There were so many OTT statements in The Bummer’s monologues, I can’t possibly ridicule them all, but here’s a doozy: “Ben Jones is riding for more than himself, and he hopes his family ties give him the courage to fly.” Apparently Hummer doesn’t hear the contradiction between being tied and being able to fly. He’s just trying to sound epic, and failing miserably.
QUESTIONABLE FASHION CHOICES
- Ty Murray’s penguin jacket
- The Red Shoes: does Shorty know he’s doomed to dance ‘til he drops? (He claims they’re pink.)
- Chase Outlaw’s “Wild Things” chapeau is now his official bull riding helmet. Ty explained the trick to wearing it: if you ride with that helmet, it makes you the cool guy; if you hit the ground, you’re just a clown. Top Proctor sent Chase to the circus.
LIKIN’ IT, BUT…
New invitees from PBR Brazil, Mexico, Australia, and Canada were brought in for the first 2 rounds. If they make it into the top 15, they stay. Kind of a rough initiation– they were given the toughest bulls: Eneias Barbosa got stuck with Asteroid. Why on earth would you schedule Asteroid as the second bull of the night? Why not save the drama for later? A 46.75 score—yipes! Eduardo Aparecido got stuck with Smackdown. Carlos Contreras went up against David’s Dream. Is this a way of discouraging foreigners?
THE WOW FACTOR
- Buck Wild was wearing a halter, but that didn’t mean the rest of him couldn’t buck in the chute. Out on the dirt, he didn’t spin, just kept pogoing, even hit the chute, and those colossal leaps reminded me of Nureyev at his best.
- Nobody deserved to pound his chest more than Robson Palermo did after his 86.75 ride on Ball Peen!
- Yellow Jacket Jr. really brought it hard; there were a couple of times I just couldn’t imagine how Nunes was going to stay on, but he weathered every crazy jump and forward leap— not back on the end of his arm the whole time. This is a relatively new development; lately I’ve noticed him making more of an effort to stay forward on the bull. That hat went pretty far! 90.25 He was so fired up, it was great to see.
- I love Ty’s decryption of Bushwacker: “He stands right in the middle of the chute like a good soldier, saying ‘You better get a good seat, cowboy.’” Marco Eguche looked like he’d be the bull’s first rider, but 6.36 seconds was his limit; Bushwacker’s score tied Asteroid’s: 46.75
BULLS ROCKING THE HOUSE
Only 6 cowboys rode in Round 1.
Ben Jones’s parents (long split up) were both in the audience. His mother’s nickname is “Hell’s Bells,” BTW. Blue on Black bucked Jones off, and Ben was right back to his old angry/embarrassed response to not succeeding: head down, face covered by his hat.
ANOTHER PLUG FOR FACE CAGES
Shepherd Hills Trapper was rioting in the chute, banging his own head on it, then slamming Ryan Dirteater forward against it; without that face mask, his face would’ve been pulp. Skeeter Kingsolver yanked Ryan up out of the chute. Hitting his face and getting his knee bashed must’ve been a bad flashback for the Cherokee Kid.
THE AWFUL PAINFUL ADVENTURES OF AUSTIN MEIER
King Lopez’s hind hoof crashed down on the back of Austin’s lower right leg; it looked to me like a broken ankle as he limped out with the medics.
THIS EXPLAINS A LOT
JB Mauney told Leah Garcia that his father said to him, “I’ll whup you if you buck off and walk out of the arena smiling.” No wonder the kid nearly kills himself to conquer the monsters. And that kind of pressure didn’t help him stay on Mulligan Man. Why why why?? How could that happen? Did he not have a good seat starting out?
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
The chute bullies put Silvano on the clock even at the Finals.
ONE HAPPY CAMPER
Renato Nunes, the winner: “I feel better than any rider here. It’s good fun, you know, and I’m very happy to be here.” He thanked people for buying a ticket, and “…come back tomorrow and have better show for you guys.” “…sometimes you think you’re gonna have, and you have the ground instead.” He is just delightful when he’s happy.