Des Moines – Sunday – “Pure PBR”

João Ricardo Vieira has been shooting to the top of the leader board lately. Excellent performance: 15/15 Bucking Battle, first place. Round 1, tied for first place; Round 2, tied for third; Championship Round, the only score, and it’s a high one—89.25. Has ridden Smackdown twice. Counting this weekend, he’s won 3 of the last 4 events.

The Brent Thurman spotlight.

World #1 Shane Proctor’s 5th straight buckoff. I don’t think he can hold his lead much longer without a concerted effort by the judges to persecute Silvano Alves even more—and I’m sure they’ll do their best.

• João Ricardo Vieira’s masterful ride on Alternator (86.75). “Remember, this is called bull riding, not bull hanging on,” Ty Murray said, praising Vieira’s excellent countermoves. Bull stats: this season, ridden 1/3 of the time. Buckoff percentage, 66.67%. Average buckoff time, 4.91. Average score, 42.78. Rating: 21.39.
• Saw the reply of Kody Lostroh’s 84.50 ride on 10 Penny last night, and that bull’s direction change was a monster; Kody’s handling it with ease was amazing. He’s riding like a World Champion again.
• When Ben Jones rode Lil’ Jefe for 86.75, every last person in that arena was ecstatic. Ben’s comment: “Don’t think, just ride… I’m not the smartest dog in the shed!” Wish I could’ve heard what was in between, but the background racket never stops.
• Luke Snyder broke his 6-buckoff streak, handling The Game Changer for 88.25. Ty’s take on it: perfect timing, perfect balance, he couldn’t have done it any better.
• João wins his 3rd of 4 events! He didn’t even have to ride to win, but turned in an 89.25 on Who Dat. Another masterful ride! PS: Alves won 3 events in his rookie season.

• Aaron Roy (also coming in with 5 straight buckoffs) rode Mr. Smooth for 87.25. A “lookin’ good” ride, but according to ProBull Stats (because Mr. Smooth’s not even on the PBR website), the bull’s scores for his 2 outs this year are 34 and 40.50. So you can understand my puzzlement as to why Aaron was scored higher than Vieira, whose control was spectacular, and whose bull’s stats say he’s tougher than Mr. Smooth. Oh, wait a minute: could it be that the judges have figured out another way to manipulate scoring: ding the bulls that are under the Brazilian riders?
• Valdiron de Oliveira is back after winning a Touring Pro event. Squirrel Grove’s trip, however, was one long pogo across the arena. There was some confusion about a re-ride, while Valdiron’s ride was reviewed for a nonexistent slap. Renato had to be the translator—like his English is great? Why are they not using a real translator on the dirt, where it counts? Did the PBR run out of money? Are they trying to handicap the Brazilian riders? If Tag was unavailable, they could easily find someone else. Is there any possible logical reason they don’t have a translator? NO. When the American riders went to Brazil a few years ago, I’m sure they weren’t left to their own devices, language-wise.
• Poor Austin! Paired with Lincoln Electric’s Bring It—who has trashed him 5 times already. How did this matchup happen? Who’s the one with the sadistic streak? He got dumped again, and it looked like the bull’s hind hooves stomped on his hip for good measure.

Vindication for Valdiron! He did get a re-ride, on My Space, and his 86.25 puts him in the Championship Round. So great to see him smile again!

On Walter Pepper, one of Paige Stout’s bulls, Cody Nance’s hooked spur was so obvious, how could the judges not see it? Or more to the point, why do they refuse to see it? He almost was hung up by it on his way off the bull!

Austin Meier is keeping a daily journal. “Find the good in everything,” he said. “Where’s my happiness brought from…?” Putting feelings on paper! Unheard of! Congrats, Austin. This kind of thing saves lives. More men should cowboy up and try it!

Craig referred to Leah Garcia as the PBR’s “Social Media Songstress.” Is there a YouTube video out there that I don’t know about?

The Cueball Cam looks like the infant offspring of C-3pio and R2D2.

Lachlan Richardson is on the bubble.

Panhandle Slim’s record of cowboy strikeouts: 7 rides in 42 outs. Cody Lambert said the clones have the same bucking pattern as his, but not as intense, and that the clones “became like pets,” but Panhandle Slim was mean all his life. Ty’s description: “He was really a deranged type of bull.” The first time on him, Ty got bucked off; the last time he had him was at the World Finals, “and he was still as mean as he was at the beginning.”

When Shaken Not Stirred did just that to Eduardo Aparecido, Ty Murray and I said the same thing at the same time: “What??”
JW Hart picked João Ricardo Vieira to win. So did I. The Twitter people picked Kody. May I quote the great Ralph Kramden: “Har har HARdy har har!”

• Will it never end? A chesty blonde bimbo with a frozen grin standing behind Clint Adkins and Brandon Bates. As Liz Lemon would say, Blurrgh!
• Gross: the clip of fans getting their photo taken with Renato Nunes, and not one of them saying “Thank you” when it was done; they just walked away. Do they even know who he is? How fucking rude! Or did the idiot parents just say, “Hey, let’s get our picture taken with a cowboy?” Fucking depressing.

To get back on tour, Sean Willingham was riding in Touring Pro events, did 3 weeks in Australia, and admitted to having some bad weeks. His knees were hurting him, “But that’s no excuse; you only need to use your legs when you run.” He’s debating whether to get them fixed now or wait until after the Last Cowboy Standing event. Well, I see two sides of this dilemma: if you get them fixed now, they won’t be as big a mess later, but you’d better be a fast healer to make that event; on the other hand, if you don’t get them fixed soon, you won’t be standing, period.

