CHICAGO – SUNDAY JAN 13
If I didn’t know better, I’d think the opening of the broadcast, with Gary Allen singing “Bones,” melodramatic closeups of riders looking determined, and bulls doing some serious cowboy-slinging, was the start of a new TV drama series.
KUDOS TO CLINT
Clint Adkins knows how to be a commentator. He gives us the names of the riders, their home towns, the bulls, and their contractors, speaks clearly, makes sense, and doesn’t get all hyped up. Can we keep him? huh? please? Pretty please? huh? can we keep him?
NOW, DID YOU MEAN TO SAY THAT?
• “Ben Jones is a guy who really wears his emotions on his shoulder.” No, no no; that’s Jiminy Cricket sitting there. The emotions are on his sleeves.
• One of the two commentators referred to Chase Outlaw, Douglas Duncan, Stormy Wing, and Cody Johnson as “The Fantastic Four.” Oh great, now we have caped crusaders and superheroes. No Emilio, Marco, or anyone else whose name ends in a vowel, though. Have we already forgotten who was standing on the dirt with shiny new belt buckles at the end of last October’s World Finals?
REASONS #179 and 180 TO LOVE BEN JONES
• Endearing factoid: Ben lied about his age to qualify for the World Finals at age 17. He’s been there 5 times.
• The chute gate opened before Ben yelled “Buck ‘em!” He hadn’t even nodded. Ben spent 7.34 seconds on Bar Code, and was not happy! He challenged; JW Hart said that the gate issue probably caused Ben to be bucked off, but no re-ride was offered. Then after Ben pled his case with Cody Lambert, he got a re-ride, and JW reversed his opinion.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
• Fabiano Vieira’s bull, Rooster, was just spinning, not kicking. Fabiano reeived an 78.75 and no re-ride. JW Hart and I agreed: he should’ve been offered one. Last night, Jordan Hupp’s bull had no spin and just one direction change, but they scored him 85.75 instead of giving him a low score with re-ride option. If a bull doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do, the rules say that the rider should get a re-ride. Are the judges starting their selective rule application already?? And PS, Fabiano’s bonus was a broken ankle.
• Agnaldo Cardozo’s bull, No Doubt, who kinda looks like Blueberry Wine, stopped completely when he went down and scraped a horn along the ground. The judges gave Agnaldo a lousy 74.25 or a re-ride. He turned down the re-ride, but Shorty Gorham said there was a language barrier; Cardozo didn’t understand what Cody Lambert was saying. This is where we need the translator, PBR brass! On the dirt, during the action! How many times do I have to say it???
• Skatman Hou was JB Mauney’s draw. Great comment from the booth: “If he falls off this bull, they better have the locker room doors nailed down tight shut.” The bull was pinching JB’s ankle in the chute, and JB was given a re-ride option after two attempts to get out instead of three. JW: “Well, I don’t know who the judges are…” JW and I were on the same page again: this shouldn’t have happened.
• Something was wrong in the chute, with Peanuts moving around, but the judge was telling Robson Palermo to hurry up. He didn’t tell JB to hurry up during his chute meshugahs (is that how you spell it?). And then after he got out, Peanuts banged against the chute, and Robson had trouble holding onto his rope. Still, 84.75 was too low a score. JW later said Robson’s rope was slick: “Maybe there was some fly spray on the bull or something.” Chicago in winter? Not so buggy. I may sound suspicious, but…
THE BOO-BOO REPORT
• LJ Jenkins will do rehab and be ready for Sacramento— he says. Has the doc weighed in yet?
• Almost a big boo-boo: Douglas Duncan was stubbornly holding onto his rope because his hand was stuck, while Sleeper was sweeping the dirt with him. Douglas escaped with an 86.50.
• Already boo-booed, and possibly one in the making: all the helmets hurt Marco Eguchi’s jawbone that’s wired together, so he rode with a hat instead.
Luke Snyder got a concussion last night; you’re supposed to keep a concussed person awake, and his roommate Brendon Clark’s snoring did the trick all night. Luke’s 86.75 on Chin Music won him this round. His interview with Leah: “I got my bell rung the other night.” JDub to the TV audience: “He got his bell rung the other night? It was last night, Luke!”
I hate the split screen!! Leah Garcia’s interview with Palermo was happening while Cody Johnson was riding big ol’ Cheerio for 82.75. Kody Lostroh’s interview was going on while Billy Robinson’s bull bucked him out of his chaps.
That’s props, not plops.
Yellow Jacket Jr. —Woo hoo!— lived up to his daddy’s name. He was the high-scoring bull in the round, with 44.25. To paraphrase the Soup Nazi: Chase Outlaw, no score for you!
NEAT NUGGETS ABOUT STORMY WING
He’s a 3rd generation bull rider, and purple is his favorite color. The not-fun part is his ankle injury.
I HEAR THAT!
Ryan Dirteater’s dream vacation would be Maui.
But huh?? He says his favorite subject was algebra. “He’s bluffing,” says JDub.
Mauney’s re-ride (84.75) was on Crooked Kitty, who didn’t have a lot of kick. JB’s still coming off bulls any ol’ cockamamie way, and he knows it: “I was glad Jesse was there; he broke the fall for me.” Yup, that’s Jesse Byrne, MVP.
The Bad Boy Mowers Ho is back. Clearly she took classes from The Boob School of Acting; they’re her major prop.
Diggin’ on Nathan Schaper’s striped purple shirt.
AMAZING CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
• Smackdown and Rango were the two big bullies, both scoring 45.75. I’m loving Rock & Roll; he’s consistently impossible to ride.
• Just heard about Pawnbroker breaking his leg during Caleb Sanderson’s out. That explains his performance: after a few seconds without any spin, he sat down, dragging his ass, and Caleb Sanderson went down with him and was about to be crushed. Shorty had to yell at Caleb to get up. (Later, Caleb’s re-ride, Prince Albert, did some weird stuff on his back end. I swear, Albert must’ve gotten the word about Sanderson’s nerves.) Very sorry to hear about this excellent bull having a bad accident. I never would’ve made a snotty comment
if I’d been able to keep up with bull riding news this past week. Hope Pawnbroker heals up well; I’m sure the Robinsons will take good care of him.
• It was amazing that Billy Robinson stayed on Smackdown, and also amazing to watch the bullfighters get him out of a hang-up, with Jesse holding onto the rope to keep the bull from going after him.
• Buck Wild was bucking wild in the chute in spite of his head halter. According to Shorty, if it weren’t for that halter, the bull would have to be retired from bucking. I could swear I heard an explosion as that bull came rocketing out of the chute in midair. Silvano Alves made the highest score of his career: 92.50. That’s Silvano’s career high score!? JW said it’s because Alves doesn’t take a lot of re-rides. Nuh-uh, honey; it’s because they underscore him most of the time.
• Because Silvano was scored lower than Robinson in the previous round, when the two guys tied in the championship round, the event went to Billy: his first win in 10 years!