NASHVILLE– and yes, I know I’m behind the times

That lousy feed again, with the sound going in and out. And once again, the arena noise drowns out Ty Murray.
The Booth Boys were so busy blabbering about other things that half the time I listened to Clint and Brandon report the score in the arena instead of waiting for the TV commentators to (maybe) say it.
The bulls are slipping because the dirt is crushed granite. Not good.

Rounds 1 & 2
This is the way you can see what’s what with the scoring:
• Canadians: 84, 86.25
• Australians: 86.50, 87.75, 87.75
• Americans: 82, 82.25, 82.50, 83.75, 84, 84.75, 85.75, 86.25, 86.50, 87
Note: No Americans were scored below 82.
• Brazilians: 79.25, 82.75, 83.50, 85.50, 86
Note: No Brazilians were scored above 86. Low score was 79.25.

“How is Valdiron going to deal with his demons?” “This could be the start of a nightmare for him. He’s tired of being a bridesmaid.” Sheesh! Calm down, Hummer.
“LJ has been able to move from 10th to 1st, all because of…” Favoritism from the judges, maybe? Okay, not all because of that, but he sure got a leg up. I’d say he probably should be at #4. “This is gonna be a dogfight all the way to the end,” LJ says.

Ben Jones looked roughed up even before he scored 87.75 on Bone Handled– what was it from last night he was thanking his wife for?
Instead of getting an MRI or taping his injured shoulder, Robson Palermo got on practice bulls with Valdiron. He said his shoulder feels better; doc said it’ll heal in a few weeks– I hope in enough time for the Finals! Robson made 8 on Mississippi Hippy (unridden on the BFTS), so you’d think he’d get a high score. The flank rope came off, and he was given a re-ride. Why? I’ve seen other bulls lose the flank rope, and there was no re-ride. Could it be because Robson would’ve gotten a good score, and that wouldn’t be acceptable to certain people? With a re-ride, there’d be a 50-50 chance of him not scoring, or being scored low, right?

Canadianaaronroy’s the only 2-time winner on the Canadian circuit; this year he’s going for 3.
Newbie Josh Moorer, 18, won the Alabama State High School championship 4 years in a row, 2 years after he started riding. He got invited on the tour a few days ago, with Sean Willingham’s seal of approval. He touched Highway 12 at 2.42 seconds, but it’s obvious he’s going to be a very good rider.

BEST BULL MOMENTS (of one kind of another)
Juicy Fruit’s screeching halt. He thought he was done, because his head was back in the chute again.

“At the moment he’s in the pit of a valley.”—Craig, make up your mind. Either he’s in the pits or he’s in a valley. They didn’t dig a pit in the valley for him.

“Shivers usually delivers.”—Craig probably rehearsed that line all week.
“We always point out that 90-plus ride total of 93”… “If the judges had been just a little more forgiving those other times, we might have seen even more…” The Bummer babbling about what if all those 89.75 or 89.50 scores were 90s…
Don’t even start, Hummer—the judges are likely to suddenly “remember” that there was something wrong with all the clocks and buzzers for 10 years, and all those almost-90s were actually 90s, and Chris can retire with 200 90-point rides.

During the week, Shivers and some friends went down South to help people pick up cattle stranded after the Hurricane Isaac damage. Now that’s a 100-point ride.

Cody Nance’s trip on Classic Brindle (82.50) looked great, especially after he recovered from what I thought would be a buckoff halfway through, but I noticed his left foot seemed to be anchored… Will the judges pay attention to this anymore, since their bogus finger-wagging at Cody last week? Or are we supposed to think it’s all fixed? Shorty explained the spurs in the knots issue: “the reason that’s considered cheating” is that you can’t do it before you leave the chute. Craig of course states the opposite of reality: “The judges are constantly watching for this…” Sure, except for the hundred times they miss it. Ty says it’s “a very hard call to make.” Meanwhile, they weren’t watching Cody very closely.
Luke Snyder keeps saying his OTT helmet’s no excuse for the way he’s riding, but the graph onscreen doesn’t lie: since he got the helmet, his riding dropped to half his previous percentage. Ty says he’s even seen Luke stumble on his way to the gate. Apparently the helmet can be accessorized with different facemasks, but Snyder’s sticking to his style; I dunno, Luke—numbers don’t lie. (On the other hand, if that helmet’s a sponsor deal, maybe those numbers are better.)
When you see a cranky look on Silvano’s face, that’s when you need the translator! Alves was sure sayin’ somethin’ after Grey Squirrel (who’s 1 for16) yanked him around.

