HIGHLIGHTS (AND LOWLIGHTS) – Aug. 15, 2010 Bridgestone Arena, Nashville – Round 2

LOWLIGHTS:
     Craig “Bummer” makes his introductory nitwitticism: “You’re definitely gonna have to stay on for eight seconds to book your spot in the championship round.” Does he even hear the stupidity that comes out of his mouth? Can’t anyone make him stop??
     Here’s another one for the books; don’t know who said this one, talking about the bulls: “They’re gonna do what it takes to get you on the ground.” Ya think???
     At this point, Ryan McConnell’d #8 in points for the World Championship, but all I can think is, what happened to that great red and black hat?? Why is he wearing a Farmer Jones corny straw hat?? They might take off style points for that. I think it’s making him buck off.
     Briscoe “doctored out”—and I wish the commentators would lay off and stop second-guessing the man. He’s no dummy. He’ll have a longer career than the guys who keep getting on bulls when they can hardly walk, have their appendages in splints or bandages, and keep bucking off, dragging themselves further down in the rankings. (“It’s only a flesh wound.”) Briscoe’s solution is to spend the next week training right-handed; he’s one of the few guys who can switch riding hands. He did it before in 2007.
     Robson Palermo scheduled his surgery for after the Finals; a half-sensible move. I just wish Aragao would take care of his riding hand once and for all; Hot Stuff hopped and jerked him around.
Lest we forget that the riders aren’t the only ones who get hurt, Frank Newsom got freight trained by Ground Pain this weekend.
     Shocker: Updraft whacked Valdiron in no time. That just doesn’t happen to the Iron Cowboy! (But even Renato bucked off Junior in Round 1.) It was Ednei Caminhas’s fault: he thought he was being helpful chute-side and gave Updraft a boot in the hiney as he exited the gate. Valdiron came away with a ripped sleeve (and a re-ride). I hope he made Ednei pay for the shirt.
     Right after this came the disappointing re-match of Marchi and Uncle Buck, who didn’t care that his rider was #5 in the world.
     A typical stupid Versus move: We missed Dustin Elliott’s ride because of a commercial.
     Then Renato bucked off Cool Spot. Valdiron had his 86-point re-ride, on Blue Cheese—while the “commentators” were gabbing about riders who can switch hands. Ned Cross rode the bull Michael Manes rode the night before; I missed the name because—big surprise—the guys in the booth didn’t bother to say it. If you turn your back or run to the fridge, you can’t keep up with what’s happening, because those guys count on viewers sitting in front of the TV watching the little score box in the lower left hand corner for the details, instead of doing their jobs and telling us rider and bull names, scores, and other stats. But nooooo…
     Here’s something someone at Versus might wanna fix, because it’s a regular occurrence: the camera looking the wrong way. This time, after Douglas Duncan bucked off Springtime, the bull refused to leave the arena, and made a big crowd-pleasing entertainment out of it—but the camera was meandering around, looking at cowboys standing around doing nothing. Point the damn lens to where the action is, bozo!
     Awful moments: Mike Lee hung up on Despicable Me for a scary amount of time, but Shorty Gorham did a heroic job of freeing Lee’s hand—from the other side of the bull. Whew. Brendon Clark had a nightmare ride; Green Cheese fell and slammed him down onto the ground, where he hit his head. Last night he got hit on the back of his helmet by Out of the Red. Watching him have trouble getting up, staying on his feet, and walking was reeeeally bad.
     Feel-sorry moments: Wiley’s 7.3 seconds on Bird Creek, who took huge jumps all over. Jared Farley’s buckoff streak continues, courtesy of Rowdy LJ. Cody Nance’s fashion woes: he wore a helmet AND hat (which looks really great with the jeans tucked into the boots), and had a big flap torn in his jeans by Hot Rod after buckoff. Nice rear view.
     Hard to believe, but the first million-dollar, $2-million-dollar, and $3-million-dollar cowboy, Chris Shivers, after an 87-point Round 1 ride on Toebreaker, got trashed by Unabomber.
     Big Stupid Versus Faux Pas: We missed the draft pick because they ran a “Don’t Give Up A Thing” video. We can see the damn clip any old time! How stupid is this program director?
     Bones, who had the weekend’s best bull score (I’d tell you what it was, if anyone bothered to tell the viewers), dumped Jordan Hupp. Voodoo Child dumped Robson. Code Blue dumped Sevi Tuturro. (What on earth gave Sevi the idea to pick that bull?) Chicken on a Chain put Jody Newberry in the well. Who Dat (on his first outing he bucked off Nunes) did the same to Proctor.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Ben Jones. Last night’s boogie on the Shark Cage was extra fancy; he was feelin’ his oats. This ride, there was plenty of daylight under him, but he scored 87.5, and (after being run over) was dancing before the bull left the ring.
Nice surprise: Sevi riding RFD-TV for 87.5. Austin Meier won Round 1 with an 89 on Red Hot, then made a wild ride aboard Heavy Hitter, who was flying—not just jumping or bucking—through the air. Austin landed on his feet! He deserved more than  82. He had to invent moves to stay on that beast; this was no textbook ride.
     Gallows humor in action: After riding Gringo, on his way out, Harve Stewart buckled to his knees in a fake fall that probably took a few years off Tandy Freeman’s life.
     Shane Proctor, #3 in the event, rode Misunderstood for 87.
Whaddaya know! One of the booth guys said something smart: the Americans better start going down to Brazil and winning some money. You’d think someone would’ve realized by now that if earnings are what gets you to the Finals, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
Best McKeeism of the night: “As gritty as sand in your scrambled eggs.”
In the Short Go, Uncle Buck quickly dumped Valdiron. Austin Meier rode Super Duty for 90.75. Mike Lee (#9 in the world) handled Rusty Zipper. “That matches the top score,” one of the booth guys said—but didn’t bother to tell us the score. Silvano Alves rode King Lopez for 86.25, but got stomped in the ass. Says McKee: “I’ll bet he’s got a crack back there.” Douglas Duncan did a lot better this time: 90.50 on Pinball Wizard, breaking the bull’s unridden streak—and that is a rank bull.

Cody Lambert commentating Caleb’s ride on Flip Side and Shivers’ hopscotch on Major Payne was a treat. He knows every technical detail of riding, and when he explains it, you really get what happened on each ride. Versus needs to patch him into the booth like they do with Leah Garcia. He can still supervise the bulls!
      Sitting under JB, Moon got spastic in the chute; supposedly the bull  can flip over backwards, so he has a ring in his nose to keep him tied. One of the three stooges made this brilliant crack: “JB would look good with a ring in his nose.” JB eclipsed Moon, though; after riding 3 for 3, he’s now #5 in the world.
     Wonderful grand finale: Ben Jones riding Buffalo Hump (his third 90-point ride) to his first BFTS win in his 12-year career. (This time, the dance extended all the way across the arena.)  “He stuck to him like Polygrip on a pair of falsies,” McKee said. Someone needs to tell him you use Polygrip on dentures, not boobs.
     Jones also put the PBR past its $100 million mark in payouts. Said Brandon Bates, “You tipped the iceberg.” Wha??

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One Response to HIGHLIGHTS (AND LOWLIGHTS) – Aug. 15, 2010 Bridgestone Arena, Nashville – Round 2

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