PBR Merchandise

I’m just as shocked as you are, but PBR has put out the word through the Herdies Facebook page (rather than throw itself to the wolves in other less safe locations) that people can send in their ideas about what types of merchandise they’d like PBR to sell. Send to: SGold@pbr.com

I’ve already said that we need tee shirts with Brazilian riders on them. Put another way, tee shirts with the last few World Champions on them. (In all different sizes, not just shirts made for big guys with beer bellies. Half the bullriding fans are women, and some of us are small.)

Now I’ve got a further inspiration: “character” rider tee shirts:
1) A Ben Jones shirt, with a picture of him dancing, and the headline, “Dance, Ben, Dance!” or “Everybody Dance Now!”
2) A Mike Lee shirt with a photo of him on his victory lap, that says, “Run, Mike, Run!”
3) A Renato Nunes shirt that says, “Flip out!” Naturally the photo would be of him in mid-flip.
4) A Silvano Alves shirt that says, “Cool runnin’s” (although I don’t know how many people would get the allusion).
5) A J.B. Mauney shirt that says, “Aw, shucks.” The photo would have to be one of him looking all sweet and dimply. (On the back is where you put the picture of Bushwacker slinging him around like a rag doll.)
6) I know he’s retired, but a lot of people would wear a Luke Snyder tee shirt titled “Mr. Congeniality.”

It’d also be nice if they issued belt buckles with individual bulls or riders on them. Probably too expensive, though.

Now, if the PBR comes up with any of these, you heard it here first, folks. Yes, once again, I’m giving away my ideas.

P.S. The only thing you could put on a Guilherme Marchi tee shirt would be, “Hunk.”

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“Pure” PBR?

Wanna see how the PBR started setting up the 2015 season? Go back to Chicago. It was only the 2nd event, but already Craig Hummer was talking about “storylines.” This does not bode well. Some of the hot issues to track this season:

1) COMPLAINTS ABOUT YOU-KNOW-WHO NOT TAKING RE-RIDES? HAH!
3 Americans did not take re-rides: Brady Sims kept a 74, Nathan Schaper kept 74.50, and Harve Stewart kept 78.75.
Brazilians did take rerides: Robson Palermo sacrificed his 80.25 (that’s why some guys don’t take re-rides!), Silvano, of all people (he asked for his original bull, Hy Test, as his re-ride), and Guilherme Marchi. For those who think Alves is “chicken,” he took that maniacal bull for an 86.25.

2) FOMENTING FALSE RIVALRY
Onscreen, national icons were alongside rider names. As Craig put it, “all the guys and the country they represent.” WRONG. There are no national teams! Statements like these whip up the morons in the peanut gallery who think the events ARE the U.S. versus Brazil. It’s not the Olympics, folks.

3) TEAMS??
Jared Allen put together a rider team AND a bull team. Speculation: is this an experiment to see how the concept goes down with the contractors and riders—after which the PBR either will set up a Beta test event, or encourage teams as a regular part of the tour? They might want to look at CBR’s bull teams, and the PRCA’s rider teams, each representing a sponsor. The idea of rider teams in the PBR hasn’t appealed to anyone I’ve heard from on the subject. Some people even see it as a death knell.

4) WHY A LOT OF AMERICAN RIDERS DON’T DO AS WELL AS BRAZILIAN RIDERS:
Riders talked about their physical preparation for bull riding. A lot Americans (for those with reading comprehension difficulty: I said “a lot,” not all) said that they don’t work out or don’t do much; J.B. Mauney thinks working on the ranch makes up for it. That’s out of their own mouths, folks.

5) THE DRAW ISN’T RANDOM:
Cody Lambert continues to pull stunts like matching little Lachlan Richardson with Big Enough.

6) THE BRAZILIANS-TAKING-TOO-LONG-IN-THE-CHUTE CHESTNUT:
Valdiron de Oliveira on Stanley Fatmax was “being very particular in the chute,” Hummer starts off. “Very particular, Craig,” Justin McBride piles on. They change this refrain when it’s a different rider, to “He wants to get everything just right.”

7) UNDERSCORING:
Marco Eguchi on American Gangster: 81.75
Guilherme Marchi on Let ‘er Rip: 84.50
Silvano Alves on Redbone: 85

8) PREJUDICE IN ACTION:
Valdiron de Oliveira was the Round 1 winner. The next words we heard were, “Let’s check in with Leah Garcia and J.B. Mauney.” Not with the winner.

9) THE NEW POINTS SYSTEM:
That interview was a set-up to have J.B. comment on the new points system. PBR thinking: if one of the top bull riders in the world (“fan favorite”) gives it his seal of approval, then the sheep will follow. J.B. said it was “a little confusing, but I like the way they’re doing it.” If one of the top bull riders in the world diplomatically says the system is “a little confusing” (the look on his face spoke volumes), you know it’s a LOT confusing. He has to say he likes the way the PBR is doing it, because he’s their Golden Boy. They would expect nothing less.

10) SEXISM STILL IN PLACE
Very cool that Silvano brought his kids with him up onto the Shark Cage for the ceremony. (Family values.) Very uncool that they all had to walk though the Bimbo Bookends to get there. (Not family values.)

11) HYPOCRISY #101
Alves won the Championship Round and the event—his first event win in 2 years. Craig: “He didn’t win anything last year except the World Finals.” Sigh. How do we wrap our heads around that idiocy? “It seems the Universe is lining up for him.”
McBride: “He’s making it line up for him. When you do things right, good things are going to happen.” Didn’t he spend all of 2014, except for the last day of Finals, talking about how Silvano was wrong about everything?
He mentions the new points system: “Silvano Alves isn’t worried about that.” Um, has this bright bulb figured out yet that one huge reason the new system showed up was that Silvano knew how to play the old system?
So now are they all on the Silvano bandwagon? The haters from last season are now kissing some Brazilian butt?

JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT–

MALAPROPISM OF THE MONTH:
“You can’t even hold a candlestick to how tough he is.”—Chase Outlaw re Ben Jones.
Runner up:
“The cream of the crop rises to the top.” Courtesy of Craig’s Mixed Metaphors Department.

I COULDN’T RESIST:
“No one has rode more bulls,” said Craig Hummer, who’s obviously been taking cowboy lessons in a vain attempt not to stick out like a sore thumb.

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NEW YORK CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY – EYE WITNESS

4 Recognizable even from the backI fell off the map for a while dealing with family stuff. A hint, folks: When you’re 89 years old, don’t go out in your slippers on the black ice to get the newspaper!

Here’s what I saw at Madison Square Garden, from the good seats (photos follow at end):

Observations:

#1. The secret to unearthing daysheets (Madison Square Garden personnel will always tell you they’ve run out of them): go to the Guest Services Deck on the Concourse and ask for them. The daysheets are free; the program is about $20, as far as I remember. I don’t buy them.

#2. At several vendor booths I visited, there was not one piece of merchandise featuring a Brazilian rider. Not even a Three-Time World Champion Silvano Alves tee shirt.

