The 15/15 “bucking battle” has nothing to do with the rest of the Albuquerque event. Figure out that one, folks.
Ty Murray is riding shotgun on Motor Mouth this weekend.
- On network broadcasts, the onscreen rider/bull/stats/score boxes are big enough so you don’t have to be a flea to read it.
- The Wranglers ad with the rocking cowboy, whoever he was—those lyrics nailed it, calling Las Vegas “Hollywood with a touch of twang.” This is the PBR prepping us for the Finals. Maybe they could replace that other horrible song with this one.
BIG BOSS BULL
- Shorty Gorham interviewed Kent Cox, Bushwacker’s go-to person, who tells us, “Every morning we let him out to play, he likes to dig around in a big sand pile… Anytime another bull or anybody walks past him he likes to bow up to the front and let everybody know how big and bad he is.” True: every time a camera aims at Bushwacker in the pen, he charges right up to it: “I’m ready for my closeup, M. DeMille.” Later we see a clip of the Big Boy shoveling the sand with his horns. “He really and truly don’t care much for people,” Kent says. To prove the point, we see the footage of Bushwacker “slinging J.B. in the air like a rag doll,” as Ty famously said.
- Kinda funny how Shorty told us the bull prefers a big arena. (How can you tell?) Seems to me no matter where you put him, he’s gonna whale on the cowboys; this time, Jordan Hupp, emphatically tossed at 3.5. Ty commented on Bushwacker’s “smartness,” noting his “little showoff move” after he’d already bucked off Hupp: throwing in a direction change just for the hell of it. Bull score: 46.50.
CAN I QUOTE YOU ON THAT?
- “This is the most famous bull to come around.”—Ty Murray, who apparently has erased Bodacious from his memory banks.
- “Bushwacker’s always ready for his close-up.”—Shorty Gorham
- The Big Boss Bull has finally entered the lexicon: Ty referred to Southern Wine’s bouncing-front-end technique as “Bushwackeresque.” And yep, the bull unseated Caleb Sanderson as quickly as Bushwacker would’ve. “Last week he rode Buckey like he was a show calf,” said Ty. Yeah, and it wasn’t much of a trip on that bull’s part.
- Talking about Smackdown, Justin Koon’s matchup, Hummer said, “This is a bull you want to have all your ducks in a row on.” I wish he’d explain those ducks. He mentions them from time to time, but I’ve never seen them, or found out what you do with them once they’re all in a row. Anyway, that bull’s narrow, sharp, downhill back makes it harder to stick. “It doesn’t matter what hand you ride with,” Ty said, “or even if you ride with both hands.” (Smackdown had the top bull score in Sacramento, Oklahoma City, and Detroit.) EEK! The Koon-eye view must’ve been horrifying: that pair of hind legs and hooves flying over his head while he was lying on the ground looking up.
- Back Bender had almost no spin, then too little, too late, but still dumped L.J. What, are Back Bender and Tennessee Honey drankin’ buddies? WTF were they doing last night to show up for work in this state?
- Poor J.B., trying to ride Rango (who’s 1 for 17) with, as Leah put it, “two bum thumbs.” Ty’s testimony as to the bull’s rankness: “If you’re standing back there on the chute when he comes out of the gate, you better duck, ‘cause you’re gonna see two hind feet comin’ at you.” A Telestrator photo of a previous out was worth a thousand words: the bull’s hind legs already were vertical as the chute gate opened. “We’re off!” said Hummer; a second later I said, “so is J.B.,” which Craig echoed. The shot of Rango leaving the chute this time, his hind legs were even more vertical. Ty pointed out, “You can barely see J.B.” I gotta say, J.B. looked kinda nauseated on his way off the dirt.
Ty Pozzobon was paired up with Shepherd Hills Trapper. Why are they punishing this kid? 8 looked iffy; but in the replay, it was as close as you can get: he had the tail of the rope in his hand as he was hitting the ground, but it stayed there until the buzzer. Well, Ty showed them. Maybe some of the angst from being forced out of Houston and into Glendale went into this ride in revenge. 87.50.
THE STUPID OR AT LEAST HIGHLY UNNECESSARY
“Tweet and give us your opinion on Bushwacker”? My crystal ball tells me the Tweets will consist of such profound comments as, “He’s awesome!” “That’s the rankest bull I’ve ever seen.” “I hope J.B. rides him.” I doubt anyone’s gonna tweet “Bushwacker sucks.” “I could ride him.” “He ain’t all that.”
LUKE LUCKS OUT
“He’s the Seabiscuit of bulls,” Ty said about Tennessee Honey, who completely blew that comparison by doing lots of jumping and running but no spinning, which clearly merited a re-ride. “A horrible trip for Tennessee Honey,” said Ty. Looked like it was worse for Luke, who was helped out by Dr. Freeman and the medics. Turns out he twisted his knee, but was okay.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
- They put L.J. Jenkins in the Truth Booth to explain scoring to the newbies. Problem is, once they grasp the theory, they’re gonna be mighty confused by the reality. The judges’ version of it, that is.
- Leah reminded us that L.J. won Albuquerque last year. (He’s a New Mexican, what a surprise.) See my 2011 blog post on that little fandango, with the judges throwing the event to a homey.
- She also reminded us that Shivers “has 93 90-point rides” and “22 wins.” We all know about the extra 90-point rides that magically appeared, but that 22 also includes Atlanta, which was a joke. That event belonged to J.B. and was thrown to Chris.
- “L.J. loves performing here in the Pit,” declaimed Hummer. Note the word “performing,” not “riding.”
