OKLAHOMA CITY – Feb. 11-12, 2012

Whaddaya know? I forgot Oklahoma City. At this point, I don’t know which broadcast was which night, so once again, Bull Riding Gumbo.

I saw J.W. Hart by the chutes—why did we get stuck with less-than-scintillating Justin McBride?…not to mention that carney huckster at the top of the show. So, is this the deal: NBC Sports makes the PBR move the hideous song to the back end of the broadcast, but CBS Sports doesn’t care when the heck they play it? I’m with NBC Sports on this one. That song gives the worst impression of the sport; the lyrics make it sound like bull riders are masochistic losers.

Cord McCoy’s impressive 87.50 ride on Ragin JT makes him “Bad Boy Mowers Lead Dog.” Oh, great, they sneaked in “Mowers”─ totally cheesed up the Lead Dog tag. How embarrassing! Leah Garcia interviewed Cord; our favorite chatterbox can’t say why he’s doing much better this season.

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Paolo Lima was cut last weekend. Elliott Jacoby is out—for now.

ON THE OTHER HAND: Bonner Bolton was a late replacement for Fabiano Vieira. It’s good to see a new face once in a while.

I DID NOT KNOW THAT: Oklahoma is “the bull mecca” of the world, according to Justin McBride.

SIGH OF RELIEF: Okay, at least this female voiceover doesn’t sound like a porno hotline.

LOVE IT:

  • Bulls walking the red carpet, like real stars! Where’s Joan Rivers?
  • Dr. Tandy Freeman won the Lane Frost Award. He’s so not a media hog, it’s a pleasure to listen to him. Clyde & Elsie Frost are at the event, and Freeman automatically shifts the spotlight off himself and onto other people. “He has seen champions come and go, and he has kept champions going for decades.”—Gotta tip my hat (briefly) to Hummer for that one. Well, someone else probably wrote it, but he delivered it.
  • Cool NCAA commercial showing athletes of both genders multitasking, making the point that most of them will go pro in an area other than sports: music, science, etc.
  • Jory Markiss slapped Black Pearl, but kept riding. He’s so pumped up, it’s hilarious. Can you imagine if he won the event? Nice green shirt, BTW.
  • Hysterical: L.J. Jenkins and Chad Berger, trying to get Yellow Jacket Jr. to straighten up in the chute, telling him to move by yelling “Junior! Junior!” to get his attention. Do bulls really respond to their names?
  • Bad Moon was bucking in the chute, and the guys trying to help were getting annoying; Chris Shivers had to tell one of the fussing chute people to “chill out.” Well said!
  • Luke Snyder is so gosh dang happy these days, betcha he does great in the Finals.
  • This week’s Ford Invasion took the Okies to a Habitat for Humanity building site, where they talked with Ann Felton, Habitat’s CEO. Colby Yates and Luke Snyder stayed warm in the truck for their part of the lumber hauling, “and since it’s so cold outside, we’re gonna let Austin Meier and Ryan Dirteater do the work by hand. They’re younger than us,” says Luke.

HATE IT:

  • Silvano “Moneyball” Alves?? Another “nickname” that’s not gonna stick, Hummer.
  • What a disturbing segue: from fierce Grandma giving J.B. shit at the chute, to the boob-y Mowah Ho who can’t make even two lines sound real. The shocking contrast literally gave me the willies; I couldn’t help the “arrgghh!” that came outta my mouth.
  • Commercials for the History Channel jousting program…which I’m fairly sure will be a big fat flop. Hummer ramming home the “No pain, no gain” cliché. What gain? Does jousting have a quarter mill first prize?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kody Lostroh rode a merry-go-round named Eye Candy, took some lumps, smacked his head on the bull’s skull, took another hit, landed on his head (yay for helmets)─ then the merry-go-round chased him, tossed him skyward by his skinny little butt— and kept chasing him. Kody crawled at top speed and high-tailed it out of there─ all for 84.75. Said McBride, “I’d have started diggin’ a hole right there. And when Shorty said it’s all right, he’s outta there, I wouldn’t’ve believed him; I woulda kept running ‘til I was in the locker room!”
  • Woo-hoo!! Highlight reel: Snyder’s 89.75 on Hee Bee Gee Bee.
  • Rubens Barbosa, Brazil’s Iron Cowboy, was here because Kody’s resulting concussion kept him out. He rode Priceless for 87.50─ damn well deserved for that effort; he really muscled his way through. (In the Finals, he rode him for 92.50).
  • Wow! A whole 8 seconds of non-jibberjabber while Elton Cide rode April Fools, definitely in control, for 85.25. (The other quiet 8 was during a J.B. ride.) If they didn’t shown the score onscreen, we never would’ve known it, thanks to the Bummer keeping his mouth shut the one time he should’ve used it. Sigh.
  • Last year in New York, Valdiron rode Mellow Yellow Jacket for 91.50 (I was there screaming my head off.) This time, 88— because he made it look easy, though he was hobbling in pain.
  • Ryan Dirteater paired with Too Sexy for 90.75 and a standing O. His free arm matched the bull’s moves precisely. Ryan’s smokin’: 2nd place in Baltimore, second place in Oklahoma City.

