Madison Square Garden – Friday

FRIDAY           JAN. 4

The PBR season opener: It’s hard to believe that Madison Square Garden is home to thousands of concerts, yet on Friday night, the sound was pathetic. The music volume was way down, maybe even too low (I know, right?), and so were Brandon Bates, Clint Adkins, and Flint Rasmussen. We all had to strain our ears to hear what was happening, except for me, because I know half of Flint’s New York material by heart.

FASHION ALERT

▪   Chase Outlaw has ditched the buffalo helmet, presumably hoping to score more, and the hat trick worked: in Round 2 he made a Mike Lee-style ride on Moses for 86.25.

▪   Apparently Larry The Cable Guy is now Flint’s go-to fashionista (or would that be “fashionistuh?”). The Painted One’s costume change after Round 3: sleeveless red plaid shirt and a tattoo that wasn’t legible from where I was sitting.

▪      The sponsor merry-go-round has splattered riders with different colors, which probably will confuse a lot of people for a while. Austin Meier’s red and blue ensemble and distinctive red and blue helmet have been replaced with a black and green uniform, and there’s no sign of Blue Emu, so JB Mauney’s wearing black— which looks great under his old black hat with the feather parked on it.

BULL STUFF

  • The talented Russian Roulette caused a cowboy-Caleb-bullfighter pileup, which inspired Flint to get all stroppy and hurl his hat after the departing bull. Without even a backward glance, RR gave it a nonchalant kick.
  • Once again, Mud Wasp was flipping out in the chute; this time under Billy Robinson, who managed to escape the sting with an 87, giving him the #2 slot for the day.
  • Bull Arrow seemed to want more to do than dump Harve Stewart, who now resembles a full-fledged mountain man. He went to check out Flint, who was perched on the Shark Cage, and stared him down, then took on one of the bullfighters. He must’ve been testing Frank, because he gave up and split. Nice-looking bull: gray with black polka dots. The Fearless One ain’t bad, either: pretty blue eyes (my posse was unanimous on that).

EEK!

▪  Ty Pozzobon’s Round 1 Ben Jones-style landing on the back of his neck— in the chute, no less.

▪  Edevaldo Ferreira’s attempt on Fire Water put him (come on; while Craig Hummer’s on leave, you know I have to say it) deep under water.

▪  Renato Nunes took a bitch-slapping from Brother Love (or would that be a bro-slapping?) right in the chute. The bull went berserk; half a dozen people scrambled to rescue Renato as the bull escaped, stumbling out of the gate.

LET A WOMAN OPERATE THAT STUD-FINDER!

The Stanley Tools Stud Finder is always off-base (the worst dancer, usually with a huge middle, always wins), but this time was painful:  it zeroed in on goofball candidate #2, and just missed a dark-haired hunk sitting to his left. If a woman was operating that gadget, it woulda beeped its ass off.

CHUCKLES

  • In Round 2, Jory Markiss was ticked off that Come Back wasn’t interested in the pleasure of his company, so clearly the thing to do was to chuck his mouthpiece at the bull. From a safe distance, of course.
  • I don’t know how much, if any, of the “Kiss Cam” filler segment makes it onto the broadcasts, but there are so many ways it can go wrong. Friday night’s big “Oops!”: the camera zeroed in on a woman and man sitting together, and the panic-stricken woman gestured frantically, “No! He’s my brother!”

THIS IS WHY THE RE-RIDE RULES DRIVE PEOPLE CRAZY

Dakota Beck didn’t get a re-ride when Tapout’s entire front end went down.

Linda’s Pet had no kick, so Robson Palermo was offered 68.50 or a re-ride. (Fortunately he “converted” his re-ride on Slim’s Ghost, to an 85.)  Chavito was equally lazy, but LJ Jenkins was offered 80.50 or a re-ride. Things that make me go Hmmm…

SHEESH!

  • Watching Brendon Clark’s bizarre Round 4 attempt on the excellent Colored by Arctic, all I could think of was the Tin Man’s immortal: “Oil can!” I’ve never seen a guy try to ride a bull without bending anything.
  • Guilherme Marchi’s third time with High Steaks was not the charm. It was a wild trip; several times I thought Marchi was a goner, especially when his hat flew off, but he kept muscling back into place. Eventually the bull got him up against the chute, but by then Guilherme had slapped him, so the score was a hard-earned zero.

BIG FAT GYP

You didn’t have to ask the Garden crowd what they thought of the 85.50 Silvano Alves got for his manic flight on the outrageous Showoff. I’m sure the TV audience could hear that big ol “Boooo!” The bull’s owners really hit the mark when they named him.

FIRST BACK FLIP OF THE SEASON!

Renato scored 86 for his re-ride on clone Another One. He flipped hatless; was this to show off his Marine haircut?

THE WIN

The win went to Stormy Wing for his 88.25 on Slippery Devil, but he didn’t rake in the extra dough on bonus bull South Paw, who faked left while Stormy was going right.