#3. Some of the nastiest men in the world worked behind the scenes at this event: big white guys with ID cards hung around their necks. Suit or denim, that don’t make no never mind. I was about 8 rows up from the chutes, and walked down to the first row to get photos of the riders sitting around behind the chutes. I also wanted to give a letter to one of the Brazilian riders. I called down to Beefy Guy in Denim, who pretended not to hear or see me—and believe me, I can be loud—no matter how many times I called and waved to get his attention. Rude dude. The expression on his face was the proverbial “the lights are on but nobody’s home.”
A pot-bellied Suit was standing closer to where I was, scowling hellaciously at who knows what. He saw me taking pictures with my phone, and yelled at me to get back to my seat. Excuse me, but if I’m standing at the first row just above chute level, do you think I’m an intruder from the balcony? There’s no way to get there other than buying an expensive seat, which my friend had done. (Now that I think of it, I shoulda said, “Make me!”)
I waved the piece of paper and asked if he could give it to one of the Brazilian riders, who were hanging out near him, shooting the breeze— not prepping for a ride. I used “Please” and all the polite words normal people use; he was literally within tapping distance of the guys— if he reached out his arm, the letter would’ve gone right to them. He just kept shouting angrily at me, as if I were a barnyard animal that got out of the yard. I mean, real gangster material. He was so venomous, if he had a gun he would’ve shot me. I was grateful for the railing between us.
I can’t say for sure whether these were PBR crew or Madison Square Garden crew, but I’m guessing from their cowboy boots that these guys weren’t from the home team.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Seeing Ben Jones dance twice in one event! He wildly spurred his way to an 86.50 on Sun Dome (gee, do you think that matchup has anything to do with Jones being from sunny Australia?) and, even more impressive, an 89.25 on Pound the Alarm in the Championship Round. When Ben pointed out his biceps during the dance, I think the applause meter hit the same red zone as it does for J.B. Mauney. His best memory of New York: “I rode Voodoo Child here.” Yep— it was a 91-point ride, and I screamed my ass off watching him and one of my favorite bulls.
• Cody Nance losing his chaps after riding Marshall Law. The bull chased Cody and Flint simultaneously up onto the Shark Cage, then challenged each bullfighter, refused to leave the dirt, and had to be roped and dragged. Nance and Rasmussen executed their unison leap like well-rehearsed ballroom dancers, and ended up flat on top of the Cage, in each other’s arms. P.F.F.
• Ryan Dirteater kissing one of his vest logos after unsuccessfully challenging his time on Mr. Bojangles.
• BFTS newbie Kaique Pacheco (who, up close, looks about 12 years old) scoring 87.75 on Rough ‘em Up Tuck.
• Shane Proctor, rolling his shoulders, getting ready to ride Easy Does It, who gave everyone on the dirt a hard time, and Shane an 84.25. The shoulders are working!
• Everybody’s getting their end zone chops together: Joao Ricardo Vieira capped his 89.50 Fire Rock ride with a funny little circular dance move. Subtle, cute— a far cry from the showmanship of Ben Jones and Renato Nunes.
• Lite ‘em Up’s encounter with Flint: The Painted One set up his life-sized cardboard cut-out (largest Selfie ever) on the dirt to taunt the bull, who had just treated L.J. Jenkins to a hard landing. No reaction from Lite ‘em Up. Flint turned the cardboard to face the bull, who pawed the ground and lowered his head as a warning, but didn’t charge. (‘fraid of Flint?) Evidently trying to dispose of the real Flint, Frank Newsom snuck up behind him and moved the cut-out closer to the bull, scaring 3-D Flint, who nearly fled. The cardboard fell, the bull backed up in surprise, then ran after Frank— stepping over, not on, Flat Flint. Lite ‘em Up got big laughs for that move.
• Tanner Byrne rode the unridden (in 20 outs, since 2013) Raven Flyer (96.43% buckoff rate), for an impressive 87.25. I am so liking this guy, especially because he doesn’t have a big ol’ Attitude.
• Once again, J.B. Mauney impressed the New York crowd with his patented Fast Crawl. I know it’s not funny to him, but it’s mighty entertaining for the rest of us. This time he was escaping Johnny Walker Black Jr., whose name I guess is misspelled to avoid trademark infringement lawsuits. 86.75 was the score.

SHOUT OUTS
• To Cooper Tires for getting a jump on sponsoring Kaique Pacheco. They’ve already been smart enough to nab Renato Nunes, Fabiano Vieira, and Eduardo Aparecido. I guess they realize South Americans buy tires, too. Kudos to them for not exhibiting prejudice.
• To Gage Gay, because he’s feeling so bad. Right now he looks like he’s on autopilot, like he’s just not feeling it. He defeats himself before he even leaves the chute. That incident at the Finals made a big dent in his confidence. It’s a sophomore slump, kid; you’ll ride your way out of it. It happens to the best of them— ask J.B.

LOWLIGHTS
• Silvano Alves’s bull The Rev was so weak that he was offered a re-ride. He turned it down (no surprise there) and accepted the lousy 59.50 points (which for other riders would be 80). It did come back to bite him, but Alves didn’t seem to mind; he thinks long-term. I don’t know if the broadcast showed this on camera, but you should’ve seen the reactions of the people behind the chutes when he came off the dirt. They avoided him like he had leprosy. It was so schoolyard, I was shocked. (I don’t know why I continue to be shocked by the bad behavior of so many PBR guys; I guess it’s because I expect adults to behave like adults.)
Delco, Silvano’s Championship Round bull, must’ve showed up for work drunk. He’s the sure thing for high scores, but this time he got fouled up in the chute, fell down just as the gate opened, banged his head into the fence, stumbled, bumped against the gate… Alves is not a cowboy to give up and jump off a bull’s back in a messy situation; he stuck with the bull and was offered a re-ride or 77.25. At this point, Alves has made 22 consecutive rides, so I’ll give you one guess about his decision. But I’m still asking myself, What the heck was wrong with Delco??
• Fabiano Vieira’s bad day ended with a buckoff courtesy of Western Way, and an awful aftermath: smacked his head against the fence, then the bull stamped on him. Frank the Tank finally was able to throw Fabiano out of the bull’s way. Next stop: Sports Medicine.
• The unmentionable injury J.B. sustained may affect future generations of Mauneys, but I don’t think that’s how it was listed on any injury report.

BEST FASHION ALERT EVER (except for those photos posted to my Facebook page, you naughty BullSisters!)
Shane Proctor was workin’ those rainbow colored chaps and fringes. My phone photos just couldn’t do justice to them in motion. It’s amazing how fast a bull zips by.

I’M JUST SAYIN’…
• All the riders need to cowboy up and get some theme music going. Eventually some of them might get the same Pavlov’s dog reaction as J.B. gets when the crowd hears the first bar of “Bad to the Bone.”
• Once again, the Championship Round started with Brazilian riders in the top 3 or 4 slots, who gradually were pushed down the ladder.
• The crowd booed the 89.75 given to J.B. for his ride on “the flashy Percolator,” as Hummer described the bull. I’m as surprised as you are that the judges didn’t squeak out that extra .25. I guess everyone’s so used to automatic confetti every time J.B. rides, that this was a rude shock, but when I saw the replay, at one point he was out of position. Even more shocking was the fact that the judges didn’t ignore it.

THE WINNAH
It was a tense moment when Guilherme Marchi’s ride on Kiss Animalize was scrutinized, but he came through with an 86.75, winning the event by 1 point. (Could they spare it??) His stats: 527 rides, 20 event wins, and never before in New York. His interview on the Shark Cage was hilarious. Leah Garcia asked him if he thought he could win the World Championship again. Trying to hold back some giggles, he politely said something about that being the dream for all the riders. How did he feel about winning NYC? “I still have more room for more sponsors on my vest!” She asked if he could beat Silvano. Marchi broke down laughing. “Of course!”

THE BROADCAST VERSION

On the CBSSports Broadcast of the Bucking Battle, there was a hilarious intro: they’ve added sound effects to the videoclip of the bulls: “Rroarr!” Most of the time when I’ve heard bulls bellowing in the chute, they sound more like “Muhh!” Where are those flame-snorting bull heads when we need them?

WILL ROLLETH OVER IN HIS GRAVE
Quoth Craig The Bummer: “J.B. Mauney loves this atmosphere; he hopes to be making a curtain call… but Valdiron de Oliveira is nobody’s understudy… If all the world’s a stage, Silvano Alves is…” Unfortunately that’s the part I couldn’t remember, but I’m sure it was a doozy. The Shakespeare potpourri disintegrated into, “…lets his riding do the talking for him.”

ROCKET SCIENTIST
Interview with Chase Outlaw: “You stay on every bull, you’re gonna win the event, 90% of the time.” Um, did they not explain the new point system to him?

SERIOUS LOWLIGHT
Possibly the worst bull score I’ve ever seen was Pitch Perfect’s 31.50. Note to those with reading comprehension problems, lest I be flooded with comments about being wrong because XYZ’s score was even lower, I said “score I’ve ever seen.” I am curious as to what’s the lowest bull score ever given in the PBR, though— does anybody know?

THE WORD FROM ON HIGH
It’s official: Ty Murray measured Nathan Schaper and Tanner Byrne, and the results are: Nathan is 6’2”, Tanner is 6’4”. I’m sure Ty did that just so he could make his joke again that seeing bullriders this tall is like seeing a six-foot gymnast.

AGAIN, I’M JUST SAYIN’…
• “He’s getting pretty picky, if you ask me,” said Ty Murray of Chase Outlaw’s prep time on JoJo. Ty and Shorty Gorham also griped about Sean Willingham taking too long in the chute: “Shorty comes from the same school as me. Preach it, brother!” Of course we all know how they feel about a Brazilian rider taking a while in the chute, but sometimes, another rider is “trying to get everything just right.” So which is it, fellas, and when? Or is it according to who’s doing it?
• Ty keeps talking about PBR being different because it has the rankest bulls in the world. News flash, dude: some of the same bulls buck in the PRCA and CBR. And then there are the ones that Mike White renames for different events. 

