were desperately trying to push him up in the rankings, and when they knew there was no hope for a win, they figured they’d give him the High Score of the Event award.

And get this: J.B. rides Rango, gets 91.75; Alves rides Rango, gets 89.50. So did Rango have “a bad day”? I doubt it! And this: a few years ago, Fabiano rode Asteroid, was scored 87. Last year Silvano rode him, scored 87.25. But when J.B. rode him, he got 93.50. Are we supposed to believe Asteroid also had a couple of bad days, that just coincidentally were not when a “fan favorite” American rode him?

Licoricewhip: 4-17-15
For each rider, I didn’t enter the aggregate on my spreadsheet if it wasn’t in the Top 10 for the week, as the new rules give aggregate points only for Top 10 finishes. Slade Long [PBR statistician] lists the Top 10 aggregates in a given week, so if I didn’t see Silvano or J.B. in the Top 10, I wouldn’t bother to list their total score for the week.

In my points determination, the one thing that I didn’t feel confident about is The American, listed on rows 101-103. Since J.B. would’ve grabbed 600 (!) points that weekend, it makes all the difference. Since this year’s American has already taken place, maybe we can now see how the PBR scores it.

Funny how Slade defends the points system – at least he used to, on his message board [ProBullStats] before he shut it down – but he doesn’t list the points on the site. Scores? Sure, but no points. That’s up to us to calculate.

To be certain that my scoring is accurate, what I’ll do is pick a rider from this year and see if I get the same number of points that the PBR has listed on their site.

Ah… I see now that in the PBR’s website article, Professional Bull Riders – Scoring and Judging, the “majors” are worth a little more. I didn’t take that into account for 2014, but how could I? They weren’t “majors” then. I’ll have to find those suddenly-more-important events and work those points into them.

Looks like they changed the scoring system since I made this spreadsheet. I know that before, they were going to give scores only to the Top 10 aggregates. Now suddenly it’s Top 15. Since Slade lists only Top 10 for each past event, it’ll be hard to determine when an extra 10 points will be given. Arrgh!

Man, I can’t stand the lack of oversight. There’s no quality control. The only journalists that cover the BFTS are on the PBR payroll. [BRM: Except me. I’m a free bird!]

To be honest, I stopped watching the events. We dropped cable tv, and even though we can see everything on CarbonTV, my wife and I have found better things to do, such as look after our young son and get much-needed rest.

I’m looking at Silvano’s 2015 scoring, and of course there are discrepancies. PBR.com claims that he has 65 Touring Pro Division points from a single event (Denver). The scoring guidelines say that only this aggregate earns points, but the only way Silvano would get 65 points is if he got 5 points for his 4th-place first round, 10 for his 3rd-place second round, and 50 for his 1st-place aggregate.

Putting on my conspiracy cap, I wonder if the real reason Slade took down the message board is that a few of us were digging up more than he wanted known. Nothing screams “bias” like the number of consecutive Top 5 scores that J.B. put up in 2013-2014. Under the new system, whenever he rides, he’s basically guaranteed points.

Anyway… I think my scoring and new winner from before is wrong. If The American really is treated and scored like a Touring Pro event, as it is in 2015, then the 600 points for J.B. drops to either 80 if only the aggregate is counted, or 120 if he gets 80 for the aggregate and a couple of 20s for round wins. Even with that higher score, Silvano wins, 3,575 to 3,490.

J.B. would’ve won the 2014 Finals with the new system, but that’s no surprise. [BRM: The PBR figured that out, that’s why we have a new system.)

Licoricewhip: 4-18-15
I looked only at J.B. vs. Silvano; perhaps João would’ve won it all under the new system. But still, even with The American points being a lot smaller, it would’ve been that close between the two of them.

A few months ago, I thought of making it a mission to expose the PBR/BFTS for the crap they’ve pulled. Now… eh. Whatever. Once I stopped watching the CBSSports feed and Leah being forced to interview J.B. every waking moment, I got less upset.

