Before the Next Petition Goes to the PBR: INDIANAPOLIS Jan. 29-30


Athlete profiles on the bulls. About time!

Could the PBR be listening to the Bullsisters? Sometimes the camera actually stayed on the bulls prancing around the arena after they did their thing: Panhandle Slim’s clones are real feisty afterward, while Grey Squirrel TCB with Paolo Lima, then split from work as fast as he could─ a real clock-watcher.

On Day 2, in his first 2011 out, Crosswired leaped with all four hooves in the air, then bucked, not like all those other bulls who buck with only two feet in the air. I love this guy!

Cute moment: Stormy Wing on top of the Shark Cage after his victorious ride on Bad Medicine, with his arms in the air to acknowledge the crowd reaction.

Wiring Cord McCoy was a good idea; he was cheerful and friendly even after he was bucked off.

2nd Day: Shorty Gorham was officially called “the fourth member of our broadcast team.” It’s great that he’s miked; I love how he chases bulls out of the arena, like they’re just big pesky dogs: “Get outta here! Go on out!”

Killer B’s riding with all sorts of broken parts and still scoring well. I notice that as soon as he hits the ground, Marchi rolls away from the bull, instead of running away with his back to it,  like many other riders. That’s why this guy will live to see many more seasons.

Austin Meier and Cracker Jack (ridden once in 13 outs) cracked heads on the dismount; score was 84.50. About that hurt shoulder: on a scale of 1 to 10,  “It’s about a 2.” Ty explained to viewers, “A bull rider’s 2 is everybody else’s 8 or 9.”

McConnel’s a blond again! Maybe now we’ll see the black and red hat, and he’ll ride more bulls. Wonder if the PBR said, “Dude, glam up–it’s NBC!” Haven’t seen his surfing move in a while, so it was good to watch him ride Hou Dat. But─ see ‘I’m Just Sayin.’


That cringe-worthy opening hype with that shit-kicker voiceover. Makes it embarrassing to like bull riding.

5, 6, 7, even 9 ads in a row. It’s becoming less and less fun to watch bull riding. I’ll have to buy technology so I can save the show and fast forward through the ads. Wow, 15 whole minutes of bull riding!

And was it really necessary to show McKennon Wimberly’s hideous wreck again? That’s not why people watch bull riding, and I’m sure neither he nor Mesa appreciated it.

MISCELLANEOUS: New face on the circuit: Derek Creswell.


Harve Stewart broke his 5-buckoff streak with an 84.75 ride on Sooner Shaker. This college kid on a big bull made beautiful countermoves as the bull spun into his free hand, like when J.B.’s in the zone and his free arm is in fluid, gliding motion.

Austin Meier took a wild ride on Flyin’ Train and landed on his feet; he sure deserved to strut after that 8 seconds! He was robbed at 86. The crowd booed loudly; so did I, at home.

Robson Palermo blowing a kiss to the crowd after he won the round with a fantastic 91-point ride on Priceless. His ankle doesn’t hurt when he rides, only when he jumps off and lands on it; watching him limp off was a reminder of how tough he is.


Do your job, Booth Boys! Hummer’s an expert at stating the obvious, but misses telling scores, naming 2 out of 3 bulls and sometimes a rider, until afterward–sometimes not at all: Palermo’s score on Slim’s Ghost, Luke Snyder’s score on his first qualified ride of 2011, Elton Cide’s 83 on Hou’s Ya Daddy, Reese Cates riding Firestorm (83.25), Ryan McConnel riding Wee Willie (86.25). Bulls who went nameless: Ben Jones left the chute before he was totally ready, slid right off, and boy, was he pissed. You definitely didn’t want to be in his way. Then Hot Rod was mentioned. If not for his helmet, Brendon Clark’s bad landing would’ve cracked his skull–but who was the bull? On Day 2, Silvano Alves rode The Bug but we didn’t hear the score (85.25); I caught it during its split-second screen appearance.

“The Kid from Kinta”? “The Bad Boy from Oklahoma?” This desperation to come up with WWE-style labels is so lame. Just call Austin “Jesse James” and get it over with. Or–wild thought!–ask if he has or wants a nickname.

