Last stop on the BFTS stadium tour, and a lot of us are still confused about the 4 different formats. A rider must make 8 to go to the next round, there will be 5 rounds, max, and if you’re offered a re-ride, you have to take it.
Ty Murray and HummerBummer in the Booth, J.W. Hart at the chutes, Leah Garcia on the ground. They’re in the Motor City, so Craig’s intro has the predictable comment: “The cowboys will have to be firing on all cylinders.” Yawn.
Shane Proctor, who you can hardly see in the fancy helmet. He has a brace on his free arm, rode 7 bulls before coming here, says he’s still not 100%─ then scores 86 on Slim’s Ghost.
Fabiano Vieira, who missed events because of some visa crap. I think I saw Adriano Moraes in the audience, watching him score 87.75 on Little Shyster.
Robson Palermo, who’s been training with soccer players in Brazil; Ty mentioned his “strange running/endurance training.”
Marco Eguche’s been having headaches and forgetting things since his head injury last weekend. Lucky guy gets Speck T, toughest bull in Round 1; came off the bull’s right side halfway through. But he’s still #3 in the world, so I’m not fretting.
NITWITTICISM, RIGHT OFF THE BAT
Ford Field is “packed to the gills,” according to ,Hummer, who always reaches for the wrong cliché when he gets excited. “Packed to the rafters,” honey. Only it isn’t.
EMERGENCY—CALL THE FASHION POLICE! Get Ty Murray out of those migraine shirts! Use the Jaws of Life if you have to!
- Lightmaker’s dainty dance didn’t help Jordan Hupp; the score was a mediocre 80.75
- Ty’s breakdown of King Lopez, who’s 1 for 16, and Smackdown, who’s dumped Valdiron 3 times: he thinks they’re World Champion contenders. I agree. We see Smackdown’s horseshoe bend to either side, “like a sidewinder in the dirt,” says Craig, quoting me from an old post, though he probably thinks he came up with the analogy.
- Wild thing! Banana Republic put together a head dunk, side rolls and hops; kind of a nervous performance, but effective. You know, like Mick Jagger.
- Wipeout looked docile in the chute, his nose poking out between the rails─ then he let loose with jumps, giant belly rolls, sideways moves, and bye-bye, J.B.
- I didn’t think Joe Kidd was difficult until I saw the slo mo replay. He threw some steep moves and a belly roll, and Chris Shivers was a goner— that’s no easy feat!
- Colored by Arctic threw Devon Mezei (returning from the Touring Pro Circuit) instantly with two gigantic kicks. “There’s one to watch going forward,” Ty said. Dude─ catch up! I’ve commented on that bull a few times.
- BigTexTrailers.com, who’s 1 for11, has dumped Shivers 3 times, and Alves, among others. Shane took a couple of jumps literally lying down on the bull’s back.
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
Robson Palermo: “It’s all about money. I come over here for make money, make points. I know this event is really tough, but I feel fresh now, I’m ready to go, and I’m hungry to ride bulls.” Note: he does this because he wants his kids to grow up to not be bull riders. “Maybe a doctor,” he said in a past interview.
Believe it or not, Hummer said this, obviously not realizing the implications: “No surprise, Ty: 7 out of the top 10 career riding percentages are Brazilians.” Well, that oughtta light a fire under the judges’ asses. Watch what happens with the scoring now.
I’m Back, who’s 6 for 22, handed Ryan McConnel his 7th straight buckoff. This weekend is Ryan’s 7th 0-fer in 10 events. “Struggling with his mechanics,” is how Ty characterized it.
Dusty Ephrom looked like he’d ride Off the Hook all the way, but at 7.49 seconds went into the well, slightly hung up, hooves came down all around him, he curled into a ball under the bull’s belly and rolled away. Lucky escape; he was wearing a hat, not a helmet.
VISUALLY CHALLENGED JUDGES
Was L.J. Jenkins in the air at 8 or not? The replay with clock clearly showed he was off Mr. Slim at 7.79 seconds, without the tail of the bull rope in his hand, but he was scored 88, and nobody challenged it. “He got away with that one,” Ty said. Yeah, and why? Do I need to spell it out? This would never happen with a Brazilian rider.