The Evangelist was not happy about being ridden, and charged at Shorty Gorham afterward. 79.50 for Silvano Alves–WHY?? TV viewers were given no explanation or analysis of the score at all, for probably the ONLY time during the broadcast. It figured this would happen to Silvano.

• Western Hauler has some wicked, tricky moves, ducking and dodging and writhing left and right. He dumped 3-time PRCA champ JW Harris at the 2012 WNFR.
• Speckled Ivory’s hump kinda looks like birds pooped all over it, but I never get tired of seeing that bull’s huge jumps out of the gate, with all that forward momentum. He’s like a great [fill in the blank because I don’t know squat about football] barreling into a line of opponents.
• Some fancy footwork from Meat Hook; I know this is gonna sound ridiculous, but that cute bull’s front feet are doing ballerina work.

If they didn’t make such a huge fanfare every time JB Mauney gets into the chute, maybe he wouldn’t be so upset when he doesn’t ride. Nobody can be Superman.

That painful striped shirt on Ty Murray. First of all, pin stripes on a cowboy? Second of all, the camera translates it into headache material. Do we have to ask Ben Jones to give you fashion lessons, Ty?

• Why the re-ride flags for Jason Malone (a late replacement for Ryan Dirteater) after his failed attempt on Cyber Cat? No explanation from the Booth Boys. “Maybe because the bull bucked him off too fast,” was Shorty’s guess. Or the judges like him; they really, really like him. His re-ride was Prince Albert, whose hind hooves slammed against the gate so hard, it must’ve felt like an earthquake up there on his back. It also might’ve “interfered with the trajectory of the ride” (remember that one?), but giving Malone another re-ride would make it way too obvious that they really, really like him.
• Is there some confusion in the record books as to the highest scoring rides in PBR history? The PBR says Chris Shivers scored 96.50 on Dillinger and Jim Jam, and other sources say Bubba Dunn scored 96.50 Cripple Creek’s Promise Land (1999 PBR Bucking Bull of the Year). Is this version of PBR history part of the campaign to canonize Chris? (Ha! Let’s see Hummer top that one.)


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7 Responses to Des Moines – Sunday – “Pure PBR”

  1. esther says:

    Just finished watching PBR 20/20 on which they showed an event from Nashville in 1997. It was great to see ride after ride, instead of buck-off after buck-off. Cody Lambert did say the good bulls back then would be average bulls today, so maybe the riders today just haven’t caught up with the bulls of today. I also liked that they didn’t spend any time with the riders in chutes, only went to them just before they nodded. And the riders’ answers to the interviewer’s questions sounded more candid and unscripted, which was refreshing.


  2. Trying to be a fan says:

    I was in Des Moines for the Sunday event. No injuries (great)!. It was a very slow, boring event. Flint was flat (I know because I watch on the LEC). I had a lady friend with me for her first time. She enjoyed it. i did not go last year. This year, on Sunday, the concourse was very barren. No riders signing. This was the first time for a Sat/Sunday event in Des Moines. In the past it was always a Fri/Sat event. Maybe Sunday is more laid back. I just could not get excited about the event like I have been in the past. Maybe the glow is off the rose. We never see the PBR in real time, always delayed. If you listen/watch on the LEC you already know the outcome. Why watch on TV?

    Call me borderline bored.


  3. saraht says:

    Shaw, I loved your story! Thanks for sharing.


  4. pazle says:

    Foul language doesn’t make your point any better, just a turn off. If you can’t say it on TV don’t say it.


    • Well, for me, sometimes a curse word is the only thing that expresses enough anger, especially when it’s about people being treated like crap. When I’m on TV, then I won’t say it (although that’s what the censor button is for).


  5. Shaw Sullivan says:

    Brent Thurman

    Englewood, Colorado in the early spring of 1994 I was sitting at my desk at Bull Riders Only when I got what had become my weekly “spirited” Brent Thurman call.

    Brent was a bundle of energy to begin with and never at a loss for run-on sentences with colorful, conjunct curse-words. It was an adult version of a Yosemite Sam rant without ever using the words consarn it, or rassa-frassin.

    I would usually put it on speakerphone the minute the secretary said Brent Thurman on line 4, and the other guys would bolt for my office to hear the off the cuff deluge. Nothing makes me laugh more than someone who can make fun of me and few did it more colorfully then Brent.

    On this occasion as he finally stopped to take a breath, I asked Brent what it is that I could do for him. You know, he says you work to fing hard and you damn sure work your people too hard so I want you to take them golfing this fing minute. Pack all your shit up, close the office and take those people golfing.and drinking, lots of drinkingbut be responsible and get a limo or a van or somethingand promise me you will do it right now.

    I informed Brent we were too busy, but that I appreciated the spirit in which it was intended. He said to kiss the spirit which it was intendeds ass. If I loaded up right now and drove to Colorado would you take everyone out? Yes, I would. So youre saying if I were there right now with a pick-up truck full of beer would you load the office up and take everyone golfing, right now. Sure I said, knowing that Austin, TX is a long commute.

    You swear to the bull dink, gods? Assuming I know who that is, yes. Well if you are lying, then you and every bull rider you know or care about will draw dink bulls, they can never win anything on.

    Ok, I swear.

    Then I heard his truck-horn honk.

    Brent had driven over 900 miles by himself to play hooky with us, and I did not want my friends to draw dinks so that is what we did.

    He made everyone around him appreciate life a little more because he was in it. And, life has always been better for me, because Brent was in it.



    • Great story. Have you started your autobiography yet, said the professional writer and editor?

      “Rassa-frassin'”– there’s gotta be a joke in there somewhere about Rasmussen, but I can’t quite put my finger on it at this hour of the morning.

      And I thought I was the only one who invented conjunct curse words! (which I mostly use while driving)


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