Another “set piece” of J.B. hype. I love J.B., he’s one of my Fave Raves, but I’m fed up with the PBR calling him a “superstar.” Austin Meier and most of the Brazilians are “superstars,” too. Did it ever occur to anyone that loading all their expectations on the guy could be contributing to his spotty performance? A rider doesn’t need extra pressure when he’s trying to meet his father’s standards and those of fans who expect him to ride every bull, dealing with endless media attention and chores, and his own perfectionism. On Day 2, just before cutting to commercial, there were coming attractions: “J.B. Mauney, himself!” If they call him “a living legend,” I’ll have to shoot somebody.


The Truth Booth is fine; it’s just a stupid name. I like hearing the riders say what happened during their rides, instead of them having to endure Erin’s inane questions.

What was the point of the foot race between Brendon Clark and Luke Snyder? If this is an attempt to connect with locals, boy, is it off-base. How many people are actually in the clip, or aware that cowboys are in the neighborhood doing dumb stunts? Instead of using airtime for this nonsense, show more rides.

Rocky McDonald hasn’t made 8 in recent memory; maybe it’s time to think of something else to do?

Sean Willingham is sticking to that Brazilian bull rope (well, actually not sticking) even though it’s not helping him. He didn’t weather the jolt that the ironically named Big Easy gave him right out of the chute.

Alves is up at bat, Hummer says, “Let’s listen to Alves and the atmosphere around him”– then no sound from the mic. Even if it did work, a lot of us don’t speak Portuguese.

Valdiron showed superhuman strength on Bando’s Wild and Wreckless; it makes no sense that he was scored only 74.50.

Ryan McConnel showed style on Hou Dat, but 86.75? I’m with Ty: there seems to be “a little trouble with the scoring system.”


1.   Her big moment: announcing the absolutely crucial news that “Shane and J.B. are tired because they drove all night from a Touring Pro Division event in South Carolina.”

2.   Incisive comment after talking to J.B.: “Sounds confident to me. Back to you…”

3.   After Stewart’s lovely ride, she was totally out of position up at the Sky Box, back to the camera, and had to hustle down to catch Harve to ask a moronic question, then repeated his answer verbatim to Craig. Journalism at its finest.

4.   After Meier’s spectacular ride on Flyin’ Train, the dingbat asked about his hurt shoulder. Props to Austin for being polite and not saying, “Are ya blind? Didja see what I just did? What the hell does it matter if my shoulder hurts?”


Not sure how I feel about his bumblebee look: yellow chaps, black shirt, black neckerchief. OK, I like the black neckerchief.

Kasey Hayes Fashion Alert? Not sure if this actually counts as fashion, but he traded in his “1942 catcher’s mask,” as one of the Booth Boys put it, for a real helmet. Comfort or fashion? You decide.


I thought Aaron Roy was off Cheerio before 8; Ty said it looked really close on the clock, but Aaron was scored. When Nance rode Hard Rock (yay for the face mask; the bull’s head hit his chin), the clock “inadvertently” stopped at 7.79. He challenged, and whaddaya know? He scored 81. Justin Koon rode 9 seconds. Did the clock forget to tell the buzzer when it hit 8?

NITWITTICISMS: (you knew it was coming sooner or later)

“We’ll continue to wax poetic about Silvano Alves.” Alas, Craig, if only it were true. Maybe in BizarroWorld your comments are considered poetry.

If I hear “We get a chance to” and “You get a chance to” about the listening-in thing one more time, I’ll scream. When we don’t hear anything from most riders in the chute, we’re thinking it’s really not such a big deal. You don’t have to tell us a rider is wired; if he talks, we’ll hear it (if the mic works).

Visual nitwitticism: The Bummer and Ty Murray wearing coordinated shirts in black and white patterns. Whose mother dressed them?

Craig the Bummer: “All Austin Meier has to do is ride bulls.”  But the rest of the riders are required to knit a scarf and play 8 seconds of tiddlywinks.