One year, Brazilians placed 1st through 5th. That must’ve ticked off the home office big-time. [BRM: 2011 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series World Championship results:
1. Silvano Alves, 15,742 points, $1,456,964
2. Valdiron de Oliveira, 13,340.25 points, $396,171
3. Robson Palermo, 13,035.75 points, $618,875
4. Guilherme Marchi, 9,820 points, $233,174
5. Fabiano Vieira, 9,170 points, $249,045]

Are there any discrepancies between the numbers? I believe that the PBR changed the scoring system after the season began and made no noise about it. Well, I guess there’s the scoring for the one Touring Pro USA event that Silvano entered this year. He got 65 points from it, but it looks as though he should have gotten no more than 50.

When the season started, I had no concrete proof that the scoring was for only the Top 10 in the aggregate; I thought I was losing my mind a little. But I looked at what I guess is the official scoring system:

http://www.pbr.com/media/11612902/2015-pbr-worldchampionship-point-system-.pdf

When I looked at the page info, it shows that this .pdf was last modified on February 15, 2015, a good month after the season started. Is it because of the creation of the “major” events? That was announced on February 3rd.

I think it’s tacky to change the rules mid-stream, even if it’s a minor change such as the 10 points for the 11th through 15th aggregate. But yep, they can do what they want. “Hey Cowboy, if you don’t like it, you can go ride bulls on the PRCA.” [BRM: which is what Kody Lostroh decided to do. He was already riding in PRCA rodeos in 2012, but the new points system was his defining moment. A tip of the Resistol to Kody!]

Licoricewhip: 4-19-15
Yes! I found proof that they changed it:
Behind the Chutes: Refreshing on the New Points System
http://wranglernetwork.com/news/behind-the-chutes-refreshing-on-the-new-points-system/

Those numbers look right to me. I had to find it outside of PBR.com, but notice how Justin Felisko (PBR scribe) wrote it.

[BRM: I edited the article below to give just the relevant information, but those bozos are still using the incorrect word “average” when they mean “aggregate.” Try not to let them confuse you with their confusion.
If you want to see what the new system does to certain cowboys, look at the Baltimore standings coming into the Championship Round: Sean Willingham is in 4th place, rides 2 for 2, earns NO event points. Kasey Hayes, in 5th place, rides 2 for 2, earns 60 event points, with a lower aggregate score than Sean.
And the beat goes on…]

PUEBLO, Colo. – The PBR announced in November a new points system for the 2015 season that changed how points are accrued throughout the regular season towards the PBR World Championship and how event winners on the Built Ford Tough Series are determined.

With one event officially in the books, here are how things shaped up for those still looking to learn more about how the points system played out during the Baltimore Invitational. Before taking a round-by-round look at the Baltimore Invitational, here is a refresher on the changes made for 2015.

  • Built Ford Tough Series Event Scoring

Riders earn points at BFTS events based on where they place in a round and the event average.
1st-place finisher at a BFTS round receives 100 event points.
Riders placing 2nd through 5th receive event points on a graduated scale (60, 50, 40, 30).
1st place finisher in the event average, which is based on a rider’s total combined ride score, will receive 400 points.
Riders placing 2nd through 10th receive points on a graduated scale (240, 180, 105, 65, 45, 20, 15, 10, 5).
The Top 15 riders with the highest-combined ride scores following Rounds 1 & 2 (or 3 during a three-day event) will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.

How did the new points system work in Baltimore?

  • Starting with Round 1:
    Mike Lee rode Pecos Bill for a Round 1-high of 87.75 points. Therefore, Lee was awarded 100 event points.
    Kasey Hayes finished 2nd in the round by riding Loco Lizard for 87.25 points, earning him 65 event points.
    J.W. Harris earned 50 event points with the 3rd-highest scored ride of Round 1 when he covered Alternator for 86.75 points.
    Nathan Schaper was awarded 40 event points for placing 4th in Round 1 with 86.25 points on Nefarious.
    Guilherme Marchi placed 5th in Round 1 with 85.75 points on RMEF Big Bull for 30 event points.

