After last week, there are some new and returning faces: Aaron Gibb, in his first BFTS appearance, Chance Roberts, Dusty LaBeth, Jason Finkbeiner, Caleb Sanderson. (Good; we need a tall guy to balance out the rider pen!)
Shane Proctor’s pretty 87.25 ride on Wine Hu. Luke Snyder’s last-ditch effort to escape the cut: 87.25 on Vendetta. Mike Lee’s cartwheel after scoring on 89.50 on Kabookie.
Even with a separated shoulder, de Oliveira dominated his bulls, with a masterful ride on Soul Train. (That 87.75 should’ve been a 90, but maybe that was the bull’s fault.) Riled Up got discouraged about the guy glued to his back and seemed to lose confidence. The ride was scored (81.25), but the judges offered a re-ride because the bull’s horn came up and hit Valdiron’s elbow.
Paolo Lima scored 92.25 for a great, stylish ride on the difficult Crosswired (and a landing on his feet), but I think I saw only Brazilians congratulating him. BTW, can someone please explain his nickname, “Bandeja”? I think it means “tray” in the literal translation, but that makes no sense to me.
Ryan Dirteater did his family proud: 85.75 on Big Jim, riding an extra couple of seconds, then dismounting on his feet. Yay! No scary injuries!
Austin Meier deserved more than 84 for his ride on Monty the Bull, and his dismount was great: the bull popped up into the air at the last moment, flipping Austin onto his feet. Yet another unridden bull, Mad Max, succumbs to the Meier Magic (hey, I’ve caught the Hummer disease!): 89 points. And Austin’s 88-point on Hard Times was awesome. “Just another day at the office,” said one of the Booth Boys.
Mesa Pate was asked about her match-ups. I think this is probably the first time a woman’s opinion has been sought by the PBR on screen.
Flint’s caught The Happy Dance bug, with good reason: Ben Jones’s 87.50 ten-second ride on How We Roll. This could turn into the dance craze that’s sweeping the nation. I also loved seeing The Dancing Ozzie pitch a big fit all the way from the arena into the locker room, banging and swearing, after his rope broke while he was on High Steaks.
I liked seeing Marchi’s daughter Manuela riding a fake bull. Girls can do it, boys!
Ryan McConnel’s awful-looking 84.75 ride on Parrothead tore off his boot sole. There’s an injury you won’t find on the report!
CODY NANCE FASHION ALERT:
Not sure about the Darth Vader bumblebee look. Look out, Cody. Shane Proctor’s gaining on you with his jazzy purple chaps and shirt. Wait a minute—did he borrow the chaps from his brother-in-law? I remember them from last year.
AUSTIN MEIER FASHION ALERT!
First it was the flashy chaps; now he’s sporting outrageous boots. Better step up your game, Cody!
DRAT! Renato out with a broken finger. Robson out with possibly broken ribs.
PROPS TO: The Rider Relief Fund for taking care of McKennon Wimberly and Jody Newberry.
NITWITTICISMS: all by The Bummer; what a surprise.
- “A blast from the past,” i.e., Chris Shivers and his 86th 90-point ride (90.5) last night on Pure Smoke. I’m sure Chris would love hearing himself described as a Golden Oldie.
- “Valdiron himself.” Huh? Are there a lot of Valdiron impersonators running around?
- “It’s going to become a points race.” But before that, it was a Cutest Cowboy Contest?
- “The Brazilians are still best!” Not cool, Hummer. Not in front of the Americans and Ben Jones.
- During one of his hype-monologues, I swear I heard him proclaim, “Toughness is never an option!” Huh??
- And his gratuitous sex fixation is getting out of hand. He asked Justin McBride, “How can you tell if a rider’s groin is injured?” Now, why would he need to know this?
- His comment on Lug Nut: “He was able to screw Laurenco off to the side.”
- About Cody Nance on Ricky Bobby in the chute: “He’s hoping they’ll be able to get that gate lubricated so he can squirt right out of there.”
- Priming us for Ryan McConnel’s ride on Ranger Red: “He loves to rise to the occasion.” (After which Ryan bucked off at 5 seconds.)
- And finally, “All these bulls are going to come out of the chutes lubricated and ready to go.” Oh, come on, man!! Do you need to get laid or something?
