Columbus Oct. 13 will have to wait. I’m too excited about the part of the World Finals I was able to see on Sunday. (The rest of the Finals will wait, too.)
- Silvano Alves, 1st back-to-back World Champion– in spite of all the harassment and punitive scores! That’s how good he is!
- Robson Palermo, 1st man to win 3 event titles– in a row, no less– in spite of multiple injuries!
- Emilio Resende, Rookie of the Year—in spite of the favoritism shown toward Chase Outlaw– his first buckle in the U.S.!
Did anyone besides me tear up during the awards ceremony?
I’d love to be able to talk about the Chris Shivers retirement ceremony, but I didn’t see it! So anyone who wants to tell the readers about the Shivers moments during the Finals, please comment here!
NBC pre-empted the ENTIRE event yesterday to natter on about the approaching storm. (I kept thinking, this’ll be over soon, any minute now they’ll switch to the Finals.) Sandy had better be big; if it’s another Comet Kohoutek, I’m gonna be even more pissed off. To everyone who missed it: how about sending messages to the NBC execs about how stupid they are to spend hours repeating that people should stay inside, if you live near water you should leave, trains and buses won’t be running, and have food, water, flashlights, and batteries on hand. Mike Bloomberg does not need that much airtime!
Bad enough NBC didn’t broadcast anything, but it was also tricky to locate on the PBR website’s Live Event Center. Wouldn’t you think the red button in the lower left corner that says “Live” would be the thing you press to see the event? But noooo… You somehow magically have to know to click on “Leaderboard” (in the middle of the left side of the page), which defies logic. Where are the instructions for that?
Then you get a drop-down menu, where you click on “Live Video.” How smart of the (obviously drunk) webmaster to hide it there. This site was supposedly redesigned to make it less of a nightmare than the previous one. Anyone wanna vote on the result? Until someone on the Chat Line explained, I was missing important moments– like the Shivers tribute!!
WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??
Featuring Chris Shivers in the Wreck of the Night?? On his last day of competition ever? What is wrong with the PBR? What fool made this stupid, callous decision?
HIGHLIGHTS (besides the obvious)
Palm Springs stays unridden. (Sorry about that, Mike Lee.)
Emilio Resende’s ride on David’s Dream was fantastic– but was put under review. The video replay has to be conclusive, right? I was holding my breath—would they dare ding him at the Finals? Thank the Universe they decided he made 8, and gave him 89.75, at that! It’s still one of those “shoulda been 90″s, and I would’ve been mad, but he won Rookie of the Year, so it’s okay.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR RACE
I was truly surprised that Chase Outlaw flamed out in spite of the help he got from the judges, and Chad Besplug choked. Remember the joking when Emilio Resende first arrived, that he was so good, the rest of the Brazilians were going to send him back? So glad it was just joking! I wish we’d had subtitles for his victory speech; he was blabbing away, and very little of it was translated.
BUT THAT SHOULDN’T BE!! (to quote my Grandma) JULIO MORENO AND RICHARD OLIVEIRA WERE ROBBED
What a waste of Bushwacker! Nothing against Agnaldo Cardozo, but there’s no way he could match the firepower of this bull. And that’s what caused Bushwacker to come in second behind Asteroid, with a quarter-point difference in scores? Not really. The real reason? The tug-at-the-heartstrings storyline: Asteroid’s owner Howard Talley died of cancer this year, so we MUST crown his bull.
They coulda waited ’til next year to vote Asteroid #1, and let Bushwacker have his due this year: he’s been ridden ONCE since 2009, and I’d love to know how many outs he had. For some incredibly dumb “reason,” the number of outs a bull has is not included in the bull stats on the PBR website– unless it’s hidden where only secret initiates can find it.
Asteroid’s been ridden THREE TIMES in two seasons–check the PBR website– and has many more seasons ahead of him. It doesn’t matter how impressive Asteroid was on the last four days of the season– Bushwacker was leading all the way into the Finals. Unless he flat outright refused to buck and lay down on the job every day of the Finals, Julio Moreno and Richard Oliveira were robbed. Once again, the storyline won out over sense.
TIMEKEEPING & SCORING
A fallible human being with a stopwatch is the backup plan for clock malfunction? At a world championship event? That is beyond amateur! Be professional, PBR. Use technology! How about a second buzzer setup that’s automatically triggered if the first one fails? Kinda like a rollover phone line: when the first line is busy, an incoming call automatically rolls over to another line. Kinda like a backup generator. Get it?
Here’s an idea for the scoring issues: technology again. Have each judge punch in scores the way people on game shows punch in answers, so no one else sees them. This would ensure fair, timely, objective judging; no ganging up on a rider, inflating another rider’s score, or waiting until three judges do the math and then the last judge tips the score one way or the other. (OMG, what am I saying?!?)
