Billings – Rimrock Arena
GOOD IDEA: the quick re-cap of the previous event (Mohegan Sun)
BAD IDEA: When the arena music drowns out the announcers, it’s too loud.
- In the 15/15 Bucking Battle, Guilherme Marchi on Pandemic looked fabulous and earned that 90. He’s the winner, but all the focus was on JB Mauney (“With no offense to Austin Meier near the top of the leaderboard waiting for his first win of the year, the story is JB Mauney…” bla bla bla. Guess who?)
- Awful but funny Ben Jones cameo: after his Round 1 trip on Dirty Deeds, lowest score of the night—maybe ever (65), he scrambled away so fast, his skull collided with the fence and he nearly knocked himself out. “Ride or Wreck” is definitely his tee shirt.
- Watching Marchi “shake he waist,” as they say in Trinidad, after each ride: Mr. Nice Guy (a Cody Lambert tee-hee), Nitro Circus (“really a jam-up bull,” according to Ty Murray) and Carrillo Cartel (whom Ty classed with Mossy Oak Mudslinger), spurring with both legs on the last one, for 87.75. Great action— and I’m not talking about the rides. The heck with Ty─ Marchi needs to be on Dancing with the Stars!
- Austin on Cowboy Casanova─ what a ride! He definitely had more bull than Marchi. Can’t begrudge him the 87.75, but I’m annoyed with Carrillo Cartel.
- Stormy Wing’s 85.75 on Buffalo Upgrade, despite the bull’s multi-tasking to dump him: front end stooping around the turns, practically stumbling, nose to the dirt.
- Luke Snyder finally ended his 13-buckoff streak with an 86.75 on DeWalt Guaranteed Tough. Guess the helmet wasn’t the problem.
- Billy Robinson’s bull horn-hoisted his butt up from the ground and set him on his feet. Really funny.
- Eww— drooly-cam shot of Cool Hand Luke. Chase Outlaw’s a star; excellent ride (and long scary hangup), for 86.50. “It looks like he’s took a major page out of Chris Shivers’s book.”—Ty.
GIVE JB A HAND—ANY HAND!
Ty, about JB Mauney’s hand-switching: “Talk about a lifetime of muscle memory─ and now you have to reverse everything you know! Having someone else tying your rope for you is like having somebody else tying your shoes.” “I tried to eat breakfast this morning with the wrong hand, and I right about poked my eye out.”—Jesse Byrne.
JB pulled it off: 89-point right-handed ride on RMEF Gunpowder and Lead; 82.75 on Pretty Boy. Hyperboles R Us: “Electrifying, earth-shattering, and amazing about sums it up.” “It’s been a ride of historic proportions.” Man, Craig, get a grip! There’s a real big world out there. Nelson Mandela’s ride is one of historic proportions.
BOOK ON THE BULLS
- Buck Wild wore a halter like a show calf, with a ring underneath and a rope holding his head to make him stand steady, “because he will lose his mind in there,” Ty said. “This is how crazy this bull can get, that they have gone to this extreme to get him under control.” The bull lived up to his name, wiggling both ends and squiggling for extra torque while he was airborne. “That’s a show calf gone bad!” was Ty’s final take.
- Juice took Chad Desplug, top-ranked rider in the Canadian Cup series, in his 3rd BFTS event, for a freaky, awkward, goofy trip, stumbling and shuffling like a white preppie trying to dance. Some riders would’ve gotten a re-ride.
- Love Ty calling Big Stuff “a little bitty bull” at “only” 1100 lbs.
NOT READY FOR HIS CLOSEUP: Megaton, a little black bull with a white face, has impressive ‘tude when being filmed, pawing a serious warning at the camera.
THE BOOK ON CANADIAN BULLS from Jesse Byrne: “They’re mean. Anybody who’s been through a winter up here knows what a long cold winter outdoors can do to you.”
JESSE’S BOOK ON THE CLONES: There’s the smart one, the mean one (I’m Back), the fast one (Slim’s Ghost)… Another One took care of Cody Nance. Dusty Ephrom rode Slim’s Ghost for 85.25. And Ty Murray rode their sire, Panhandle Slim.
ANOTHER FUNNY FROM CODY LAMBERT: Lachlan Richardson was matched up with New Face.
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
Budd Williamson’s 1st BFTS event = his first BFTS buckoff, by Flint’s Tire Rama.
