This is all jumbled; the broadcast schedule made me so dizzy, I wasn’t sure what I was watching when. Call it bull riding gumbo.
J.W. Hart and Leah Garcia on duty. Add Justin McKee to that mix, and you’ve got the right mix you know, the one with the spice in it. The broadcast started 15 minutes late because of college hockey. Doesn’t that tell you how much CBS Sports thinks of bull riding?
Nothing attracts newcomers to the sport like a moron fake cowboy (HE’S AN ACTOR, FOLKS!) poking his finger at you in close-up, belting out, “So buck up and hold on tight!…This is bull riding! This is the PBR!” UGH. And the highlight show played that damn theme song a half dozen times.
WELCOME BACK…SORT OF
Brendon Clark is back on the BFTS after winning a Touring Pro event…then quickly got bucked off by Another One. Another clone, that is. Matt Bohon’s back from hip surgery, and got hit with Where’s the Whiskey? As JDub would say, he wasn’t taking a “holt” with his legs, the bull “rared” him back and blew him out the back door.
- Mike Lee rode Bushwacker’s half bro Red Man, the bull that K.O.’d and concussed L.J. Jenkins last night. After weathering a bumpy beginning and big bucking, Lee settled in for about a 12-second ride, for 87.50. I see what they mean about him being extra work for the bullfighters!
- Renato Nunes rode King Lopez (’til now, 3 for 22). Sometimes he looks like a little rag doll up on the back of a big bull like this, flopping back and forth— always makes me think he’s gonna fly off at any moment. Instead he scored 86.75 and backflipped off the Shark Cage.
- Guilherme Marchi mastered monster Whiskey’s Rebel, who’s supposed to be better for left-handed riders. He manhandled that bull; so much for bulls going into Marchi’s hand being the ones he rides. The bull was leaping and turning in the air, then delivered a last-minute head roll right at the Shark Cage a second before Marchi made it up there. Loved his karate kicks; he was so happy. Exceptional ride, said J.W. We know it was a 90-point ride. And we know why it was scored 89.50. It had nothing to do with rider or bull.
- Woo hoo! You go, Stormy! Movin’ On pulled everything he had, moving in every direction at once, including in mid-air. He got so crazy at the end that, after Wing was off his back, the bull launched himself into the air, wiggling so hard he fell down. And Stormy scored 87. “In the pens this bull is so docile you almost have to kick him in the tail to get him to move down the alley.”—pretty hard to believe, J.W.!
- Marchi rode draft pick Dark Shadow like a merry-go-round, working his left leg outrageously. He is THE MAN. 86.25 for that rock solid ride was a crime, and I think I know why it was committed. Um, what other rider(s) would’ve been given 90 or more? Let’s see…
- Jared Farley riding Slim’s Ghost for 85.75 (or 86.75?). “It’s either money or blood for Jared Farley,” said J.W. Riding a clone’s a real accomplishment: Valdiron rode I’m Back, who told off everybody in the ring afterwards, for 86.50.
SPOTLIGHT ON DIRTEATER
Impressive clips of Ryan Dirteater’s two rides last night. His center was so—centered. Tonight his form on Uncle Carl was perfect; definitely deserved 88.25. He came into the event at 2/6; last week’s Top 10 finish in Sacramento was his first of 2012. Hammered, a bull Shorty called a “real smart, mean bull,” was so big he was leaning on the back of chute, but Ryan rode him for 88.25, sweeping his free arm, looking good.
- Craig the Bummer ran through a string of ridiculous belabored maritime metaphors until he finally came up with this gem: “J.B. Mauney has mutiny on his mind.”
- Hummer called Caleb Sanderson “one of the hot guys.” Who else do ya think is hot, Craig? Or do you not realize what ya said?
- Trying to compliment J.W. on predicting that if the bull went left into Renato’s hand, he was done, Hummer called him “Nostrahartus.” All together now: GROANNNN.
- Next time I see Hummer, I have to wring his neck. Seriously. Why? “A chance for J.B. to make a statement to his fans,” “He’s hopin’ this is one heck of an exclamation point to his high on the East Coast…” “We have seen a performance that will go down as one for the ages— absolutely domination.” The ages?? This is bull riding, fool, not the discovery of fire. Gag me! I mean, gag you!
- Dakota Beck, an alternate in this event, scored 87.25 on Lucky 7, then 89.50 on Bad Blake (2nd in 2011 ABBI Classic competition to Back Bender), the highest score of his career so far. Nobody would’ve thought he could ride this bull, but Beck is pretty damn bad himself. Delco is too rank for him right now, but give him time. Beck doesn’t shy away from the tough ones. Look out, J.B. Dakota’s in the rear view mirror.
HILARIOUS: JDub’s still commenting on how the clones look like their sire. Could somebody please clue him in?