LJ Jenkins scored 82 on Cool Spot, but the buzzer sounded after he was down. “That looked awful close to me,” Ty said. Well, when you have two clocks saying two different times, it’s very convenient for the judges to decide who makes 8 and who doesn’t.

Kody Lostroh got squashed in the chute: broken ribs, and it’s off to the hospital to check for a spleen injury.

Shorty Gorham put it this way: JB Mauney has “a hero or zero career.” After Rusty Nail’s several attempts to launch himself out of the chute, JB took care of the wildest attempt. The bull tried everything to dump him into the well, and JB pulled off a remarkable recovery. Talk about laser focus: his eyes were glued to the bull’s hump the whole time; the bull was literally leaping and at the same time bucking and twisting in midair—outrageous. I wish I had an x-mo videoclip of that to keep! I hate that they gave him only 84.
And then he picked Train Wreck again?? What is wrong with that boy?? Well, he didn’t ride, but at least he didn’t get flattened. That one got away from him.
Just as Ty said that High Steaks is the kind of bull JB can ride, the bull slung him so that his feet banged the fence so hard you could hear the crash above all the arena racket. Then he hit the dirt, landing on the back of his head, and had to bounce right up and do his fast scramble up the rails, in case High Steaks had any ideas.

“He’s the quiet assassin,” said Ty Murray about Silvano Alves. Wonder how Silvano would feel about that?
“Confidence is everything. You can work at it all you want, but if you don’t have confidence, it won’t work,” said Brendon Clark after his 87.25 ride on Delco. Can’t argue with that ride!

Shane Proctor sporting animal print chaps!
Leah Garcia’s ivory poet shirt: long, gathered sleeves banded on the wrist and arm, cascading over her hands, a ruffle around the neckline, and one on the peplum. I want one!

Cool Spot put 350 lbs. back on within 21 days. So I don’t feel so bad about the 5 I put on in the same amount of time.

RMEF Gunpowder & Lead has been ridden 7 times out of 11, so how does that make him a rank bull? Sounds like he’s getting easier. The Booth Boys actually called him “a bovine ATM.” And right before that, they were lauding Grey Squirrel for NOT being ridden more than once in 16 outs. I don’t get it.


Round 3 & 4
Let’s see how the judges treated everyone this time:
• Canadians: 85.75, 85.75. Analysis: neutralize them
• Australians: 85.75, 87. Analysis: they have a VERY slim chance
• Americans: 82.50, 85.25 (JB), 85.75, 86.25, 87, 87, 88.25 (Shivers), 89.25 (LJ) Analysis: 2 highest scores go to the rider they want the most to win the finals and the champ who’s retiring (the storyline).
• Brazilians: 80.75 (VDO), 82.50 (Nunes), 85.50 (Alves), 85.75 (Eguche), 86.25 (Palermo), 86.75 (Vieira), 92.50 (Palermo)
Analysis: Underscore the dangerous guys; the judges don’t yet consider Vieira or Eguche a threat, so they can be fairer to them. Robson’s the spoiler, but if he gets too close to the top spot, they’ll start underscoring him.

Ben Jones wearing out Gypsy Boots. The clock never started, he rode, started dancing, stopped, then went ahead and danced on the Shark Cage. He was pumped about his 87—he was whooping it up, and the crowd went bananas.
I’m so impressed! Stormy Wing kept a solid seat on Shepherd Hills Sod Buster even when the bull shot forward during a jump with a huge yank on his arm– and changed direction. Stormy deserved more than 86.25; he was driving that bull.
Chase Outlaw had the nerve to pick Asteroid in the draft, and at first I thought that was a waste of the bull, but shut my mouth! Outlaw made it to 7.17 seconds—I think the sliding dirt may have given him an advantage, but I actually started to think he was going to stay on. He looked kinda shell-shocked afterward.
“Smackdown has been the one laughing as he left the arena.”—Craig, anthropomorphizing again. I think what he was trying to say, in his back-assward way, is that this time Robson Palermo was laughing: Smackdown was 1 for 9, until Robson rode him for 92.50. I love that Flint hugged him afterward. (Robson, not Smackdown.) The crowd was roaring, and man, that was some giant confetti! “If you give Robson Palermo that many times on the bull, you know he’s gonna crack the code,” said Hummer. But the judges reeeally could’ve given him 93, considering the bull’s difficulty level.