THE BRAND NEW, REVISED ADVENTURES OF BEN JONES
“Ben Jones may be the smartest of the bunch,” Hummer says (something you don’t hear that often─ actually, never), because Ben’s adopting Silvano Alves’s re-ride strategy. He needed points this weekend to stay on tour, so he’s not taking re-rides. Marchi’s a good influence: traveling with and “tutoring” Ben, telling him to slow down, stay focused, in the moment. Ben explained: “That’s it, Leah: keep my head on.” After scoring 87 on Pimp Daddy, he did his dance and rooster strut on the Shark Cage, next to Flint, who was dressed, disturbingly, in shortie fatigues. On Cooper Tires Grey Ghost, Ben rocked! Even threw in an extra couple of seconds, for 87.75. He really looks like he’s having fun. “Yeah, all my advice went out the window, and I just hung on.” Everyone loved his Round 2 trip on Billy Hill, but no dance?? Well, it was 70 or a re-ride; nothing to celebrate. He kept two low scores because he’s listening to Silvano: “It’s one in the bag.” (Ty believes in taking re-rides, or you’re leaving money on the table; he took all of his.) Leah asked Ben if he works out with the Brazilians. “Naw; they’re way too big for me.”
“The defending PBR World Champ is like a hunter stalking his prey,” blathers Hummer, trying to drum up the drama. Because Alves has a 67% career riding percentage, and is breathing down de Oliveira’s neck, The Bummer has decided to call him “The Stalker.”
THE NEW FAVORITE AUSSIE
“He’s captured the hearts of America in one week.”—Ty, about Lachlan Richardson, sweetheart of Mohegan Sun. “How do you feel about Craig Hummer calling you the Justin Bieber of bull riding?” Leah Garcia asked. I couldn’t understand the answer; he probably couldn’t understand the question. “What would you have done differently?” she asked after his two failed attempts. “Stayed on for 8 seconds.”
WHAT’S WITH “MR. CLUTCH”?
Ryan McConnel’s entire body was absolutely stiff during his Round 2 failed trip on Pandamonium Gold. Getting the red and black hat back on his head was just the first step in the right direction, but the only thing that’ll help him ride his way out of this slump is to loosen up! He’s facing being cut from the BFTS. Ty commented on his freezing up after two jumps. But on Dirt Nap he didn’t; was flexible, breaking at the hips, made it look easy; little movements did the trick, for 84.25. He surprised himself. (Props to the guys near the chute yelling encouragement.) Maybe he needed to have his feet held to the fire. “Why can’t you do that every time?” Leah asked. “That’s a hell of a good question,” was all he could come up with. In the Truth Booth: “Well—I made the whistle.” He critiqued his ride, faulting himself for being farther back than he wanted to be, looked deflated, and sounded resigned; no fake pumped cowboy-up stuff here.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
- With a pelvic injury, Kody Lostroh rode Magic, a rematch that gave him 83.75 and serious pain─ he was on his knees on the dirt, bent over to the ground. It’s outrageous that he rode; that’s what World Champion means. His pelvis is separated; he said, “I feel like I’m splitting in two when I’m ridin’, and I honestly think I can’t do it again…” but “if I get my body healthy, I can get back to kicking butt.” Supposedly he’ll skip the next two events and get an MRI. Yet he’s ditched the helmet for the hat. Really, dude? Seriously, Kody: STOP. Get that pelvis fixed. I mean, don’t you use it for something other than bull riding? That’s a bad thing to have broken!
- That Rock Star slag trying to get into every shot, waggling her sign every time a rider walks by, is really bugging me. Behind Palermo after his 87.75 ride on Amy’s Pet, the sleaze was in sprayed-on yellow lycra pants, black belly shirt with a bondage criss-cross over her middle, waving the damn “Bring the Noise” sign. Such a gruesome contrast between the talentless bimbo relying on her body parts for a job and the smart, smooth, smokin’ professional interviewing the bull riders. A great poster for little girls: This is what you don’t wanna be when you grow up: card girl. This is what you want to be when you grow up: a reporter with a brain and a personality.
- “Still to come, World Champion Silvano Alves takes the stage.” So it’s official: this is a show, not a sport.
- Coming back from commercial, there’s no sound, but we see the 15/15 projections for Boise. Then there’s sound, but a black screen. Then suddenly bull riding has disappeared and we’re seeing some show about West Point football. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?? We didn’t see the end of the Championship Round because some moron on the production end fucked up!?
- I’m gettin’ a little sick of the gotta-thank-the-sponsors clause. Even the guys who hardly speak English have to do it.
If Harve Stewart’s moustache gets any bigger it’s gonna erase his face. Stormy Wing looks like an OK Corral villain. And I hate Aaron Roy’s Carmine Appice look. I didn’t even like that look on Carmine.
HE SHALL GO TO THE BALL! (eventually)
Valdiron de Oliveira’s out with a concussion and a fractured left orbital bone (that’s an eye socket to us non-MDs) that needs surgery, which has to wait until the swelling subsides. He floated the idea of riding with a helmet and face mask, but the doc told him to stay home. Valdiron phoned in to work (what, in case they thought he was faking it?) to tell them, “I’m here, watching you there, and that’s where I want to be.”
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
Aaron, Canada’s all-time money winner, hasn’t won a BFTS event?!
Austin Meier hasn’t won a BFTS event in two years!
