Springfield & Streaming: Bad Combo

TECHNOGRIPES
Why is the broadcast so screwed up visually? Freeze-frames, pixilation… Somebody needs to get on the stick—is it CBS Sports or David Neal Productions or what?

INANITIES R US

  • “When Chris Shivers is here, he wants to win just like the rest of them,” says the ever-profound and original Craig “The Bummer” Hummer. Well, we’re all certainly glad to hear that. We’d hate to think that when Chris Shivers is there, he wants to lose.
  • “Injuries have been this guy’s Achilles heel.” –Justin McBride. But for some guys, injuries are an advantage? Dude, listen to yourself!
  • “When he’s here, there’s always a chance for a win.” –Shorty Gorham. Yeah, it’s always easier to win when you’re there, rather than when you’re not there.
  • “You spend so much time watching your kids grow up, you almost forget about everything else.” –Craig, “Gaslighting” us once again with the actual opposite of what actually happens: most riders spend most of the year on tour, and see their families during the break (if they take a break), unless someone brings the kids to an event.

HEY! THE GLASS IS HALF FULL
Valdiron de Oliveira’s only 100 points behind LJ Jenkins.

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW
PFI Boot Daddy III was chosen as the Round 1 Bounty Bull. Maybe I’m mixing up my bulls, but is this the same hunka beef who at a recent event stood there blinking in the chute and missed his cue? How did this happen? Or is this a different PFI Boot Daddy?

HIGHLIGHTS
The ABBI young bulls were outstanding– some are ready for the short-go! Not sure if all the ones I mention below are youngsters, but they’re sure noteworthy.

  • Jet Set has a grownup act. Scout’s got nice dance moves. Buckhorn is a kickass bull! He’s wired (and I don’t mean with a mic): high jumps, drop, spin. Lucky You is another feisty young thing.
  • Rotten Apple is consistently manic in the chute; this time he jumped half over it, then lay down. “Rotten Apple doesn’t want to go to work today,” Shorty explained. On the dirt, the bull’s got very inventive moves; high jumps while kicking out, trying to trick the rider, changing direction on a dime. McBride talked about seeing him behind the scenes, and he was mad at everybody; every time someone walked by, he was banging the fence.
  • Russian Roulette was outrageous, scrambling in the dirt, completely down on all legs, while spinning in the dirt. Kinda reminded me of that thing Curly of the Three Stooges used to do on the ground—anybody know what I’m talking about?
  • Tribaltuff.com handed it to Ty Pozzobon, then chased all the bullfighters. Lively SOB!
  • Slippery Devil – a high-kicking bull. Paradise: another great bull.
  • Buck Wild puts out 110%. He spends half his time airborne.

THE NATIVE AMERICAN QUOTA
It only emphasizes the prejudice in the PBR when they pat themselves on the back for inviting just two Native Americans to participate: HD & JD. What, no last names? If Leah Garcia hadn’t told TV viewers their names later in the broadcast, we wouldn’t have known. BTW, one of them sounds just like JB Mauney.
And is there a quota? Aren’t there a lot more Native American bull riders? Did the PBR look hard enough? We’re supposed to congratulate them on allowing two guys to participate? BTW, don’t they know that probably there are riders in the PBR who are part Native American? Ryan Dirteater isn’t the only one.
And why don’t they invite African American bull riders? The fact that there seems to be just one visible black rider per generation shows where the quota mentality is. “Open up the door; I’ll get it myself,” to quote James Brown. Everyone knows there are black bull riders; Craig Jackson isn’t the only one out there. There are black rodeos, too. Send scouts. If you’re too chicken, send me. I have no problem with colors and ethnicities. It’s a rainbow world, folks.
Two is a pathetic number.
And now some fool is gonna say, Well, if you’re gonna say that, then they’d have to invite Polish American bull riders and Irish American bull riders, you can’t please everybody, bla bla bla. That’s what racists always say. Talk to the hand, pal.

DING!
I was wondering where Emilio Resende had gone. He was never out of position on Sandi’s Dream, in complete control, per Justin McBride, but ding! 86.50, just .25 less than Aaron Roy’s good-looking ride on Panhandle Wind, for 86.75.

