FRIDAY NIGHT: J.W. Hart is at work on the chutes. And man, somebody should’ve warned Ty Murray about the effect of his patterned shirt on YouTube. He looked like a rotating barber pole, and he was standing still.
Even with Blue Emu’s schematic of how to watch the Live Event Center on the PBR website (after you find it), I had to give up and try YouTube, where there was a delay in broadcasting (of course). And of course they used valuable airtime with the religious stuff. I even heard someone mention saints. Then another female singer we’ve never heard of, ostensibly from right here in NYC, performs the National Anthem, sounding just like almost every other cookie-cutter singer they’ve used. I’m starting to think they all just lip sync to the same recording. The only thing good about this YouTube streaming is that we hear everyone at the chutes. Otherwise, the stop-and-start motion and blurry moments made me queasy.
FIRST NITWITTICISMS OF THE 20012 SEASON: TAKE IT AWAY, CRAIG!
“If you’re gonna take it away from him, you’re gonna have to earn it.” ─ talking about Silvano Alves’s world championship. Um, ya see, Craig, that’s kinda the way it always is with World Champions. Has there ever been one who voluntarily handed over the crown?
An oldie but goodie: “Clearly the bulls have had their way with a number of the riders.” Those sluts.
“Last year was truly the year of the Brazilians’ coming out party.”—OMG, could he just once think before he speaks?? I’m sure the Killer Bs would be thrilled to know they’ve all been in the closet for years.
“If we could crossbreed him [Ryan McConnel] and Austin Meier, we’d have the perfect guy.” I kid you not; Craig actually said this. I’d love to hear what Austin and Ryan have to say about which one of them should do the pregnancy and labor part.
“The Mooresville, North Carolina cowboy never settles for anything less than his best.” Idiot. Sadly, J.B. did less than his best most of last year, and even he knows that.
Hummer babbling about Silvano being the first man to set out on a quest to be the two-time back-to-back world champion. I guess no other world champion had the same idea going into the next season.
“A man that most of Madison Square Garden has come to see: Chris Shivers.” Oh, puh-leeze, Hummer! Did you take a survey? I’m pretty sure I came to see the Professional Bull Riders, not just one guy. (And what’n heck do you mean, “the Cajun Cowboy”?)
WOW, A NON-HUMMER BUMMER:
Flint Rasmussen (we saw a lot more of him on YouTube than on a broadcast) confessed to being a red wine drinker. “You and every other woman here,” said Brandon Bates or Clint Adkins. Lissen, you sexist dolt: some of us like single malt whisky. Make mine Laphroaig.
MIXED BLESSINGS FROM ON TY:
“You can’t let the highs get you too high and the lows get you too low.”
“He [Cord MCCoy] stands for everything a man’s supposed to stand for.”—and exactly what is that?
“JB’s a guy that will always tell you he’s great even when he’s walking like a 90-year-old man…You can’t just always use that rebel swagger and make good decisions…” Amen!
Good point: “Being a world champion changes how people look at you; where before you were the quiet guy, now you’re the arrogant, aloof guy.”
“You’d think he’d been around this sport long enough to know those stock contractors lie to you.” ─After Caleb Sanderson saying that Million Dollar Man went the opposite of the way he was supposed to. (That’s okay; Caleb rode for 85 and politely stepped off afterward.)
JDub gave some long, involved explanation of Barcode being the son of a clone and a mother of another clone of a… I lost the thread somewhere in there. Ty: “What do you call that, a step-clone? A clone-in-law?”
Re J.B.’s messy reride attempt on Deja Blu Emu: “He only made it a half second further than Ochocinco did on him.”
Congratulations to Luke Snyder, heading to groom-dom, and to Sean Willingham, who got married over the break. Luke got engaged under the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. “I gotta do something to pay for that wedding!” he said, after he seriously worked it on Alternator, a good strong bull with high kicks, for 87. 25. He couldn’t possibly smile any bigger or brighter. (Luke, not the bull.)
Valdiron de Oliveira looked very happy to be there (scene of his 2011 win), after a rough season homestretch.
The first-round bulls weren’t impressing me. According to Ty, the riders knew only about half the bulls here.
Jane Clark, whose father founded the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame, owns Jack in Black, who put Douglas Duncan in the well, making Jack’s stat 1 for 11.
Willingham’s bull, Dippin, went after Jesse Byrne, who was right in his face and got butted.