All the bulls in the Championship Round will buck in the Iron Cowboy event. The Booth Boys said this pen is the best we’ll see on tour. Then what kind of bulls will be at the Finals? There’s no way to know what can happen with a bull during the course of a year. Who would’ve thought Code Blue wouldn’t be Bucking Bull of the Year, and instead be sick and then retired? It’s interesting that Cody Lambert decided that out of this pen of 150, no bull will be bucked twice. It probably keeps them healthier.
People make a big deal out of Bushwacker being ridden only once in 17 outs, but nobody has ridden Silver Wings in 33 outs. I guess Bushwacker has a better publicist.
A lot of bulls had trouble with their footing. Is this inferior dirt, or were the bulls out drinking last night? Several stumbled and their front ends went down, heads scooping the dirt. Why are they losing their footing?
Who messed up? Cross Off, who got Pistol Robinson a re-ride. Cajun Kid, with Ned Cross on his back. Brendon Clark’s bull, Little Moody, which had a clumsy get-out, then treated him to a loud body-slam against the rails.
Paolo Lima’s bull, Love Machine, ping-ponged against the chute on the way out, but Lima still wrested a 85.75 out of the ride. Chance Roberts hustled Shortcut past a little front-end stumble, for 87.50. Under Jordan Hupp, Ricky Bobby stumbled around, sat down, and generally messed up. (Hupp got a re-ride.)
Shepherd Hills Trapper was slipping and sliding under Travis Briscoe. Marchi’s bull, Anchor Man, stumbled, his front end went down, but Marchi handled his whole repertoire. He turned down a re-ride to save his wrist for next weekend’s Iron Cowboy event. And the score was…? Somebody (I won’t say who) was asleep at the switch.
The Situation showed real spirit, to Cody Campbell’s detriment, then took a victory lap until Mike White rode over to rope him and (eventually) get him out of the ring.
Wild Willie: still unridden. Keep watching this bull.
Two bulls called Perfect Poison? How did that happen? Do we now call one “The Other Perfect Poison?” Pretty funny bull; kept spinning long after he threw Douglas Duncan, making sure everyone got a good look at his action. The real P.P. is a seriously rank bull.
Every time I hear the on-air intro, it embarrasses me more: “Buck up and hold on tight! This is the P-B-R!” (Don’t you mean, Gag me with a spoon?) Bull riding is presented like a fake event, a TV series with theme music and a cast. Do we want it taken seriously as a sport, or have it look like the WWF clown show? At 10 pm, we saw a clip accompanied by an aggravating voiceover (who auditions these people, anyway?), and horrible hyperbolic copy (“blood-fueled adrenalin”—huh?), followed by the woman who sounds like she has a perpetually plugged nose.
Austin was called “one of the Superheroes of the PBR;” J.B. is a “Superstar”—what’s next? “Super-Stud?” “Saint?” Let’s get one thing straight (this goes for every sport): Just because someone is a superior athlete doesn’t make him (or her) a “superhero.” Nelson Mandela is a superhero. Period.
MORE REASONS TO FIRE ERIN COSCARELLI:
She announces that McKennon Wimberly’s in Baylor University Hospital. Later in the round, Mesa Pate says he’s home, looking at his livestock. Now, who do we think knows what she’s talking about? Did Erin think to ask Mesa before opening her mouth? Oh wait, what was I thinking? Checking with a reliable source would be, um, what’s it called again? Oh yeah: Good journalism.
I wish they wouldn’t use the word “interview” in referring to what Erin does. Trying to pump up the rivalry between the U.S. and Brazil, she asked Austin if his draft pick, Monty the Bull, would end the Brazilian winning streak. Meier graciously sidestepped the issue and just talked about what the bull does and what he’s going to do. Apparently the Oklahoma cowboy is more media-savvy than this so-called “reporter.”
DO YOUR JOB, BOOTH BOYS:
At the very top of the Saturday night broadcast, Craig Hummer and Justin McBride literally parroted each other. Did somebody hand them duplicate scripts? When it was Dusty LaBeth’s turn to ride, the commentators weren’t sure who was riding (and of course, his name wasn’t on the screen, but apparently bull riding fans are supposed to get used to not knowing what’s going on half the time).
I LIKE IT!
How cute is Ryan McConnel, being all happy because his bro Joseph is traveling with him for a couple of weeks? It’s great that it helps him ride even better!