Showing rides shot from under the Shark Cage: seeing from the ground up what the bulls do, hearing the dirt flicking against the camera, occasionally obscuring the lens, seeing the hooves come so close. I hope they decide to put these shots on the big screen at live events. I keep forgetting the hooves are cloven, like dinosaur feet or ostrich feet. Hey─ dinosaurs were related to birds, so are bulls descended from dinosaurs or ostriches? (Sorry, my mind was wandering during some stupid commercial.)
- Stacks of Cash was moanin’ and groanin’ in the chute, probably to warn Josh Faircloth he wasn’t gonna enjoy this out, and it worked.
- Bad-ass Rango came in with 11 straight buckoffs, and made Jared Farley his 12th ─ then feinted at the bullfighters and threatened everyone else on the dirt.
- Whiskey’s Rebel is always crazed in the chute; to keep him from turning over or upside down, the guys use as many ropes as King Kong would need. Jerome Robinson practically made a cat’s cradle around the bull’s head with all kinds of slipknots. “This bull has an attitude in there; everybody knows it.”—Shorty.
- Ya can see why they named him Back Bender: Ty Pozzobon was dancing sideways with the bull, whose fakes and a powerful sidewinder move threw off Ty at 6 seconds. The whole audience let out a big bummed out “OHH!” when he got tossed to the dirt. Of course, Hummer called Ty “a very tenacious Canadian.” How about, “a very tenacious rider?”
- Congo’s good at swapping ends; Ryan Dirteater made it into perfect timing, for 85.75.
- BigTexTrailers.com has bucked off two World Champs: Lostroh and Shivers. He faked out Kody after a few left turns; pretended he was changing direction, then went straight, jumped ahead, and off came Kody.
- Carrillo Cartel’s been at it for years, but still kicks ass─ in this case, Ryan Dirteater’s. When the bull ducked his head to the ground, touching down with his snout, Ryan was done. Hummer asked if that could’ve been a reride; J.W.’s professional opinion: “That bull didn’t fall plumb to his belly.” Later Leah interviewed Ryan in front of the metal panel and railings that Carrillo Cartel head-butted yesterday because he wanted it moved: the railings were bent, the panel had a major dent in it.
A MARCO MOMENT
Cute Kodak moment of Marco Eguche bopping up and down, revving for a ride. He’s already merited a Cooper Tires Athlete Profile. But JDub and The Bummer automatically compared him only to Brazilian riders (Silvano, Marchi, Renato). Can’t you just say, “He’s one of the best new riders on the tour?” Either way, Black & Decker Orange Crush didn’t care. After he tossed Eguche, he chased him to hook a horn under the back of his vest and shove him─ so clearly a case of revenge for sticking on his back a few seconds.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
- J.B. came into Saturday as “Bad Boy Lead Dog.” I can tell that designation is gonna grate on me as the season progresses. “Lead Dog” would be sufficient; we get the idea.
- Let’s count how many times we hear “the Brazilian” and not “the American,” as in, “7 career wins for the Brazilian,” “This should be a pairing that suits the Brazilian,” etc. Has anyone heard a baseball sportscaster talk about “the Dominican” pitcher or “the Cuban” catcher or “the Puerto Rican” hitter?
- Hummer and JDub automatically compared Eguche only to Brazilian riders (Silvano, Marchi, Renato).
- Dustin Elliott scored 87 on Whoopah Cocktail─ a ride supposedly 0.25 points better than Marchi’s on Dark Shadow? How? Why?
- The video montages are good, I thought this was an improvement, then that ugly “Sometimes I think I get off on the pain” song kicks in, and I realize, this may never be a class act.
- Do men really think a lawn mower is macho? Do they believe a female in hot pants and a tight tank top will want them because they’re riding a lawn mower? Who makes these commercials?
- After Pozzobon’s 86-points on New Britain 1843, JDub said, “This kid may be the best Canadian we’ve seen on tour in recent history.” So many things wrong with that sentence. Why automatically stick Ty in the Canadian box? Why not, “He’s one of the best new riders”? And what’s Aaron Roy— chopped liver?
- 84.75? Highway robbery for Renato’s trip on 24 Karat, who was flashing Lippizaner stallion dressage moves. Nunes hung onto that wicked ride, got thrown headfirst against the chute, smashed, and kicked in his helmetless head─ not looking so happy. And which riders can I think of who’d get 90 for it?
- Silvano’s been team roping and taking two hours of English classes a day. JDub put both feet in his mouth, saying now that Alves knows more English, they can see that he has emotions. What, you can’t see his emotions because he speaks Portuguese? JDub said Silvano was upset about two scores that were lower than he thought he should have. Alves is right: judges have been underscoring him for weeks.
- ARGH! Once again, Craig babbled over Cord McCoy’s comment on being DQ’d for reaching for his rope at 7.8 on Will Happen. Hummer oughtta know: Cord says something after every out. We wanna hear him!
- UGH—Gross shouting rap “song” PBR promo, while we see footage of wrecks with some riding. Guess this is the highly sophisticated attempt to bring in the rap audience.