LOVE IT!
The cute commercial with the massage therapist asking a dirty-faced Austin Meier, “Are there any issues you’d like to focus on today?” “Well…,” he says with a sigh. Cue video clips of Austin being slammed every which way, with a grunt accompanying each crash. His final answer: “Yeah.” And he limps off into the sunset with the therapist. Congratulations to whoever came up with this ad.

BRAZILIAN BARNYARD
That was the unfortunate name of the feel-good segment that was supposed to show us that the Killer Bees aren’t so bad—in fact, they’re actual humans! The clip was of them hanging with one another’s families, they do barbecues, etc. Obviously the idea behind the segment was to shut up people who think the PBR is prejudiced, but couldn’t they have come up with a less condescending title? I mean, the clip wasn’t about livestock!
Some of the translated bits: “We are like brothers. We’re together every week. Where you see one Brazilian, you see five or 6 others. When one of us rides, there will be 5 or 6 helping him at the chute.”
You know, a few of the riders speak enough English to be able to deliver some of those lines. Why have a voiceover guy when you can have the real thing?

OY!
Did I hear Craig call Ty Pozzobon “Pozz”? Well, at least that’s a more plausible nickname than “The Valdironinator.”

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY

  • According to Justin McBride: “The judges really do remember the last thing they see. If you’re out of place hanging off the side, or giving up just a little early, that’s gonna show in your score.” So the judges have long-term memory loss? 8 seconds isn’t that long, boys. You should be able to remember the whole ride.
  • Austin Meier was smiling about being slated for the bounty bull, but it turns out the BB doesn’t give points toward the event, just money, so he turned it down. “I need points, I got enough money. I let that one yank me around, I’d be sore all week…I’m a little sore, and I’ve been on that bull twice, he beat me into my hand. And both times I was pretty sore…a $5000 check isn’t going to help with points.”

TO RE-RIDE OR NOT TO RE-RIDE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

  • 911 screwed up Travis Briscoe in the chute, threw him forward, and Travis hit his helmet on the chute– not a clean out. It’s a judge’s call, and Travis doesn’t get a re-ride, which sucks. Wonder which other rider(s) would’ve gotten one?
  • Whiskey Cures Ugly dropped to his knees, crawled a little with his nose in the dirt, and I think he stopped for a moment. Jory Markiss wanted a re-ride and didn’t get one. The judges aren’t exactly even-handed with riders who aren’t in the top 10. Maybe we need rules for the bulls: if your knees hit the ground, that’s a re-ride.

PFF

  • “You got think of these bulls as little kids, and you never know what your kids are gonna do…” –Shorty. Yeah, little 1800-lb. kids. And people think there’s no childhood obesity epidemic!
  • I’m shocked that Zack Brown could ride The Game Changer in only his 2nd event of the season (84.25), but that wasn’t the funny part. He couldn’t get his helmet off for the interview because there was so much dirt packed around it. (Occupational hazard.) He and Austin need to chip in for a can of WD40. “That’s all right, we can hear you!” Leah told him. “Zach may have to have that thing welded off,” said Hummer. Sigh. Craig, you weld something together, you have to blowtorch something thing off.
  • Austin’s bull Blue Nose doing the bunny hop! I’ve never seen a bull dance like that. If I were the stock contractor, I’d be mortified. That bull would have to stay after school!

THIS IS WHAT WE DO TO CHAMPIONS
“This guy is so good, it’s almost unfair to everybody else.”—McBride, talking about Silvano Alves. That’s precisely why a lot of judges have been trying almost all season to take him down, as evidenced by the fact that he has the lowest average score of everyone on tour–83.75, thanks to judges screwing with him all those 70s. And even with that handicap, he’s only 82 points behind LJ Jenkins. Cream rises, people.

WE LOVE HIM NO MATTER WHAT
Between the Brazilians and his wife, Ben Jones is staying on track, not losing his marbles when he gets bucked off. His 84.75 ride on Captain McCall was very focused—and he came off on his feet! No more of those scary headbanging blackout landings—and we got some extra dancing. He’s been hitting the gym, he says. He also said something about “making a statement,” but that may just mean he caught the disease from Hummer.