MIGHT AS WELL MAKE IT THE MAUNEY REPORT:

“My goal for this season, for one, is to shut J.W. Hart up…He said the other day I was on the backstretch of a good career…. I plan on trying to prove him wrong this year. I’m planning on showing him I’m not done any time yet.” “I’ve been there quite a few times, #1, and can’t never seem to keep a hold of it.”

  • So much for all the hot air from the Booth Boys about J.B. being quick in the chute: while he wrapped on Caddy Shack, they had enough time for a point-by-point comparison with McBride’s stats, then a buncha blabbin’─ and then unfortunately he got bucked off in 4 seconds. I don’t know how he got into that position, bent over sideways and backwards, then flipped upside down, landing on the back of his neck. Yay for the reflexes: he put his hands on the ground to absorb the impact.
  • As an actress, I can tell you J.B.’s been coached very well on his close-ups: tilt head slowly up so the light slowly reveals it, when your face is in full light, smile, real slow, not the whole way, so the dimples break, then give the camera the cute Bad Boy look.
  • He’s got a sprained wrist and a strained back from last night, but was kicking around a soccer ball in the locker room. J.B. told Leah that as long as he doesn’t bend over, he’s all right. Um, how’re you not gonna bend over while you’re riding a bull?
  • The arm is back! He’s remembering the rhythm! Got stuck on there way too long, though. It’s supposed to be 8 seconds, not 16—whaddarya, showin’ off for extra points? 87 was the score.
  • Great pairing with Smack Down: 92.25 for a great-looking ride on a great bull. That hind end whips around fast and strong (the bull’s, not J.B.’s). He couldn’t stop smiling (J.B., not the bull), and boy, was he pumped up. In his post-ride interview he told Leah, “I just kept going and knew to keep my hand shut.” FINALLY!
  • Last time he was #1 was Fresno, 2010; now he’s ahead of Valdiron by a close shave (which I wish he’d do).
  • Said Shorty: “He’s using the most extreme upper part of his body— that’s his brain.”

LET ‘ER RIP

If this wasn’t my own blog, I’d get kicked off for the language I’m gonna use. So I’ll pretend to tone it down.

  • Hey, NBC Sports: About your bleeping promo video showing all kinds of young kids playing sports, accompanied by a maudlin voiceover (“we are the next ones”), then showing them as adults─ all kinds of athletes, in all kinds of sports, winning, hoisting trophies, cheering─ they’re all MALE. Get your heads out of your bleepin’ a**es, NBC!! It is BLEEPing INSULTING AND ENRAGING that you completely excluded females from your portrayal of sports. FEMALE ATHLETES EXIST. GET OVER YOUR STUPID BLEEPING MALE BASTION MENTALITY.
  • And hey, fools at Bass Pro: It’s either men’s and women’s shoes OR gentlemen’s and ladies shoes, but it is NOT men and ladies. The word is WOMEN. Say it with me: W-O-M-E-N. It means adult female human. Equal to the adult male human. Get your BLEEPing advertising agency into the 20th century. Then maybe in another century you can bring them into the 21st.
  • And WHY is the PBR hyping that BLEEPing jousting thing? The more the PBR associates itself with jousting, the less seriously new audiences will take bull riding.