TV HIGHLIGHTS
There were very loud cheers at the announcement of Marchi’s name, and even more when he rode Imagine That for 86.25. Leah asked him, “Which direction did that bull spin?” His gleeful response: “Away from my hand, baby!” We’re all glad to hear that he’s removed that “mental block” Ty Murray keeps harping on.

SMALL PACKAGES (no, it’s not what you’re thinking!)
• Ty calls Clementine, “the little bull that could. No horns, the cute little face, and the big flappy eyelashes…and then he’s got a name like Clementine.” That little bull turfed Valdiron de Oliveira, who’s approximately the same size.
• Jesse Byrne was heroic, repeatedly throwing himself on the bull’s back to free Mike Lee’s hand from his long, scary hang-up on Oklahoma Bell.

The order of finishing was: Marchi, JB, Shane Proctor, Alves, Chase Outlaw. Kaique and Valdiron each earned 100 points. Silvano was still #1 in the world, followed by Reese Cates (how the hell did that happen?), Marchi, and Matt Triplett.

CODA
At the end of the event, I waited at the rail as riders signed autographs, and handed Marco Eguche a letter meant for all the Brazilian riders, telling them that they have millions of fans here who see how badly the judges are treating them, and that when the riders speak out, we’re on their side. Translation: We think you’re great— sorry about all the hostile morons here.

Leaving the Garden, audience members are herded like cattle— literally, through a labyrinth of gates— all that’s missing is the electric prod. I was shunted into a hallway that turned out to be the primo exit, and ended up in the middle of a pack of Brazilian World Champions (and tripped over Silvano’s wheelie bag). A photographer’s dream, right? My hands were so frozen, I couldn’t get my friggin’ phone out fast enough to catch everyone. (Seriously, you have no idea how bad the weather was that day: snow, rain, sleet, ice, highways closed, accidents galore— the South Americans must’ve felt like they were in Hell). I felt guilty about keeping Robson Palermo standing in the freezing rain, especially after his shut-out, but I did manage to get a couple of photos.

That’s what I call a nice guy.

(Unfortunately those photos turned out to be pseudo-videos that are stuck in the iCloud and I can’t get them down.)

Behind the chutes 1

Behind the chutes 1

Behind the chutes 3

Behind the chutes 3

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PBR website ignores last year’s NYC “co-winner”: Fabiano Vieira

Go to the PBR website. Click on Schedule, then BFTS, then Monster Energy BuckOff, then Get Tickets. Whose face is on that page, listed as last year’s winner of the Madison Square Garden event? Guess. Do I have to say his name? (to quote Bruce Springsteen)

I was at that Championship Sunday, and the judges declared Fabiano Vieira and JB tied. The reality: they did one of their famous .25 anti-Brazilian dings to give J.B. a leg up. (Not JB’s fault.) In my book (and a lot of other peoples’, judging by the reaction in the Garden), Fabiano was the only winner of that event. The judges just couldn’t stand to have that happen.

So now the PBR has posted its revisionist history on its website. Despicable. All the people who don’t know any better will believe that J.B. was the 2014 winner in NYC. There were “two” winners: Fabiano Vieira was the first.

I wonder how they’ll fix things tomorrow.

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WHY BOTHER WRITING ABOUT BALTIMORE?

The only reasons to write about the first event of the Built Ford Tough Series 2015 season are to look at what the new points system did, and see what’s what with the re-ride situation. Some random facts:
Mike Lee rode one bull (which stopped on a dime at precisely 8 seconds), still rode in the Championship Round, and placed 6th, earning 100 points. Cody Nance rode 2 and placed 4th (155 points). Matt Triplett rode 2 and placed 7th (70 points). Shane Proctor rode 3 and placed 8th, earning a lousy 65 points. Renato Nunes rode 2 and placed 9th, for 55 points. J.B. Mauney rode 1 bull, did not place, and earned $925, just like Harve Stewart. They earned more than Brady Sims, who rode 2 bulls, earned 5 points, and came in 14th. The whole thing was disturbing.
What remained constant was that no matter what the Brazilian riders scored, American riders were scored higher. Renato Nunes started at the top, and was gradually worked down to #8. And oh look: the Ding Game again: Alves scores 86.25, Reese scores 86.50. Alves scores 88 (faint & die!), Reese scores 88.50, etc. The judges’ faves: Matt Triplett, Cody Nance (they no longer look at the spurs), and Kasey Hayes.
The Re-ride thing:
Eduardo Aparecido turned down a re-ride and kept 67.75, as “a business decision.” L.J. Jenkins kept a low score in Round 1 instead of taking a reride, and nobody called him names. Ty Murray did his usual harping on riders taking low scores: “It’s equivalent to a zero… it’s going to bite him in the butt later,” etc. The only riders who were scored below Brazilian riders were the ones whose first scores convinced them to take re-rides.

THE VERDICT ON CARBON TV—TWO THUMBS DOWN.
Because of contractual obligations with CBSSports, other cameras can’t shoot close-up footage during rides. What I don’t understand is why PBR couldn’t find a better alternative than hanging a camera from the rafters. (Or was it a Smartphone?) How is it possible that in the entire long-distance view, the one spot that pixilated like an X-rated body-part-obscuring square was the rides? As for the technical feed: Umpteen frozen screens, blackouts, the same promo repeating itself—and several missed rides.

YAY, ME! (for nagging about these things for years)
• Smart move, having Ty Murray talk about how bulls are treated. He spelled out the truth very clearly for any new viewers who still believe that rope-tied-around-the-bull’s-genitals b.s.
• One genius announcer said that J.W. Harris “wasn’t even on the radar before last year.” You mean the PBR’s radar. Plenty of us have known about him for years. It’s hard to ignore a 4-time PRCA champion. Uh-oh: we’re told that J.W.’s going to focus on PBR events this year, to “simplify” his schedule. Does that mean he’s ditching the PRCA? Or is that the deal the PBR made?

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE BULLS?
• Maybe they were frisky because this was their debut, and they all wanted their 15 minutes of fame—or rather, 8 seconds—but most of the bovines did their best to avoid going home. Made Right refused to leave, faked an exit, then returned, apparently expecting an encore. Slappy chased Renato up onto the Shark Cage and took his sweet time traipsing around. Buckle Up rolled over on Eduardo Aparecido, refused to leave, and had to be roped, objecting all the way. went after Frank Newsom (of course), rolled a barrel, ran around the Shark Cage, lay down, and refused to go, madly shaking his head to try to escape the rope. I’m thinking, maybe he thought it was recess time, and wanted to play, and couldn’t understand why all these fools in cowboy hats were trying to harsh his buzz. I don’t know what it is, but early on Day 2, Fearless Frank already had two bulls gunning for him. It’s fascinating to me that a lot of bulls have a grudge against him in particular. Harold Weller was kept pretty busy escorting them off the field, by hook or by crook. Or actually, rope.

THE NAME GAME
Get these two matchups: Round 1, Lachlan and Little Gremlin; Round 2, Lachlan and Little Big Man. Obviously nobody draws names out of a hat.

HIGHLIGHTS
• The video of sensational saves. Posting it on the PBR website would be a good idea.
• The video of Alves explaining his controversial strategy, making a very good point: fans want big rides and big scores, but he’s in a competition, and is doing his job the way that’s best for him. Silvano has earned $5.4M in 5 years.
• Guilherme Marchi has earned $4.7M in the last 10 years, and has never come in below #8 in the World Finals. “Hashtag stud,” says one of the announcers. LMAO! Usually it’s female fans who say things like that.
• One of the announcers actually called Eduardo Aparecido “one of those Brazilian superstars.” I wonder if the guy still has a job.
• After making a few statements about strategy, Ty says we haven’t seen Silvano put the pedal to the metal yet. I started to get riled, but then I thought, Ya know, he might be right. Maybe Alves isn’t turned up to 11 yet. Yikes.

I’M JUST SAYIN’…
• Fabiano needs to get his shoulder fixed. Period.
• There was so much J.B. hype, it was really irritating. Video, promos, interviews, verbiage (by guess who). “Will 2015 be the year he takes a second run at the World Title?” “He takes center stage as the PBR visits Baltimore.” Not only that, he was called “the defending champion.” Apparently that guy who took the 2014 title was a phantom.
• Ty needs to take a chill pill. He was complaining that “guys are just trying to get base hits, when everybody wants to see home runs.” Then he started ragging on Gage Gay, practically saying, Quit, because you’re a chicken. “It’s scary, but… if he doesn’t love it, he shouldn’t be doing it. You can’t just swing your leg over and step out, you have to sit there and take it,” etc. Cody Lambert piled on: “I’m talking about wanting to be in the chute and taking charge..” I feel for Gage. I think the Finals experience messed with his head. I can’t imagine what it must’ve felt like to be told you’re Rookie of the Year, then have it turn out not to be true. Kinda like how Douglas Duncan must’ve felt when he rode Bushwacker and then got no score because of a touch.

