Guess who said this? “Bull riders are the new rock stars.”©
I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t the PBR.
But get this: as the cowboys enter the arena, the announcer intones, “They are rock stars.” This is the first time the PBR has said, plain and simple, what I’ve been saying IN PRINT since April 28, 2010: “Bull Riders Are The New Rock Stars.” I even copyrighted that slogan.
I used that headline for a post on this blog on May 2, 2010.
I used that headline for a post on my Rock’s Back Pages music blog on June 2, 2010.
In June, 2010, I sent faxes containing that slogan to five PBR executives (two of whom are still there).
I also used that quote in my correspondence with The New York Times sports editor.
Do you think the PBR would ever admit that they got this idea from someone else?
How much do you want to bet that the party line is: they never heard of this blog, they never received those faxes, that’s not the same as my line, a lot of people are calling bull riders rock stars, they’ve always thought of them that way, etc.
And god forbid they should pay for a great marketing slogan, which of course the media has picked up and which will have a lot of mileage. If that line appears on their tee shirts, I’m calling a lawyer.
I’m just sayin’.
ARE THEY SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER?
After the introduction, we were given a bizarre history lesson telling us that cowboys arrived in America before the Pilgrims, with roots going back to ancient Persia. (I kid you not.) OMG. Perhaps they meant to say, the Spaniards brought horses with them to this hemisphere in the 1500s, the indigenous peoples began riding them, and when the white people invaded and took land to start ranches and farms, the men who rode horses to tend to cows became called “cowboys.” And perhaps they meant to say that bull leaping (as in acrobatics, not riding) was a practice in Bronze Age Crete.
The music was even louder than yesterday. Friday, the volume was too low; Saturday, mostly too high; Sunday, too high. How about medium, boys—you know, like a medium rare steak is neither bloody raw nor burnt to a crisp? Hilarious explanation of Friday’s sound, from a PBR employee: “It’s the house sound; we had to use their sound.”
Uh, huh. The world-famous arena that hosts concerts and sporting events year round has a bad sound system. Right.
A QUESTION FOR THE AGES
Out of the mouth of either Brandon Bates or Clint Adkins— a comment that might have the Mauney Minions seeing red: “Why does he not have a world title?”
Flint’s new outfit in earth-tones, with “I Love NY” socks. Oh, dear oh dear.
BULL RIDING 101
The gospel according to Flint: “Rule #1, you have to ride for 8 seconds. Rule #2, You have to have the rail of the rope in your hand and not touch the ground before 8 seconds. Rule #3, You gotta walk off with a limp.”
I kept my eye on the bulls in the wings, waiting for their turn onstage. One was pacing, one had his nose stuck through his cell bars, and one was charging his gate, trying to get at the cowboy sitting on its top rail. Kind of like what goes on with actors backstage before somebody calls the curtain.
In general, too much partying last night, guys— only three rides in the Championship Round
- Friday’s round winner, Stormy Wing, had his feet fly up behind him on Main Event. Comment from the arena: “when your heels click together like that, the next thing that happens is dirt and ouch!”
- Ryan Dirteater got done dirty by Red Lizard: the bull barely broke the plane, then bucked in the chute, slamming Ryan into it before he even got out. In my book that’s a re-ride, but I know the rule says the bull’s motion has to be stopped. I think a slo-mo replay might’ve made the case for a re-ride, but nooo…
- Despite the razzing by Flint (“He looks like The Beebs without his hat— he just turned 13 this week!”), Lachlan Richardson gave us the good stuff: rode Flesh & Blood for 86.75; maybe he was slightly overscored because everyone was so relieved that he rode something.
- Come Back slammed Nathan Schapper forward into the chute rail just as the gate opened, but the show must go on—and Nathan rode for an 85.75.
- Douglas Duncan’s great “money chops” helped him to 87.50 on Russian Roulette.
- Let’s hear it for Highway 12: he made one of the guys on the dirt flip over a guard rail trying to escape. Come to think of it, guys were jumping over rails right and left in the final round. The bulls were feeling their oats. Or whatever it is they eat.
- South Paw scored a very impressive 45 against Luke Snyder.
- Too bad for Fabiano Vieira, but RFD-HD’s huge kicks remind me of Asteroid.
- Woo-hoo! Silvano got it done on Larry the Cable Guy’s Git-R-Done, for 87.75.
