Above: Pistol Robinson
Above: Ryan McConnel
Above: Mike Lee
Above: Zack Brown
New riders showed up on the tour: Kevin McKeeman, Josh Faircloth, Danny Drown, and Ross Lewis. Faircloth and Drown were at the Worcester Invitational in May.
• It’s great to see Charlie Sampson as a judge. That’s the kind of guy who should be one!
• Ty Murray reiterating that Renato “did the right thing pushing that button.” I really like how (after his original both-sides-of-the-fence comment) he’s standing up for Nunes.
• In the overblown introductory melodrama, Luke Snyder lightened things up by skipping into the arena. His bull, however, not only went into neutral, but he also parked…and then didn’t want to leave the arena.
• Ryan McConnel’s bull Mr. Sam, after giving him an 87-point ride, went after Flint. So many bulls want to chase Flint —wonder why that is?
Speaking of Flint, he did such a sleazy bump-and-grind that Brandon Bates made them stop the music– “That is the creepiest!—“ and made him do it again. Flint posing with an Ariat boot was positively obscene; then he topped that by shaking his booty (not the Ariat one). This is the stuff you don’t see on Versus, folks.
• Once again, Silvano Alves matched his bull (Anchor Man) move for move, for 87.25.
• Caleb Sanderson was focused, all right; bubble boy (he’s at #41) took care of Deadliest Catch for 84 points.
• Cody Campbell is doing well (rode 4 out of 5), and after a judge mis-entered the bull’s score, got 87.75 for riding Tornado.
• Kasey Hayes, after 12 straight buckoffs, rode Ski Boot, who had been fidgeting very badly in the chute.
• Sevi Tuturro, in a wild print shirt, rode Chick’N Fried, the bull that creamed J.B. and knocked off his helmet, for 84. Sometimes bull riding is so random!
• Ben Jones took Hank for an 89.25 ride, and danced his way up onto the shark cage—with the bull running after him…while Justin McBride danced in the booth.
• Silvano Alves won his third event of the year, with his first 90+ ride of the season–and he’s been on the tour for only half the season! Ednei Caminhas translated for Alves’ interview; the gist being that he is under pressure and looking forward to the next event.
NITWITTICISMS: And once again, they’re pure Craig:
• The great thing about watching a PBR event live is that you don’t have to put up with Hummer. One of the most annoying things about him (and there are so many) is The Bummer’s constant Omniscient Narrator trip, when he tells you what’s inside a rider’s head:
“He’s looking to re-create the magic…” “Jody Newberry’s hoping…” “McKennon Wimberly wants to have a say about how the championships are going to shake out.”
How does he know? Did he ASK Jody what he’s hoping? Did he ASK Austin or whoever it was about what he’s looking to do? Did he talk to McKennon about what he wants? STOP IT!
• His comment on a bull: “Sounds of Madness seemed to get winded up more and more.” That’s wind, as in what you do to a clock. This is one o’ them cowboy verb tenses, only The Bummer’s not even a cowboy.
• “It’s all about riding bulls, staying focused.” Golly, if ya hadn’t told us, we’da never guessed.
• Before Shane Proctor’s ride: “J.B. will not make it back to the Championship Round. Let’s see if his brother-in-law does.” Look, Hummer, if there’s anyone in the PBR universe who doesn’t know by now that Shane and J.B. are related, they’re never gonna get it. STOP IT!
• Aw, jeez: somebody finally told Hummer the Bummer how to say “Al-ves,” but now he’s saying “Silvanyo.”
Quotes from Austin Meier:
When asked what’s his secret to staying focused, he said it’s his “I-don’t-give-a-care attitude…just puttin’ your heart out there and not givin’ a care. I don’t give a care what Renato, J.B., and those guys are doing. I just ride my bulls.” I wish cowboys were allowed to curse.
Is his success due to determination, drive, or picking good bulls?
“You can always draw good bulls, and you can mess ‘em up pretty good, too.”
MORE COWBOY VERB TENSES:
• Austin Meier about Big Guns, who bucked him off last night: “I sure didn’t get him rode.”
• Brandon Bates (I think) commenting on Kasey Hayes choosing his bull in the draft: “He’s went with Major Payne.”
AND NOW THE ADJECTIVES:
The Cowboy Dictionary is expanding: McBride called Ben Jones’ dance “infectuous.” (And you should see how much my Spell Check objected to that word!)
• The guys in the booth talking about college football while Wiley Petersen’s ride started, and talking about the Sears catalogue during Newberry’s ride. Ya do that at the bar after the gig, boys, not while it’s happening.