THE NEW GIMMICK

“Clash of the Cowboys” is the Next Cute Thing: two teams of riders and bull fighters, the Outlaws and the Bandits, go up against each other in a variety of messy stunts. So as not to be accused of anti-Brazilian feeling, the PBR has roped Robson into this. The poor guy’s probably wondering why bull riding in the States involves such bizarre extracurricular activities, and how maybe he can hurt the other shoulder so he can get out of this.

 

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7 Responses to Madison Square Garden – Friday

  1. saraht says:

    Here is a brief explanation of the new point system from someone knowledgable in the bull riding world:

    TPD points are 25% of what BFTS points are. Plus, the points available at a given TP event vary depending on how big the event is. It’s actually a simplification of the old system where you qualify for the finals by $$ but win championship by points. I studied it – they ran a simulation of last season on the new point system week by week. It won’t change things drastically, but it will allow guys to get in to the BFTS in a simpler way.
    There won’t be cuts I don’t think – each week they just take the top 35 guys. There were times when guys had an awesome run at TP events but had to wait for the next cut. This should help with that issue. It also equalizes the money imbalance between Brazil and the US. In Brazil the TP event pay way, way more. So a guy up here would have to win several big TP events to even get close to what they can win at one in Brazil. A guy could win one TP event in Brazil and make the finals.

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  2. Becky Thompson says:

    “CBS Sports Network will broadcast Round 1 at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 12, and Round 2 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 13” per the PBR website. If you want to be a legitimate sport, in my opinion, show the event in “real time”, not hours later. Why even watch the championship round when you already know the outcome? It is anticlimactic. I could choose not to check/watch on the internet and be “surprised” but that really is bogus. So I tape it and watch my ME TV Columbo on Sunday evenings and watch the PBR at another time when I can fast forward through the boring parts and commercials and just watch the rides. This really is not a sport. It is a rodeoIt is entertainment. It is an event. The bulls are not “athletes”, they are just well-bred/trained farm animals. Don’t forget the “Hooters girls” throwing t-shirt into the first 2 rows of the arena. I guess that you could equate them to the NFL “cheerleaders”. Still degrading to women. I still watch because I grew up on rodeos in southern Missouri. I enjoy watching it. But it is what it is…just sit back and enjoy.

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  3. Becky Thompson says:

    Once again, another new year and more changes for the PBR. Back to one short go, counting points not money, new short go for somewhere between 10 to 15 riders, etc., etc. What other legitimate pro sport could get by with new rules each and every season. Really PBR???? I don’t even understand the new scoring/points process. Why have the rules been changed and for what reason? Have the Brazilians won too many times? We will never know from the PBR website as any person that dares to disagree gets their posting rights revoked. Very one sided.

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    • anonymous says:

      Slade Long, a statistician who has a website devoted to bull stats, writes for the PBR, and seems pretty knowledgeable about bullriding in general, basically said on the message board of his website – the new system shouldn’t change things drastically, just simplifies the way guys get into the BFTS. Also it equalizes the money imbalance between Brazil and US. In Brazil the TP events pay way, way more. A rider in the US would have to win several large TP events to come close to what one event in Brazil pays.

      Some may twist this into sounding anti-Brazilian, but I don’t believe it is – it is just leveling the playing field. I heard an interview with one rider who said he likes the new point system. I’m just waiting to see how it plays out before deciding if it is better or not.

      As for the rule changes, people, including the riders, didn’t like the first short-go – the PBR listened and did away with it. People, including the riders, didn’t like the draft – the PBR listened and did away with it except for the short-go. People didn’t like the championship round being cut from 15 to 10 riders – the PBR listened and expanded it back to 15. The PBR listens (something they are accused of not doing) and then gets complaints they are always changing. Seems the PBR can’t win. Also, the NFL, NBA, MLB, Nascar, Indy, etc have all made and will continue to make rule changes.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I sometimes have a hard time figuring out how two rides, that are so different, can have the same score. This past weekend for instance both Agnaldo Cordozo and Fabiano Vieira scored 85.50 points, yet Fabiano was in better control and position throughout the ride. The bull scores were the same, so that doesn’t explain the difference. I just wish I understood the scoring criteria better.

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  5. closeobserver says:

    And so it begins!!! Giving Silvano Alves the mid-80’s score!!!

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  6. saraht says:

    I watched Sunday’s NYC event on TV last night. Leah interviewed LJ Jenkins about his injury. Despite his arm being bandaged up and in a sling, LJ still managed to hold a can of Monster Energy Drink for all of us to see as he was being interviewed. Unbelievable! That is marketing gone too far in my book. What’s next? Make the riders hold a can of the stuff as they are being wheeled into Tandy Freeman’s operating room? In-your-face marketing makes me want to run away from whatever it is they are trying to sell. Add half-naked blond bimbos to the mixture and I want to vomit.

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