Lachlan Richardson is now 1 for16. This is a painful streak! Ty’s take: “Talk about going from diamonds to dust!”

“My greatest achievement is my children. When I come home, they ask, “Papa, did you ride? Did you buck off?’”—Guilherme Marchi

“One of those Jeff Robinson bulls that is deceptively good.” Huh? I still can’t figure out what Hummer was trying to say. Maybe something like, Just from looking at him, you’d never know what a good bucker he is?

“Luck and design are intercepting perfectly for LJ Jenkins at the moment.”—said Hummer, who often knows not whereof he speaks. Or should I say, Out of the mouths of babes (which he is not)? Anyway, I wouldn’t call it luck. LJ has skill, but it’s also about how much the judges want an American to win the World Title.
“Silvano is never going to be the most exciting rider out of the chutes.” I think some of that spray tan has burrowed its way into Craig’s brain. Silvano is amazing to watch. He weathered Express’s slippin’ and slidin’ out of the gate and handled all the action: lots of fast, strong head fakes and bucking, as calmly as ever. He just knows how to do his job really really really well. The judges ripped off Silvano with an 85.50. That was a 90-point ride if I ever saw one.
Then Luke Snyder was given 85.75 for his ride on Cybercat, who was nowhere near as difficult as Express. (Another one of those .25 dings against Alves)
I’m always on the edge of my seat when Renato rides (and not in a good way!)— it was backflip time, but he got screwed with an 82.50 for his effort on MacNett’s Southern Wine. “It’s a lot of work for 82.50 points,” Craig said. Amen.
“Looks like he mighta got away with one right there,” Ty said about Austin Meier. The judges put up 82.50, even though you could see his hand contact’s skull.
Chris Shivers’ 88.25 on Prince Albert was the highest score of the round; what a surprise. At one or two times during the ride, Chris was hunched so low over the bull that he probably touched him, but of course they didn’t review the ride.
Craig asked Ty and Shorty why they think Chris has steadily been putting fewer 90-point rides on the board. Could it be a bigger DUH?? He’s getting older and ready to retire, dude. It happens to everyone—except Adriano Moraes, because he quit at his peak.
I heard Shorty say “Wow!” as Fabiano made all the right moves even when Tap Out’s hindquarters were up higher than his head. 86.75? This shoulda been the high score of the round (so far).
Robson Palermo’s shoulder isn’t just separated, it’s fractured. Dark Shadow was spinning fast; Robson scored 86.25, but was so dizzy had to be lifted out of the chute. That ride was a miracle, considering his pain level; you could see the difference in his riding style: not sticky, not core-centered, not much gravity. I think it was Hummer who dropped the snotty remark about him “building the drama.” Let’s see you have a fractured shoulder and not cry, Hummer.

Tap Out busted some oddball funky moves; for the last couple of seconds it looked like he was trying to do the Moonwalk. Fabiano Vieira did a great job of mastering him, for 86.75.

• “He’s either go big or go home, and that’s what’s kept him from a world championship,” was Ty Murray’s take on JB Mauney.
• LJ came in at #11. Leah asked: “What would you have corrected from last night?” LJ: “I would’ve stayed on top of the bull instead of underneath him.”
• “Ryan’s got to sit down on him and keep his booty on the bull to be able to ride him.”—Leah, interpreting Austin Meier’s advice to Dirteater about Rango.

• Valdiron de Oliveira’s worst buckoff streak of his career was 6 in a row. Okay? So chill! (And if that number’s wrong, it’s the Booth Boys’ fault.)

Robson wins his 2nd event of the year. “He’s able to do this basically with one hand tied behind his back.”—Ty said, talking about how he’s always dealing with injuries. Said the champ: “I been having bad week, my shoulder did not help me, but this week I put my head in right place for ride him… I never have a healthy year; this year I thought I was gonna have a healthy year, but I hurt my left shoulder, had surgery, and went to Canada and hurt my other shoulder…”
“I think he’s as good as anybody I’ve ever seen,” said Ty. Amen, brother!

About Bull Riding Marketing

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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