Just couldn’t let these moments from Days 3 and 4 of the Finals go unnoticed. I’m sure I’m mixing up some rounds in here, but at this point, WTF.
CHRIS SHIVERS: His 25th Finals.
Shivers won Round 1 with an outrageous 90.75 ride on Shepherd Hills Sod Buster, who was shooting forward, jerking around, and bucked off the bull bell, but not Shivers. I mighta given Chris even more. His comment about getting tearful: “Well I don’t mind being a titty baby in front of everyone.” After the ride: “I wanna leave it on a good note. I’ve been here a long time. I wanna win it, bad.”
EVERY GAL’S CRAZY ‘BOUT A SHARP DRESSED MAN
Serious Fashion Alert: Luke Snyder strutting down the red carpet looking like a star: cowboy hat, raspberry pink shirt, sharp lookin’ jacket and shades. Runners up: Mike White’s stunning raspberry pink hat—so much more interesting than basic black; Chris Shivers with his silver chaps, Emilio Resende in his sky blue ones, Guilherme Marchi in his new hat. The boys cranked up the style-ometer for the Finals.
- From the page about alliteration in his copy of Sportscasting for Dummies: Las Vegas was “buzzing with the barrage of brilliance.” And guess who was there? “The best riders in the world as well as the top contenders.” In fact, “The opportunity is there for a re-ranking of the rankings.” Does he even hear himself??
- Hyperbolatin’ on Austin Meier’s phenomenal effort last night: “It was one for the ages.” “He has the moniker, Mr. Tough.” (A Hummer hallucination.) Re Shivers: “He may be retiring, but he’s doing it on his own terms.” Uh, are there any other terms?
- “This is city is made for guys like JB Mauney: gamblers, dreamers, men who want to throw caution to the winds.”—Hummer, gagging me.
- Re Mesa Pate: “She’s on the road like all these stock contractors.” She IS a stock contractor, fool! She’s not acting “like” a stock contractor.
- “Alves has a chance here to cement history.”
- “He is speechless and answerless.” You’d think being speechless would be enough.
Wish they’d stop showing Austin’s terrible chute experience. And what was with Cody Lambert telling him to take the bull, while Austin was in agony, trying to get his leg down? Meier was polite: “I’m trying.” I’d have ripped Cody a new one. Telling Leah Garcia about what last night meant for him: “It was another level of deepness.”
FRANK “THE TANK”
I don’t see how Newsom is back on the job tonight, after being clocked by Wild Card (who also stomped on Silvano Alves’s middle). Concussion, lacerated tongue, bruised throat, torn PCL in his left knee… What is he made of, titanium??
- Bummer to be Chad Besplug and need surgery after the season.
- Eneias Barbosa, Brazilian Finals winner, made his 1st BFTS ride, on Rockie Smooth, for 81.75 (Craig called him “Rookie Smooth.”)
- Lachlan Richardson nailed his 10th straight buckoff. Someone tell him to move in with the Brazilians!
IMPRESSIVE BULL PERFORMANCE
New dad Stormy Wing got a taste of Foul Play. The bull chased him to the fence, ducking around all the bullfighters to get at him, lowering his head to butt his ass. Amazing how the bull knew exactly which guy had been on his back.
GOIN’ TO THE CHAPEL…
The Booth Boys tried to analyze why Luke Snyder’s riding so well lately. Haven’t they been paying attention all year? Every time his fiancée’s around, he gets real good. He’s getting married next weekend. Put 2 and 2 together, folks. Snyder: “You all think I’m riding well? It’s because I’ve got to pay for the wedding next weekend!” He was in The Zone; he said everything had slowed down: “It’s so easy I can’t believe it.”
The book on JW Hart’s bull, Flirting with Disaster, is that he’s dangerous: flips over backwards—twice on JB Mauney in Touring Pro events. (Bulls have this thing about trying to squash JB.) JW: “This is bull riding; it’s supposed to be a dangerous sport. We’re not at a crocheting club.” The bull flung Ty Pozzobon back against the chute and scored 44. The other Ty asked if the score was good enough, or was he going to argue for a few more points. JW: “Oh, he’s a 46 all day, guys; those judges are crazy.”
THE RAIN IN SPAIN STAYS MAINLY ON THE PLAIN
Hummer’s bugging me (I know; shocking) with his mispronunciation of Emilio’s last name. Pretty funny: he knows you’re not supposed to say plain old “Ress-en-day,” but he can’t trill that “r,” so he ends up with “Hess-en-day.” You just have to put your tongue in the right place, Craig!
CAN I GET AN AMEN?
- “Chicken on a Chain’s got more fans than half these riders in this building.”—Chris Shivers. 12-year-old Chicken’s been to the Finals 7 times.
- “This little guy can still beat you anytime he wants to.”—Ty Murray talking about Shivers. JW Hart on Shivers: “Every time I was in first place, and I had to wait for him to go after me, he took my money!”
- “Ty, you often say I’m the only one who thinks I’m funny.”—Hummer. (How much do we love Ty!)
- Carrillo Cartel dislocated Robson’s kneecap in the chute—brutal! 89.75, but it was a 90-point ride if I ever saw one. Robson rode amazingly, then couldn’t get up from the ground, and had to be helped out. Asinine Hummer: “Palermo proved that you don’t need knees to ride the bull, but you do need knees to walk away.”
