LAST COWBOY STANDING April 16, 2011

Just when you thought the intro couldn’t get worse, they bring the carney huckster voiceover guy on camera.

FIRST, THE BULL RIDING…THEN, THE BULLSHIT

THE GOOD:

Yahoo! J.W. Hart and Leah Garcia back. I hope this lasts!

Seeing the riders pick their bulls out of a hat.

This is Colby Yates’ 100th BFTS event and Luke Snyder’s 300th.

Sean Willingham’s funky strut after his 90.75 on Priceless.

Aaron Roy toughed it out on Wake Up Call for 86, despite hanging up his arm on the chute. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

Marchi’s prep has gotten wilder and wilder. Funny bit: flashing his huge forearm next to J.W.’s. Credit Craig with, “You’ve just proven you’re half the cowboy Guilherme is.” (Now he’s 4 for 250.)

Flint’s imitation of how much he’s on TV: streaking past the camera. Then he did his porno panther slither on the dirt.  “And Flint wonders why he doesn’t get on TV more.” ─Shorty

One for the highlight reel: after Silvano Alves’ 87.75 ride, Wrangler National Patriot flipped him over the out gate; Silvano’s feet were the last part of him we saw. Pretty darn funny.

KRAZY KOWBOY VERB TENSES

“He’s got it shook off.” (Talking about Luke Snyder’s dizziness after he rode Braveheart.)

CAN I QUOTE YOU ON THAT?

Ty Murray dished out a bit of advice: “Stay with the one who got you here.” Tell that to the bosses.

“The envy of school teachers everywhere”—Someone said this about Flint. I’d love to hear an explanation; must be a good one!

Valdiron used pure strength to stay on Rico in two moments that would’ve thrown off almost every other rider, and scored 86.25. “He’s a freak of nature,” according to Ty.

J.W. said it: “Four long-shots are at the head of the heap.”

“The toughest night in bull riding history.” ─Clint Adkins. Yup. The bulls were excellent, but the format was hard on the cowboys.

BULL STUFF (AND LOTS OF IT):

  • Only Ben Jones has ridden Spartacus; this is a great bull.
  • Marmaduke is no spring chicken, but he’s still an excellent bull with fast changes… who put J.B. Mauney into a state of dejection.
  • Haunted Hotel’s faster-than-a-speeding-bullet entry made me want to see it again, but I don’t think he gets around much; can’t find him on the PBR website. Or does he use an alias?
  • Panhandle Slim obviously wasn’t there, but since his clones were, the cowboys reminisced about him; J.W. said the bull would kick the chutes in the back alley; Ty said he was mean and crazy and needed therapy (Panhandle Slim, that is, not J.W.). I’m picturing the four-footed top guns in group therapy bitching about guys in weird outfits getting in their faces trying to confuse them, complaining about how sticky those Brazilians are, and how they get almost as little face time as Flint.
  • Panhandle Slim clone Another One is a pretty bull, and wanted everyone to know it. After finishing his job, he did a strutting circuit of the arena, in no hurry to be roped and leave. In a cartoon, his thought bubble would say, “I’m so pretty! I’m so pretty! I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!”
  • MoeBandy.com flew out fast and furious, threw Robson Palermo, then took a crack at Frank Newsom.
  • After dispatching Dustin Elliott, Whirlwind took his victory laps and a run at Shorty.
  • Silvano may be world #2, but twisting, twirling big Hank, Little Yellow Jacket’s son, totally dissed him.
  • Spit Fire had a weird out; he somehow made himself look squatty as he jumped. Ty’s description: “He was just pigging out through there; he just looks like a really fat pig.”
  • Kasey Hayes’ bull Jaw Breaker─ woo-hoo! jumped high with the front end, kicks high with his rear end, and kicks in mid-air on top of that.
  • You know Yellow Jacket Jr. is seriously rank if he gets rid of Ben Jones that fast.
  • White Magic was looking for someone to blame for Douglas Duncan on his back. Gotta love the Attitude.
  • Pay attention to Stubby, who’s 1 for 10: he’s bucking off Brazilians. He did it to Marchi, and now Valdiron. The bull bucked in two or three directions simultaneously, each part of him going in a different direction. That’s the only way to unseat de Oliveira.
  • Loved Titanium Tough’s James Brown-style knee-drop.
  • Now this is strategy: Black Pearl came out backwards and bucked off Pistol Robinson right in the chute.

THE BAD:

DANG!