• The video screens showing the rides somehow stopped putting up the bulls’ names in front of the ride, and instead waited until the end of the ride to post them. NOT GOOD, folks. We like to know who’s riding what BEFORE they leave the chute.
• Poor Sean Willingham got on a weirdly confusing, arrhythmic bull called Nasty Town, did what he could, but still got bucked off.
• Renato Nunes bucked off 10 of his last 12 bulls, and this time it was Soulja Boy who did him in, which shows you that this is an emotional buckoff streak—normally he could take that bull any time. I miss that backflip!
• Major camera faux-pas: big close-up of Austin Meier picking his nose during the final round.
• Skeeter Kingsolver getting a horn in the chest, between vest and helmet, in the final round.
• L.J. Jenkins’s wreck was so bad, Justin McKee admitted, “I was covering my eyes.” He said Jenkins got it “right in the breadbasket,” but video showed L.J. getting stomped on the back.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
• It would be a good idea to warn the audience ahead of time that there’ll be huge explosions…if the PBR doesn’t want to be responsible for any coronaries.
• We’re not getting enough info on lesser known bulls like Crocodile Stomp (Austin rode him).
• Another questionable 8 seconds: J.B.’s 80-point ride on Cobra; he lost the rope at the end, but still got a score. Even so, that was the end of his weekend in Uncasville.
• Austin Meier really strutting after his ride on Loaded Gun, where he went all out for style points (and scored 89.75). But he hit the ground at 8 seconds, according to the buzzer I heard–and got a score because he still had the rope in his hand?? How stupid is that, if he’s not even in contact with the bull?! When J.B. had his crazy ride on Code Blue, even sideways and upside down, he was in contact with the bull. These judges are pissing me off.
• Here’s what makes no sense: Judges have trouble giving Major Payne high marks because he bucks off guys so fast?? I would think the fact that he dumps ‘em quick would automatically give him a high score! What, they need to see him buck for more seconds? Without the cowboy? There are so many stupidities in the PBR scoring rubric, it drives me crazy. They need to comb through those rules and straighten out the illogic.
• How did Wiley get a reputation as “fan favorite”? Sure, he’s cute, but so are Skeeter and Harve and a bunch of other riders… Maybe because looks like an actor, and is also playing Mr. Cute Personality. He did “cute” byplay with Brandon Bates, and when he had to relinquish the shark cage to Silvano Alves, who had just scored 90.50 on Unabomber, he pretended to shoo him away.
• Douglas Duncan got badly hung up, and 44-year-old Joe Baumgartner took the hit. “He just celebrated the 15th anniversary of his 29th birthday,” according to Flint.
• Chris Shivers took on Sounds of Madness, a fast bull, and did such a good job that even though he bucked off, he got a good round of applause.
• Ben Jones’ horrible wreck. El Presidente was the one doing the dance—in the chute. Ben was doing fine until 6.1 seconds, then took a horrible hit and landed hard with his body kneeling half-upright, and his nose down on the ground. It looked for all the world like he broke his neck, and I have NEVER seen an arena go quieter. He was unconscious in that position for so long, I was afraid he was dead. When he started making a sound, Dr. Tandy (I like that better than regular old “Dr. Freeman”) asked him, “What day is it?” Ben’s answer: “Championship Sunday.” “Do you know where you are?” “In the dirt.” “Where are you hurting?” “My pride.” And Ben marched out of that ring mad. Now THAT is a cowboy!
CODY NANCE FASHION ALERT:
Yellow chaps and an orange scarf—what was he thinking?? You wear the yellow neckerchief with the yellow chaps, Cody!
Big Tex has more moves than a snake. Major Payne has been ridden twice (by Marchi and Ned Cross) in 55 outs; he may rival Voodoo Child for Bucking Bull of the Year. Bring It is one of those guys with Attitude: after he took care of Sean Willingham, he eyed the arena, clearly saying, “Anyone else want a piece o’ me?” The safety man had to rope him to get him offstage.
I don’t know if TV viewers saw this, but two large men in red and white checked shirts, denim overalls, and hats wore signs saying, “Our wives made us dress like this to dance with Flint.” He chose them as Fan(s) of the Night, and Tweedledum and Tweedledee shook it like a bowl full of jelly. For their efforts, one got a buckle and one got Flint’s hat. See photos on this blog!
STAY TUNED—I’ll be blogging about the Final Five Showdown event in Times Square coming up this Friday.
Below: Half of the Fan of the Night duo, showing off his prize
Below: Fan and Fan, Jr.