- Great quote from Guilherme Marchi: “I came to the house of dreams and I’m riding like a nightmare.” But he rode Big & Rich, for 88 points— away from his hand!
- “That is no technique, no mechanics, that is all guts…he’s throwing the Hail Mary pass over and over for 7 seconds of the ride!”—Ty Murray, all excited about Pozzobon’s “inspiring” 87.50 ride on Shameless.
- Talk about being one with the bull! The slo mo of Robson Palermo on Skatman Hou was beautiful! 88.25
- I’m with Guilherme: “Woo hoo!” His fantastic job on Bootdaddy.com was rewarded with 88.75. His victory boogie showed he’s obviously taken hoofing lessons from The Dancing Aussie.
- Silvano’s continuous whooping after his 87.50 ride on High Octane Hurricane; he even flipped his helmet in the air. This may be the only time I’ve seen him so fired up about a ride, pounding his chest— he even had an expression on his poker face.
- Everyone was on their feet for the Shivers/Smackdown match that ended in a long hangup. The best Hummer could do: “Smackdown says there will be no Hollywood ending for you, Chis Shivers, but everybody gives you their respect.” Anyone see Flint kiss Chris on his way out? Sweet. Everyone else did the clap-on-the-back thing or shook hands. What got me teary-eyed was Chris’s final look at the arena as he exited the gate for the last time.
- Some high-kickin’ action— and I’m not talking about Super Cool Cat; he coulda done better. The score was only 85 because he couldn’t kick as high as Guilherme Marchi did in his victory dance.
Silvano Alves came to Leah Garcia to find out which rider had how many points. Shows you that the Booth Boys aren’t exactly on the case.
IN A CLASS OF HIS OWN
First Robson Palermo dislocated his shoulder so badly he needed a morphine injection so they could get it back into place, then last night his knee was dislocated. “It would be a lot quicker to name what’s not injured on his body than to name what’s injured,” said Shorty. The poor guy’s falling apart, but still managed a spectacular endless ride on Pawnbroker (87.25), landing on his feet, and an 87.25 on Dark Shadow— and now everybody’s slapping him on the bad shoulder. Interviewer Marty Snyder: “How are you doing this? Are you used to riding hurt?” Robson: “It looks like.” And then Adriano Moraes probably broke a few more things whooping and hugging and roughing him up. Robson’s interview: “I have a little dislocation last night, but I feel good…I gonna sleep good on Monday.”
IN A CLASS OF THEIR OWN
Ty keeps comparing Bushwacker and Asteroid to various human athletes, none of whom I know. (I’m out of it.) I’d call them Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
VALDIRON’S VERY BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE
Poor de Oliveira: from bad to worse. His injuries, including a herniated disc affecting his sciatic nerve, shooting pain down his leg, have defeated him to the point where scoring 86.50 on Josey Wales (making him now 10 for 11) almost made him cry, and not from the pain, either. Later he had to be lifted and helped out, in a half-crouch.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
- During Marco Eguche’s out on Oklahoma Magic, the electronic timing system malfunctioned, so they started timing rides by hand. At the World Finals, this is the backup plan?? Makes it even easier for the judges to screw with the numbers.
- Even now, the chute guys harassed Alves (and Marchi and Nunes) while they prepped; they even put Silvano on the clock. Too late: he’s got it sewn up.
- Black Duck was scrambling down on his butt, but Renato stayed on. He was offered a re-ride, but said No because he thought they said the re-ride bull was Boot Daddy. When he found out the bull was Hou Dat, he said he wanted the re-ride, but he wasn’t allowed to change his mind. This is EXACTLY why the PBR needs the translator on the dirt during the event! It’s also why somebody has got to tell Jeremy to CUT THE SOUND VOLUME ONCE IN A WHILE! Maybe if Renato had been able to hear, he wouldn’t have gotten stuck with that 81.
- Ben Jones’s family’s a jinx. He’s an emotional guy, and having your divorced parents in the audience is just too much backstory. “Sometimes when you see him go into a tailspin, it can turn into a nose dive,” said Ty.
- If Hummer calls Stormy Wing “one of our home run hitters” one more time, I’m gonna scream. He is NOT. A home run hitter is someone who actually hits home runs consistently, not someone who wants to hit home runs, or can hit home runs, or sometimes hits home runs, or who you want to hit home runs.
“A guy couldn’t have got fouled and in more ways than Caleb Sanderson. This bull did everything but pull a knife on him.” True, Ty— I’ve never seen a rider attacked like that; Hou’s Back [or was that his re-ride bull?] bucked in the chute, squashed him, turned around on him when the chute gate opened, like he wanted to get rid of him before they were on the dirt—total nightmare. The bull must’ve heard from the other bovines that Sanderson has to fight his head all the time about getting hurt in the arena.
Justin Koon has a broken left arm, fractured jaw, and concussion.
WHERE WAS THE CHRIS SHIVERS TRIBUTE??
TV viewers weren’t shown Chris being introduced to the crowd and telling them to pick his third bull. You could hear him sniffling in the chute; he’d been crying before. Monty the Bull bucked him off, but who cares? It doesn’t tarnish his reputation. This may be the only time we see a bull rider wipe away a tear after removing his helmet.