Valdiron looked very good on Norris, but supposedly got ready to leave the bull too soon—so the score’s only 84.75, even though he was so solid? The judges nitpick and split hairs when it comes to Brazilians, but when it comes to Americans…see example above.
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
Cord McCoy gets better and better, scoring 85.25 on clone Slim to None. Now that I said it, I hope I didn’t jinx him.
Round 1 – Section 2
IT’S ALL RELATIVE
Poor thing: World #9 Silvano Alves’s career riding percentage has “slipped” to 67%.
IT’S GRAMMAR TIME!
“That’s the key: just keep gettin’ ‘em rode.”—Ty Murray.
“Hillbilly Bones doing more than enough to get Dirteater off.”
THE KIDDIE POOL
Watching these guys: Dakota Beck, 20 years old. Chase Outlaw, 19, who had his 1st BFTS win last week, and tonight rode Johnny Crash for 86.25. Leah asked if he was used to this kind of event. “No, ma’am, I’ve never been to a winner-take-all bull riding.”
NOT A SOUND YOU WANNA HEAR
Marchi’s very surprising and audible plop off Dragon’s Breath’s back.
SHOULDA WOULDA COULDA
Stormy Wing was great on speedy Ronnie Rooster until 7.74. Maybe he spurred too much, too soon. Ty said, “He was rocking an’ rolling all over the place…that was too rock and roll.”
Round 1 Section 3 Some great bulls in this section.
L.J. leads because of that fake 88. Vieira is #2 at 87.75. Whaddaya know: another quarter-point ding to keep an American ahead of a Brazilian. The judges are getting really good at it, and more brazen by the minute, scoring someone who didn’t even make 8—and scoring him high. It’s becoming a familiar theme. According to The Bummer, “Mr. Slim helped L.J. Jenkins to his score.” No, dude; the judges did.
“It really is all about J.B. Mauney.” ─nice foot in mouth, Craig. I’m sure the other riders enjoy being invisible.
VERY BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE
Sean Willingham (11 straight buckoffs), had a hellish time in the chute with Sam, while the Booth Boys jabbered away instead of commenting on it. He had to get up to re-wrap. The bull broke out fast; after Sean’s goose was cooked, he dropped into the well, hung up, a shot tossed him yards away, and he lit out up the fence, fast.
GET THE BLINDFOLD, MAYBE IT’LL IMPROVE THE JUDGING
Renato had a great ride on Superbad, and was shafted with an 82.25. Why? “That was a lot of hard work for not very many points,” Ty commented. Say it louder, man! Early in Justin Koon’s ride on Bootlegger, I thought he’d lose it, but he worked it out, for 86 points. Why is that ride more than Renato’s?
GET THE GAG, MAYBE IT’LL IMPROVE THE COMMENTARY!
Hummer babbling about Palermo: “Mr. Vegas is about to try to become Dr. Detroit.” God I want to stab that man in the throat! He’s living some insane fantasy in his head that all these dopey monickers he comes up with will really become nicknames. Give it up, fool! Not one of them has stuck! They suck! The riders don’t answer to them, either.
“Sometimes it feels like you’re holding onto an anvil that somebody threw out of an airplane.”─ Ty Murray.
For Robson’s match with debut bull Wildcat, we get the inevitable, “Palermo is wired, so let’s listen in to some of his preparation,” and all we hear is, “Come on, let’s go!” from the chute guys while the bull is rocking, then lying down. The ride was reviewed to see if he reached for the rope too soon. Hmm, are we using a new “ding” technique now? From the angles that viewers saw the replay, we couldn’t tell; neither could Ty. He said you have to have conclusive evidence either way. Robson was “offered” a re-ride, on My Space. He didn’t have much time to recover before the re-ride, for which he scored 87.50. Not quite up to his standard form, but he pulled himself into position. His spur caught in the flank strap loop for a bit when he left the bull. Ty said it happened to him: “Getting drug around for a few minutes, that’s the most scared you’ll ever be…” But nyah-nyah to the judges!