MY BOOK ON MIKE LEE
Once Lee handles a direction change, you know he’s got the bull knocked out. His 10-second, 86.50-point ride on Slippery Devil showed what great focus he has when he’s got a good seat.

EEK!
Top Gun flipped Kyle Lozier, then gave him an uppercut that would’ve ripped his chest open if he wasn’t wearing a protective vest. Once again, THANK YOU CODY LAMBERT for saving lives.

JUST SAYIN’…
H.D. Coleman got stuck with Shepherd Hills Tested. Why did they give a new guy one of the rankest bulls? That’s a short-round bull, and this was the 1st day. Is it to discourage him from trying again? Poor guy, walking alone from the arena to the locker room . I think if you invite someone to your party, you should make an effort to make him feel wanted. It’s bad enough to hear “One of the two Native Americans invited,” instead of him being introduced by his full name first.

SATURDAY – LIVE STREAMING
We had no choice: if you wanted to see Saturday’s event, you had to watch it streamed on the Live Event Center on the PBR website. What torture! And if you have a free membership, you can’t watch it for free anymore. You have to pay. Talk about nickel and diming the customers!
Basically, you get the Flint show, with all the annoying TOO LOUD music. And why don’t they keep the cameras on the chutes more of the time? Who needs to see Flint doing jumping jacks, or people in goofball outfits shooting plastic arrows at a dummy deer?
Good luck finding directions on how to see the live streaming. Someone asked on the Live Chat feed, and it was explained. By then I’d missed everything up to Section 4.
The audio was so far ahead of the video, you heard the buzzer before the ride even started. At the same time, you heard Brandon Bates and Clint Adkins, one talking to the arena in general, and one talking to individuals– but with a long lag between the two announcers, plus Flint’s dialogue repeating itself a half-minute apart. Confusing? Yup.              Two years ago the PBR said they were improving the website. So  “improvement” means charging people for what had been free?

The only redeeming moment: the replay of Flint’s Shark Cage wreck in Glendale. “I almost needed the Clown Relief Fund,” he said. “But I redeemed myself in Thackerville!” Cue video of him on the Shark Cage, jumping Mike White’s rope as Mike led a bull away.

Second place remark goes to Brandon Bates, identifying the Stanley Stud of the night: “That extremely Caucasian dance move will win.”

WOOL WARRIORS
Competing in the mutton-busting event was Noah Lee, Mike Lee’s son.
Winner Clayton Garrison’s helmet must‘ve been manufactured by the same people who made Austin Meier’s and Zack Brown’s. And what is wrong with these male announcers?? Why do they always ask children about boyfriends and girlfriends? Can’t they think of anything better to say to a kid who just won a silver buckle? This time, Brandon/Clint asked the kid what he had to say, and did he want to say, I want a girlfriend? Bravo for Clayton, who gave a very emphatic, horrified, “No!” By this time he had the helmet off, and was balancing it on the top of his head.
Hey, big dudes: Stop pushing the idea of boyfriends and girlfriends on kids who aren’t even near puberty. Connect the dots: do you wonder why kids start having sex at 12? (Besides, don’t you remember that at that age, boys think girls are yucky, and vice versa?)

THE KISS CAM
Barrrff. Big-screen showing of couples in the audience. Sad, sad, sad: except for a guy who proposed to a woman  (gee, how sensitive—a private moment broadcast to millions of strangers), none of the men wanted to kiss their wives/girlfriends. The women always had to initiate it, and the guys could barely spare a peck. It’d serve them right if those women all went out and had affairs with men who LIKE to kiss!

PROPS TO THE RIDER RELIEF FUND for taking care of 15-year-old rider Austin Beckner, who lost an eye in a wreck, and his mother during the hospital ordeal. PFI Western and the PBR had a parking lot benefit party that raised nearly $31,000.

