ATLANTA, Georgia Dome – 1st stop on Stadium Tour

Here’s the new format for stadium tours:

The good: 12 chutes, 5 gates, a wide arena. Quicker turnout, better views for all.

The bad: a rider gets only one chance. Ride, you get a draft pick. Don’t ride, you’re done for the weekend. Kinda sucks, for guys who don’t have a lot of money for travel to events.

THE PROLOGUE:

How obnoxious of the Booth Boys, calling it a “two-man race” before the event even started, doing the telestrator comparison with Valdiron de Oliveira and J.B. Mauney. The analysis of the riders’ free arm position was bogus: the still photos catch each of them at just one point; you don’t see the full range of motion. For instance, J.B. doesn’t keep his arm straight up in the air the whole time: when he’s on his game, it’s gliding in an arc, in a consistent rhythm.

Worse: Hummer’s comment in the Championship Round: “But first we have to sit though a number of rides.” Before getting to J.B. and Austin Meier, he meant. Insulting to all the other riders, as if only the top two are worth watching.

Miscellaneous: Jerome Davis’s wife was on duty pulling the flank strap this weekend. I looked up her name, because I can’t stand that one half of a couple has an identity and the other is called a “wife.” Her name is Tiffany.

ROUND 1

Douglas Duncan, who’s 1 for12, got a re-ride option because Black and Decker Orange Crush had no spin and spent his time jumping and running. That’s not always what happens with other riders. His reride: Bad Moon, a good bull, but 88?? Gimme a break!

Mood Swing took care of cutting Rubens Barbosa from the BFTS. He’s run out of exemptions? What does that mean? Can somebody please explain to the viewers?

Jory Markiss wowed the crowd with a front-end ejection from Large Jacket’s back.  J.W. couldn’t help himself: “Why does a guy want to get on a bull?” The Booth Boys joked about Jory’s 5-hour energy. Gotta say, the kid always seems unnaturally jacked up to me.

Ryan Dirteater’s now #3 in the world! Hot and Juicy completely stumbled down under him, and when Ryan was on the ground, a hoof or two hit his leg. “He’s got nerves of steel,” said J.W., after telling us what it’s like to feel a bull falling down, then thinking about what’s going to happen if he falls on you. (That’s how Ryan broke a leg twice.)

Renato Nunes on Walking Tall looked a lot more in control— not as ramshackle as usual, jumped off on his feet, and scored 85.50. I keep forgetting that “Hail Mary” is his style, but this time I knew he wouldn’t fall off. He told Leah it was a little difficult riding with his arm bandaged, but “If I can ride like that, look out guys!” How adorable that he’s picked up colloquial Americanisms already. Wonder how much Portuguese the Americans know?

HIGHLIGHTS

Marco Eguche is unbelievable! Hot Toddy moved fast, up and down, with high kicks, different tricks, different directions. J.W. detailed what Marco handled, calling it an “Excellent, excellent ride.” It shoulda been an 88-point ride, not 86.50. Gee, wonder why…

Not sure if this was in the Championship Round, but…Justin Koon’s 90 (his first ever) on T Rex! Good on ya, kid! Also the first big spit I’ve seen on a BFTS broadcast. “I just had to relax, make like I was at home. I know I can ride bulls. I’ve been kind of disappointed in myself when I’ve been falling off. I just got relaxed, and got out of my head.”

AGHHK

Hummer’s still hammering on his “Valdironinator” thing.

Another quick trip to the dirt: Ryan McConnell’s had 7 events with no score.

BULL STUFF:

In Sacramento, Express beat Jordan Hupp; tonight the bull saved it for the last 2 seconds. If Express woke up sooner, Hupp wouldn’t have that 85.50. J.W.’s right: the bull didn’t have his best day.

Larry the Cable Guy’s Git R Done is 1 for 14. His sidewinder moves, twisting, belly rolling, swapping ends, all added up to one slam-dunk of Caleb Sanderson.

