Fun factoid: Two past Anaheim winners have won the World Title: Kody Lostroh and Silvano Alves.
These are the themes for 2012, folks, that will be drummed into our ears: Silvano Alves winning back-to-back world championships, Silvano possibly breaking Adriano Moraes’ record, Asteroid being bull of the year, and J.B. finally living up to his true potential.
Leah Garcia is back! Shorty finally shaved! There’s a different female voiceover, instead of the sleazeball, and this one sounds normal. (Hope it lasts.)
WE MISS YOU, ROBSON!
He’s out for another couple of months, and will return in April or May, but was visiting the event yesterday.
Pistol Robinson is out for the season, resting at home in Texas. Leah said he’s getting TLC from grandma, but rehab will be slow.
RIDE ‘EM, COWBOY!
- Austin Meier was hot stuff, first looking good on White Velvet for 86.50; probably deserved more than that. Then he delivered a fantastic ride on Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, who’d been ridden only once in 9 outs (Robson Palermo, 91.25). In spite of the bull smashing his hind hooves against the gate and knocking it open, Austin made another cool dismount on his feet! 89 points.
- “Bad Boy Lead Dog” Marchi was in superb form on what bull? And he was scored what? Can’t find the info on the website, the announcers didn’t say it…Sigh. Anyway, his ride was as textbook as Austin’s.
- Kody Lostroh on Crockett delivered one of those solid rides we always used to see before he was out of commission for such a long time. He got 87.25 because of the “money chops,” as J.Dub calls them.
- It cracks me up when the guys at the chute whistle to the bull like he’s a dog.
- Justin Koon performed what may be the year’s most hilarious dismount, from Toy Soldier: a somersault over the horns that earned him an 87. Leah Garcia asked whether his dismount was going in slow motion. He said, “I didn’t know what was coming; it was slow all the way down.” J.W. commented on how sometimes at the dismount the judges get all caught up in the moment and give extra points for that kind of dismount.
- J.W. said he thought this 3rd match between Harve Stewart and Titanium Tough would go the way the other two had. I thought, Maybe the 3rd time’s the charm─ and I was right: he scored 85.75. J.W.’s scramble: “I didn’t mean it Harve─ I said it so you’d make me a liar.”
- They’ve still got the commercial featuring Lawnmower Ho’. Do you remember how much I hate “MOW with an ATTitude”?
- This dumb-ass cross-promotion with the History Channel’s jousting thing is yet another misguided attempt to expand the bull riding audience—to whom? The coupla dozen jousting fans in the country? People who like to see humans deliberately inflict violence on other humans? What the hell are these people thinking? If you hook up with the History Channel, how about talking them into running programs on the history of horses, bulls, ranches, cowboys, rodeos, bull riding? That would explain the sport to the History Channel audience, put across the message that bull riding does not involve torturing bulls, and attract people to bull riding broadcasts, then live events. Running a jousting demo at a bull riding event is backwards─ it doesn’t bring History Channel viewers to bull riding; the most it might do is get some bull riding fans curious enough to look at one program on jousting. Is that what the PBR intended? I think not.
Oh dear, I’ve just given away another multimillion dollar idea. A long time ago, I said the PBR should run their events on YouTube, and look what happened.
They’re tooting Asteroid’s horn as 2012 Bull of the Year. J.W. Hart discussed Asteroid’s leaps out of the gate, with visuals. That bull has possibly the most extreme verticality I’ve ever seen: his poop chute is in line with his nose. (Asteroid’s, not J.W.’s)
Knot Head put Cody Nance through the wringer, yanking him forward— that weirdo face mask saved him from a horrific smashing on the bull’s skull, though—then sending him tumbling over the front end, after which Cody somehow got hung up for a long waltz that required all the bull fighters to bust their butts—Frank Newsom even got a “holt” of the bull’s tail.
The Built Ford Tough Invasion team of Ross Coleman and Shorty Gorham visited the ranch where Shorty grew up, just south of Anaheim, in Rancho Mission Viejo. Shorty said he showed up there 23 years ago, and the people there are like his family: “This is home for me.” Thank god the PBR didn’t repeat its big dumbass move of showing cattle branding like they did during the Hawaii trip. It’s bad enough most of the public thinks bull riding is cruel to the animals.
- Luke Snyder’s screwup on High Octane Hurricane made J.Dub sigh, “Oh, Luke.”
- Aaron Roy almost rode T Rex (named after Austin Meier’s father), then the bull shoveled him with his horns and rolled him. Shorty grabbed Roy literally by the seat of his pants and tossed him out of the bull’s way. That just might be the save of the night!
- L.J. Jenkins flipped off (heh heh) by Flip Side, Bones’ half brother.
- Sean Willingham and Zip Code were a rematch (Fresno, 2011), and Sean shoulda rode, but his left foot came up behind him and…
- Blueberry Crush was bellowing in the chute; Justin Koon rode him last night. This time Silvano took him for a ride, but the bull ran too far, so Alves was given a reride option. PS─ apparently he studies the bulls; the other Killer Bs come to him for “the book.”
- Mood Swing, last bull in the draft, unridden in 11 outs, was headbutting and hollering in the chute. Not surprisingly, it was an unsuccessful rematch with Sean Willingham.