Posted in ABBI, Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR, PRCA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ROBSON PALERMO SPEAKS OUT ABOUT PBR HARASSMENT

THIS IS THE TEXT OF A MESSAGE POSTED ON FACEBOOK BY ROBSON PALERMO.

During the PBR rider’s meeting at Baltimore this weekend, it was once again discussed about the Brazilian Rope. It was said the Brazilian rope hurts the bulls.We have been hearing bad things about the Brazilian rope for years and I never said anything. But today I decided to talk what I think about it.
I’ve been riding with the Brazilian rope since I started to ride in Brazil over 15 years ago and I never saw or heard about a bull being injured because of it. It was said during the meeting that someone did a research and found evidences of bulls being hurt because of our rope. I completely disagree with that and would like to see proven results of it. I have a bucking arena and practice bulls at my house and would like this person to come over and to prove to myself his findings.
It is very frustrating to hear every weekend bad stuffs about us Brazilian. Some people are always complaining about something, about our rope, how we pull our rope, how long we take in the chutes, etc. we are not not here in the US to hurt anyone’s bull or do anything wrong. We are here to ride bulls at the best championship in the world and to provide a better life to our family.
Every year they change something because of us. This weekend we were notified we have to try a new bull rope pad they developed, assuming the Brazilian ropes are not going to “hurt” the bulls anymore. We are ok with using it even though I don’t think it will change anything since I strongly believe The Brazilian rope does not hurt bulls. It can be American rope, Brazilian rope, it doesn’t matter which one, it will not hurt the bull.
People still say bulls doesn’t buck hard with us. What everyone needs to understand, we Brazilians have a different riding style than most Americans. We use more strength to ride it, on our legs, our arms, everywhere.
I’m open to discuss that subject with anyone at anytime. I’m just trying to change the way people think about the Brazilians.
Sorry if I am offending anyone, I am just giving my opinion on something that we have been judged for years.
Thanks,
Palermo

Readers: Please let Robson know that millions of bullriding fans agree with him, and that we know Brazilian riders are being mistreated. We also know why: they’ve proven that they’re the best bull riders in the world, and the PBR executives don’t like it. It was brave of him to speak out, and brave of Silvano to talk about the criticism he received all last year. I hope they keep speaking out!

For an excellent analysis of how the new points system affected the results of the PBR’s Baltimore event this weekend, see http://www.facebook.com/bullridingrodeoconnection
You’ll be gob-smacked, as the British say.

Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, CBR, cowboys, PBR, PRCA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

BullRidingMarketing’s Crystal Ball

My predictions for 2015:

  1. The PBR points system will become more and more complicated and confusing until only Cody Lambert understands it.
  2. The PBR TV schedule will become more and more complicated and confusing until only Sean Gleason understands it.
  3. The PBR will develop a spinoff website all about J.B. Mauney, which they will then develop into The 24/7 J.B. Channel. J.B. will become a franchise, with his own line of clothing, accessories, and grooming products (including a men’s fragrance which of course will be called “Just Bad”), and we’ll be able to buy stock in him. (If Craig Hummer doesn’t scoop it all up and become majority owner.)
  4. More PRCA and CBR riders will get a toe in the PBR door, and PBR will continue to look down its nose at them—until Sage Steele Kimzey shows up and kicks some PBR butt. Get this: coming into the PRCA Finals, Sage (age 20) was leading both the PRCA and CBR standings. He won the gold buckle in He’s also one of only two people in the past half-century to win both PRCA Rookie of the Year and the world title in the same year. (He also won the Top Gun Award). Gee, if he rides in the PBR, I bet they’ll deign to name him Rookie of the Year, too.
  5. Craig Hummer will break the land speed record for words per minute. And half of them will be “J.B.”
  6. We will discover that Ty Murray actually has two personalities, and neither one of them can make up his mind.
  7. PBR judges will develop even more creative math skills, until someone finally hires a hit man. (Don’t look at me; I can’t afford one.)
  8. PBR will install poles on the dirt for the Monster Energy “Girls” and Rockstar Energy “Girls,” and for those in chute side seats, lap dances will be free. The children (and women, and men with a conscience) in the audience will just have to hide their eyes and pretend this is good family entertainment approved by their God.
  9. We won’t see a bull with Bushwacker’s star power. (That’s a big ol’ DUH.)
  10. This one I didn’t need a crystal ball for: riders whose last names end with a vowel will dominate the Top 10 spots.
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“REMEMBER WHEN…”

It seems ridiculous to rehash the last day of the PBR World Finals, but what the hey—they do flashbacks on their website all the time. So here goes:

REMEMBER WHEN SILVANO ALVES WON THE WORLD FINALS, THE FINALS EVENT TITLE, AND RODE ASTEROID?

THE LAST DAY

ROUND 5
When I tuned into this confab at the top of the broadcast, I really thought the White Rabbit musta slipped me something:
Cody Lambert and J.W. Hart are now on the Silvano bandwagon.
After we were treated to Lambert’s Picks, he butted in on J.W.’s pontification. Mistake! “I wasn’t botherin’ you when you were talking,” JDub snarks at him. So now the genius Bobbsey Twins have predicted Alves will be the Round Winner.
Justin McBride: “I just hope they give him the points he deserves…” (Coulda knocked me over with a feather—this is McBride talking?? The same McBride who last month was still calling Silvano “Alvs”??)
J.W.: “If they don’t, it’s because he made it look too easy.”
Cody: “That’s because it was easy.”
WTF??
They must’ve gotten the word from on high to stop slinging shit at Silvano, in case he wins the title and in case the sponsors get pissed off, yet even as they’re falling over one another trying to clean up their mess, somebody puts his foot in his mouth—and what a surprise, it’s the brains of the bunch (ha): Cody Lambert.

And now back to our regular programming: the J.B. Channel
Another interview. Even after the 12th replay of J.B.’s cheekbone colliding with Bruiser’s skull, the sound makes me cringe. As soon as you heard that crack it was a broken jaw. The bruise on his jaw has spread so far he can’t use that half of his face. Leah Garcia asks, Does his broken jaw affect his riding? Sez Mr. Mauney out of one side of his mouth, “No; I don’t need my face to ride.” He gets points for that one.

“J.B. Mauney has already won two rounds this week,” says Craig Hummer, giving us the loud hint that they want to MAKE him win the event title. “There is just no stopping J – B – Mauney!” (I’m surprised he didn’t say, “none other than.”)

Jordan Hupp got bucked off; “Let’s go back to J.B. Mauney,” says Craig. Sure, why not? Let’s go back to J.B. after every ride.

JB’s music has the crowd responding like Pavlov’s dog. He weathered Mr. Bull’s big stumble, racked up an 88, and moves to the lead; if he stays there, he’ll win the event title. You can bet the judges will do their damnedest for that cause. Hummer blathered about the crowd “cheering for one of the greatest we’ve seen.” He’d never say that about another rider.

It’s the 11th hour, and still Hummer is wishful-thinking: “J.B. Mauney perhaps salvaging the season…” “Will he win this year’s event title? He can only look and wonder.” “But most importantly, he has surpassed Silvano Alves and moved into the Bad Boy Mower Lead Dog position.” Most importantly?? Wow, if that isn’t the clearest PBR mission statement ever, I don’t know what is.

DON’T SCREW WITH J.W. HARRIS OR YOU’LL HEAR FROM ME!
Ty’s condescending comment as J.W. Harris takes on Pound the Alarm: “…that grit he has… once he finds his stride, and knows he can ride bulls in this arena, and has the confidence that he does belong here, I’m looking forward to great things from him in his career.” What, like 4 PRCA gold buckles don’t count? Harris turned in a 90.50 ride. EHD! (Eat His Dust!) Adds Craig: “A score based on honesty, and you’ve got to prove it every second.” Hey, this is the PBR—you can’t use “score” and “honesty” in the same sentence. Later JW is facing Honey Hush, and Ty chimes in with, “He is gonna try to play on a rider’s weakness, but JW Harris doesn’t have too many weaknesses.” Damn straight: he scored 93.25 and landed on his feet.

CUTE
I almost forgave Justin McBride for calling Chase Outlaw “a little bitty guy” when Leah Garcia said that the 22-year-old has been skipping in the hallways every day.

