LAST COWBOY STANDING
The first two rounds lost their impact for me because they were broadcast after the fact. (Out of principle I don’t watch the PBR Live Event Center. Why should I pay for what used to be included in the membership fee?) The second half of the event was an adrenaline rush, mostly mostly because of the great bulls.
JB Mauney’s “big ride, big expectations, and big dreams are perfect for this bla bla bla…” If The Bummer kept going, he mighta said one more thing was big, too.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Ryan McConnel’s done a fade, but lil’ bro Joseph is on the scene, having won a Touring Pro event in Denver. Not too shabby, beating Mike Lee, Kody Lostroh, and Guilherme Marchi—although why those guys need to be in a Touring Pro event is beyond me. I still think Built Ford Tough riders should ride in the other division only if they’ve dropped below the cutoff line in the standings. It’s not fair to the new guys coming up, having fewer slots open to them because BFTS riders are moonlighting to collect money.
Another rarely seen face: Josh Faircloth, in as an alternate after winning two Touring Pro events. He scored 82.25 on The Game Changer; kinda surprising. The bull’s score was only 39.75; not a good out for the boy.
- Valdiron de Oliveira’s not exactly having the time of his life this season, but today, he had the rope in his hand—just barely—and scored 87 on Hou’s Back.
- Stormy Wing rocked an 87 on Kiss Love Gun, in great form.
- Loved seeing Brant Atwood score 86.50 on RMEF Gunpowder & Lead. Actually, I love seeing anybody score on Gunpowder & Lead. I like that bull.
“You keep trying ‘til your head hits the ground” is how Ty Murray described Justin McBride winning a World Championship flying upside down on Camo.
NOT SO MUCH
“That’s when the chutes were made out of wood, and the men were made out of steel.”—Ty talking about the days when McBride was World Champ. And did you walk three miles to school in the snow? That smacks of BOF talk, dude.
Ben Jones will be out for 3 months until the docs determine that his spleen is definitely healed.
- Iron Horse is one booty-shaking bull, sweeping the arena with his long tail. But he doesn’t bear any resemblance to Lou Gehrig that I can see.
- Lacucaracha cornered even more sharply than Shepherd Hills Trapper—hard to imagine, right? Unfortunately he pulled that move in the gate. Re-ride flag; the judges said the bull’s momentum stopped.
- Not that he’s around, but Reindeer Dippin was “psychotically mean,” Ty said, and proved it with a photo of JDub on the ground getting hooked.
- Flesh & Blood “burns a hole in the ground,” says Ty. Yeah, and helped Eduardo Aparecido to a winning 88.75 in Round 1.
- Ty also described debut bull Home Wrecker as “fat, flat, and fast.” Hmm…I know a two-legged who fits that description; I once was roped into a Girls Night Out with her posse. Real embarrassing.
- Yellow Jacket Jr. getting old, fat, and slow? Nahh. Maybe just bored with the game; been there, done that.
- It’s nice to be reminded that as a rookie, Luke Snyder won the World Finals (and he still has that puppy attitude), but featuring him every ten minutes was shoving him down our throats. Another PBR storyline attempt: can Luke Snyder win it again?? Good thing we like Luke, but it was overkill.
- “You ain’t gotta be 90 every time here; you just gotta stay on.”—JB Mauney, after spending about 16 seconds on sissy bull Jr. Jacket, who had some spin but not enough jump or kick. PS—But when Silvano Alves puts that strategy into action, boy, does he get badmouthed.
BUT HE CAN’T RIDE BULLS, RIGHT?
Under Alves, Dirty Deals rocketed almost completely out of the chute, getting pretty vertical. Shorty Gorham had the scary view: he said the bull almost came past the point of no return and could’ve flipped over on Silvano. Alves jumped off the bull and onto the dirt—don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. And yet he didn’t ask for a re-ride bull; he just went ahead and knocked out an 86.
CAPTAIN HOOK, AT IT AGAIN
“Cody Nance…has been doing things that other riders just can’t do,” declared Hummer, just begging for me to add, “Yeah— ask him to do them without his spurs in his rope.” At first, Nance was granted a re-ride option, but then one of the judges put on his glasses (or his conscience) and DQ’d Cody for a knot-hold on Yellow Jacket Jr.
- “Which one is Gene Simmons?”—Ty Murray, encountering the face-painted bulls. Well, the band did change personnel a few times; it’s hard to tell these days. (The one with the really long tongue, Ty.)
- “As a bull, you do not want to turn into JB Mauney’s hand.”—Just think about that for a moment. Think about the bull session in the bovine locker room before the big event: “Aww, man, dude—you drew Mauney? I don’t care what delivery you’re out of—you do not want to turn into his hand. He’ll make you look like a fool. You’ll be the laughing stock of the— well, of the stock!”
