Here’s the eye witness story: A lot of empty cheap seats, and almost as many empty seats in the next price level.
On the way in we saw JB Mauney carrying his little girl, accompanied by the mysterious woman who’s probably her mother, and Shane Proctor loaded down with gear.
First the new guys are introduced, then the lower echelon, then “Fan Favorite” Cord McCoy, or was it Ryan McConnel? Valdiron wasn’t looking happy as he was introduced. What was going on backstage, or does he not feel well?
Ryan Dirteater out with a concussion. Robson Palermo out with a sprained shoulder. Caleb Sanderson has a hurt knee. Ty Pozzobon, with a right knee NCL injury, wore a brace today because he didn’t yesterday. Sports Medicine had warned him about causing more serious damage. Jesse Byrne and Shorty Gorham did a great save later, putting Ty away out of danger from Stinger. Listen to the doctor, Ty!
WORST WRECK EVER
Valdiron de Oliveira was in the worst wreck I’ve ever seen (and I was there for Pistol Robin’s two broken legs): face down on the dirt, crashed on by Main Event rear hooves; it wasn’t clear whether it was the back of his neck or head. He was instantly knocked out and never regained consciousness the whole time the sports medicine team worked to get him onto the backboard. On the big-screen we saw close-ups of the other Brazilian riders watching; I’ve never seen that grave expression on Silvano’s face, never heard an arena that quiet, never seen that many medical team members crowd around a rider, never seen it take that long to get a rider secured on the board. I thought, This could be very terrible: brain damage, paralysis, death. They took him to the hospital, and much later in the event we got the message that Valdiron was responding. The score was 88.25, but nobody was thinking about that.
THE BIG STORY
Outrageous Lachlan Richardson, from New South Wales, Australia, has been in the U.S. only a month and a half. In his first BFTS weekend, he’s 3 for 3 on Sunday. Rode Deja Blue Emu for 84.25. In the Championship Round, he totally punched it out with Jack Daniel’s After Party for that 89.50; he’s a real scrapper, like a young JB. His first BFTS event, his 1st win. Leah Garcia asked what advice he got from the pros before he went out: “Stay on.” That’s what you call laconic. First person he was going to call was his Dad back home.
Translator Tab Barker has morphed from collegiate to Rhinestone Cowboy, complete with sparkly boutique cowboy belt.
Ryan McConnel in the flashiest chaps I’ve ever seen: copper lamé? Paired with the black and red hat, which under these lights actually looks orange and black.
Wow—this time the tee shirt throwers were actually clothed.
Guilherme’s looong ride on First Blood, which earned him 85.75.
JB Mauney, after he was tossed by Southpaw (ha ha, very funny, Mr. Lambert), got almost as much applause for not riding.
Gas Tank’s the right name─ Marco Eguche scored 89.50 on this gassy bull.
Justin Koon’s 86.50 ride on The Game Changer for some unfathomable reason was accompanied by a sappy George Michael song, which he swore he had nothing to do with. Flint declared today “Easy Listening Sunday.” (Scary: he knew the words: “take my hand and lead me to the dance floor.” Eww!)
THE SOUND AND THE FURY
Love the song, “I’m Playing Chicken with a Train.”
HATE IT: GOING DEAF. OPEN PLEA TO SOUND TECH AT PBR EVENTS:
Dumbass (or is it Deafass?) sound guy still thinks deafening music is more exciting than just loud music. Check your decibel levels! You may have partial hearing loss from being around overblown sound for so long in your career, so your ears are not the best judge of what volume to set. I’m serious: when was the last time you had your hearing checked? Look, the arena’s not full, so there aren’t as many bodies to absorb sound, and it’s not the size of Madison Square Garden. Take it down a notch! There are children in the audience, and you’re damaging their hearing. Adults are complaining about the volume, so you can bet the kids’ ears are hurting. The annoyingly loud music constantly interfered with the arena announcers talking about the riders. It’s not all about you, dude.
I’m a veteran of the music business, went to more concerts than I can count, spent time in rehearsal and recording studios with blasting playbacks, didn’t need earplugs at shows by The Who, Aerosmith, Kiss, or any other band, but at the Mohegan Sun event, I actually had to wear earplugs! Look, I want to be able to listen to rock music for the rest of my life, not have my hearing damaged by a PBR event! Some facts about excessive decibels:
1) People who have been exposed to more noise/music usually have a higher threshold pressure. (from the Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, World Soundscape Project, Simon Fraser University) In other words, if you’ve been bombarded by loud sound on a regular basis, you don’t necessarily feel pain, even though your hearing is being damaged, and you tolerate more decibels. Kind of like junkies who build up a tolerance to their drug.