Shane Proctor looked like he had a score on My Space in the bag, but then there was a WTF? (That’s an official bull riding term I just invented.) I couldn’t believe he didn’t make it! Sean Willingham had one too, on Slim’s Ghost. I could not BELIEVE he popped up off that bull. He had the rope in his fingertips to the bitter end, then slapped the bull. No wonder he yelled “Fuck!”

ALMOST A DANG!

Ben Jones touched the tail of his rope at 7.46, challenged the call, didn’t win it, and was cussin’ all the way out. He thought he heard the buzzer; maybe his internal clock is off. Later, Shorty said he thought he heard a whistle, too…and eventually, waaaay later, Ben was scored: 85.50 on Gin & Tonic. His quote: “When I know I’m in the right— and that’s what’s gotten me into trouble— when I’m in the right, I keep fightin.” Well, that’s kinda what you need when you’re getting married.

OUCH!

Fabiano Vieira rode No Guts with a brace on his free arm, for 85.75, but what a hard ass-landing!

Ford’s F150 Raptor pulled some fancy direction changes in mid-air, then fell on his side and on Elton Cide, resulting in a re-ride option.

Chris Shivers had a wicked long hang-up on Child’s Play, being tossed every which way, and finally freed himself, looking miserable. The bullfighters were busy in the bull’s face instead of freeing the rope.

ARRGGHH!

Clock malfunctions. For god’s sake! Why does this happen over and over again??? This time, it was while Tony Mendes was trying to ride a bellowing Blueberry Crush.

This format makes the commentators ignore the scores; nobody was bothering to announce them. Example: Douglas Duncan’s score on Go To Guy (83.25) wasn’t announced until several rides later.

“That’s definitely the name of the game, Craig. You have to ride your bulls. You have to pull out all the stops.” Ty, you’re killin’ me.

The sound cut out –WHY??─ during the replay of Caleb Sanderson’s ride on Smoke Signal.

The screen said Jason O’Hearn─ who wasn’t even in the event─ was riding; Craig told us it was Travis Sellers, who got tossed all over Mail Man’s back before he flew off.

The in-arena announcer thinks viewers can see the list of bulls. No, we can’t.

It sucks: obviously this event is supposed to replace the World Cup.

NITWITTICISMS:

After David Kennedy’s 86-point ride on Zip Code, in response to a question from Leah, he said “Damn right” or something similar. Craig Hummer commented on his “explicatives.” It’s “expletives,” moron. An explicative is an explanatory word.

The Bummer, talking about Ben Jones: “Excitement and passion: never at a lack for any of them.” All two of them.

Craig The Bummer was talking about cloning making you smarter (don’t know where he got that idea); he said his wife was getting ideas about sending him for cloning. BY ALL THAT’S HOLY, MRS. HUMMER, PLEASE DON’T! Even if the clone is smarter, you will have done the planet irreparable harm by unleashing an extra dose of Hummerblather.

“This bull has bucked off four straight cowboys.”—Hummer. And how many gay ones?

I’M JUST SAYIN’…

You can’t split your focus in this sport. Secretary of Soul was Cord McCoy’s 7th straight buckoff.

Conversing with a rider while he’s on the back of a bull? Dangerous idea—distracting their attention! This is what could get a rider killed. Somebody rein in McConnel!!

Craig is really focused on Dusty LaBeth’s groin injuries.

If Brett Hanrahan had no qualified rides in 6 events on the BFTS, what is he doing here? Not to mention that Neon Ghost gave him his 12th straight buckoff.

It was so great that Patrick who? donated $100,000 to the Rider Relief Fund. He deserved to be recognized, but as he was introduced, there was a bottle blonde “helping” to hold up the banner. I went to the PBR website to find out more, but the Rider Relief part of the site hasn’t been updated since last summer.

Where the hell are all the Brazilians??

Guilherme’s 85.25 ride on RMEF Bugle had to have lasted 12 seconds, after which he did a bit of a clodhopper celebratory move that didn’t come off well.

Coulda done without the half-time crap; the event got tedious. They should’ve limited it to 20 riders.

Caleb Sanderson’s Perfect Poison trip should’ve been a re-ride: the bull went down on his rear twice, screwing up the ride. The momentum in his back half stopped, but not the front end, so no re-ride. WTF?!

Luke Snyder scored 90.50 on Braveheart, but that buzzer sounded after he hit the dirt. And apparently he got knocked out a little.

I think this dirt is responsible for so many bulls slipping.

Quickie music review: The tonal quality of Justin McBride’s voice is nice, but his pitch is off. Maybe the echo in the arena makes it hard to hear yourself.  “That Was Us” had interesting lyrics; kind of the rural version of a Bruce Springsteen hometown song. “The Other Side of the Hill” showed good song structure.