The remaining 15 riders that posted qualified rides earned no points toward the world standings or the event standings. However, they remained in the hunt for the event average title, which awards 400 points to the bull rider who accumulates the highest-combined ride score. Those 400 points are crucial when it comes to potentially winning a BFTS event.

  • Baltimore Round 2:
    In Round 2, there were a total of 18 qualified rides. Using the same approach as Round 1, here is how event points were awarded:
    Reese Cates earned the Round 2 victory and 100 event points with an 88.5-point ride on KISS Animalize.
    Cody Nance earned 60 event points courtesy of his 87.5 point-ride on Modified Clyde – the 2nd highest-scored ride of Round 2.
    3rd in the round was Matt Triplett with 87 points on Shoot Out The Lights, providing him with 50 event points.
    Renato Nunes was credited with 40 event points for a 4th-place finish on Slappy.
    Rounding out the Top 5 of Round 2 was Silvano Alves with his 86.25-point performance on Rough ‘em Up Tuck.

Once again, the other 13 riders that posted qualified rides in Round 2 did not earn any event points or points toward the world standings. However, some of these riders were a perfect 2-for-2 on the weekend and in prime position for making a run at the 400 event points that come with winning the event average.

  • Who qualified for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round?

Here are which riders qualified for the Built Ford Tough Championship Round based on the event average (total combined ride scores). Below in parentheses are the number of event points that each rider earned towards winning the Baltimore event following Round 1 and Round 2. Remember, these 15 riders were jockeying to earn the important 400 event points for placing first in the event average, as well as the additional points awarded to the remaining nine riders that round out the Top 10 in the event average.

1. Reese Cates 2-for-2 for 174 ride points (100 event points)
2. Matt Triplett 2-for-2 for 172 ride points (50 event points)
3. Renato Nunes 2-for-2 for 170.5 ride points (40 event points)
4. Sean Willingham 2-for-2 for 169.75 ride points (0 event points)
5. Kasey Hayes 2-for-2 for 169.25 ride points (60 event points)
6. Brady Sims 2-for-2 for 169 ride points (0 event points)
7. Ryan Dirteater 2-for-2 for 168 ride points (0 event points)
8. Silvano Alves 2-for-2 for 167.25 ride points (30 event points)
9. Shane Proctor 2-for-2 for 166.5 ride points (0 event points)
10. L.J. Jenkins 2-for-2 for 159.5 ride points (0 event points)
11. Eduardo Aparecido 2-for-2 for 151 ride points (0 event points)
12. Mike Lee 1-for-2 for 87.75 ride points (100 event points)
13. Cody Nance 1-for-2 for 87.5 ride points (60 event points)
14. J.W. Harris 1-for-2 for 86.75 ride points (50 event points)
15. Nathan Schaper 1-for-2 for 86.25 ride points (40 event points)

  • Championship Round Results

Kasey Hayes rode Fire & Smoke for 89.25 points to win the round and earn 100 points.
Silvano Alves placed 2nd in the round with 88 points on Yo Yo, earning 60 points.
Cody Nance finished 3rd with 87.5 points aboard I’m a Gangster Too for 50  points.
Reese Cates rode Percolator for 86.5 points and 40 event points.
Ryan Dirteater finished 5th with 84.5  on Cooper Tires Semper Fi and won 30 points.
Shane Proctor earned no event points, as he finished outside the Top 5 with 83.75 points on Freakster.

However, the majority of points available still remain within the event average, and Proctor finished 3-for-3 with a combined score of 250.25. Therefore, he finished 5th in the event average and earned 65 points, which carry over to the world standings.