I’m Just Sayin’…

  • Has anyone else noticed that Ty Murray can’t stop talking, and most of what he says is negative? I have a feeling that the longer he’s an ex-bull rider, the worse it’s gonna get. If he starts sniping at J.B., then maybe the bosses will rein him in. He even made a condescending comment about Ben Jones: “He’s a fan favorite because they know how passionate he is, how much it means to him, to make the whistle up here with the big boys.” The big boys?? I’d put my money on Ben as the “big boy” if he and the pipsqueak ever met in a dark alley.
  • I’m A Gangster Too bucked off Emilio Resende (and scored 45), causing The Bummer to blather that “he can only sit and watch and hope one of his compatriots comes through with the win.” Craig still thinks this is an international rivalry. I’ve got news, Hummer, the only ones with a chip on their shoulders are the Americans.
  • Ty never tires of saying that Guilherme Marchi has a mental block against riding bulls that turn away from his hand, and that’s why he’s no longer in the race. So why did Cody Lambert match him with Poker Face, who’s a leftie?
  • Ty comments that Alves “doesn’t get too high after a ride.” Alves is the only one who’s 4 for 4, he’s in the chute on Hokey Pokey (and of course on the clock), then rides for 50—god forbid the judges should move him ahead of J.B.—and he whooped and hollered like everyone else, screaming into the camera lens. It made the Brazilians in the audience start singing.
  • It makes me mad every time someone says Bushwacker has been ridden only twice. It’s THREE times: J.B. Mauney, Markus Mariluch, and Thiago Paguioto.

Make up your mind, Murray!

  • Billy Robinson had a messy out; the bull hipped himself, and “changed the trajectory of the ride.” As we were surprised to learn a couple of years ago (very surprised), that rule applies to certain riders more than others, and they’ll get a re-ride. Ty Murray was the one who told us all about that “rule.” Now he says he disagrees with it! In his not-so-humble opinion, the bull bucked off Robinson.
  • “I’m gonna say Asteroid takes him down,” Fairweather Ty pronounces about Silvano.
  • If a rider admits to pain or being less than 100% in shape, he’s making excuses. If he says he’s 100% when he’s hurting, he‘s not being honest, he’s kidding himself. Tell us what you did, because that must be right.

Forehead-Smacker
“He controls his own destiny,” pronounces Hummer about Alves. And THAT, in a nutshell, is what’s been pissing off the PBR judges (and announcers, and Director of Livestock) for two years.
Incredible! At the 11th hour, Ty Murray is now backing Alves.

Here we go again…the Chief Nitwit in action
“Heavy Dose is able to administer the heavy hand to Ryan Dirteater.”
“Boot Jack took the boot to Gage Gay.”
“Ty Pozzobon brings the truth against White Lie.”
“Thank you for being the yin to my yang,” Hummer says to Ty. ROTFL! Does he even know what that means? He’s calling Ty a girl, and saying that they, um—well, if you know what the yin/yang symbol looks like, you can figure out the rest. Clearly, Hummer thinks it just means they have opposite views on something.
“Joao has the drive of a little brother. He wants and needs to prove to the world he has a chance… and to himself that he’s as good as anyone else.” Uh, dude, it’s not like JRV is related to Fabiano Vieira. And stop pretending you’re psychic.
“The bull that has elevated bull riding in the eyes of the world…It’s a curtain call that will be remembered through the ages.” Hummer, losing his marbles.
“Asteroid has seen his competition and knows what’s on the line, he hopes that he can increase the stakes…” When did The Bummer study ventriloquism? How do you sit a 1700-lb bovine on your lap?
“Silvano is only part of the discussion where he has begun to state his case for that conversation.” I can’t figure out this one for the life of me.
“A new name will be etched into eternity,” blathers CH as we see a blank World Championship buckle on screen. Eternity?? Exactly how long do you think bull riding will be around, Craig? Or for that matter, the planet.
“The bulls are having their way with the cowboys.” Well, Craig, you know what they say: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Awww…

  • Gage Gay’s instant buckoff was a terrible moment for him—it wasn’t a wreck, but his nerves got the better of him. He ran out as fast as he could, looking severely humiliated, knocked out of the Championship Round.
  • Loved the videoclip of Joao talking about himself, saying he wants fans to know he’s a very humble person. “I have goals and I want to achieve my goals. I dream big dreams, I dream like everyone else. I’m very friendly, if anyone needs help, all they have to do is ask, and I open his heart to anyone.” He does have a sweet face and a gentle manner, I have to say. Can you imagine a bullrider from any other country talking like that?

Bulls to Remember

  • Braveheart: his first two or three flying leaps were huge, then he pulled a direction change in midair. Yowza!
  • Air Time, who has been spectacular, made a mess of this out. Joao Ricardo Vieira needs to ride Air Time, or he loses the World Championship. Justin rightly called it: “This bull is a ticking time bomb in the chute.” Renato was 92 on this bull—the only one to ride him. (Right here we catch a shot of Silvano in the wings doing that tennis player rocking back and forth thing.) What a terrible out for Air TIme! He bucked vertically in the chute before the gate opened, then again backwards as he came out, made a huge jump. and was trying so hard, he stumbled in front and fell on his knees; his ass hit the ground, but he got up and kept jumping. Vieira miraculously didn’t let go. He actually made 8 seconds, but had touched the bull. He had no option but to take a re-ride, on the bull that had slammed Robson Palermo. The bull’s one bad trip blew him out of the running for the world title. We all knew Bushwacker was going to be Bull of the Year, but still, I like to see spectacular bulls.

YAY

  • At least the chute clock is visible, even if they’re putting an awful lot of riders on it.
  • The “Run Mike Run” sign rimmed by lights, courtesy of a fan.

NO YAY

  • Fabiano Vieira didn’t tape up his shoulder the last two nights, and has been getting physical therapy, so he can lift his arm higher now: he says his shoulder’s 100% fine, “I’ve just been falling off these bulls.” Crossfire blew him up out of the rope, and Fabiano landed hard right on that shoulder. Concussion. Serious bummer.
  • Renato was hustled out of the chute before he was ready, the bull had an instant bobble, bashed him in the face with his skull, and threw him—except that Renato’s hand was stuck; when he came down, the bull went at him with his horns and then danced on him. It took the whole bullfighting gang to get RRR off Nunes; if it weren’t for them, as Ty said, “that bull would still be camped out on Renato.” I always wonder if, as he’s as he’s sailing through the air, probably upside down, or flattened on the dirt with a monster coming down on him, a rider is thinking: “Mama shouldn’t have let me grow up to be a cowboy!”

NEVER SEEN NOTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE (a nod to Robbie Robertson)
JRV was on the clock. The gate opened before he nodded. He held onto it to pull it shut; the bull wouldn’t move. He nodded again, then the bull came out. Joao did an astounding job of pulling himself back up to center over and over, but touched the bull. I think the gate man did it on purpose. I also noticed that the background music becomes “Born in the USA,” as if in response to Brazilian fans in the audience singing. Talk about hostility.

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

  • Percolator by the bull. 94, to drop Alves to 2nd. Man, talk about bullshit! The judges had this one worked out. Leah throws him a creampuff, giving him a chance to lick some PBR boots. “What’s this mean to you, the PBR & the World Finals?” This kind of scoring is how the judges managed to push JB up in the standings to #4 in the world, when out of the top 10, only one other rider had a lower rider percentage than Mauney.
  • “Meanwhile, if Mauney stays in first, he will be the one who faces Asteroid,” and Craig goes into comparisons of the top “greatest of all time” athletes. He’s all excited that J.B. “still could knock Silvano out of the top spot!” “We could see some huge numbers,” Ty predicts. Well, DUH; all J.B. has to do is stay on Percolator, and the judges will do their darnedest. “Put an obstacle in front of Mauney, and he’s gonna knock it down, in emphatic fashion.” Ya mean the judges are gonna knock it down, which they did with a 94. This drops Silvano to second place. J.B. of course rode him “dead easy and steps off him like he just steps off the bus.” If that were Alves, they’d say the bull was too easy, score him in the low 70s, and Ty would remind us that if you land on your feet after a ride, you should be ashamed of yourself, and you’ll take shit from your buddies in the locker room (except that this is J.B.).

For this ride, Mauney was given the Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award for the second year in a row, which goes to the rider with the highest-marked ride of the event. The judges were throwing every consolation prize at him that they could. 