THE UGLY:

  • Pay-per-view purchasers were supposed to receive a free DVD by filling out and returning a rebate form, for one of these titles: Ultimate Showdown, Legendary Bulls, Bred For Greatness, And They Survived, Reign of a King, and Bulldiculous. Does anyone know where the form is?
  • Let’s get to The Big Fat Lies. Here’s the hype from the PBR website:

“The Professional Bull Riders is excited to announce that fan-favorite announcer Justin McKee will be making a special appearance in the “Last Cowboy Standing” broadcast from the Mandalay Bay Events Center on April 16 in Las Vegas.

McKee will provide special segments and features for the pay-per-view broadcast while also working alongside Brandon Bates and Clint Adkins in the arena.

“Justin McKee is a beloved member of the PBR family, and I’m thrilled that he will join us at the ‘Last Cowboy Standing’ to offer his unique observations about the PBR season so far,” said 30-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer and creative lead for PBR broadcasts.”

Finally at 11 pm, McKee appeared. Hummer made a dumb remark about his “top billing,” as if he should be flattered: “You show up for the big events.” These comments don’t fool bull riding fans. McKee was on camera for a few minutes, not as a commentator or his usual entertaining self. He had the boring chore of emceeing the four finalists pulling their bulls. No McKeeisms, either. What a waste of his ability! I’m thinking the pact with the Devil was that he wouldn’t let loose with any McKeeisms, because that’d remind everyone how much he’s missed and how stupid the organization was to dump him. His also-ran status alongside Hummer and Ty, and his conducting the draft don’t qualify as “special segments and features.” Hope he was paid a wad of money for this special humiliation.

We also were promised we’d see a lot more of “world-class entertainer Flint Rasmussen.” He did his own clever take on that line of bullshit, demonstrating how much time he actually was seen on TV, by flitting across the screen at top speed. But while Flint was entertaining in the arena, we saw a segment on the bullfighters. We were supposed to see Flint entertaining. Why have two things going on at once? And the sound shut off (again) when Justin McBride started performing. We paid $30 for technical fuckups?

HATE IT!

As the cowboys entered the arena for introductions, women were standing around in what amounts to minimal underwear, with giant courtesan headdresses and breasts pushed up to their chins, made up like transvestite hookers; then the camera crawled up a woman’s butt. Why are bimbos standing there like bookends?? Meanwhile there’s Leah, a real professional with a brain, doing her job so well. During the second round draw, the same tarted-up mannequins were flanking the trophy; the PBR might as well have flashed a huge neon sign proclaiming, “Winners get laid by floozies!”

This is the cartoon that a lot of people have been brainwashed to think is sexy. Sad, sad, sad, to quote the Stones. What does it have to do with bull riding? Why is displaying female body parts included in a sporting event? Because the morons who dreamed up the idea have the twisted notion that bull riding = sports = men = macho = sexy = sex = women = tits and ass.

The PBR officially has sanctioned sexism. I was so angry, I almost got in the car to go back to the dinner party I left…but I wanted to see the riding, and wanted to tell everyone who reads this blog how I feel about sexism.

The people who made the decision to throw this degrading visual in our faces are insulting and alienating female fans─ real smart. If we all boycotted, the PBR would GO BROKE.

You know what sensation that showgirl shtick produced in me, a bull riding enthusiast? HATRED. That’s right, HATRED. I HATE sexism and the people who promote it. I HATE what sexism does to women and girls’ self-images. I HATE the sick ideas about women that it promotes. That image symbolizes every way that women are treated as subhuman: second class citizenship, degrading depictions in the media, street harassment, abuse, rape.

Check yourselves, you hypocritical jerks: first you parade nearly-naked women in front of your audience─ 50% of which is female, and a percentage of which are children─ then you pray, then you proclaim your patriotism, and sing the national anthem. Newsflash, boys: You actually hate women, or you wouldn’t use them like this. It’s called pimping. Here’s pop quiz for you:

  • How are women in showgirl costumes “good wholesome family entertainment”?
  • Children absorb and imitate what they see and hear. Do you think it’s a good idea for little girls to be imprinted with this image of women’s bodies as “entertainment,” and for little boys to receive the message that being a man means you should think of women this way?
  • Would you like your daughter to grow up to expose her body to strangers for a living?
  • Does your religion promote treating women’s bodies as “entertainment”?
  • Does your idea of democracy and freedom include using women like this? Apparently you think being “all-American” means viewing women as body parts.