- PFI’s Boot Daddy was bouncing and traveling. How come sometimes traveling is penalized or a rider is offered a reride? This time Mike Lee scored: 82.75.
- A replay showed Kody Lostroh in the air at 8, whether he had the tail of the rope in his hand is doubtful, but he was scored 82.75 on Lightmaker (Santiago), who behaved like a trained pet, dutifully kicking and turning; not doing anything interesting with his head.
- Jeez, did Ty Murray lend J.W. one of his nightmare black and white hallucinogenic shirts??
YOU GOT THAT RIGHT! JDub said he thought Valdiron’s 94 on Buckey should’ve been 95.
LIKIN’ IT: JDub put a couple of Austin Meier’s rides under the microscope with the Telestrator.
- Alves got leaned back, then thrown forward, head and shoulders slamming Come Back’s big ol’ skull before being dumped.
- Gypsy Boots gave Stormy Wing a wild time in the chute, then later crushed him against it, but Wing came out of it with 87.50.
- Watching replays of buckoffs, Snyder, McCoy, and Dustin Elliott evaluated what they did wrong. Luke: “I totally wasted the potential to get back on one here. My weekend’s over, just chalk it up to— well, looks like I didn’t even put my damn mouthpiece in…” Cord: “If you’re watching this at home and you wanna ride bulls, the rule is 8 seconds. So stay on for 8 seconds. Ouch! Don’t show that again; that’s really bad.” Dustin: “It’s just bull riding. You just gotta block all that other crap out of your mind. If you let it get to you, that’s when you’re gonna pressure up and buck off. …I like to think that every time I nod my head, I do my best… it’s my fault I bucked off.” He said being on the bubble means nothing to him. JDub says: “He’s lyin’.”
CAN I QUOTE YOU ON THAT?
- L.J. looked like a crash dummy in that clip of his knockout wreck by Red Man last night. The bull conked him out with a horn, then danced on him: “If there’s one good thing I can say for being knocked out, is you’re not awake for all the bad stuff.”─ J.W.
- “In bull riding, any landing you walk away from is a good one.” J.W.
- Leah interviewing Ryan Dirteater about Carrillo Cartel, asked him about making sure he gets away fast: “Oh yeah, I get away from all of ‘em fast.”
- Stormy Wing was on the cut line, but 85.75 on Carolina Kicker saved him. “He has to ride, he’s on the line. That’s what he needs to hear to ride. Maybe every weekend we should tell him he’s on the line!”—J.W.
GET OUTTA THEIR HEADS, CRAIG!
“Valdiron wants to think about protecting that #1 position.”
FASHION ALERT! Jeez, Ryan McConnel’s an albino now.
ZIP IT, BOYS!
Hummer and Hart stepped in doo-doo, commenting on Leah’s longevity compared to the riders, and then made it worse by joking, “Are you saying she’s old?”
Chicken Lickin didn’t have to do much to get rid of Douglas Duncan: the bull went right, Duncan went left, and it looked like he landed on his face in the “atmosphere.” Yuck. He’s now cut from the BFTS. He’ll probably be back soon because of his earnings in TPD events, though.
SAY IT AIN’T SO!
Ben Jones now is 3 for 11 after his very solid, centered 87.50 trip on Monsoon, the best we’ve seen him ride in a long time. In spite of that, he’s out of the BFTS. He lost his balance, leaned forward, and his arm came down on a bull whose name I didn’t register because I was distraught. Asked what he thinks he has to do different: “Hang on.” In Leah’s interview you saw how sensitive he is: sad, soft-spoken, at a loss for words about what’s happening: “It just sucks coming out this way.” She backed off the tough questions after a bit and encouraged him, even with a reassuring touch, which was just wonderful. Yep, we’ll miss him, but hope we see him back FAST.
J.B.’s beautiful 90-point ride on big black bull Play Harder was his first of the season. Great clip of him on HeeBeeGeeBee last night: the bull came out backwards; later his tail flipped up and hung in J.B.’s face mask, yanking his helmet up and back, blocking his vision. J.B. rode two jumps blindfolded; when he heard the buzzer, without missing a beat he whipped off his helmet while the bull was still bucking. He also got it done tonight on Black Pearl, an excellent draft pick. They made good dancing partners in the 2009 Finals, for 93.25. The bull bucked in the chute when it opened, and it was a niiiice ride: big bucking and J.B. in total control, for 88.25. Actually, the bull looked kinda half-hearted after 6 seconds.
He didn’t even have to ride his last bull, RMEF Gunpowder & Lead; he’d already won, leading wire to wire: his 13th career win. But he did ride, make it look easy, then got stuck in the spin cycle, adding a few more seconds to his 92.25 ride─ now THAT is the J.B. we remember. Let’s think of last year as just a bad dream. This makes him #1 in the world for the moment. VDO, Meier, Eguche, and Snyder follow.
The event ends on a high note, and then just to tick me off, they run that crappy song. DANG!