  • Julio Moreno, chomping on his gum at 100 mph, was more nervous than Mike Lee, who was getting on Bushwacker. Lee was the victim of a brutal crunch; afterward, he was so wobbly and stunned, he could barely wave. After the bull’s final out, Julio was trying so hard to hold back his emotions, he could hardly get out one sentence to Leah. I don’t know why men are afraid to leak a few tears when they’re feeling something big. When he retired, Chris Shivers wasn’t embarrassed to cry in front of thousands of people.
  • Love the old clips of Bushwacker as a calf. Bulletin: Cody Lambert finally admits it: “J.B. got lucky to ride Bushwacker.” B.’s comment later when he was interviewed (again): “You see bulls slow down a bit after they get conquered, but he hasn’t lost a bit.” Conquered?? Surely you jest. Nobody conquered that bull. He was being careful on the weird dirt at that event—in case anyone has forgotten the bulls slipping and sliding. The Big B felt it: he couldn’t give it his all without falling and hurting himself. He’s the smartest bull on the planet: acted for self-preservation instead of turning it up to 11. A score doesn’t mean bullshit to him. (Hey, if Hummer can tell you what Bushwacker’s thinking, I can tell you what he’s feeling. Why not?)
  • And I don’t think his 46.50 tonight was enough. It still amazes me how he explodes, finishes his job, then just goes right back to the chute and stands there quietly, like, “TGIF.” And when he bucks a guy off, he always gives one or two more showoff kicks; I love that he keeps flinging his kind end skyward even after he’s gotten rid of the cowboy and is halfway into the exit chute. I think he knows he’s spectacular; he’s giving people the full 8 seconds, no matter what the cowboy did. Class act.

WAS HER FACE RED!
Leah Garcia interviews Gage Gay as Rookie of the Year, who says he wasn’t happy with how he was doing, and that Tanner Byrne (his main competition) was riding “real good.” He still wasn’t looking thrilled: “I guess I lucked up and I got it I guess.” Guess is right. Poor thing, as Mom would say. Only much later, after the event was over, did the PBR issue an “oops!” tweet that in fact, J.W. Harris was named Rookie of the Year. There was quite a kerfuffle on Twitter. I thought it was a joke when I saw the announcement; JW is no rookie! Again, poor Gage—it’s not like he can get a do-over.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The standing ovation for Bushwacker.
  • Eduardo Aparecido, despite being put on the clock (the usual theme for Brazilian riders), had a lovely waltz with Roy (46 for the bull); the Wow! Factor: he scored 93.25.
  • J.W. Harris’s 93.25 on Honey Hush. Leah asked how he has two 90s in one event: “Just keep your hand shut.” He don’t need no stinkin’ judges.
  • “When it comes to bullriding, the Brazilians set the standards.” That came out of The Bummer. It only took a few years for him to get it.

THE WINNER!
J.W. Hart thinks Asteroid will beat Alves. Shorty says, “We really know nothing” about what’s going to happen tonight. Aw, come on, you don’t see “The Brazilian” winning?

This time Ty refrained from badmouthing Alves, giving him credit for understanding the points system! I guess a 53% riding percentage can’t be ignored. Check this: “In final situations, I think he’s as good as anybody we’ve ever seen. We’ve never seen Silvano have a misfire here at the World Finals.” “Alves has done everything right so far,” oozes Craig, who has been right on the anti-Alves bandwagon for much of the season. Now Justin says, “He’s done some incredible things; I want to see him get on Asteroid.”

For his 5th match against Asteroid, Alves was put on the clock (quelle surprise!); even at the end of the season, the judges have to get in their digs. “When he believes in himself as much as everybody else does, he can ride anything,” says Ty Murray, who apparently has amnesia about 15 minutes ago, when he said he’d give the match to Asteroid—not to mention everything he’s ever said about Silvano Alves, and somehow is under the delusion that Alves ever doubted himself. And he’s still harping on re-rides.

Silvano gets 87.25– the SOB judges couldn’t stand to give him a 90, but JB gets 90s for lesser bulls. During that ride, it was crystal clear how aware he was in the moment, keeping his free hand from touching the bull. The Booth Boys didn’t even announce his score; you had to catch it on screen. “I be happy to ride Asteroid, ride him before,” meaning, this was the 5th matchup, and the first time he scored. Well, 87.25 ain’t too shabby.

He won the event title, too. When Joao (put on the clock) got bucked off by Yo Yo, Alves became the World Champion. His compadres threw him on the dirt and pummeled him. Hilarious! Adriano Moraes was in the stands screaming. He was the first to run out and grab Silvano, who head-butted his chest, and Marchi, then was airlifted onto a lot of Brazilian shoulders. It’s no surprise to Moraes: six years ago Adriano predicted that Alves would become the greatest bullrider in history. Silvano had good reason for putting his arm around Moraes.

Post-game Wrap-up:
Now JDub is praising Alves’ resilience, talking about how he didn’t let anything bother him, “what anyone said, whatever we said…,” not letting what anyone says about him bother him, and us giving him heck…” (I think that was the word). So, you’re admitting you guys were a bunch of sour-grapes bad sports, and Silvano rose above your bullshit?

Not exactly shocking: Leah interviews J.B. instead of Alves, as if he’s more important than than the winner! When the Booth Boys ask Shorty about this week, his comments are all about Bushwacker. And I don’t think I saw one American or bullfighter congratulating him Silvano.

Bulletin: Justin McBride pronounced Silvano’s last name right—an amazing feat, considering his mouth is clenched so tight, it looks like it’s killing him to admit that Silvano is a three-peat champ. (Four-peat, for those of us who paid attention to the judges’ agenda last year.) Now McBride and Lambert have to eat crow and say that Alves is the second man to win three titles, and the only one to win back-to-back, but they get off the subject of Alves a.s.a.p. and talk about everything else. I also noticed one jerk in a black suit and white shirt on the podium looking very displeased about seeing Alves holding up the trophy and the Brazilian and American flags.

Silvano’s statement: ““I’m just so thankful to God; this has been an amazing year, I can’t believe I actually reached my third year, even despite all the criticism I faced throughout the season, I backed myself up and proved my point.” YEAH!!

 

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Pretend this didn’t happen yet: Finals, Oct. 25

LIKE IT

  • J.W. Harris helping Jordan Hupp at the chute: pinching him by the scruff of the neck like a mama tiger does to a cub.
  • Jesse Byrne almost broke his face smiling during the Byrne boys’ double-act interview. Tanner had just scored 87.75 on Jo Jo, who was spinning so fast that from the aerial view, he looked like a windup toy. Even cuter: watching Jesse bouncing up and down while Tanner rode, in anticipation of running in for the defense.
  • Leah talking about Marchi walking down the corridor beating on his chest like Tarzan: “That’s what makes him so lovable.” Me Jane.

I’M JUST SAYIN’…

  • At the top of the broadcast was an interview with J.B. Mauney. Even when he hasn’t got a prayer of winning the world title, the PBR acts like he’s the most important story. Leah Garcia asked him what the best thing was that he could take away from the Finals, even though he can’t win the title. Regardless of the “I’m just letting it all hang out, gonna have fun” script, poor J.B. looked really droopy and sad.
  • Chase Outlaw was in the chute wrapping on Wolverine. And wrapping. And wrapping. “A lot of prep time, Shorty,” Craig noted. Shorty Gorham chimes in with, “He’s taking care of business, getting everything just right…” which apparently Silvano Alves isn’t allowed to do.
  • Matt Triplett and Delco: THAT was the Marquee Matchup! Score was 89.

TOO EMBARRASSING: HUMMER’S HERO WORSHIP

“J.B. Mauney—he’s doing everything right at the moment. That bruise showing. But he’s wearing it as a badge of honor.”

“History has shown, when Mauney sets his mind to something, watch out, world! But he knows that this time…” bla bla bla

“There isn’t enough fireworks or flame throwers in this area to compare to JB Mauney…” says Craig, projecting his hots for J.B.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

  • Tar Heel wasn’t just trying to throw himself up out of the chute like other bulls do—he literally was climbing out, up the rails, using his hooves like feet! Didn’t bode well for Josh Faircloth. Ty’s description of that out: “Worst and best ride he’s ever made. He’s not doing one thing right; he’s not even attempting to do anything right—the only thing he’s doing is to try to do everything to hang on.” Shades of the hanging-sideways JB/Code Blue ride, which I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to see in person. Josh’s post-ride comment: “When I tie my hand in there, I mean it.” 77.50 was his reward.
  • Fabiano Vieira—put on the clock, nursing a damaged shoulder, kept his free arm down, rode Hungry Eyes, landed on his feet, and scored 86.50. (The judges don’t hate Fabiano.) The funny thing: he kept his shoulder down through the whole ride, and even on his dismount—then used it by throwing his hat up in the air.
  • They put Alves on the clock (surprise, surprise) as he sat on Freakster. The shocker: the 86.25 score that put him back in 1st place in the world.