  • Here is how the top event average finishers were awarded points in Baltimore:

1. Reese Cates, 260.5 ride points on three bulls (400 event points)
2. Kasey Hayes, 258.5 ride points on three bulls (240 event points)
3. Silvano Alves, 255.25 ride points on three bulls (180 event points)
4. Ryan Dirteater, 252.50 ride points on three bulls (105 event points)
5. Shane Proctor, 250.25 ride points on three bulls (65 event points)
6. Cody Nance, 165 ride points on two bulls (45 event points)
7. Matt Triplett, 172 event points on two bulls (20 event points)
8. Renato Nunes, 170.5 ride points on two bulls (15 event points)
9. Sean Willingham, 169.75 ride points on two bulls (10 event points)
10. Brady Sims, 169 ride points on two bulls (5 event points)

  • How were the final event results decided in Baltimore?

Based on the new scoring system, event finish at a BFTS event is determined based upon total event points earned and not total ride score. Consequently, here is how things finished in Baltimore.

1. Reese Cates (500 event points)
2. Kasey Hayes (400 event points)
3. Silvano Alves (270 event points)
4. Cody Nance (155 event points)
5. Ryan Dirteater (135 event points)
6. Mike Lee (100 event points)
7. Matt Triplett (70 event points)
8. Shane Proctor (65 event points)
9. Renato Nunes (55 event points)
10. J.W. Harris (50 event points)
11. Nathan Schaper (40 event points)
12. Guilherme Marchi (30 event points)
13. Sean Willingham (10 event points)
14. Brady Sims (5 event points)

These are the only points from a BFTS event that carry over into the world standings. Ride scores do not count toward the world standings. Riders may also earn points toward the world standings based on how they finish in the event average at BlueDEF Velocity Tour, Touring Pro Division and international PBR events. However, riders at those events do not earn any points for where they finish in a round.

© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

 

(Licoricewhip, continued                  4-19-15)

Why would they change the points for the aggregate? Why wouldn’t they announce it? Why would they try to hide the old system? Seriously, what in the hell is with these people?

I wonder if J.B. actually won in 2013. Wouldn’t it be funny if they fudged the points to give it to him? I don’t mean the judges showing bias in giving him event wins down the stretch – there’s no doubt they did just that – I mean the stats guys messing with the points to put him farther ahead.

Licoricewhip: 5-6-15
To me, it would be a lot easier to take PBR seriously if the judges weren’t all American. The only Brazilian I can think of is Paulo Crimber, but I only remember seeing him once all year. They had him on the chute, he didn’t put Brazilians on the clock right away, and suddenly he wasn’t there again. [BRM: yep.]

The judging is another thing. Do you know which judge is Judge 2 or Judge 4 on a given weekend? I don’t. On Slade’s site, he doesn’t break down what each judge gave each ride. Heck, he doesn’t even split them up. It’s “Judge A: Shearer / Randolph; Judge B: Doyal/Foltyn.” Certainly he could itemize them; why doesn’t he?
[BRM: Occasionally either on the website or on the broadcasts, I’ve seen “Judge 1, Judge 2,” etc., and once in a blue moon Craig Hummer identifies someone as “the back bench judge.” The bully at the chute is David Fournier.]
They sure make it awfully difficult to expose the bias of a certain judge, don’t they? [BRM: Yep. That’s how they roll.]

I’d be curious to see how Crimber’s scores line up with the others, and what weeks he worked, but I can’t yet figure out how to find it. [BRM: Calling “I hate PBR judges” – this is a job for you!]

There are leagues that offer openness, and there are leagues that pretend to offer it. PBR is neither.

Licoricewhip: 5-20-15
Dang, this ain’t easy. Slade’s site used to be organized so that it was easy to find this info. Now it’s near impossible. I had to search on google.com under a custom range of dates. But here it is: You can see the Top 10 about halfway down.

http://www.pbr.com/en/news/press-releases/2011/10/aves-wins-championship.aspx
Professional Bull Riders – Alves wins World Championship, earns $1.4 million

But seriously, why was it so hard to find this info? I can’t imagine that the PBR would actually try to erase history. I just don’t see the benefit. [BRM: Ah, but they do try, cheri, as often as possible. The benefit is, a viewership with amnesia is easy to manipulate, and the PBR can shove their storylines down our throats. Then if someone like yours truly says, “Hey—the Emperor has no clothes!”, they’ve already distributed enough Kool-Aid among their followers so that the fans actually think they see the Suits in cowboy clothes. May I quote Butch Cassidy: “Boy, I got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.”