GAG ME

  • Stupid nattering between Hummer and McBride about Guilherme Marchi: “Do you think he has another gold buckle in him?” The boys are imitating what the big boys on the football broadcasts do─ except for the part of the job that requires telling the viewers the names of the players and the scores.

NITWITTICISMS: A SIX-PACK

  • Ryan Dirteater rode Say When for 85.50. “It looks like Dirteater brought some pixie dust!” yelps Hummer. Huh?? Are you calling him Tinkerbell?
  • Ryan McConnel “never misses an opportunity to get a score on the board.” I dunno, Craig; lately it looks like Ryan’s turning down those opportunities! Guess the fancy flaming chaps didn’t help. Dr. Feel Good didn’t like them, either—once he got Ryan down, he went to batting at his butt.
  • “VDO’s new attitude is…” ─another Hummer-Inside-the-Head moment. I’m surprised Valdiron doesn’t have a migraine by now.
  • “Double Clutch doesn’t need to fire both cylinders.” Apparently Craig is motor-challenged. Does he have any idea he makes no sense?
  • “In the past I’ve called him the Valdironinator.” Him and nobody else. I wish it would stay in the past.
  • “This is one man looking for his second score of the weekend…his sole purpose is to ride a bull, he doesn’t care if it’s high or low 80s, they all add up. “ Another profound load of bull “atmosphere.”

BULLETIN BULLETIN BULLETIN─ COWBOY SPITS!

Dusty Ephrom came off Bad Blake pretty fast, and boy, he was pissed. First time I saw a rider spit on camera─ usually they avoid showing riders as anything but squeaky clean wholesome good boys.

CAN I QUOTE YOU ON THAT?

  • Chase Outlaw: “You gotta be able to talk to the cameras and act like you own the place.” Yeah, baby!
  • “Even I can understand it,” said McBride about the new event format. “Bull riding made even simpler.”
  • “In those bonus rounds, when they run the big, scary bulls in, they don’t scare Austin Meier.”—McBride.
  • What Renato Did On His Summer Vacation: “I lay down and I napped, and then I would get up and eat, and then I would lay down and nap some more.”
  • Asked what he’s doing differently that’s helping him make rides, Harve Stewart said (take note, Ben): “I just kinda quit thinkin’ about it.” (PS: You’re too cute to be hirsute— shave, Harve!)
  • Kody Lostroh, talking about what happened during his last buckoff: “I shoulda just stomped a hole in that bull… I guess I shoulda listened to Dr. Tandy Freeman.” (He asked Freeman whether he should ride after last night’s concussion.) “He left the choice up to me. It’s amazing how these doctors know what they’re talking about.” Kody sounded the way I did after a car accident concussion: slow and slurry.

BOO-BOO REPORT

  • Arrgghh! At 7.53, Marco Eguche’s face hit Meat Hook’s horn; then on the ground, the bull took a shot at his head─ and this guy doesn’t wear a helmet.
  • Reese Cates had surgery for a broken jaw; he’ll return for Atlanta.
  • Shane Proctor will be back in Detroit.
  • Skeeter Kingsolver will be coming back, when?

A MEIER MOMENT

  • “If you don’t have any confidence in yourself when you get on a bull, unless you fall into some dumb luck, you’re not going to have a good day at the office.”
  • “If you’re gonna be a bear, be a grizzly.”

YIKES!

  • Renato Nunes’s Hail Mary style gives me agita. Orangutan has a wicked whip to his upper body, and at one point Renato’s head was almost touching the bull’s rib. Maybe using the same bull rope he used when he won the Finals helped Nunes to the 83.75. Play Harder, giving him hell in the chute, is a mean bull with an attitude, says Shorty, and I agree, Renato “goes right out there to the edge.” He is a wild thing—I swear he was gonna fly off at least 3 times, but he scored 87.25.
  • Scary moment when Dirteater’s big hunk o’ bull, Whiskey’s Rebel, fell down and slid on his side. Ryan’s been on the receiving end of so many horrific injuries, he’s developed lightning reflexes; he got out of a potential hang-up and away from the bull instantly. I was SO disappointed his re-ride was over in a flash.
  • De Oliveira had a great ride on Red Hot, but a crash landing against the gate and on his hip; he looked a mess. 82.50 was a disgusting score for that ride; he was so masterful, the bull almost gave up. Later we get a shot of his gashed forearm, but he’s smiling. That’s how you know they’re all crazy.