THE ALVES MOMENT

Liked the video of Silvano talking about how important it is to be here, for his family’s future. He said there’s more security, and he wants his children to be educated here. Adorable bit: his little son in a cowboy outfit, on a rocking horse, holding one arm in the air like he’s riding. “Good job, cowboy!” Dad says.

Leah asked Alves why J.B. won last year. Are you kidding?? You’re there in the thick of the “atmosphere,” and you’re in denial about what the judges have done for two years? Alves was too polite to tell the truth. He skirted the issue like a gentleman. When she asked whether he or João was going to win, he just started laughing. (A rare moment) 

PBR ran a mid-Finals website story on Alves that was quite revealing. Props to writer Justin Felisko for getting Silvano’s thinking into print. May I also say a huge HALLELUJAH for the PBR finally hiring a translator: Miriaham Contreras. (I guess they finally had to admit that the Killer Bs are here to stay.) Now we can hear what he really said. I quote from the article, for the Alves Haters Brigade: 

Alves has always looked at the bigger picture when it comes to the re-ride scenario. He is focused on winning a gold buckle and the World Finals event title.

“It is in the moment. It is not an overall plan,” Alves said. “If I see the points and there is a certain amount of points I need, I am going to give it my all. I risk losing points if I take a re-ride and don’t ride. Then I lose points for the event average.”

“Sometimes the judging affects the re-ride situation,” Alves said before the start of the Finals. “The re-ride (bull) may be a bad one, or it might be a good one. I know sometimes they are an 84-point ride, but I also know that sometimes with the re-ride situation and me, the judges may give me a 79 instead of an 80-something. I don’t want the judges to help me. I just want them to be fair.” 

Nine-time World Champion Ty Murray, PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert and two-time World Champion Justin McBride all agreed that Alves was given to low of a score. [Editorial note: correct English is, “too low a score.]

“I feel like the judges got it wrong,” Murray said. “He did try to pick the easiest bull in the round and that is why he was on the bull that had the weakest out.” [Editorial comment: Shut up, Ty. You’re just plain insulting.]

Later in the article:

“He is in the driver’s seat,” Murray said. “He is using the current system perfectly. Anything he draws, I feel like he is going to ride. I’ve seen him ride bulls before that give others hell and he makes them look easy.” [Editorial comment: OMG! Ty continually bitches about Silvano’s strategy and complains that he picks easy bulls, and then he says this?? Is the man schizophrenic??]

“There is nothing wrong with this guy riding,” McBride said. “He is right on track with his game plan and his strategy. He is going to knock them all down and I think he is going to be the World Champion.”

Okay, that’s the print version. During the broadcast, McBride said Silvano always picks from the bottom of the pen, the weaker bulls—then had to scramble to retract his huge insult to the stock contractors: “but that’s not the case tonight, because of the caliber of the bulls.”

“If you pick ’em, you’re s’posed to ride ‘em,” says J.W. Hart. But when Alves does that, he’s picking “weak” bulls, and he’s “chicken.” Right?

“It’s been 24 hours when a lot of people have questioned Silvano,” says Craig the genius. Questioned?? The word is crucified. And then this forehead-smacker: “If it weren’t for J.B.’s marvelous run last year, this guy would already have three world championships,” says Craig. “If J.B. hadn’t got on the roll of all rolls last year, Silvano may have been on his way to his fourth world championship,” says Ty. %#@$%^&*! You mean if it weren’t for the judges’ “marvelous run” last year! If Alves hadn’t constantly been put on the clock, harassed, and underscored, he would have 3 trophies. As far as a lot of us are concerned, Silvano DID win his third world championship.

Here’s the corker: “I feel dirty about this, but I’m gonna get on the Silvano bandwagon,” says Cody Lambert, flipflopping again.

BUILT-FORD-TOUGH BULL
Long John caused me a big WOW—he was powerful, vertical, and scored a 47.25. He’s the same one that hammered J.W. Harris in Springfield a couple of months ago when J.W. had the nerve to ride him for 87.50. 

NOT-SO-TOUGH BULL:
Lachlan Richardson scored on Comfortably Numb, then both of them ended up rollin’ and tumblin’ on the dirt. Richardson came out of it with a bloody face, but the bull would’ve stayed like a turtle on its back, legs flailing, if it weren’t for Shorty, who righted it.

FASHION DISASTER ALERT
Brady Sims shed his apple green chaps, courtesy of Half Time, and made his escape dragging them behind, wrapped around one ankle.

I WISH TO GOD TY WOULD SHUT UP FOR EVEN JUST FIVE SECONDS!!
I wrote that note before the round was even half over.
One gem to emerge from his pie hole: “If you come to the World Finals a few times, you’re gonna see every side of the coin.” He apparently thinks we use 3-D quarters.
Another brain fart: “Here’s what I think about Silvano…I feel like Silvano can ride any bull here,” he says, contradicting his accusations of Alves picking easy bulls or making a bull look easy.

CAN’T STAND IT!!

  • In Round 1 Robson Palermo got stepped on, and acquired a sprained ankle. In this round, Hot Iron did the damage. Poor Robson: thrown off, crumpled over, can’t stand up straight without help—and Ty’s babbling again about Robson not trusting his shoulder. Dude, the guy can’t walk, and he CAN’T lift his shoulder—it’s not like he isn’t trying!
  • “Many are calling this the Marquee Matchup,” says Craig, salivating over JB Mauney vs. Bruiser. Oh really? Who are the “many”? You? 82.25 would move Mauney to the lead, so of course all he has to do is stay on, and gets rewarded with 93.25. Honest to god, Frank Newsom was kissing Mauney out on the dirt.
  • JB clonked his face against the bull, got tossed off, then fell flat. As Leah interviewed him, a big raw red bruise was already showing on his right cheekbone. He kinda wasn’t making total sense, but I guess that’s what happens when your brains make contact with a bull’s skull. Craig can’t wait to start blithering about his mancrush again: “Let’s go back to JB Mauney… it’s Mauney that sends the message,” even while Stetson Lawrence comes out of the chute. Two words for J.B.: HEL-MET!
  • “You can never have enough or win enough,” is how The Bummer imagines Silvano’s mindset. The thing is, nobody’s heard him say anything like that.
  • Ty once again was yammering about that “mental block” Marchi has about riding bulls away from his hand: “and if he doesn’t fix it, he’s a 50% bull rider.” I guess Ty hasn’t noticed that he’s still in the world’s top 10.

YUP
Says J.W. Hart about Gage Gay, “He’s got a whole lot of confidence; he ain’t afraid to tell you how good he is, either, but he’s gotta take care of business first, then do the talking.” 

NITWITTICISMS, BY “NONE-OTHER-THAN” THE HUMMER BUMMER
“Wolverine baring all his claws.”
“Wagon Wheel didn’t need many turns before Resende touches ground.”
“Dollar Hunt has an out that makes him look like a hundred dollar bill.”
“Set ‘em Up Joe tried to set up the Brazilian, but Eduardo wasn’t biting.”
Re Muddy Smile: “We will see who’s smiling after this matchup.”
“J.B. takes the pop, but says to Bruiser, I’m gonna take the final blow.”

TALKING DIRTY
“The direction change was enough to get Marchi off… He immediately gets stiff… starts straining.” I don’t have to tell you who said that, do I?

WHAT DIDJA EXPECT?
The judges managed to move J.B. up to #2 in the world behind Alves, by making him win Round 4 with that 93.25. See, they could afford to bestow the 86.25 on Silvano because they’d already showered Mauney with that 93.25, guaranteeing the round win. The only rider the judges would score higher is Chris Shivers.

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FINALS FUNK – OCT. 24 ROUND 3

Things started to get funky in the middle of Finals (or funkier, I should say, ‘cause they haven’t been smelling sweet for quite a while).

SMELL THE FUNK:
“We had the ground rules and we couldn’t change ‘em,” declares Cody Lambert. As we say in New York, “Get outta town!” The PBR changes rules any time they feel like it, according to which rider is in the chute. And if they don’t change ‘em, they just selectively apply ‘em.

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS…
At first I thought it was just me, because I love shiny things, but then I saw that yippee! the dirt really did have gold glitter in it. I think they should adopt this as a permanent feature, with different colors according to where the event is. I vote purple for New York.