One fun thing about this search was that I found J.B.’s 2013 winning season had the lowest riding percentage amongst all PBR world champs, yet he won the second-most money ever, behind McBride’s 2007 season. Look under “World Champion” here: http://www.pbr.com/en/bfts/winners.aspx

Top 25 by Riding Percentage 3-23-15 – spreadsheet

Top 25 by Dollars Won 3-23-15 – spreadsheet

BullRidingMarketing: 5-22-15
And there you have it, folks: the long and winding road down the rabbit hole of insanity that is the PBR.

Thank you, Licoricewhip!

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR, PRCA | 2 Comments

Colorado 15-15 Bucking Battle

Without any Built Ford Tough Series action this weekend, I had a flashback to the Colorado “Rumble in the Rockies.”

BTW, this hourlong broadcast contained just 30 minutes of bullriding material.

HELL HATH FROZEN OVER!
I nearly hit the hardwood when the judges awarded the Fabiano Vieira/Diesel pairing 90.25, for an incredible ride. It’s so rare for those guys not to begrudge a Brazilian rider a 90! This time it was a positive .25 ding. Of course he wasn’t interviewed when he scored, or even when he won. Bah humbug, as one of my grandmothers used to say.
Second in the news: Ty Murray actually used the word “inertia” correctly. And he wasn’t talking about lying on the couch.

IT’S A J.B. WORLD, AND WE’RE ALL JUST LIVING IN IT
The broadcast opened with that laughable “I’m so macho” voice bragging about how grueling the season has been, and how a “dangerous” J.B. Mauney has made a return, reasserted himself, etc. Never mind all the other guys returning from injuries, such as ROBSON PALERMO! You know the drill: trying to drum up excitement by playing up the physical injuries, and sticking to the scripted storyline about PBR management’s favorite rider.
I finally figured it out: Craig Hummer gets paid according to the number of times he says “J.B. Mauney.” I thought I might note the number of times, but I lost track.
Then, naturally we see an interview with J.B., instead of João Ricardo Vieira (53.70% riding percentage), Matt Triplett, or Kaique Pacheco, who are #1, #2, and #3 in the world standings.  Are you reading me?

Magic Train came into this battle with 11 straight buckoffs, but because he was facing J.B., who has a 46.67% riding percentage, Craig declared that “the next pairing could go well past that [90.25].” We all know that as long as J.B. stays on a bull, 9 times out of 10 his score will be north of 86, and it’s nice to know that Hummer will tell us the score ahead of time.

BULLS

  • Panda Trax is certifiable. I thought Cooper Davis had a lock on that ride, but at 7.95, he got bucked off. (I yelled.) The bull didn’t just turn and give him what-for, he literally attacked Cooper, then tried to sit on him, and butted him along in the dirt. Frank pulled the bull’s focus (once again, we see how crazy The Fearless One is), while one of the other guys pulled Davis out of the way. Cooper had the presence of mind to challenge the time; the replays showed it was close, but he actually did have the rope in his hand at 8, even as the rest of him was about to become Panda’s doormat. Amazing! A lot of guys would’ve let go earlier and just try to protect themselves from the monster. 87 for Davis, but only 43 for the bull. (Were the judges punishing him for bad behavior?)
  • Long John: steep coming up and steep coming down, to Nathan Schaper’s detriment. 46.75 was high score of the event.
  • ABBI Classic winners from the Colorado Springs event: Bruiser and Wired Child, tied at 89.25 each. King Pin was the Back Seat Buckers winner, with 92.