BigTexTrailers.com (Moon) has been ridden only 3 of 23 outs. Luke Snyder looked kinda stunned when he got dumped in 2 seconds.

Back Bender, with 7 straight buckoffs, threw Hupp “far enough that the bullfighters don’t have to worry about doing their work.”

I’M JUST SAYIN’…

Dusty Ephrom drove 28 hours from home to Atlanta. This is why riders need their transportation paid for; how can anyone do his best after that many hours at the wheel?

Off the Hook wore out before Cord McCoy’s ride ended; the bull’s hind legs barely left the ground, and he almost sat down. 86.50 is clearly a “fan-favorite” score; even J.Dub commented on the bull running out of steam. 

Outrageous performance by Come Back─ wiggling in the air, but no spin, so why no re-ride for Harve Stewart? Douglas Duncan got one, for the no-spin thing. What, Harve’s not enough of a bigshot?

Chris Shivers rode Frontier Fugitive for about 12 seconds, for 87.75, and I see no reason why Douglas Duncan was scored higher. The judges weren’t impressed enough? This bull had serious action─ and so did Chris!

Unpredictable was moving like a top, with J.B. waltzing him round and round. The bull traveled halfway across the arena, but apparently there’s no “real estate” issue when it comes to J.B.; they scored him 88.

Lindomar Lino, in his first BFTS event, replaced Mike Lee; Blaine Skaggs also is a BFTS rookie. How were they picked? What about some background info? Can’t they explain these mysterious appearances to us?

JDub claimed that Valdiron picks the easiest bulls he can, so he can score. That’s not real complimentary, dude, nor is it true. How many times have we heard you say Valdiron can ride any kind of bull in any direction?

JUST CURIOUS:

In the montage of Valdiron and J.B. rides, who hugged J.B. after his 92-point ride? The camera sure cut away fast enough.

THE MENTALIST

Hummer announced the video clip of Chad Ochocinco’s attempt to ride Deja Blue Emu: “And now this bull has a chance to send a message to the NFL: we hit harder.” Not only can Craig get inside the riders’ heads, but apparently he also can read a bull’s mind.

FASHION ALERT

Luke Snyder’s new helmet isn’t a full cage; it’s got a shatterproof NASCAR windshield. Freakiest helmet/mask combo I’ve seen yet…and that’s saying something, considering Cody Nance’s Hannibal Lecter mask!

RIGHT ON, AUSTIN! SORT OF.

“Most of the American fans don’t like the Brazilians. I say, ‘Know me first’…they have a camaraderie you don’t see as thick in the Americans. When you got that many guys yelling in your ear, pumping you up, there’s no way you wanna fall off.”

I don’t think it’s the fans who don’t like the Brazilians, Austin─ it’s the judges.

Fabiano Vieira was out of U.S. action dealing with visa issues, but rode 11 of 11 bulls in Brazil. JDub predicts that in 10 events, Vieira will be in the  top 7; last year he was in the top 10 and he’d been on the BFTS for about 15 minutes. 80.25 for his ride on Southern Renegade sucks.

Pale Face did his best to get rid of Alves and failed, but Silvano got handed only 83.50─ another cheap score.

De Oliveira got stepped on in Oklahoma; his leg’s bruised front to back, he has the flu; he said he’s not up to speed. But he rode─ for 10 seconds. “He just outmuscles Monsoon,” was the verdict. 84.75? Now that’s prejudiced scoring. After the ride, Leah commented that he might not be strong in body, but he must be strong in mind. Valdiron was so out of breath he could hardly string a sentence together. Finally he got out, “I can’t talk now.”

Juicy Fruit’s been ridden 12 of 16 times. That’s just a bucking machine, not a thinking bull. Why should Stormy Wing’s ride be scored 85, higher than Valdiron’s? Oh, wait─ that’s one of those quarter-point dings against a Brazilian.