Keeping the riders’ mics open after their rides has more payoff than in the chute. Dustin Elliott, who didn’t stay on Evil Doer, a quick little bull with long jumps, described his ride to Austin Meier as, “Stupid! Stupid!”
Austin Meier comes up with some great sound bytes, so I’m giving him his own slot here. He suffered a concussion Friday night, landing on his head. The guy does have a sense of humor: “Luckily my head’s the hardest part of my body.”
I’M JUST SAYIN’:
Ever since Brendon Clark and Luke Snyder have been doing those George Plimpton-style video clips, they haven’t been riding as well. Does anyone else see the connection? Another Luke buckoff on Rowdy L.J. Brendon 0 for 3 this weekend. Too many extracurricular activities are taking away their focus and riding energy; the climbing an ice wall clip was just a promo for the Ford F-150, another waste of their time, even if Ford is a sponsor. Why not spread the job around and not always use the same two guys?
I’d love to see what it looks like to schlep 150 bulls from city to city. I think the PBR should air a video clip of this parade. I think the stock contractors would be happy to cooperate.
If the in-arena screens showed the pre-ride action in the chute, it would build anticipation and clue the crowd in to an upcoming ride, instead of them being focused on singing along with Flint. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
I’m sick of guys trying to hurry the Brazilians out of the chute. Are they doing it to rattle them? They were yelling “Let’s go!” at Silvano Alves while Back Roads was bucking and rearing under him. No wonder Alves didn’t stay on—he wasn’t in position to start, otherwise he would’ve ridden that bull. Same thing happened with Mesa Pate’s little bull Cop A Feel, which dumped him off. We all know Alves is a better rider than that. Valdiron got an immediate “Go, go go!” to hustle out him and Chin Music. Lima, on Wall Street, was told right away, “Let’s go guys, get a move on.”
Dusty LaBeth on Holy Roller, spent a long time in the chute without anyone bugging him. Nobody rushed Mike Lee; Boomer Sooner reared and lay down, and they waited until he stood up. Shane took his time on Blind Side, with “his brother-in-law J.B. Mauney pulling the rope in the chute,” and nobody pestered him. Instead of “Hurry up!” while Chris Shivers’ bull was rearing, we hear “Whoa, whoa!” until he’s ready to go. The wait was too long even for McBride: “Come on, man!”
I hate to say anything bad about Shorty Gorham, because I love the guy, he’s amazing; but I’ve noticed some bias. Did he cheer during Silvano’s ride? Only one “Hustle!” during Marchi’s ride on Anchor Man. Not one cheer during Lima’s 83.50 ride on Wall Street, just a comment near the end of it Not a peep during Valdiron’s 90-point trip on Speckled Ivory, who was taking stratospheric leaps, literally flying horizontally at a height of 6 feet; or until after his 87.50 ride on Chin Music, when he said, “I bet that shoulder isn’t hurting now,” or something similar. But he hollered all through Austin’s trip on Monty the Bull. Watch your sportsmanship, dude.
Fully Loaded is a workmanlike bull, but Aaron Roy was awarded 88.25. Shane’s bull, Black Hawk, had speed but not kick; his hind hooves weren’t more than a foot off the ground. Yet Shane got 86.50. Why do judges give high scores to rides that aren’t on difficult bulls?
Ryan Dirteater rode Stiffler, with another clean dismount on his feet, for 89.25… then the judges “amended” it to 87.75. When the hell has this ever happened? That just ain’t right, especially in front of the hometown crowd.
EEK! Skeeter’s head made a serious thud when it made contact with Delco’s head. Guilherme Marchi was tossed by both Misery Business and Silver Wings, giving SW his 32nd buckoff. Clearly Marchi’s injury is still affecting him.
J.B. not holding onto Congo. Sheesh! Keep yer head down, boy! I’m almost glad Friday night wasn’t televised; it would’ve been depressing to see Robson get hurt again, and watch J.B. become Silver Wings’s 33rd buckoff, then get stepped on, sending him out hobbling. I really feel for him. He knows what he should be doing and how to do it, but for some reason loses his visual focus, then lands where he looks. Something must be on his mind.
GET WELL SOON:
Well, it’s better than having appendicitis, as was suspected, but Ben’s flu really did him in; I hope he doesn’t blame himself for his not-up-to-snuff riding.