- Guilherme Marchi was bucked off Perfect Poison and crunched on the noggin—no helmet. Someone immediately checked the back of his head and apparently didn’t see anything bad. “That proves that that cowboy hat doesn’t work like helmet,” said Ty, and he couldn’t be righter. (That’s my official newly minted cowboy adjective.) Marchi of course was smiling on his way out; no blood or brains seemed to be leaking out (though I’m beginning to wonder how much of the latter he has), but I wouldn’t be surprised if a concussion or even cracked skull shows up later. Somehow I doubt he’s ever gonna succumb to the helmet; either they don’t wear them in Brazil or he knows how good he looks in the hat. You’re playing some mighty scary odds, Guilherme!
- After Party threw Chris Shivers over the front end, who took several big bangs before and after he hung up briefly on the bull’s back. The bull hit Chris’s head so hard, it knocked off his helmet as Chris was heading for the ground. The upshot: Shivers broke his right collarbone, and will be out for 6 weeks, if it’s a clean break. That’s a rotten thing to have happen, especially in his last season. Let’s hope he heals fast.
NOT THE BEST IDEA FOR THE PUBLIC IMAGE
The Built Ford Tough Invasion took Shorty Gorham and Luke Snyder somewhere outside Albuquerque to visit Shorty’s friend G.T. Nunn of Frontier Outfitters, which calls itself a “big game hunting” outfit. In other words, they kill elk, mule deer, antelope, bear, and mountain lion! At least the shooters might eat deer and elk (but I’m pretty sure they mount the heads on their walls), and maybe use the hides to make clothing, which at least some Native Americans might do, but who eats bears? And nobody eats mountain lion.
Of course they justify these joy rides by saying that the local mountain range is home to bighorn sheep, mountain lions are their biggest predator, and this is “population control.” As if mountain lions are overrunning the place! I’d like to see stats showing how outnumbered the sheep are. And BTW, if you’ve seen bighorn sheep up close, they aren’t fluffy little Bo Peep sheep: they’re big, with powerful thick horns, bony-plated skulls to withstand serious hard knocks, and hooves that can kick your ass. Not exactly defenseless sweet little critters who are clueless about mountain lions.
Why are bighorn sheep considered more important than mountain lions? Why aren’t mountain lions allowed to eat? They’re roaming their natural range, consuming their natural prey, and the bighorn sheep don’t belong to ranchers. Who are these guys to interfere? Bears will take care of the mountain lions. It all balances out.
If you kill bears, who’s going to eat the wolves and mountain lions? Whoops, now there’s too many of them because we killed their natural predators, so let’s kill the wolves and mountain lions, who were keeping the deer population under control. Then there are too many deer, so now we have to kill them. Then, since you’ve done “population control” on the deer, the bears are hungry, so they’re heading for garbage cans and breaking into homes. This is what happens when you mess with what is known as the natural order, the food chain—didn’t they teach you that in school?
There are other means of “population control,” such as relocating. Catch the mountain lions and set them loose in remote areas of national parks. You can do that with wolves, too (nobody eats wolves, either), instead of killing them.
The “hunts” use guns and dogs to tree mountain lions (though Luke was the one barking.) Talk about bullies: they corner a beautiful animal, one that also has important spiritual meaning to some Native American nations, and shoot it, even though the mountain lions are unarmed. Seriously, though: how’s that a fair fight?
So now all the people being introduced to bull riding on national TV can associate animal murder with bull riding. Oh, I get it: the PBR is using what they learned in Fallacious Thinking 101 (or would that be, Phallacius Thinking 101?): despite all evidence to the contrary, they still think men are their main audience, and killing animals = manly = bull riding fans.
Now I’ll probably hear from all the hunters out there saying hunting is an all-American sport, what is my problem, they’re exercising their god-given right to carry guns, etc. Lissen: killing and eating is one thing, but just killing? and getting a charge out of it? That is F’d up.
- “That right there is a microcosm of how Silvano Alves won last year’s World Finals Title,” said Hummer about Alves taming High Octane Hurricane. “Ever notice that Silvano makes all bulls look easy?” said Ty. So that’s why the judges gave him 89.75, instead of the at-least-90 he deserved, for mastering a difficult bull? Another quarter point ding to deny a Brazilian a 90-point ride.
- There was “a clock issue” during Valdiron de Oliveira’s outing on Bad Blake, whom he rode for 12 seconds, and was scored 89.50. “They coulda timed that with a calendar, ‘cause Valdiron coulda rode that bull all day long,” said Ty “He just looks perfect. There was no doubt in the judges’ mind that he dominated…” And yet they still refused to give a Brazilian 90 points.
- In comparison, Luke Snyder’s re-ride, Party All the Time, spun and kicked, but didn’t have high jumps. Luke looked good, and was scored 90─ of course, because that way, he scoots up past the Brazilians to the top of the event standings. This has nothing to do with how good a rider Luke is. It’s prejudice. Is anyone else as pissed off about this shameful crap as I am?
The result: “Here is your winner, Luke Snyder.” Yeah, Craig, if you pretend that Silvano’s and Valdiron’s rides weren’t worth 90 points.
Leah asked Luke what fired up his riding again: “I was gettin’ tired of following…I’m glad to be back in the swing of things.” After the “win,” he happily talked about what he did differently, and came up with a cute, if possibly scripted quote: “What better time to shine?” He then gave the perfect rehearsed speech, hitting all the points a publicist would want him to. No wonder everybody loves Luke.
I’m not dissing Luke; he’s an excellent rider, I like seeing him succeed, but not when it’s artificially induced by the judges.
The event was capped with the usual Hummerblather: “Luke always seems to rise to the occasion.” Not true; it just sounds good to viewers who don’t know any better. We’ve all seen Luke let rides get away from him and be really ticked off at himself.
P.S.: Ty Pozzobon placed 4th in this event. Keep an eye on him.
The World Standings are now: de Oliveira #1, Mauney #2, Eguche #3, Alves #4, Nunes #5.