- WOO-HOO! I wish I’d seen Ben Jones Showboating last night! The footage of that ride looked fantastic; Ben was riding his ass off. (And boogying it off, too.) He was the round winner, with 90 points. This is one of the rare times I miss the website’s Live Event Center… but it’s still not worth paying $30 for something that used to be free.
- Sean Willingham conquered a clone—Another One, to be precise, with a good-looking 87.75. Tee-hee: “He went out and executed on it perfectly.”—Ty Murray. Kody Lostroh, not so much— the clone I’m Back conquered him.
- Ty’s Telestrator video of Shorty Gorham and Jesse Byrne saving Lachlan Richardson from having a bull up his ass.
- Shorty Gorham declaring a “Flint-free zone” to keep Rasmussen away because The Painted One was trying to get on-camera face-time again.
- J.B. Mauney was in good form on Santiago; love when he gets that riding hand going. But that 89.75 score was kinda, well, the way to keep the top 5 slots from being filled with, um, riders from another country, and I’m not talking about Australia or Canada.
TOMMY CAN YOU HEAR ME?
- Every year the Albuquerque hype is about the arena noise and the 86 steps. If that’s what The Pit has to offer, maybe they should think about moving the event to a place where the noise doesn’t drown out the announcers and interviews, and the riders don’t have to schlep (or limp, or be carried, as the case may be) up that freakish staircase. What’s the point of having Ty Murray and Shane doing a show-and-tell about what Proctor has to fix in his riding, if we can’t hear half of it? Hearing Shorty over all the arena noise is almost hopeless, and Leah Garcia has to shout to be heard. Even Craig commented on how loud the arena was, and that he couldn’t hear Leah—he’s got a headset and mic.
ANOTHER SLAP HEARD ROUND THE WORLD?
- Silvano Alves apparently got away with a slap and an 88.25 on Red Man last weekend. But as Ty pointed out, any rider could’ve challenged it: “The cowboy way is about truth and honesty.” Then what about all the spurs in ropes, and riders (like Chris Shivers) who got away with a slap, even when everyone saw it on tape and Shorty or Ty called it loud and clear? How about Douglas Duncan getting a big ol’ 88.50 for not making 8 on The Game Changer? The replay clearly showed both his hands out of the rope at 7.98, but they scored him anyway, high: 88.50. PISS ME OFF. Last night JB Mauney got away with an obvious slap at 7.51, but was scored 84.50 on Speedy Jr. Ty repeated that 34 other guys could’ve challenged: “This could potentially be another win with a slap.”
No shit, Sherlock! When judges ignore blatant slaps and clear failure to make 8 seconds, it’s more than “a bad call.” It’s deliberate, and it affects the standings. They’ve got video to look at, and they examine replays six ways to Sunday when there’s a chance that a Brazilian rider may have touched a bull. When an American rider slaps a bull loud and clear, suddenly they don’t need to see a replay, or their replay doesn’t show what thousands of other people saw. So why is it a firestorm when it’s Alves? People got all twisted about him getting away with one, but they somehow forgot about all the other riders who do.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
- Craig is now trying to impersonate a Californian: the overdone tan, blond highlights, hair carefully trained to flop over one eye. Could somebody please ship him off to L.A. and give him a reality show?
- Shane Proctor was #1 in the world standings for 6 weeks, until last night’s miss on Flesh & Blood. At some point last year I remember calling him the dark horse coming up from the outside. Wonder if he can keep it up? (I guess that depends partly on how much the judges are hatin’ on Silvano.)
- Why does the PBR think tokenism is a good idea? Dakota Louis is The Invited Native American Rider, “representing the hundreds of Native American riders in this sport,” says Craig. Do they not even HEAR how racist that is? If there are hundreds of riders, why is only ONE “let” in? How can they possibly justify this prejudice? Do they have just ONE Canadian rider representing the hundreds of Canadian bull riders? ONE Australian? Maybe the PBR didn’t realize that they broke their own rule by having Ryan Dirteater (Cherokee) and Wiley Petersen (Shoshone-Bannock) riding in the BFTS at the same time. If the excuse is about points, how is it that someone we’ve never heard of wins a Touring Pro Event and is suddenly invited to ride? Why not make the effort to scout the Turquoise Circuit for Native American riders? There are a lot of ways to address this issue (and, incidentally, attract more fans to the sport). It’s not all about the points or level of ability. Recruiting young riders to bull riding clinics to prepare them for tough pens would increase the talent pool. Oh, what am I saying? The PBR doesn’t want to fix this. Why am I bothering?