2) At 110 decibels, regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss. At 100 decibels, no more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure is recommended. At 85 decibels, prolonged exposure can cause gradual hearing loss. (From the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.)
3) Here are some sample levels:
105 = personal stereo system at maximum level. 110 = chain saw, rock concert.
150 = firecrackers
DO THE MATH, DUDE!
And BTW, OSHA has set noise guidelines to protect employees, and there are consequences for violating them. The deafening sound is bad enough for audience members who are there for about 2 hours, but for the PBR employees AND THE RIDERS, who hear it all weekend every weekend, it’s even more damaging. If someone measures those decibel levels, you may find out you’re putting your employer in the line of fire for government monitoring and legal repercussions. I’m just sayin’. Louder does not equal more exciting.
OH SAY CAN YOU HEEAARRR?
The slightly sour/off pitch singing by yet another young female, this time from Connecticut: “RAM-parts” came through her nose, and she hammered the “R” at the end of “glare” and “air,” which any singer in her/his right mind knows you just don’t do because it sounds like crap. Then came the warbles, and a hideous stomach-dropping Joni Mitchell-style jump on “fre-ee”… UGH.
The action started with The Mighty Sparrow’s “Hot Hot Hot” playing, and all I could think was, Dear god, please don’t tell me the PBR thinks this is Brazilian music. However, it was accompanied by great film clips of some real money shots.
P.S. Whose cover version of “Rocky Mountain Way” was playing? Not bad, but not Joe Walsh, either.
Austin’s draft pick Chapstick sure had something to say to the bullfighters.
Reese Cates’s bull Paleface went after him; the bullfighters had to intervene, and the bull had to be roped to get him out of the arena. The audience loved it.
Cord McCoy’s bull Doin’ Time hated the barrel, attacked it, had to be roped and dragged out, but he had one leg over the rope, so he tripped and fell. That one’s on James for not checking on what was at the end of his rope before he started dragging.
Showoff really lived up to his name: did all the required moves, like Olympic ice skaters have to, then whirled Markus Mariluch away and made a speedy exit. Next!
Skeeter Kingsolver’s bull, Johnny Walker Spot, was “pitching a shut-out,” according to the arena twosome.
PFI’s Boot Daddy got Jarrod Craig in trouble; made him slap, hang up, then decided which bullfighter to bother.
Ty Pozzobon, with wrapped knee, almost got his butt handed to him by his bull’s horns.
Flint, safe on the Shark Cage, faced off with Shane Proctor’s bull, and threw a Bushwacker tee shirt at him, which as Clint Adkins and Brandon Bates pointed out, did absolutely no good. The bull was not impressed, and gave Flint the cold shoulder.
Rusty Waters rolled down right out of the chute, entitling Matt Bohon to a re-ride. BTW, did you know Bohon’s been in 5 World Finals?
Pretty funny to hear “Mow with an attitude” said by a man.
Shorty was RMEF’s “Go-to Guy” for his save of the week. This puts him in the running for the prize of a week’s hunting trip. (What, revenge against the four-leggeds for him taking heat from them every week?) We were informed in the arena: “You cannot vote for Flint, because when it all goes bad, he runs away.” So true—I saw him do it in New York. Or was it Hartford? Or both? In response, Flint did his cheerleader dance routine. Ewww, creepy.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
Stingray stumbled down on his front knees, so Billy Robinson tried for a re-ride, which he deserved, but didn’t get. Why?
Wrangler Best-Dressed Fan of the Night AGAIN was a boy—the youngest yet—in the usual Wranglers, cowboy shirt, boots, and hat, with sheriff’s badge. Flint on his way up to the parents’ seats: “I have a feeling this little guy’s gonna freak out when I get within 15 feet of him.” Yup, the kid definitely was petrified, especially when Dad handed him over to The Painted One. Prompted by his father, the kid held up two fingers to tell him he was 2 ½, and waved at the camera when told. “Are you his Dad?” Flint asked the father, and answered his own question: “I don’t know, but I’m married to his mother.”
Who picks the Best-Dressed Fan? Why is it always a boy? I saw a perfectly dressed little cowgirl, complete with pink hat, who should’ve been chosen. Yo— message in a bottle, guys: Bull riding ain’t a boys club anymore.
Nice to see Kasey Hayes hand Bad Hat Harry’s hat to him (do I sound like Hummer yet?) after all that bucking in the chute, for 87.75. When Silvano rode much tougher Red Man a little later, he was carefully scored .25 behind Hayes. Guess he made it look too easy again. What other reason could there be for all the low scores Silvano’s been getting?