I’M JUST SAYIN’…

  • My first impression: 12 qualified rides on the first day. All Oklahomans? Is this gonna be like when the New Mexicans “won” in New Mexico last year?
  • MacNett’s Southern Wine was leaning on Valdiron’s leg in the chute; they needed the 4 x 4 to get him to stop leaning, yet the blanketyblank at the gate was yelling, “Let’s go, Valdiron, Let’s go!” I’m effin’ sick of guys yelling at him to get out— the prejudice is so obvious. No other rider gets harassed like that. Nobody bugged Cord McCoy to hurry up and get out on Black Attack. (Valdiron still managed to score an 86.)
  • McBride had a real insulting take on Alves, saying that he’s counting on rank bulls bucking off guys like Austin. Just because Alves proved himself mortal lately is no reason to make it sound like he’s lost his riding ability and hopes to win through someone else’s bad luck. Justin probably wasn’t trying to be bitchy, but he coulda thought before he spoke. Wait a minute; what am I saying? He’s been within spitting distance of Hummer for months; some of the stupid must’ve leaked onto him.
  • “Silvano Alves has the best riding percentage of anyone, so how in the world is he ranked #10? It’s all part of his moneyball approach.”—The Bummer. He thinks this blanketyblank nickname is gonna stick, just ‘cause it’s easier to say than “The Valdironinator.” Hummer’s now presuming to know Silvano’s “philosophy.” Quote: “He loves to listen to us and to hear what we have to say week in and week out, and his response to us is, I’ll talk to you in October.”  Here’s where you’re hallucinating, Craig: Silvano doesn’t know that much English; he doesn’t understand half of what you’re babbling about. I have no trouble believing the second half of that statement, though.
  • Chris Shivers distinctly touched Bad Moon before he reached for the rope, but maybe that was after the buzzer. I hope. Because 88.75 just wouldn’t be right if it he did.

CHRIS SHIVERS AND THE MYSTERIOUS MISSING RIDES

The Hollywood story line: Before the Hogwarts wizards waved their magic wands, Chris had 87 90-point rides. Suddenly the Magic Mirror realized that 5 Mossy Oak rides weren’t counted (shoot-out and bonus rides). They were hidden in the Secret Chamber. I mean the archives. So now Shivers has flown past the 90-rides-for-90 points milestone, making him the rider with more than any of them in the history of Quidditch. I mean bull riding. So, how did it happen that 5 rides “weren’t counted”? Did the Dementors make them vanish? When were those rides? Where? Did other people have rides that weren’t counted? What sent someone into the vault to search in the first place? Seems like they decided in advance what to find.

Leah Garcia asked Chris what he thought about being given those 5 “missing” rides. He was pretty lowkey about it: “Heck, I coulda quit two years ago if they told me in 2010…I used to want to be 90 every time I got on; now I just want to make the whistle. I think they maybe owe me a little extra money.” I’m just thinkin’, though, that if you subtracted the rides where the judges ignored highly visible slaps and scored him—high, no less– he still wouldn’t have 90.

Back in reality, Party All the Time yanked Chris to the outside, where unfortunately his sprained left (riding) wrist was a liability. That bull had some whippin’ rear end; his effort keeps him 1 for 11. “Arrghh!” was Shivers’s off-stage comment. Couldn’ta said it better.

BULL STUFF

  • Cody Ohl’s bulls rock!
  • Clapp R351. Gee, there’s an inspiring name for a bull.
  • The King is a wild bull in the chute, even with his head in a rope. And once he was out, there was no way L.J. Jenkins was “knocking it out of the park,” as Shorty predicted.
  • Shepherd Hills Sod Buster pulled a sneaky move no one could’ve foreseen: a little switcheroo stutter when he seemed about to change direction─ bye-bye, Cody Nance.
  • Motown Magic’s no spring chicken, but I love that bull’s wild action—wigglin’ in the air.
  • White Velvet is so not smooth as velvet; has a lot of drop and kept swinging himself around even after the ride.
  • Jack Daniels After Party shot out of the gate like a bolt of lightning, turned back, and got Rubens Barbosa down immediately. This is also the bull that dumped Alves twice.
  • Excellent distraction technique applied to Dark Alley by Shorty Gorham, while Aaron Roy scrammed out of the way up onto the fence. After Shorty annoyed the bull, it went after Frank Newsom and knocked him down. Made the same sound as when a bull crashes into the fence, but didn’t make a dent. Frank Newsom is the real Iron Cowboy.
  • Train Wreck has “a bit of a hair-trigger getting out of the gate”? Sheesh, Shorty! That thing’s more like a grenade.
  • Perfect Poison is now 4 for 22 on the BFTS. Poor Luke– the bull turned back in the gate and it was all over quickly. That face mask took a good smack; it would’ve been horrible without one.