THAT “JUST BAD” BOY:
J.B. rode Water Canal and made it look easy, for 87, though WC (that’s a joke for you Brits) wasn’t enough bull for that score. Some perspective: finishing #7 in the world last year was a bad year for J.B., compared to our expectations. He called it “mediocre.” But here’s the clue that he doesn’t learn quickly: he sprained his left wrist at a TPD event in Pueblo. Why on earth does J.B. Mauney ride in Touring Pro events? That’s just doubling the odds of injury, and starting the season with one isn’t the best idea. Practicing on bulls can be done in a non-competitive environment, and if this is about gathering points and winning money toward the Finals, he might wanna sit down with a coach and do the math.
IT WOULDN’T BE AN EVENT WITHOUT NITWITTICISMS
“The bull was doing all he could to get Alves off, but few bulls can.” And who else would you expect to comment on a rider’s sex life?
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
- What’s been bugging me lately is how many times I’ve heard broadcasters and PBR people refer to a bull riding event as a “show.” Um, weren’t we trying to make it a mainstream sport?
- “We are moments away from dialing up the danger in the Ford Championship Round.”—Hummer, expressing exactly the WRONG thinking of certain powers-that-be: they think people watch bull riding for the danger. For the millionth time: most people watch bull riding to see a competition, to see great rides and great bulls. To make it worse, back from commercial, the broadcast emphasized the danger angle by showing McKennon Wimberly’s wreck that put him out of a career. “My life is all about rehab,” he said. BTW, the injury update is that he has to pass a full neurological test before Dr. Tandy Freeman will give him the okay to ride again.
- Did I hear right: the Rider Relief Fund is solely dependent on individual donors?? If it’s true, that is completely unacceptable!
Of Valdiron de Oliveira’s ride on Montanacanvas.com, J.W. said, “This little bull had his bands full. Usually you say the guy has his hands full.” But Valdiron was scored a miserable 83. He also has a minor ACL separation from a TPD Denver event—why the f is he doing those events?
Ryan McConnel made his first qualified ride of the year (85.75), no doubt due to those flamin’ chaps. There was some joking about Ryan’s identity crisis (his hair, etc.)
Chris Shivers on Straitjacket was looking excellent until the last split-second when the bull decided to change directions. Chris actually came off the bull at 7.77, but the clock showed 7.99. While the ride was reviewed, Hummer delivered the ominous, “Still waiting to see if Chris Shivers will be rewarded for the effort.” He shouldn’t be (though he was, three times last year, when the judges forgot the rules), and he wasn’t, but it was a big ol’ DANG, because it was such a good ride, as far as it went, but at least the judges didn’t cheat.
THE CONTINUALLY DEPRESSING ADVENTURES OF BEN JONES, WHO NEVERTHELESS IS STILL ON OUR HIT PARADE
The announcers say Ben was on Charley Bullware, the screen says Tight Rope. Ben did an awful-looking scramble all over and under the bull, and his head collided with the bull (fortunately the bull wasn’t hurt). Things could’ve gotten even worse; Shorty kept yelling to Frank Newsom. “Push him out!” Frank side-armed the bull out the gate. Awesome Newsom is somethin’ else!
- Douglas Ferreira overrode Shortcut, with his free arm swinging in an arc overhead, and ended up in the well.
- Space Chimp mostly spun, hardly bucked or kicked after the first few seconds, and Alves was spinning with him, but ended up with a disappointing 84.75.
- Douglas Duncan had next to last pick, and chose Asteroid. No matter how much bravado he puts up front, this is not the bull for him. In 11 outs, last year Fabiano Vieira and Elton Cide rode him for 87 and 76, respectively. In the chute, the bull’s looking out through the slats at the arena, ducking his head to get a better view, bucking, shooting up over the top rail, raring to go. In 3 seconds, bye-bye Douglas. That bull is fast! Even after the ride, before Asteroid left the arena, the last shot the camera got was his hind end and tail flying up into the air. Whatta poster!
- MacNett’s Southern Wine’s first bounce popped Renato Nunes up, his face smacked down on the bull’s skull, and Renato went over the front end.
- It looked like Valdiron couldn’t get settled on Blue Emu After the Pain. (I wish they had a limit on how long a bull’s name can be.) Then he had to escape up onto the Shark Cage and lay out for a quick rest. He’s clearly in pain, but still managed to score 86.60.
- Rock & Roll (unridden) was Silvano’s bonus bull, and delivered Alves’ first buckoff of 2012. I just don’t see how the bull did it.
DARK HORSE, ER, I MEAN BULL
Larry the Cable Guy’s Git-r-done has been ridden only by Mike Lee, at the 2010 Finals. This weekend the bull achieved his 17th buckoff.
BOO BOO REPORT
Ty Pozzobon broke his riding hand in last year’s Calgary Stampede, took an injury exemption, and came back in NYC. Highway 12 bounced him all over and threw him against the fence. Poor guy groaned a little, said “My knee,” and had to be escorted out by Freeman and medics.
I was a little scared that Marchi didn’t make 8 on Too Sexy, but he just made it by the tail of the rope, for 89.50!
J.B. Mauney was not in the Top 10 at the end of the day.
IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE:
Wonder when Marchi got that big scar on the right side of his chin? When Leah asked what he’d take away from his weekend, he just kept laughing. I mean, how do you answer that, other than, “a buckle and a wad of dough”? He started thanking all his sponsors and everyone under the sun for coming to the event. Leah asked if it gets any less nerve-wracking, being the last one to ride. “No, Leah, I’m still strong.” Added Shorty: “I think Asteroid’s saying, I’m still strong, too.”
Gotta love that last image of Marchi on top of the Shark Cage, surrounded by smoke jets, raising his fist. That’s a true champ!
Sigh: the stupid redneck voice is the signoff, the last thing we hear.