FLINT’S TWO CENTS:
“James is the most popular cowboy in the arena. No matter how many bulls they ride, when James ropes the bull, he gets the biggest applause of the night.”
A woman with a prosthetic leg was holding up a sign: “I gave my left leg to see Flint.” He was impressed at her chutzpah (so was I), then he got stupid (“She’s married to the drummer from Def Leppard”), put his arm into his sleeve and did an impression; then notes that the next bull has only one horn. Not cool. But Caitlin was a shoo-in (and no, I did not mean it that way) for Fan of the Night: “If you are committed enough to cut off your leg to come and see me…”
Inviting the winner of the Ariat contest to come down onto the dirt afterward and “get your boots dirty,” he made the idea even more inviting: “But it’s not all dirt.”
Kudos for his impersonation of a bull rider being all graceful on the bull (“I’m an athlete”), floating around the arena, “then the fear factor sets in, the boots fill with concrete, and you get this.” He crawls, stumbles, rolls, and spazzes along in the dirt, desperate to escape.
Somebody’s bull rope went flying at the audience. “Spectator killed by cowbell!” yells Flint. “More cowbell!” And only us people of a certain age, who happen to have seen a certain Saturday Night Live episode featuring Christopher Walken as a sideman during the recording of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” burst out laughing.
During his half-time show, he climbed beyond the announcers’ stage area up to the mezzanine to test the reality of someone’s Santa-like beard.
A debate broke out among Clint Adkins, Brandon Bates, and Flint about whether Douglas Duncan will have his hip surgery or not if he wins this weekend. After a little back-and-forth came the stalemate. Said one of the announcers: “Whatever.” Said Flint: “That’s how he wins every argument: ‘Whatever. I’m twelve. Whatever.’”
Flint answered the Shark Cage cameraman’s cell phone, and informed the caller (if there really was one), “You’re talking in front of 6,000 people.”
The oldest cowboy in the world was “Stud of the Night.”
Another outstanding audience member: the 6’9” guy up in the rafters. Flint felt compelled to visit him to find out how tall he really was. Let’s put it this way: he raised his hand as high as he could reach, and just made it to the top of the guy’s head.
UGH—DID YOU MEAN TO SAY THAT?
“Time sure flies when you’re all jacked up.” What a gross tag line for Jack Daniel’s! There are so many things wrong with it, not the least of which is that “jacked up” is what junkies are after shooting smack.
THINGS WE COULDA DONE WITHOUT
Bass Pro Shops has a variation on the stupid fishing line in the bucket thing: now contestants shoot plastic arrows at a plastic buck, after first donning what looked like Bigfoot’s pajamas.
MY FONDEST WISH
Was that a dirt Zamboni combing the ground? Please could they come to my apartment and tackle the kitchen floor? And dust bunnies?
Aaron Roy’s 3rd rematch with Rango, who bucked him off in New York (and has been ridden only by Austin Meier and Matt Bohon) was not the charm.
Marchi also had a rematch, with Larry the Cable Guy’s Git-R-Done, who bucked him off in New York. He was scored 76.75 for being out of position, hanging on the side, and because the bull wasn’t up to snuff. Question: would someone else get a re-ride or an “A” for effort?
Austin Meier has ridden Shepherd Hills Trapper twice in three outs, but this time the bull won, so they’re now 2 for 2. To be continued…
Alves’s bull, Whitewater Trouble, seemed to slip a little around each turn—or maybe it was just a syncopated series of turns. Dancing with bulls?
LOVED LOVED LOVED IT!
Priceless film clip at The Painted One’s expense, announced as “Flint Wrecks Out on the Shark Cage,” featured him in a leprechaun-themed outfit in Glendale, getting roped around the legs and crashing. Catch it on YouTube.
CLOCK/BUZZER CRAP CONTINUES
The buzzer sounded about 30 seconds after L.J. Jenkins got bucked off Shamoun, who’s 0 for 16. Said somebody other than Hummer (the disease is spreading): “He has had his way with the best bull riders in the world.”
MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO
First Douglas Duncan flopped off Quiet Riot, then the bull flopped down on his own butt.
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
Cody Nance’s draft pick was Mulligan Man, “I guess.” Guess he knew he’d be bucked off almost instantly. That bull’s done the same thing to JB, among others.
FLASH FASHION ALERT:
Justin Koon’s red, black, and silver vines—love the silver chaps!
“I’m old. I’m sore. I’m out.”–Luke Snyder