THE RE-RIDE RULES

Coming out awkwardly, Sancho hooked a horn, twisted his head and neck, but there was no re-ride for Cody Campbell. Maybe they oughtta revisit the re-ride rules. If hooking a horn throws a bull off balance and interferes with his chute exit, or if he crashes into something while bucking, or falls to his knees, even if supposedly his momentum didn’t stop, those things screw up the ride. That lowers a rider’s score no matter how well he rides, because the bull’s score is lowered. How about (I’m talking heresy here) completely separating rider and bull scores, so a rider can still score 88 for doing a good job even if the bull screws up? Lower the bull’s score, not the rider’s. It’s not like they’re a team; they’re actually opponents, so why are their scores lumped together?

Examples: Pure Smoke was bucking in the chute and climbing up over the rail; Cody Nance had to hold Renato Nunes back from being thrown against the front of the chute. During the ride, the bull stumbled, skidded, and broke his motion─ I think that should be a re-ride, I don’t care if the momentum didn’t stop─ a bull shouldn’t have to come to a dead stop for a reride to be declared. But no, it was counted as a buckoff. When Snyder tried the bull, its first jump was in the chute; it was a bad out, Luke asked for a re-ride, but nooo….

OY!

Talking about Cord McCoy, Hummer again brought up that “chess-sheer grin” business. You know, I read Alice in Wonderland when I was probably 7, and I knew how to pronounce it right.

BULL RIDERS BUSTIN’ MOVES

  • Cody Campbell doing a backflip off Betta Watch It’s backside.
  • Elton Cide used Cool McCool’s bum to hand-spring out the back door, landing on his feet, for 84.50.

HUH?

  • “The plot thickens for Barbosa because of the change in the delivery.”─ Nitwit Central. There’s a plot?

GIANT DANG!!

  • Rock & Roll, Renato’s draft pick, has dumped Marchi, Palermo, Alves, and Nunes. First the clock said Nunes got bucked off at 7.93; he challenged, the replay said 7.89. It’s insane that a score depends on when They start the stopwatch. Talk about room for human error! “I was riding so hard with him I just whacked my head on the TV monitor back here!” said McBride. I know I squawked. Nunes was on the ground at 8, but I’ve seen other riders scored for that. Of course they weren’t Brazilian.
  • GAACK! Can’t believe I’m hearing the words “Silvano Alves on the bubble.”
  • Guilherme Marchi’s reride bull was Josey Wales; Shorty and the Booth Boys proclaimed this matchup a slam dunk. Yeah, for the bull! A huge vertical move right at the chute, then his head came straight up; after his shocking, instant de-throning, Marchi declined a re-ride, looking miserable, his shoulder in pain. Another shocker: It’s rare to see him get ticked about being bucked off, but this time he was. Express managed to make him slap, and it was all over. I’m thinking Marchi’s preoccupied about Patricia’s injuries.

FASHION ALERTS!

Cody Campbell’s black and sky-blue print shirt. J.Dub’s wild psychedelic jacket. Rubens Barbosa’s helmet: acid green stripes on black, matching the ones on his back and chaps. Austin Meier’s sci-fi duds. Marchi’s cool chaps with big medallions down the sides instead of all the decorations up front. The boys are stylin’!

I just had a horrifying thought. What if the PBR goes so Hollywood that they hire designers to make the riders’ ensembles, and have them model them on the red carpet before each event? “So Austin, whose clothes are you wearing?” “The shirt is a custom design by Armani, to coordinate with my helmet and vest.” “Turn around, let us see the back.” “The jeans are by Wrangler; I wouldn’t wear any other kind…”

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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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