NITWITTICISMS

  • “Pain hurts.”—Kody Lostroh, genius.
  • I wish I had a transcript of the really funny discussion of cowboy math. You know how some of the guys are fond of saying that Mississippi Hippy (2300 lbs.) weighs twice as much as Bushwacker? (1700 lbs., in spite of the PBR website that lists almost every bull as 1500 lbs. People, somebody needs to update that!) Ty Murray and Justin McBride are usually heading the multiplication-challenged brigade, but apparently Jody Markiss can top that. Contemplating the size of ol’ Miss., he opined, “If he put on another coupla hundred pounds, he’d weigh a ton!”

HE KNOWS NOT WHEREOF HE SPEAKS

  • “An intriguing race…especially when you throw in that judge factor.”—Justin McBride, landing a good one without even knowing it. Atta boy, Justin—although I’m sure you didn’t mean to suggest that perhaps when it comes to riders from south of the border, the judges have a chip on their shoulders the size of North Carolina
  • “The PBR’s version of Hump Day, here at the World Finals,” says Craig Hummer, with no idea how funny he is from being around all those Bramers.

KNUCKLE-DRAGGER OF THE MONTH
I was amazed to see Michael Gaffney doing a cameo appearance—where has the G Man been for the past two years? Oops—he opened his mouth, and now I know where: in his cave. He told a story about being in the elevator on his way back from the Finals, where he announced his retirement. Among those in the elevator was Adriano Moraes. Says Gaffney, “He’s kind of emotional; he’s half a girl.”
Neanderthal jerk. There’s nothing wrong with being emotional OR a girl. You’re half the man Adriano is.

CAN’T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN
Love the locker room shot of Alves, calm as ever, reading what looks sorta like an OTB sheet.
Love what Joao Ricardo Vieira said in his montage. What a sweet man!

JUST SAYIN’…

  • Now that Matt Triplett is The Great White Hope, I wonder how much help he’ll get from the judges, nudging him up to Killer B territory? Nothing against Matt; it’s the judges I revile.

*Note from after Finals: I shoulda put money on it!

  • Craig Hummer literally believes that J.B. Mauney is the new Messiah: “That desire he has, has taken on almost Biblical…” wish I had caught the rest of it!
  • You know how when a rider almost makes 8 and challenges it, the two clocks show a discrepancy? And the rider loses some time, and doesn’t get a score? Interestingly, when Ryan Dirteater left Winter Jack’s back at 7.90 (for god knows what reason; he was perfect until then) and challenged the time, he actually picked up more time; enough to make 8 and 86.75. Does that mean they fixed the clock, or fiddled with it?
  • Of course the Booth Boys were blathering about all the 90-point rides J.B. Mauney has at the Finals. Yup, that’s when the judges do their damnedest to push their boy up in the rankings—and how many of them really were 90-point rides? Not to mention how many times he’s allowed to rewrap. And just as I wrote that, he was given a re-ride option on a different bull.
  • Ever notice how every 90-point score is “whopping”? Craig can’t say “90” without sticking “a whopping” in front of it, just like he’s incapable of saying a South American rider’s name without putting “The Brazilian” before or after it.
  • “Rumor is he’s going for the round win,” blathers Hummer about Marchi. Because the other guys are going for the round loss.
  • Ben Jones is here, but apparently he didn’t want to come out of his room because he didn’t qualify for the Finals. Awwww, come on, Ben—we still love ya even if you don’t dance.

BETTER LEFT UNSAID

  • Ty Murray felt compelled to tell us about Gage Gay (in a Krazy Kowboy Verb Tense, no less): “He’s even threw up while he was in the chute.”
  • “And speaking of Brazilians…”—Hummer the Bummer

NEW KIDS IN TOWN:

  • Cody Webster is the new bullfighter; he was raised by Frank Newsom, and used to wear Shorty’s hand-me-down cleats. Them’s some big footsteps to follow in, but Cody did a great job.
  • Fernando Henrique, an invitee from Brazil (so naturally he was referred to as “The Brazilian”) took on Brave Heart and ended up in Sports Medicine. His face mask saved him from having a smashed mug as the bull’s skull bashed him. May I quote Axl Rose: Welcome to the jungle.

BULL STUFF
This is Mick E. Mouse’s third time at the Finals; it wasn’t the charm, but who expected anyone else but Bushwacker to win Bull of the Year?
This is Smackdown’s last time at the Finals. I’m gonna miss the curly guy. Says Craig Hummer in his not-so-perfect English, “Smackdown wins his final dool.”
Never seen anything like it: There’s no excuse for debuting any bull at the Finals, especially one with Mexican fighting bull blood, bred to fight. Blue Crush tried to jump out of the chute—then made his exit by dragging his ass on the ground like that dog in the commercial (which never fails to make me howl). You know: the one with the itchy a**hole. Hopeless. He did show his fighting streak, though, going at the bullfighters.

  • Shout out to us: The Short Bus is the first bull from New York State to make it to the Finals. I told ya there’s bull riding out here!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Poker Face was unridden in 51 outs—and Renato Nunes broke his streak. YEAH! Backflip time! He thought he was picking a different bull, and when he saw the stats, he said, “Uh-oh.” Unbelievably enough, Ty Murray is still mispronouncing his name, as Noon-yes. The doofi (that’s plural for doofus) judges gave him an 89—just couldn’t bear to waste any confetti on one of those.
  • Finally, for the first time in two years of taking crap from the doofi, Alves said the most drastic thing he’s ever said, which thousands of us have been saying for years at the top of our lungs: “The judge is crazy.” Then he got too nice and said, “but I am no judge.” He has far too much patience.

HEADLINES!

  • C Note forgot his A-game, and holy moly! the judges actually stuck it to a non-Brazilian: gave Stetson Lawrence a choice of 70 or a re-ride on King Buck. Yikes.
  • “We’ve seen Silvano a few times this season get put on the clock.”—Craig. YA THINK???

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON…
…that “Wired” feature pays off. This time it was Tanner Byrne, addressing White Lie, who was be-bopping in the chute: “Come on, bull!” Not as colorful as Ben Jones on a blue streak, but who is?

GETTING FUNKIER BY THE MINUTE

  • The judges were extra sadistic, putting every other rider on the clock. It’s like they just wanted to get it all over with and head to the bar: Ryan Dirteater because he wanted to re-pull his rope, Claudio Crisostomo, who didn’t look settled when they forced him out of the chute, Valdiron de Oliveira, Mike Lee.
  • Little Willie was bucking all over the chute, and Emilio Resende would’ve gone flying if somebody didn’t have him in a bear grip. From the Peanut Gallery: “Every time you get off a bull when he’s rocking like that, you’re just rewarding them for that behavior,” followed by, “Emilio didn’t really believe in himself.” This is Ty’s new thing: telling us that “Fill-in-the-blank [usually a Brazilian name] doesn’t really believe in himself.” He recently applied that theory to Silvano Alves. Yeahhh, right. As for Robson Palermo, whom Ty has praised so many times, “He doesn’t trust his shoulders, and he has to get the confidence,” bla bla bla.
  • Modified Clyde rattled Douglas Duncan around in the chute, so instead of a DQ for taking too much time in there: a re-ride.
  • Kody Lostroh needs 90.25 to lead. Of course they gave him 90, to tie him for 1st place! Compact was boring, but they scored him 50.
  • OF COURSE they gave JB 90.25 for riding Hou’s Back (P.F.F.: He had to hang onto the fence to get off the bull, so he didn’t bother going back down to the dirt to exit through the gate; he just hopped the fence.), for his 55th 90-point ride. Yeah, it was a good ride, but the overly generous score was designed to push him up to 3rd.
  • “The best one so far in the round—who else? JB Mauney, making an impression…”—The Bummer, licking cowboy boots again.
  • “Even though he’s made a safe pick for this round,” snarks Hummer about JRV’s choice of Hy Test.
  • Another loud plop on the ground: Mike Lee. He didn’t seem to be fouled; at least not in the replay we saw on TV, but he got a sympathy re-ride.
  • “We always see him picking these easier bulls…”—Snot-faced Ty insulting the back-to-back World Champion.
  • Silvano’s bull: Here We Go Again. (You think that matchup was an accident? You don’t know Cody Lambert.) Another low score, another attempt to force him to take his re-ride option. I knew the bull was lazy, and the score would be low, but 69?? The crowd was booing—not Alves, but the 69.
  • The rest of the commentating descended into shitting on Silvano.
  • So the judges fixed it for JB to win the round, and he gets first pick tomorrow.
Posted in Built Ford Tough Series, Bull Riding, cowboys, PBR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments