THE BOO-BOO LIST
- Valdiron de Oliveira is in a slump from a previous injury; because of his shoulder, Robson Palermo isn’t competing this weekend; Renato Nunes is coming back from a long layoff; Guilherme Marchi is injured—yet they’re still the top guys! Yikes. But why isn’t everyone making a big fuss over Austin Meier? He’s right up there with them.
THE CONTINUING ASTONISHING ADVENTURES OF─ Do I have to say his name? (That one’s for The Big Man.)
- Can’t believe Ben Jones is riding this weekend—not only that, but he went into the championship round as #1. This time he did the dance on the Shark Cage, with Flint. In his interview with Leah, he was upbeat: “A lot of people have been talking like I’m half washed-up…I’ve been cutting wood all week…” It’s good to see that goofy smile again. (God, I never thought I’d say that.) The interviewer: “What are you doing right this weekend?” Answer: “Not thinking. Just letting it hang. Tandy said I was dancing too much and that was part of the reason I was getting dizzy, so I’m having a break and saving it for the championship round.”
- Ben was sparring in the gym this past week. “I don’t think he’s ever been accused of being a softie!”─ Ty Murray. “Ben’s wired so we get a chance to listen to his preparation.” Like we could understand it. (You know who said that, of course.) Pearl Snap was bumptious in the chute, but Ben scored 86.25 for his third ride of the weekend, and yeah, he was psyched. No dance, but he thanked his wife, who “stood by” him through it all. She must be as nutty as he is.
- Hummer claims Ben’s rebound is due to “his live in the moment mentality…” Says Ben, “I’m back on top of the world. I just had to have that week off and get everyone out of my head, just had to get Ben back into my head.” I wonder what the MRIs and CT scans actually saw.
- Then he took several hard hits from Widow Maker: the bull’s head to his face, the hump to his head. Ben stumbled to the fence looking half-conscious; as people pulled him half up over the fence, it looked like he was going to black out right there on the railing. The guy’s got great survival instincts, to keep running from the bull even in that state. Bang in the face, bang on the head—no helmet, of course. Pleeeeez, Dr. Freeman─ tell Ben he can’t compete without a helmet.
- Hey—here’s the biggest highlight of all: We haven’t been subjected to Erin Coscarelli for a few weeks. I assume the PBR management and David Neal have the sense to keep Leah Garcia on duty for the Finals.
- Couldn’t believe my eyes: Cord McCoy scored 86.25 on Whiskey’s Rebel, the bull that’s so crazy-nasty in the chute. Cord’s chute technique: he waited until the last minute, sat down on him like a feather, and nodded immediately; the bull came out backwards. Who knew Cord had it in him? I thought he was overmatched—I eat my words!
- Renato is back after 6 months away! And he rode White Tornado last night, which unfortunately wasn’t broadcast. I wish I’d seen that first backflip!
- Ryan Dirteater’s 86.25 ride on Betta Believe. The Cherokee Kid is showing real confidence. (I’m sure it’s due to the Cherokee Nation tee shirt I gave him.)
- Formula 409 was turning so close to the gate, but J.B, stuck on those awkward turns, and scored 84.25, which makes him now 3 for 3. That bull was a bully: ran after Shorty and I think it may have wiped its nose on his ass.
- After Renato rode Another Husker for 87, I thought he was going to climb up to the rafters to do the backflip. He was so happy during his interview, who the heck cares what he said—he was positively giddy.
- Talk about bending at the waist─Cody Nance on Rock Star was folded in half, out of position, and kept going: 84.50 No quit in that guy!
- Bending at the waist also worked for Ryan McConnel, who’s finally loosened up. 85.75 on Back Door Man.
- “Valdiron de Oliveira is a scary guy to have in your rear view mirror.” ─Hummer. That makes 6 good ones, Craig.
- “When you ride, everything works good; when you fall off, that’s the problem.”─ Renato Nunes
NITWITTICISMS: Pure Craig
- “It all starts with staying on for 8 seconds, doesn’t it?”
- “It’s the change of direction that gets Pete Farley off.” Yeah, a lot of guys are like that.
- Douglas Duncan loses his footing, “And after that it’s cake work for Bar Code.” Uh, perhaps “cake walk,” Craig?
- “The Buckeye State has been good to J.B. Mauney. He’s got his swagger back as well as his smile, which means the rest of the competition better watch out.” Hate to break the news, dude, but one good ride is not gonna push J.B. up past the crowd ahead of him.
- “Now it’s Valdiron who has to answer himself.” Actually Craig, you’re the only one who talks to himself–pretty much through the entire broadcast.
- Silvano “has sent a message to his doubters.” Fool, there aren’t any doubters left!
While Jordan Hupp rode Stickler for 81.50, OMG! Craig Hummer stopped talking for almost 8 seconds! I thought maybe he dropped dead of a heart attack. I know I almost did.
CAN I QUOTE YOU ON THAT?
- “I beat last night’s ride by 7 seconds!”─Cord McCoy
- “You have to try as hard as you possibly can without trying too hard.”—Ty. Now if only he would explain that.
- “The problem isn’t what Robson Palermo can do, the problem is what Silvano Alves can do.”—Craig.
- Elton Cide, who hadn’t scored in 9 of 14 events, handled Squawk Box’s direction change, for 86.75.
- Robson Palermo had to cope with Slim Chance, another wacko in the chute. Is it just coincidence, or has he been getting all the bulls who are bad in the chute? “Let’s listen in to his preparation,” (said The Bummer), which consists of breathing. The bull jerked him forward, Robson slapped the bull, then had to keep trying to hang on; he looked so depressed; escaped right into the chute and back to the locker room to sit down.
I’M JUST SAYING:
- Those are some serious dimples on Zane Lambert!
- Is it my TV or is the makeup artist slapping it on Hummer with a trowel?
- 4th installment of the riders’ visit to Hawaii: Thankfully, we didn’t have to see the cattle branding again. It wasn’t the smartest move, showing footage of calves squealing and bellowing in pain and fear─ guaranteed to turn off people on the fence about bull riding because of the cruelty to animals issue, even though the PBR has a statement on its website about that. In this century, branding isn’t necessary. In Scotland, sheep ownership is identified by which color paint is sprayed on the sheep’s rear ends. I’m sure there are higher-tech ways of showing who owns an animal. A radio collar or tag like scientists use for tracking whales or cheetahs? Put on your thinking caps.
- Cord McCoy has the chirpiest attitude, no matter what happens to him in the arena. Wonder if it’s the concussions.
- Silvano Alves was on Tight Rope, with everyone yelling at him to get out of the chute. Gee, that’s not what Luke Snyder said when he was coaching the young Hawaiian bull riders, telling them that when you get in the chute, “That’s your time in there, nobody else’s.” Except if you’re Silvano Alves, apparently. Certain people don’t want you to get focused and comfortable in the chute; they’d rather rattle you so you get out discombobulated and buck off. I don’t think that’s worked on Alves yet. You’d think the chute bullies would’ve given up by now. When you saw the aerial view of his yellow helmet, you saw how perfectly centered he was. Kinda deserved more than 85.25.
- You’d think that with all the prickliness about the Brazilians “taking over” the sport, somebody would be upping the volume on Meier. Give the man credit for being a great bull rider, and stop saying it’s about his grit. Grit alone doesn’t keep you on the back of a bull. It’s talent.
GOOD ON YA!
- Calling attention to the Warriors in Pink campaign, the Ford Invasion visited stage 3 breast cancer survivor Marcy, who went through 16 rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, and 6 weeks of radiation. “Your fight with cancer makes our 8-second battle seem like nothing,” said Luke. This is a very good move to show respect to women. ( wonder how Colby feels now about that line in his “Concho Whores” song, which I won’t repeat because it’s so insulting to women.)
- Silvano, the only rider to go 4 for 4, looked so happy with his buckle, his 3rd event of the season. He thanked god: “With every ride I’m thankful I’m still healthy.”
- Missed Dusty Ephrom score during a commercial. “He’s spurring with both feet!”─ Ty.
- The clock stopped at 7.70 for a touch, Robson challenged, but the replay showed his elbow just grazed Smoothie’s spine; the #3 in the world finished 4th for the weekend.
- The Bug had timing like a bucking machine, Ty said, and he’s not kidding. Luke Snyder scored 86.25, which seemed to be the number the judges liked handing out the most. And then The Bug wanted a little extra face time.
- Ty’s description of Bar Code: “This bull swaps ends every time he turns around: he puts his head where his butt was and his butt where his head was.” (Those of us with lots of ex-boyfriends have seen this unfortunate behavior up close and personal.) All of Douglas Duncan’s practicing during the week to keep calm in the chute was for nought: his right foot came up and pretty soon he was off to the side.
- Now I know what the fuss in Hartford was about the bull called New Britain 1843: he’s the former Thomas the Train.
- Lincoln Electric’s Bring It, as Ty Murray put it, “This bull leaves absolutely zero room for stubbing your toe.”
- How is Yellow Jacket Jr. a “bubble bull” if he’s been ridden 1 out of 15 times ? He bucked off Mike Lee before he even got into a spin. Fortunately, he did end get slated for the Finals.
TALK ABOUT “HONEY DO”!
Sean Willingham spent a lumberjack week building a wedding gift for his fiancée, and cut his right hand with the drill.
- Unbelievably, Renato Nunes is on the bubble.
EVERYBODY SEND HIM A HUG
Apparently when Valdiron de Oliveira bucked off last night he was angry. Hard to imagine, but he’s been on a downslide since his awful wreck. Tonight, Montanacanvas.com got him leaned back at 7.52, then bucked him off. Valdiron didn’t want to look at the camera when Leah interviewed him; he kept his face hidden under his hat. Never heard him sound so emotional: “This is the worst weekend of my professional bull riding career. I really want to be the World Champion.” He deserved to be World Champion , the way he was riding until that wreck; don’t know if he’s in good enough shape to catch Alves. Silvano can be the Champ next year. (Call me sentimental.)
- The Situation “put the World Champ in the blender.” I think it was Ty saying that. Kody Lostroh and the bull clonked heads, and without a helmet, Kody’s noggin would’ve been pulp; he was in the chute on his knees, kinda stunned for a moment. Said Shorty: “Kody told me he had to think about it a bit, but I think he’s just messin’ with me.”
- Dusty Ephrom hit the dirt, dumped by re-ride, Joey, and did a really scary move, his legs crunched up and scrambling like a bug that you haven’t squashed completely. Eek.
The lawn mower ad: “Hey—you know what revs my engine?” “That’s Bad Boy, baby─ mow with an aTTitude!” I just don’t know how to make my computer imitate her sibilant “TT.” Folks, if ya gotta hire a bimbo to sell mowers, at least hire a talented one. Ads like this make the PBR look amateurish. It’s the kind you’f see on very very late night cable sleaze channels. Oh, wait a minute: is this a case of somebody’s squeeze wanting to get into “show biz’?
Clay Taylor didn’t score in his 1st BFTS event, but rocked a nice color combo: robin’s egg blue shirt, spring green chaps.
- Silvano in Slo-Mo shows you how strong a rider he is, using his left foot to pull his weight into position to stay on a bull when he tries to spin him into the well.
- Shorty’s shout-out to Ben. Yeah, that’s one rider who always gives 110%, no matter what Cody Custer said.
- Ismael’s pat on the back for the size of the riders’ hearts. And some guy named Chad Pennington.
- Seeing a little boy in Hawaii rocking out on a mechanical bull.
- Better sit down, folks, because you won’t believe what’s coming: Thank you Craig, for referring to Mesa Pate as “a young stock contractor” instead of mentioning her gender or appearance. (I know: shocking. I saved it for last so you all wouldn’t faint.)