Silvano challenged just in case They said he didn’t make 8 on Sancho (the one with the uphill back). “It said 8 seconds on the clock overhead; I don’t know what he’s challenging,” JDub said. At 7.99 Alves was off the bull, but seemed to still have the rope at 8. Betcha someone else whose name we won’t mention woulda been scored.

Guilherme Marchi took on an awkward little bull, so far ridden only by Brazilians, and didn’t look good. He seemed to have made 8, but the ride was reviewed. Craig says a review has to be conclusive for scoring. Apparently that’s news to the judges, who apply the rule selectively. I’ve seen riders scored when a replay was inconclusive. The judges reviewed the ride from only one angle, and said he lost the rope at 7.98. You know what I’m gonna say: Shivers, Mauney, or Snyder woulda gotten a high score. Marchi, as usual, was gracious about being shafted: “I can’t believe it. That’s the longest 8 seconds I have in my life. But that’s part of the sport.”

LOVE IT

A shot of Douglas Duncan blowing a bubblegum bubble.

Silvano Alves is now starting to interpret for Fabiano. “It’s like a pecking order of the language barrier,” said Leah.

Lately the Ford Invasion has made useful trips: this time, to the Atlanta Aquarium, bringing in 2000 lbs. of recycled sea salt to throw in with the sharks. The aquarium boss showed the team how to unload the huge bag into the tank, warning them not to get smushed between the manhole and the ton of crushed salt. “Good thing we’re both used to getting crushed by 2000-pound things,” was Shorty’s line. (P.S.—This is the only place in the world that has 4 whale sharks! I mean, indoors.)

WELCOME TO THE PBR, SIR

was Hummer’s comment when Cracker Jack quickly dumped Lindomar Lino. (You’ve now got 12 points on the credit side of the ledger, Hummer.) He could’ve said the same to Blaine Skaggs, who made it more than halfway through 8 on Full Force, then came down in front, took a shot here and there, and looked a little shook up.

THE CHRIS SHIVERS SPECIAL:

Comments on his upcoming retirement:

Chris: “It’s kind of a relief…I feel good knowing that everybody knows about it before the end of the year.”

Mike White, traveling partner and World Champion, who retired a while ago: “Well it’s about time, ‘cause he’s gettin’ a little long in the tooth an’ a little chubby around the belt line.” (“What are good friends for?” J.Dub cracked when he heard that.)

J.B. Mauney: “Chris is probably the best bull rider in the world.”

MOST ACCIDENTS HAPPEN WITHIN 10 MILES OF THE HOME

Leah asked J.B. how he’s doing with his injury; of course he said, “I’m fine; my toe is broke, that’s about it.” How did it happen? “Bull stepped on it the other day, working around the house.” Yeah; that kinda household accident happens all the time.

TEE HEE

“This is a bull that usually has his way with left-handed riders.” What Hummer meant was that Cody Nance’s attempt on Deja Blue Emu was over quickly.

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

HIGHLIGHTS:

Jack Daniel’s After Party is unridden this season, but Ryan Dirteater was glued to that bull; they looked like they were one piece, he matched moves so well. 88.25─ yeah!

Trickster was one of the smallest bulls in the championship round pen, and for a moment or two, it looked like Marco Eguche might not make 8, but he handled every drop and kick that bull had, including a hard landing, for 88.50.

MIXED BLESSINGS:

Three times it was unreal that Austin Meier stayed on Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, he was so out of position, but he defied gravity, and scored 88.25─ despite the touch that JDub (and us TV viewers) spotted and the judges didn’t. Or maybe they did.

Stormy Wing picked Asteroid. (Is he out of his gourd?) Meanwhile, J.B. did the uncharacteristically sensible thing and picked RMEF Gunpowder & Lead, going for points.

BIG OL’ DANG!

Kody Lostroh and Shepherd Hills Trapper─ good matchup! But the bull’s front end stumbled down, his head smacked the chute, then the ground as he turned out of the gate. Kody challenged, but judges said no foul, no re-ride. I say it was a foul.     