- Marco Eguchi, world #1, was wrapping on Lucky You, and right away the Chute Bully was nagging, “Let’s go!” Marco not only didn’t ride the bull, but he also needed a medical escort out of the ring. Craig was right: “He never seemed to be settled in the chute, did he?” That’s what harassment at the chute is all about: rattle them, don’t give them a chance to get a good seat, do your best to make them get bucked off— never mind if it causes them to get hurt. BAD SPORTSMANSHIP. Meanwhile, Shane Proctor can take as long as he wants.
- Leah was out in the stands to poll people about the two leading bulls: out of 20 people, 15 said Bushwacker’s better than Asteroid. I agree. And it’s about damn time the PBR actually asked the fans something. For a few years I kept telling the PBR (in writing, and not just on this blog) to go out into the stands and actually talk to people. Two years ago I said it in a marketing focus group, too.
- OMG: they actually did use the 5-way split screen I jokingly predicted days ago!
- “Three of Brazil’s best are about to buck,” declares Hummer, apparently confused about the fact that actually the cowboys don’t do that; they rely on the bulls to do the bucking. But then, this is the same guy who talks about the cowboys “covering” their bulls, and the bulls “having their way with” the cowboys.
- Jory Markiss is no crybaby, even when he gets trounced. Midnight Mood was 1 for 13, and Jory made it 14. He pointed at the bull like ‘I’ll get you for this!’ And he still lifts his hat to the crowd like he made 8. He may be a “cockeyed optimist,” but I like that attitude!
- Chase Outlaw may or may not have a broken leg; he didn’t want to get it x-rayed, so he’s using crutches; still, he got on Sic ‘em Sam and produced a smooth 87-point ride. The bullfighters were SO on his side, it was very cute, watching them hugging him and smacking him on the helmet.
“This is a chance for Nunes to get on the board,” says The Bummer about Renato, who’s about to climb on Highway 12. DUH—wouldn’t that be true for any rider? However, Renato got too wild and flew off the bull’s back. Ty explained that when you get leaned back like that, you’re putting 9gs of force on your riding hand. (Plus Nunes got kicked in the head last night.)
OH, YA BIG BABY!
Guess Cody Nance forgot to wedge his spurs into the knots, because he came off Dakota Cage pretty fast. Shorty said he thinks Cody was over-matched; the bull was better than him. Nance pushed the challenge button because he said the bull bucked in the chute and fouled him. Yeah, and the sun was in his eyes and the dog ate the homework and there’s a hole in his mitt and he tripped on his shoelaces.
FASHION QUERY—NOT YET AN ALERT
Jory Markiss was wearing a real nice vest, but I can’t give the seal of approval until I see the picture on the back. Did anybody get a look at it?
“THE FEMALE CONTRACTORS”
Of course the PBR assigned the female reporter (Leah, as if you didn’t know) to talk about “the female contractors.” We can expect this designation to become as ubiquitous as “the Brazilians,” because the slow boys in the club still look at businesswomen as some kind of freakish aberration. We learned that Paige Stout has a Facebook page with a lot of bull photos. Then back to Ty and Craig, who actually talked about what they should: her passion for the sport and her background. Then Ty had a fatherly moment, asking her about the difference between her nerves last weekend, her 1st BFTS event, and this weekend. She’s pretty poised for a newbie, I gotta say. I guess seeing her bull Walter Pepper mess up Brendon Clark helped— he hung up and ended under the bull’s belly. Her other guy, Silvano’s re-ride, Jack Wagon, pissed off Alves by tricking him into leaving his back.
- That clip of Frank Newsome getting smashed by Maverick was a huge Yikes!
- Johnny Rocker is mean! First he fell and squashed Silvano, rolled on him, then went after him to hook him. Alves got clobbered and the re-ride flags made their appearance, but sheesh! How could anyone take another ride after that brutal trip?
- Ugh! Leah showed us a photo of the results of Agnaldo Cardozo’s head-to-head contact with Whirligig last weekend that knocked him out cold: multiple facial fractures, two black eyes, contusions, a swollen lip. Guilherme Marchi flew with him back home to Brazil. This is the camaraderie that counts, not just the back-slapping and hollering at the chutes.
Valdiron de Oliveira in 63rd place— unthinkable! He says he’s pain-free, but he didn’t ride last night, and tonight Big Tex “Rocks” slung him, rolled him, deliberately stepped on, and hooked him, ripping his shirt behind the shoulder. To save him from more, the team on the dirt enclosed him in the chute, where Dr. Tandy Freeman examined his head and neck, then led him out, but Valdiron couldn’t do those freakin’ steps; he sat down on a bleacher looking worn out and depressed. I am so not happy!