MIXED BLESSING
I love that they play “Bad to the Bone” when JB comes up to ride. But who the hell paired him with Train Wreck again? It’s not funny! This time he got bashed in the facemask, and after he got up, he looked like he was passing out standing up. Scary. And if it was him who picked the bull, I am just gonna tear my hair out.

THA WINNAH!
Emilio Resende, thanks to his 88 on the unridden Caddy Shack. And he did it with style: amazing swoops of his free arm. It’s a miracle he won, considering the scores that were handed out: Americans: 88.75, 88.75, 88.75. Brazilians: 87.75, 88

SUNDAY

OY, OY, AND MORE OY! Courtesy of The Bummer

  • Silvano “The Shark” Alves? Somebody hand me the duct tape!
  • “An avalanche of angst” – referring to de Oliveira’s slide. (Keep in mind: Valdiron’s only 200+ points behind LJ. He could make that up in no time.)
  • “A storm has been blowing through Missouri all weekend, and it may signify the winds of change.”
  • “The bulls are winning the battle, but JB Mauney may have started a war…The one and only JB Mauney…” Gush, slobber, drool– get a grip, Craig. You could say “the one and only” about ANY rider, because there’s only one of each guy!
  • “Silvano Alves goes by many nicknames…” In the windmills of your mind, Craig,

SHORTY SEZ
The dirt on the dirt is that it’s good dirt. Apparently the bulls like it. Is that why they were rolling in it last night?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Shepherd Hills Tested made short work of newbie H.D. Coleman last night, but he didn’t have a prayer against JB. I knew Mauney had that ride knocked out halfway through; that bull wasn’t going to unseat him, because JB had that determined air. After he scored 92.50, Leah Garcia asked him, “When you made your pick, what did you want to happen?” His final answer: “That right there.”
  • Ben Jones arrived on crutches, with a torn ACL, but he’s gonna ride anyway. He’s BFT; what can I say?
  • Teenager Cody Johnson is the new mascot, and thank goodness, the other guys are telling him to relax and not be so hard on himself if he doesn’t make a ride. His mother’s a barrel racer; he was mutton busting at age 3… Shorty’s astounding cowboy verb tense: “He’s came here and he’s rode…” And yes he did: an excellent trip on Magic Man, for 87. But aw jeez, he’s one of those guys who’s gonna end every interview with “Praise God.”

THE BOOBOO BRIGADE

  • Ben Jones rode Torres 941, but what a terrible landing— first he landed perfectly on his feet, then his leg collapsed and he couldn’t get himself up off the ground– forget about dancing. “There’s two options, the head or the knees, what was your choice?” he was asked. I couldn’t really make out his answer, but Ben sure was happy he scored. Later in the Truth Booth, he explained why his heart was still in the race: “Your knee’s a long way from your heart.”
  • One of LJ Jenkins’ landings last night sprained his right knee. “It may affect the gettin’ away part,” he said, “but the riding part, it should have no effect.”
  • On night #1, Robson Palermo landed on his head and got a concussion. He passed the concussion test, though, for tonight. This guy is unbelievable, how he can ride so banged up; despite two bad shoulders, he scored 86.50 on Sandi’s Dream.

ONE HURTIN’ COWBOY
“He’s quit trying to ride bulls, and is trying not to fall off of bulls.” Sadly, Shorty was referring to de Oliveira, who ended up underneath Jet Set, getting danced on. Valdiron was dragging all the way to the locker room, looking so down. He’s now 1 for 10.

WHAT IT TAKES
Guilherme Marchi rode Carney Man with no problem, and stepped off on his feet, for 88.75. For the first time in a while, his wife and kids were present; Leah asked if that helped him. “Of course. I love my family, love my kids, love my wife. Support me all the times…”