I don’t get it: Harve Stewart’s bull, Blank, had very predictable timing, helping Harve to only an 82─ then turned on the charm with a feisty little post-ride display. Dude, don’t save it for after the bell!
Now I know why they named the bull Kitty Kat: he was meowing in the chute. You’ve never heard anything like it. I hope I see this bull again, for no other reason.
The Booth Boys forgetting to name each rider and bull before the ride, and not telling viewers a rider’s score until after someone else’s interview.
Just when you thought you were shut of that moron hillbilly announcer voice, he’s the last thing you hear on the YouTube broadcast.
Big Spread threw Dakota Beck flat on his back. Beck couldn’t move. He got clocked in the face by the bull’s skull; blood was coming from his nose and mouth, and he looked totally dazed: no helmet. Ty and Shorty vouched for helmets: “It may not be what John Wayne would’ve done, but we’ve learned a lot since then.” Yay─ they’re starting to grok that “cowboy up” isn’t always the smartest idea. The result announced later: Dakota has a concussion and mouth laceration needing 20 stitches, and is questionable for tomorrow.
Pop Knot fell down, and J.B. Mauney got the hell off his back and outta there, no doubt having Train Wreck flashbacks. Reride time.
WORSE THAN MUSTACHE MAY.
Oh no, that facial hair disease again: Cody Campbell’s got a beard and mustache. Shorty’s got a beard. (He said it was for a commercial tomorrow, and he can’t wait to shave it off.) Austin Meier, ahead of the trend, had the same mustache and beard as always. Mike Lee was another mustache-and-beard combo man. Chris Shivers is also hairy. Pistol Robinson’s mustache is even bigger than last year. Jordan Hupp and Kody Lostroh both were growing stuff on their faces. Even babyfaced Cody Nance has a mustache! Can’t tell if Caleb Sanderson has anything going on or not; the visual quality of the YouTube streaming is terrible. At least Dustin Elliott gave up and shaved off his. I noticed that the Killer Bs don’t have beards or mustaches, so either they know what looks good, or they’re not invited to do commercials.
Hey, the old man did it! Beau Hill, back from knee surgery and wearing a brace, turned in the first qualified ride, on Stiffler, for 83.25.
Kody Lostroh modeled his smaller, lightweight helmet, with the personalized touch: he added his own face mask to it. Maybe that helped him ride Frost Bite, for 86.76. “Kody Lostroh puts the chill on Frostbite,” was the Hummer’s oh-so-clever description.
Ty Pozzobon, who was in 7 events last year, with a 20% riding percentage, and was an alternate at the Finals, rode one of my favorite actors. Sorry, I mean a bull named James Dean. Ty showed solid positioning, making constant small adjustments, for 86.50. He looks 12! No facial hair there.
Guilherme Marchi rode Undubbed for 85.75. Frank Newsom’s pretty damn strong— after the ride, he actually threw Marchi out of the way.
L.J. Jenkins’s solid reride on Barcode: 86.75. Nice work, L.J.!
Ty described Stormy Wing (who had a 22% riding percentage last year) as “cat-like, athletic.” Huh? We could hear all the guys at the chute talking, but since blabberhead Hummer was yammering over them all, he then had to ask Shorty what was happening: Sign Out was lying down. Well, Stormy rode for 86.75, but did I see touches? The video quality is so bad it’s hard to tell.
Hot Toddy stumbled, his hind legs straight out behind him on the dirt, and 2008 Rookie of the Year Reese Cates made it just to 7.25.
Elton Cide was showing fine form on Hard Rock, using his free arm like a ballet dancer. I coulda sworn he made 8.
Hummer asked Gorham how long it takes to get back into shape after the season break. “One bull, if it happens right!” And what does it take? “Fear and common sense─ and adrenaline doesn’t hurt!”
“I’m fine; why? Did something happen?”—Shorty to the Booth Boys, after a bull tripped him, butted him in the chest to the ground, then head-shoveled him along in the dirt.
Johnny Walker Spot and Jordan Hupp (winner of the Cowtown Classic) both ended up in their own respective wells; the bull’s head was down on the ground, then popped up à la Bodacious, but Jordan was out of the way of the horns.
SHOCKING! Mike Lee didn’t win an event last year.
Colby Yates had 26 straight buckoffs in 2011, and Mean Machine made it 27.