THE LOOK ON HIS FACE…
Best Dressed Fan, little Kieran (Ciaran? Are we using the Gaelic spelling?), was excited to win his prize, but when Flint got up close to give it to him, the kid looked really puzzled. I thought this guy was a cowboy, but he’s wearing clown makeup??
ANOTHER QUESTION FOR THE AGES
Brandon/Clint to Flint: “I want to know how much time you spend in front of the mirror imitating the music.”
- Gunpowder & Lead was a mental case in the chute: got his front legs over it, then when that was dealt with, twisted himself into what looked like a headstand (this was not pretty); the gate had to be opened to let him out because that bull would’ve broken himself in half—not to mention what he was doing to Billy Robinson. I think G&L missed his regular dancing partner, Robson. Billy got mauled in there, but the announcers were talking about JB instead—because he was trying to help Billy.
While Billy was extricated, the bull headed into the arena looking for trouble. Flint, up on the Shark Cage, got a little nervous, so as soon as the bull’s back was turned, hurled his Flat Flint life-size cardboard cut-out after him. When it hit the dirt, Flint and the whole arena had the same inspiration: “Hey, let’s see what happens if…” He stuck Flat Flint standing up in the dirt facing the chutes for the next bull.
- Johnny Walker Spot quickly trashed Dakota Beck, then spotted Faux Flint. He started charging, but hesitated for a second, giving “Flint” a chance to escape. The announcer translated for us: “Is this dumbass gonna run? Nope.” Spot knocked Flat Flint down, then stomped on him. So there. It was amazing to watch the animal instinct in action. That bull owned the dirt— don’t nobody get in his way!
- Misunderstood put on a swell performance, too; dumped Edevaldo Ferreira, then went after each bullfighter; DeBord roped a horn, and they played tug o’ war all the way to the exit.
- Ben Jones had his hands full with Chocolate Drop; this weekend was a shut-out for Jones. Right before the ride, Flint was modeling a PBR tee shirt to be given away; to give it more “spirit” (i.e., snot), he rolled on the dirt with it. (Ewww!) He got up on the Shark Cage and called to the bull, who came right up to him and stood there practically nose to nose. (Tic Tac, anyone?) James to the rescue: Chocolate Drop struggled and protested all the way to the gate, then refused to exit. James dragged, and one of the safety guys managed to shove the gate against the bull’s butt; he had to push really hard to move that hunk of beef (the bull, not James) and shut the gate. The bull got a round of applause that I don’t think made Ben feel any better.
LOWLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
Not only are the bellybutton bimbos in the opening “number,” but at the end they also are in our faces dancing at the Shark Cage and even standing there on top of it as Robson Palermo was awarded his buckle. This is a HUGE mistake, Monster Energy Drink and PBR boys. It’s a disgrace in so many ways: besides the blatant sexism, it drags bull riding down to the level of prizefighting, embarrasses the winner, and no doubt offends the rider’s wives.
Oh yeah, and what’s the relationship between displaying women’s bodies for “men’s entertainment” and all the religious cant at the beginning of each event? How do you square sexual exploitation with your Christian principles? Hmm? What would your Cowboy Church ministers have to say about this use of women? And don’t forget: HALF OF BULL RIDING FOLLOWERS ARE WOMEN.
What’s next? Pole dancers in pasties? You marketing guys better get together and come up with a better plan. This is the year 2013, and you’re still knuckle-dragging.
Cute storyline: apparently, as a grade school kid Markus Mariluch informed his teacher, “Ma’am, I don’t need to know how to read, because I’m going to be a cowboy.” We assume he did learn to read, and he did ride: Bikini—the bull that clobbered LJ last night— for 85.25
JB stuck on Rock & Roll (the $12,000 bonus bull) for 7+ seconds—arrgghh!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NIGHT
- Chocolate Drop vs. Flat Flint.
- Renato Nunes accidentally running out the bull’s exit chute, then running back in.
- Robson Palermo’s 90-point trip on Whitewater Trouble. Woo-hooo!
- THE WINNER
Robson has learned a lot of English. A quote: “Longer I stay health [sic] and take care myself, I ride my bulls.” After thanking people for coming to the event, and thanking his sponsors, he told the crowd, “See you next year.” Love it!