P.S. I saw plenty of empty seats, yet at the end of the event, Hummer called the first Pay Per View event “the wave of the future.” If it is, I’m done. CBR, SEBRA, PRCA─ here I come.

“Without the fans, there’d be no NASCAR.”– Nationwide Insurance commercial. PBR brass, take note.

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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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9 Responses to LAST COWBOY STANDING April 16, 2011

  1. It’s amazing to me that the PBR is still floundering around trying to figure out who watches bull riding and how to appeal to them while also trying to find and figure out how to appeal to new fans….and in the process, pissing off everybody!

    This usually means whoever’s steering is too far away from the street: the ivory tower syndrome. If they’re operating on that mythical “18 to 34 male” demographic, they’re doomed. That’s not who’s in the seats or watching the screen. Ray Charles coulda seen that.

    If the sponsors are interested only in the single white male demographic, then the PBR needs to add new sponsors to the mix. You can sell only so many trucks and lawn mowers.

    CSI bull riding episode? I never watched that show, so I was clueless. Dang! There also was an episode of “House” featuring a badly wrecked bull rider; I tuned in too late to see most of it.

    Now I have to go wash out my eyes to get rid of the image of Flint’s legs, with or without hair.

    Like

    • S. says:

      Yup, Jewell and Ty Murray were in the bull riding ep of CSI. I can’t recall who did the riding; they may have filched film from the world finals or something. I’d have to see it again. I seem to recall the bull riding world wasn’t overly impressed (there was a really dumb plot point that makes no sense if you know there’s such a thing as the ABBI), but CSI is not really meant to be taken that seriously.

      Yeah, it’s not a good thought. Moving on! 😉

      Like

  2. S. says:

    As far as Flint being the envy of teachers everywhere, the only thing I can think of is that he was formerly a teacher. I am not sure why other teachers would envy him, however, unless they all dream of painting their faces and dancing like a fool while traveling the country with the PBR. I guess they might envy his paycheck.

    I didn’t see the PPV– I was out of town and that was probably good as I avoided any temptation. So, I can’t really comment on what happened, but I will say that the increasing amount of short-shorts and tiny tops among the PBR sponsor representatives at events is annoying at best. Does the PBR still not get that at least half their viewership is female? I hesitate to speak for all women, but I don’t tune in to bull riding to see some girl in her Daisy Dukes. The conflation of “sexy girls” with bull riding has got to go.

    Like

    • Oh, now I get it; I didn’t realize he had been a teacher. They get paid a fraction of what Flint makes. Good career move on his part. Of course, he has to shave his legs and dance for hours in bull “atmosphere”… On the other hand, he’s got “hi-def” calves from all that dancing. Wait a minute–why does he have to shave his legs? That makes no sense.

      Apparently the PBR is blind, deaf, and dumb. Maybe from now on we should just call them all “Tommy.” They don’t see the women in the stands, they don’t read the forum comments and blog posts by women, they don’t look at the Fan Club membership names, they don’t look at women’s Tweets, or the female-instituted Facebook petition about Justin McKee or the Turn Him Out! blog, the females in the market research sessions they sponsored, or women’s reviews of events posted on the Ticketmaster and GoldStar Events websites. They’re too busy ogling saline breasts.

      They must’ve all been bottle-fed.

      Like

      • S. says:

        Flint is just… Flint. I’m not sure there is an explanation. The only explanation I’ve managed to come up with on the shaving thing is that he’s really hairy and doesn’t want his leg hairs on the jumbotron for all to see? It doesn’t really bear much thinking about. Either that or he knows it freaks out Bates and Adkins so he keeps doing it.

        I know Flint’s been doing the “here’s how much TV time I get” thing at least since when there was the bull riding CSI episode, which was back when William Petersen was still in the cast, so it’s been awhile (2008?). Of course, back then it was, “Did you see how much time I was on CSI?”

        It seems like PBR has a “marketing strategy” and they are going to follow it no matter what. I mean, I would like to hope that some of the sponsors have done actual market research (as in, not surveys where they DQ half the possible participants), but I am not convinced that the PBR has any real idea who is watching or how to appeal to the ones who are or the ones they want to attract. I mean, hello, the family friendly contingent isn’t going to like the female flesh parade and neither are most women, so the single straight male demo is the only one they want, or…?

        Like

  3. academicunderworld says:

    This is fantastic! I’m a newbie to the bull riding world (only watching for about a year) but the moment I saw it I fell in love. I love your commentary- the stuff about Craig Hummer had me in tears. LOL

    Like

  4. Well said. Especially about the sexism.

    Like

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