“He just got stung.”—Craig, in his usual dufy form (that’s the adverbial form of “dufus”), explaining what happened to Zane Lambert on Stingray.
My eyes hurt from that lousy stream (and Ty’s shirt).
How the mighty hath fallen! Well, at least I can say that Cody Nance continues to take fashion risks: his ensemble this night consisted of a bizarre face cage under his white cowboy hat. Ostensibly the contraption is weightless. Craig gets a gold star for this one: “Looks like he’s doing his Anthony Hopkins impersonation.”
Ty talking about his little boy at Christmas: “The only thing he thought was really cool was tearing the wrapping off the boxes.” “I think in their first couple of years we could’ve saved a lot of money just wrapping boxes and letting them tear the paper off.”—Shorty.
“Focus on the task at hand.” ─Austin Meier.
“His sophomore slump was a world championship.” ─ JDub talking about Alves.
Our unpredictable favorite dancer had his first buckoff of the season, landing sorta on his noggin, but at least he didn’t black out this time. He may wear a helmet soon. I hope. PLEASE.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
A-durabull: a half dozen cheering Dickies Durabull kiddies in matching tee shirts. Can girls get the same shirts?
Pistol Robinson scored high (86.25) on Blue Canyon, another predictable bull. This makes no sense. When Yellow Dog was barely kicking, just flat spinning, Tyler Thomson, wearing that purple shirt I love (I’m hoping it’s not the same one every week), had a choice of a re-ride option or 65.75. Is this a case of “Everybody likes Pistol”? (Remember, Saturday’s wreck hadn’t happened yet.) And when Tyler held onto his reride, I’m Back─ who actually could buck─ with unbelievable moves, he was rewarded with just 81.50. What, do the judges have something against purple?
No wonder Ty likes Pistol─ he quoted Ty’s mantra: “Bull riding is 50% mental.”
With constant adjustments, Renato Nunes handled some jerky direction changes from John Doe. This time Renato waited and looked behind him to make sure the bull was out of the way before he did his backflip. That 84.75 shoulda been at least 86. But, you know, look at his nationality─ since apparently the judges take that into account when scoring rides.
Evildoer was flying under Silvano Alves. “You’re going to have to beat him on the judge’s score tables,” said Hummer, not two seconds before the proof of the pudding─ and you know he didn’t even realize what he was saying. The judges reamed Alves with an 83.50.
Look at the scoring and see what the judges did to the Brazilian riders: kept Marchi down to #8 and Valdiron at #11.
Douglas Ferreira was offered a re-ride because the flank strap came off Red Delicious. People were yelling to Ferreira what his choice was, he was being pressured to decide, and the guy doesn’t understand English! Why didn’t the PBR have Tab Barker on hand to translate this situation? Even J.W. said, not completely in jest, “It’s probably the flank guy’s fault for using an old rotten rope; probably had a gate tied up with it all winter.”
Hummer introducing Rubens Barbosa, 2011 Rookie of the Year: “We transfer from one Brazilian to another.” I have yet to hear, “We transfer from one American to another.” Probably a lot of people don’t get that this is racist and smacks of “they all look alike.” Think about it.
I went back to the PBR web site to try to fill in the holes in my information (all those unannounced rider and bull names and scores), and guess what? I found the Round 1 and Round 2 Draws, but couldn’t find day sheets to download. Using the Search function for “day sheets” brought up “Brad Day from Beaumont, Texas.” Sigh.
THE UGLY─ AND HERE’S WHERE I GET TO CUSSIN’:
Marco Eguche, the new Killer B on the block, rode in just two events in 2011, and made a splashy entrance in 2012. He drew Complete Debacle, who looked to me like the best bull of the night: steep vertical, variety, strong high kicks, and at one point Marco pulled himself back up onto the bull when he was nearly riding sideways. Best ride of the night! Those bastard judges gave him a low score, which the crowd booed, and a re-ride option. Some choice: get shafted on points, or get on another bull when you’re exhausted from putting out 110% on a ride that would’ve gotten Chris Shivers a 92. That was BULL SHIT. And instead of someone explaining why Eguche got screwed, or getting a translator in there to ask him for a comment, “Let’s go check in with Chris Shivers,” and have Mark interview him instead. This was really ugly, folks…but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Wait’ll you hear about Sunday. Later, Marco turned in another real good ride, for only 84.50, though he handled all the bull’s direction changes with constant adjustments. Way to keep a good man down, guys.