NITWITTICISMS─ WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT THEM?

“Both of them looking for a win here in Atlanta,” Hummer declared about Mauney and Austin. Whereas the other guys aren’t.

ON THE OTHER HAND, CAN I QUOTE YOU ON THAT?

“If you’re a stock contractor and you could send your bull a message, it would be, Don’t turn into Valdiron’s hand halfway through the ride!”—Craig Hummer.

Nunes was matched with Highway 12, who’s 1 for 15. “I’m going to pick Renato,” Shorty declared─ just as Renato’s bandaged riding arm popped out of the rope, “or maybe not.”

“Man I used to could do it, then I kinda sucked the last coupla years.” ─Chris Shivers, who spent time looking at some of his old rides on YouTube.

“Chris Shivers turns back Father Time and wins for the first time this year,” said Hummer. “Could not have written a better script for himself.” Uh, it’s the PBR and the judges who scripted it, pal.

STORMY’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE IN OUTER SPACE

JDub: “He does have his work cut out for him. It’s gonna be a long day at the office. If he doesn’t get out clean, this bull will just rip him out of there like— like I don’t know what [‘cause you’re not Justin McKee, who would’ve come up with something on the spot]; like a slingshot.” Stormy made it longer than anyone else so far: 6.11 seconds. Asteroid’s score was 46.50. I’m just in awe of that animal.

Leah asked Stormy if he had any sense of satisfaction, knowing how long he stayed on the bull. With no grace at all, he said, “No ma’am. He won. I don’t like to lose. Never have accepted it, never will.” He actually had an attitude about it. Gimme a break, Stormy— you stayed on longer than J.B. did. Ya can’t take even a little bow? Leah gracefully covered for his obnoxious comment: “Spoken like a true athlete,” then tossed the ball back to Craig.

I’M JUST SAYIN’…

Hummer says “there have been issues with the clock.” Whatta surprise─ and how unprofessional is it that there are “issues” with the clock? What about having a backup clock (or two)? You know, like rock bands carry extra leads and drum sticks?

One ad talked about the PBR “heading west to …where J.B. Mauney and the top cowboys battle the rankest bulls…” What, J.B. gets billing above the title now?

What’s next: “co-starring Ryan Dirteater and the Brazilians”?

Were we at all surprised that Shivers got another 90-point score, for his trip on Delco? J.W. was chuckling. “His 93rd,” according to the chief B.S.’er. So now he’s the leader. You’ve really bought into that storyline, huh, boys? Guess now you’re shooting for 100.

J.B. Mauney turned out a 13-second ride on RMEF Gunpowder & Lead and they gave him 89.50, because he would’ve won with a 90. They screwed him with one little quarter point so Shivers would win. The bull goofed himself up a little when he hit his head against the gate, but that’s no reason to penalize J.B. This is just disgusting, the way the PBR is fixing scores and now events to put Shivers on a higher and higher pedestal. (I’m even wondering if they slipped J.B. a backhander to sweeten the sting.) In reality, Chris didn’t win this event, he tied with J.B.

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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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2 Responses to ATLANTA, Georgia Dome – 1st stop on Stadium Tour

  1. PBR fan says:

    The first of 4 made for TV events. At least they were not on PPV this year. With all of the new twists and turns and rules each year, this no longer looks like a “rodeo” event or the PBR of 5 or 6 years ago. This Sunday is another made for TV event (15/15). All about the hype. They really don’t cafe about the cowboys. They are just part of the icing on the cake. This is an event, rodeo or sporting…there should be no “story line”. Leave that for WWE or the soap operas. Just show us good bull riding.

    Like

    • Can I get an “Amen”!?   Although I wouldn’t count PPV totally out yet– they still have time to think up a “Special Event” and try to screw $40 out of fans (because of course the price will have gone up).   

      Like

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