I’M JUST SAYIN’…

  • Marco Eguche got a lousy 83.50 for a great job riding Whiskey Cures Ugly, who had an explosive jump out of the chute, and tried every which way to get rid of him. Marco fought to stay on, and at the end the bull was down in the dirt. For his next bull he took on Gypsy Boots, weathering a wild ride: the first horizontal leap with all four feet straight up in the air, being whipped from one side to the other, refusing to let go, holding on sideways, his back lying on top of the bull, and finally, because his spur got caught in the rope, the ride ended with the bull falling down almost on top of him. THAT is TRUE GRIT. And for that display, the judges tossed him a measly 82.25. If that was JB Mauney on the back of Gypsy Boots, we’d see confetti—or at least a lot more points. The judges reward outrageous “try” for some riders, and fault others for not looking perfect. THEY SUCK!
  • Jared Farley was given 65.50 with an option for a re-ride, because All Jacked Up traveled. LJ’s bull Live Action spun only once and just galloped across the arena; he shoulda been offered the low score/re-ride option, too, because of the bull’s performance, but instead they scored him 84.50. Can you say “favorite son”?
  • This season’s wins broken down by country: US 12, Brazil 10, Australia 1. If I had math tolerance, I’d go back through all the scores and my notes and see what the results really would’ve been if the judges played by the rules. I’m not talking about my personal opinion of scores— I’m talking about touches that were ignored, spurs in ropes, re-rides not granted even when warranted, 7+ second rides counted as 8, re-rides offered when not warranted…
  • You’d think the Booth Boys woulda made more noise about Silvano taking back the #1 position from LJ tonight. Guess they weren’t too thrilled about it. That’s what ya gotta love: biased commentators.

PFF
Justin McBride talking about how tall Caleb is: his arm is longer than Chris Shivers!

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

What’s with the matching hairstyles, Booth Boys? A twofer at SuperCuts? Creepy.

GET OUT YOUR ICE SKATES, KIDS—HELL HAS FROZEN OVER!

  • Cody Nance was, as usual, taking his time prepping on Trainable (0 for 22), who didn’t seem all that trainable in the chute, banging his head up and down. Wow, a miracle—I actually heard a judge say, “Cody Let’s go…Come on, Cody!” How fast do ya think that judge’ll get canned?
  • FINALLY! The judges DQ’d  Nance for having his spur in the rope when he left the chute on Buckshot. Let’s hope they don’t take it back during the commercial break, like they did last time.

BULL ACTION

  • Trainable’s bizarre technique: his body parts moving in several directions at once.
  • Flirting with Disaster was thrashing around in the chute like a pissed-off crocodile.
  • Boot Daddy blasted Emilio Resende off the side, trampled him, then Emilio’s spur caught in he flank rope, the bull dragged him, and when he got loose, his boot was ripped in half. Emilio looked in bad shape afterward.

QUELLE SURPRISE!
Of course JB picked Bushwacker (again), for his 9th attempt. Leah asked why. “I haven’t rode him yet, nobody rode him this year, so I want to be the one to do it.” Well, that bull bounced JB’s face off his skull, and before JB even had a chance to recover, Bushwacker bashed him in the mid-section with the back of his head; the impact sent Mauney somersaulting forward over the bull’s head. More rag doll action. This time I agree with Hummer: “JB has a new tattoo.” He sure looked mad that this latest try didn’t work. Patience, boy. I kinda think you might take the Big Boy in the Finals. In the Truth Booth later: “When you get your butt handed to you like I did tonight, you can’t be mad at the bull; he was just better than me tonight…He ‘bout knocked my head off.”

I TAKE IT BACK
Justin McBride made the ever-so-optimistic pronouncement that Mississippi Hippy should suit Fabiano Vieira very well. The bull’s crazy trip unseated Vieira and flung him over his head, practically right back into the chute. Justin: “What was I thinking?! That bull’s not gonna fit anybody real well.”

JUST SAYIN’…
What a lazy trip from Whiskey’s Rebel! Cody Johnson rode him, but come on, 88.75? This was NOT the bull’s normal trip. Cody’s form was excellent the whole time, though. And since his was the only ride in the Championship Round, the kid wins. Leah asked him about “the 88-point rule. What do you have to do tonight?” “Buy people steaks again.”

RESULTS
#2 Resende, #3 Viera, #4 Meier, #5 Alves, #6 Jones, #7 Mauney, #8 Nance, #9 Marchi, #10 Palermo.

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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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