“The guy that puts on the World Championship buckle is going to be the guy that rode the best all year.”─ Ty. OY!!


Tough break for Justin Koon, pulling Chicken on a Chain in the draft at his first BFTS event! After the bull did his usual, Koon ran out the exit gate and nearly got his butt grazed by the horns as C.C. charged out after him. Justin scampered up the gate just in time. Bet he’ll have nightmares for weeks to come.


Courtesy of Ty Murray, after I’m a Gangster ganged up on Harve Stewart (OMG, I’ve been infected by the Bummer bug!): “He seems a little bit shooken up.”

After riding Paycheck and Smackdown, then getting trounced by Black Pearl, Voodoo Child, and Code Blue, Travis Briscoe said “…it sored me up for a few days…”

Well, it ain’t a verb tense, but it’s definitely verbull abuse: on Day 2 Meier called his bull “gassy.” Thank god Ty translated for the TV audience that it means “fast.”



Suddenly the tape sped backwards─ way backwards.  Then the visual vanished, we got dead air, then a view of the dirt, and just when you thought this faux pas couldn’t get any worse, we were treated to a repeat of the previous chunk: all the way back to Jason O’Hearn getting whipped around by Deja Blue. When the tape eventually returned to the place it had gone berserk (the Brendon-and-Luke-do-silly-things segment), it went to black…then repeated the foot race. Hope someone got fired for the balls-up.

This huge gaffe on network TV, regardless of who was at fault, merited comment, but no explanation was offered. After all the promotion I’ve done about bull riding, especially to people who don’t know about it and already think I’m crazy, this mess probably made them think it’s not ready for prime time.


One of the many voiceovers blared, “We’ve changed the face of bull riding!” Yeah, and we hardly recognize it. Sometimes plastic surgery isn’t a great idea.


The commercial for the Finals in Las Vegas proclaims, “The best bull riders in the world!”─ but the film shows them all being flung every which way.

An ad touting rugby as “the world’s toughest sport” ran in the middle of “the toughest sport on earth/dirt” event.


J.B. Mauney’s re-match with Train Wreck, who squashed him at the World Finals, was sweet payback: he looked beautifully in sync with the bull, had that grace back in his free arm, and racked up an 88.50.

Marchi’s “Woo-hoo!” 86.50 ride on Hypnotized looked positively relaxed. Ty was right: Marchi’s previous bad luck was a case of “paralysis from over-analysis.” Same with Ben Jones, who scored 86.50 for his ride on Uppercut; Ty had told him to stop over-thinking and just have fun. Sure enough, what did Ben say after his dance? “I had a ball.”

The Brazilians on the chute all “woo-hooing!” when they knew Robson had won the event even before he rode Doin’ Time. I like their team spirit.


After his lightning quick trip on Yellow Jacket Jr., J.B.’s cartoon thought-bubble said, “WTF??” He knew he could’ve ridden that bull for a big score, and nobody gets madder at himself than J.B. (except for Ben Jones).

Brendon knew he should’ve stayed on Sleeper; afterward we heard over his mic: “Oh, that’s horrible… terrible!”

I so wanted Austin to ride Bring It, but that bull was being “ugly in the chute,” as Shorty said, lying down, lurching forward. On the dirt he stumbled, but Austin got no re-ride.


Dr. Tandy Freeman says it’s 3 months off for Renato Nunes because of the broken bone in his hand. Renato says 2 months: April in Kansas City. Can’t wait ta see ya!

About Bull Riding Marketing

Creative services, marketing and public relations professional from entertainment industry background. Published in magazines and newspapers worldwide. I believe bull riders are the new rock stars.
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1 Response to Before the Next Petition Goes to the PBR: INDIANAPOLIS Jan. 29-30

  1. grahame jones says:

    To the faceless author who wrote his ” judgemental interpretation” of his fathers role in Ben’s life,why don’t you email me and get the facts then hopefully you will blog a retraction and an apology. That’s if you are sincere and genuine soul!
    Grahame Jones- Ben’s Dad


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