Are PBR execs really that far back in the dark ages that they can’t think of solutions? In that case, hire me. Or don’t they want solutions? (Gee, what would make me think that?) After Brazilian riders took the three 2012 buckles, I can just imagine what the scoring will be like next year. Remember all the jokes about “the JB clock”? Betcha a lot of riders are gonna have their own clocks. And Alves will be getting 60s all year.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a conference this week at PBR headquarters on the theme of “What are we gonna do about the Brazilians?” Everybody keep an eye out for sudden visa problems, fewer Brazilian riders competing, new rules, and other strange coinkydinks.
BRANDON BATES & CLINT ADKINS: READIN’ YOU THE RIOT ACT
Don’t know which of you emceed the Bass Pro Shop bit, but you referred to the contestants as “man and lady.” You know those children’s shows that sing at you, “”One of these things is not like the others?” and you’re supposed to pick which one doesn’t match? Well, if there’s “man” on one side, any child knows “woman” should be on the other side, not “lady.” And then you “compounded” on it (as Ty Murray would say), by calling the winner a “girl,” and saying to the loser, “How does it feel to be beat by a girl?”
How insulting! Like it’s a foregone conclusion that a male contestant will always beat a female contestant, unless he’s a wuss? Like there isn’t a 50-50 chance of a female contestant beating a male? Like there should be shame in being beat by a female contestant? Would a male feel shame if he lost to a male?
And what the HELL is this pathological avoidance of the word “woman”?? Why do none of you people use it? Is there a law in the bull riding world that you never refer to an adult female as a woman? Why? Is it too threatening to all you wusses out there? A REAL MAN isn’t afraid of the word “woman.” And a REAL MAN doesn’t belittle them.
When Mesa Pate is 70 years old, are you still going to be calling her a “girl”? Oh, wait a minute, I forgot: when she hits 40, she is then referred to as a cougar, right? But maybe by then, y’all will have stopped calling her “a female contractor” and just call her a “contractor,” like you call Jeff Robinson, and like she has said she wants. Get over your dumb-ass shit, scared little boys! You don’t really like women all that much as people, do you? If you did, you wouldn’t be so damned condescending. You clearly think of us as dim, pretty little toys.
At the very least, if you’re gonna use “girl,” then you damn well better put “boy” in the other column!
AND YOU TOO, FLINT:
What’s with saying that next year people should bring American flags because “They bring their flags.” Why was it necessary to say that? Because you’re pissed that the Killer Bs took the three titles? Because you don’t like that “They” (Brazilian fans) cheer for Brazilian riders? They’re not doing this to be anti-American, you dolt! They’re showing appreciation for athletes from their country who are working in a foreign country and could use the moral support, considering how much hostility they encounter here.
And let’s see if you can grasp this, too: bull riding is an individual sport. There are no teams. There are just riders, some of whom speak another language. Some Americans cheer for American riders and Brazilian riders (and Canadians and Australians—who doesn’t love Ben Jones?). And some Brazilians may cheer for American riders. But you’ll never know– because you never talk to them. Unless I’m very much mistaken, not once has a Brazilian fan been chosen Fan of the Night, Best Dressed, Stanley Stud, or any other title. None of those titles is preceded by the word “American,” so why not?
If American fans bring American flags because they’re showing support for American riders, that’s nice. If they’re bringing American flags as a middle-finger gesture to the Brazilian fans and riders, that’s called being sore losers.
This truly scared me: “Everybody got your calculator out? We are going to put them to good use!”… “And now it becomes a math problem.” I imagined all kinds of devious maneuvering to somehow jigger the standings. Thank god there was no mathematical way that could happen.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
- Valdiron de Oliveira needed the Sports Med team after his buckoff from King of Hearts. Renato Nunes took a horn in the face. What happened?? Tell the people!!
- Why did they present the awards in the most ass-backward order? Pay attention to the Academy Awards, guys: They don’t give out the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Picture Oscars first and then give out Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. They save the top banana(s) for last–that way, the audience stays, and people don’t turn off the TV. The order should be: contractor, bull, rookie, event winner, Champ. You build up to the climax.
“I come here crippled and now I go leave like a young man.” —Robson Palermo
But talk about putting him on the spot! Brandon Bates asked him how much he loves living in the U.S. Obviously he had to throw this in so American fans won’t hate the Brazilians even more than a lot of them already do; Bates may even have been told to say that. Palermo was as diplomatic as he could be: said he misses Brazil, but Tyler, Texas is his home, his kids were born here, he wants them to go to school here, he thanks the Brazilians and his sponsors and his American friends. (How many friends has he really got? if you recognize that reference, you’re as big a Townshend fan as I am.)
You know where Robson’s heart is, but his head keeps him here. He once said he didn’t want his son to grow up to be a bull rider, he wanted him to maybe be a doctor. Isn’t that the way most voluntary immigrants to America feel? My grandfather’s family left Italy to make a better life for themselves, and that’s exactly what they did. Instead of struggling and scraping over there, they struggled and scraped over here, and now we have four generations of doctors in the family. Isn’t that supposed to be the “American Dream”? Why do some people begrudge the Brazilians that dream? They sure bust their asses to achieve it.