BEN, WE LOVE YA DEARLY, BUT…
Ben had food poisoning, and of course thought he was fit to ride, but after Modified Clyde’s lousy start, the Dancing Ozzie was a lost cause. After the buckoff, the bull literally almost went ass over teacup, and landed in almost the same position Ben did.

HIS RIGHT FROM HIS LEFT
J.W. Harris’s neck and back injury (herniated disk) was causing his right arm to go numb, but he didn’t want to “sound like a whiner,” so he got on Percolator, got bucked off, and the bull scored 46. Said Hummer, dyslexing, Percolator was “no match at all for J.W.” Um, then J.W. would’ve scored the 46.

I’M JUST SAYIN’…

  • Could they please stop labeling events with stupid Worldwide Wrestling titles? It makes bullriding seem even dumber than a lot of people already think it is. I obviously don’t, and I know plenty of intelligent people who don’t, but the PBR is working against us when they use what they think is a clever marketing tactic. It ain’t. People who watch bullriding will watch it no matter what you call it, and people who don’t  aren’t going to start because you call it “Rumble in the Rockies.” “Bucking Battle” is good enough, though even that kind of embarrasses me.
  • After we see (for the umpteenth time) the gruesome video clip of Kasey Hayes getting creamed by Panda Trax in Des Moines, then Hummer and Ty Murray have a “conversation” about how Cooper Davis has to put this visual out of his mind when he gets on the bull today. Well, maybe if you didn’t keep showing that disaster, Davis wouldn’t have to try.

A RE-RUN OF THE RE-RIDE NONSENSE
Stone Sober came into this event with 23 straight buckoffs, and fell down on Reese Cates right out of the gate. Re-ride flags flew. Now, why is that? Cates got a clean out, it looked like he slapped the bull, and we’ve been told many times that a rider has to make the full 8 seconds to get a re-ride option. I’ve seen the same thing happen to other riders, and I squawked that they didn’t get a re-ride; the explanation for not being offered one was always that the rider wasn’t fouled in the gate. Well, neither was Reese. Kaique Pacheco got slammed and squashed by Walk Off (who racked up a 44), but no re-ride.

Of course I think a cowboy should get a re-ride if a bull squashes him, but that’s not the point. The re-ride rules continue to be inconsistently applied, and the PBR makes no effort to stop the judges from pulling this crap. They just keep screwing with our heads, trying to make us think we’re the crazy ones.

From the PBR website:
Re-ride: If the bull’s performance is sub-par (negatively affecting the ride score) or if a foul occurs during the ride (the rider is rubbed against the chute, the bull stumbles, the flank strap detaches, etc.) judges can offer the rider a chance to take a re-ride.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen bulls stumble, but no re-rides were offered. Plus, where’s the much-touted “the bull’s motion has to stop” criterion for a rider to be granted a re-ride?
And just to make things more confusing, Ty said something about “breaking the plane of the rope.” Please tell me he was just befuddled, and that isn’t a real thing!

Also from the website:
Chute Clock: The Built Ford Tough Series implemented a new addition to the Professional Bull Riders’ original chute clock rule during the 2014 BFTS event in Nampa, Idaho. Each rider will have 60 seconds from the time he begins to pull his rope until he nods his head to begin the ride. The chute clock will stop the countdown when the judge starts the 8-second ride clock.

Regarding disqualification the rule states, “In the event that the chute clock countdown time expires before the rider nods his head, the judge has to make a determination to disqualify either the rider or the bull at the end of the allotted time. If the bull is disqualified then the rider will receive the first available re-ride bull. If the rider is disqualified, his ride for that round is over and he will receive a no score.”

Yeah, right. There’s a J.B. clock, and he’s never been put on the other one. As long as the commentators keep chanting, “He’s one of the fastest to get out of the chute,” we’re supposed to believe he never takes more than the allotted 60 seconds. LOL.

YUP
“This guy is a true warrior.” – Ty Murray’s comment on Guilherme Marchi.
J.B.’s standard response to, What happened to your rope?:
“I shoulda put more rosin on it.”

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