HUMMERBLATHER ON SPEED DIAL
(You don’t think he comes up with them spontaneously, do you?):
Shredder “is able to make mincemeat of the Texan (Jarrod Craig).” Juice “put Stormy Wing through the blender.” Robson Palermo scored 86.25 on Night Deposit, “and it’s the Brazilian who’s going to be the one cashing checks.” After Stormy scored a cheapskate 84.25 on Spartacus: “It’s Stormy Wing who looked Herculean there…” (If The Bummer had done his homework, he’d know that Hercules and Spartacus are not the same person.) “Loose Cannon didn’t have to fire many shots before Bohon was out of position.” “Caleb Sanderson will not be tickled based on this out.” Uh, Craig, I bet Tick’s name refers either to a bloodsucking insect or a miniscule amount of time.
- Loved the photo of Jesse Byrne as a little blond kid in rodeo clown/bullfighter gear, and the cute interview with him and his father Ryan; they’re so proud of each other. Also cute how Shorty Gorham has rubbed off on Jesse; when he talks to the Booth Boys, Byrne sounds like a Shorty clone.
- They don’t make a card for this: Frank Newsom jumped into the chute to help make Tick stand up for Caleb. When Frank leaps in there, you know there’s a bull problem.
- Cute behind the chute: the Ben and Guilherme double act, busting a move in tandem. Craig says Ben might beg to move in with Marchi. (Wouldn’t we all.)
- Mesa Pate came to Billings with her parents when she was 8, and decided she wanted to be a stock contractor. Love it!
WHAT YOU DIDN’T WANNA HEAR
“and I landed on my shoulder again”─ Palermo, still riding with a compressed disc in his back…Cord McCoy and Skeeter Kingsolver cut from the BFTS after Mohegan Sun…Ryan McConnel in the Truth Booth: “I’ve got a long way to go; it’s pathetic to be in this position.” Maybe it’s because blonds have more fun, and he’s not one anymore.
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
- JB’s (right) hand came out of the rope on Pretty Boy, so he rode without it. Leah: “How was that, riding without a rope?” “Yeah, that was a little scary. I was trying to do a little trick riding there at the end.”
- Austin Meier, asked why he was icing his arm: “Aw, that’s just from Smackdown handing it to me last night.”
THEIR CHEATIN’ HEARTS
The judges gave Marco Eguche 87.50 for his super-solid ride on Mister Slim─ because if he reached 88, he’d knock Meier out of the #1 slot. Even Hummer said it was the best ride of the round, maybe of the night.
The Blue Emu team went skydiving with people from the Wounded Warriors project, but L.J. Jenkins opted for the simulator; he said there was no reason to jump out of a plane. However, every weekend there’s a sensible reason to climb onto a 2000-lb. hunk of beef (without a parachute) that’ll rearrange his anatomy and maybe try to kill him later.
- JB’s awful getoff from RMEF Gunpowder & Lead: head colliding with a horn, his hand nearly stepped on again, him lying on the ground under the bull. Jesse said JB admits “gettin’ off is not his specialty.” (Now did you mean to say that?)
- Championship Round: aackk! Is Ty’s shirt striped or moiré? It’s literally moving on camera—and Ty’s not.
- Ty called Stormy Wing’s amazing 91-point trip on Smackdown “a fistfight.” Yep– that bull bucks with every muscle; his torso moves like a snake. Wing really rocked that outside leg. “That’s what we’re here for,” he said, “to ride the rankest bulls!”
- 1800-lb. Buckey is outrageous! Absolutely flying, with a brutal direction change; big, strong, good timing, steep vertical kicks, and a tricky, twisting belly roll─ high-performance! Silvano Alves had an awful moment on the ground, his hand hung in the rope underneath, and the hind feet came down on his middle. “If that had been a square hit, he would’ve squashed him like a bug,” Ty said. Silvano sure looked dazed. When the judges reviewed the ride looking for a touch, I couldn’t help what came out of my mouth: “You better score him, you motherfuckers!” They gave him 89.50. Couldn’t they spare a nice round 90? Oh no, because you know what would happen…
- Chase, on how to get out of a hangup: “Don’t freak out, just let the bullfighters do their job, then you just gotta run as fast as you can away from there and try not to slip.” Said one of the Booth Boys: “He’s the type of guy that just gets up and rubs some dirt on it.”
- Big, mean, bad-attitude Stanley Fatmax dished out fast, sideways and up and down head-slinging, his horns hitting Billy Robinson’s knees, which “can be very distracting,” Ty explained.
- “I’m going to kick the son’s ass.” ─Renato Nunes, taking on Buckoff after getting trounced by Buckey the dad in the Bucking Battle. The asskicking went in reverse.
- Leah Garcia: “Would you say that‘s a bull that fits you pretty well?” Stormy Wing: “Yes, ma’am─ I stayed on!”