KIN AH QUOTCHA?
“Austin Meier’s my hero in every aspect of the game.”—Ty.
How many times has Ty said, “This is where we separate the men from the boys”?
Douglas Duncan in the pens, his back to the camera, standing on a railing, leaning over a bull while he positioned his rope on its back. A real Wrangler moment. Thanks, Leah!
QUICK ON THE DRAW
“About two seconds, buddy!”—Shorty Gorham shutting down The Bummer when Craig asked how long it took him to come up with calling it “The 90 or Nothing Round.”
Delco’s been ridden 3 times; all 90-point rides. Renato’s New York ride was one of the highlights of my spectator life. This trip was unbelievable; the bull kicked the chute and hung a hind leg for a moment, making it a tough ride for Renato, who received an 88. Renato explained: “Last weekend I lost my rope and don’t want that happen again. I get buck off, I get buck off─ but not for my rope.”
Robson on Who Dat was classic! “Robson’s not rusty any more. You can’t fault that ride in any way,” Ty said. Yet they scored it 88.50. Would it have killed the judges to give him a 90? Well, sure, because whoops! he’d knock Jenkins out of the top spot.
TALK ABOUT STRESS!
Movin’ On got Silvano a re-ride for lack of spin─ and squashed him against the fence at the end. Silvano asked if he had to take a re-ride, and had to have it translated for him that he does. Can you imagine competing at this level, and not having the rules clear for you?
OW, OW, OW!
Back Bender’s amazing rolling action made Austin Meier hit the dirt hard.
OY, OY, OY!
Said The Bummer of Vieira’s trip on Mulligan Man, “Fabiano might want a mulligan but the bull wouldn’t give it to him.” Next: “Shorty, this is an obvious play on words [does he know any other kind?], but Lincoln Electric’s Bring It can pair up for some electrifying rides.”
I KID YOU NOT, HE ACTUALLY SAID THIS:
“Alves, trying to make it a threesome, along with his compatriots Renato Nunes and Robson Palermo; it will be an all-Brazilian affair…” Somebody better tell their wives before this hits the papers.
Round 3: Draft picks.
News that Asteroid owner Howard Talley died.
Starting lineup: Palermo/Deja Blue Emu, who’s had 50 BFTS outs (“the Cal Ripken of the bucking bulls,” according to Ty), Nunes/South Point, Alves/Blue Emu After the Pain. If Guilherme Marchi were in this pack, I’d be in heaven. Well, I had to settle for the holy trinity. Leah called it “the battle of the Brazilians.”
Love watching the guys in the pens getting ready, like Fabiano Vieira helping Alves tape up his wrist and pulling the rope.
I threw my own Hail Marys during Alves’s 87.75 ride. Ty’s right; he doesn’t panic, just calmly makes adjustments and keeps moving.
NBC Sports leaves the stupid theme song and noxious hillbilly for the end of the broadcast. YAY! I hit the Off button in time.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
Deja Blue Emu lay down in the chute, leaning on Robson’s leg. Ty and Shorty were nattering about why didn’t he take him lying down; their tongues made them deaf. The out didn’t work; Robson was given a re-ride: Party All the Time.
Leah picked not the best time to throw a question at Robson, who was distracted and nervous, asking him whether this situation was tough mentally or physically. He said, “Physical. My first bull riding, I get on 3 bulls.” After lurching around in the chute, the bull was giving Robson a hell of a ride─ for 7 seconds. He got leaned back a little and lost the rope; must’ve been the strain on his arm. Shocker─ I thought for sure he and Silvano would go into the 4th round.
Alves was presented with the big cartoon check for $150,000.
OH BLA BLA
“But for Alves it was mainly about points and pride.” Hummer keeps making up this stuff. No Brazilian rider has ever said that. They talk about how important it is to win the money.
“You have been saying all season long: don’t count out Silvano Alves,” The Bummer said to Ty. All season long? It’s only March, ya nitwit.