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MAKE CIVILIANS WATCH BULL RIDING
I explained to my friend Liz, as João Ricardo Vieira was wrapping on Jack Wagon, “This guy came out of nowhere, and is winning everything.” Liz: “He’s got the name for it!” I had to tell her Jack Wagon was the bull.
Now that I think about it, there are a lot of bulls she could’ve mistaken for riders: Big Tex. Charlie Bullware. Mick E. Mouse. Stanley Fatmax. Pecos Bill…
YOU DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO
- “I can bite my finger for 8 seconds,” was Douglas Duncan’s approach to Sweetness, another bull with a good corner. That would be his free hand, I hope. He also said really rank bulls don’t hurt his back. Huh??
- Skeeter Kingsolver rode in 30 or 40 Touring Pro events this year to amass points, went with Austin Meier to Gary Leffew’s bull riding school, and had shoulder surgery.
Mike Lee’s pretty new silver and blue helmet.
Ty Murray’s take on the pen: “All the bulls in the second round are man-eaters.”
All the introductory blather was about the American riders, and more harping on last year’s event. Leah Garcia interviewed JB. WTF?? Why are the Brazilian riders invisible, when they’re leading? How about mentioning last night’s winner, from the country that dare not speak its name because people get all bent out of shape about its riders kicking ass up here? The voiceover: “Still to come: fan favorite, JB Mauney.”
The Athlete’s Profile was about Luke Snyder, showing his new house, his wife Jen with him. “This is what we all dream about, is being able to put a career together and having something to show for it.” He credits winning the event last year with setting him up for another leg of his career.
Later, Leah interviewed JB again: “When I’m not sitting in 1st, I’m never happy.” He said he’s gonna get it all fixed over the break: “Keep getting on more bulls.” The confidence looked faked.
Finally Ty Murray mentioned Silvano Alves, saying he’s got to be the favorite going in today. Later in the round, The Bummer proclaims, “The weekend is over for The Brazilian.” Gee, wouldn’t you love to know who “The Brazilian” is? Craig seems to think they all have the same name.
THE BIG MONEY
$100,000 for the event winner; $80,000 for whoever rides Bushwacker or Asteroid. Well, we knew that money was going back into the pot. McBride was right: if one of the two monsters, gets ridden, it’s Asteroid. Bushwacker’s on a 41-buckoff streak.
THAT’S TELLIN’ HIM
“The Canadian gets the job done,” “The best rider to come out of Canada,” bla bla bla. Finally Aaron Roy said he wants to be known as one of the best riders anywhere, not the best Canadian rider. Go on with yo bad self, eh!
Well, it’s official. As ordained by The Bummer, “JR” is now João Ricardo Vieira’s name.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
- Interesting: check the pattern: Round 1 scoring, fair: neither Brazilians nor other riders were favored. Eduardo Aparecido wins Round 1. Round 2: underscore the Brazilians.
- LJ Jenkins should give Cody Nance lessons in how to use your feet.
- Wolverine Construction’s Ringo (I wish they’d stop complicating the bulls’ names—hey Craig, shouldn’t you be calling him WC Ringo?) has some powerful kicks. For starters, he threw Valdiron de Oliveira against the front of chute. 81.75 was a lousy score for handling that red-hot-pepper ride; Ty said the bull was 40 feet into the arena with just a couple of jumps.
- Hint to all voiceover casting people who think a deep, fake gruff voice = masculine = Built Ford Tough: I’ve got two words for you— Denis Leary. And he’s a tenor. Nobody sounds tougher than this guy talking about torque. And he’s from Boston. Think about dat!
“The Brazilian” (in this case, Fabiano Vieira) rode 60 in a row in Brazil.
- Justin McBride commenting on Guilherme Marchi’s re-ride bull, Kiss Psycho Circus: “I tried calling Gene Simmons today to find out about him, but he didn’t get back to me in time.”
- LOL: Cowboys Gone Wild at the Mandalay Bay resort: wearing bathing trunks, boots and hats; in the pool wearing hats; Brendon Clark in a tub full of suds, still in his hat, singing “Viva Las Vegas” (extremely badly) while the other guys get massages. The disbelief on Valdiron’s face when he peeked up: priceless. Best line, as the guys point out one denizen of a display tank, “Is that a Brazilian crocodile?”
YIKES!! Or however you say that in Portuguese
Kiss Psycho Circus truly was crazy. He flew straight out of the gate, did some moves that downed Marchi—all except one spur stuck in the rope— and Guilherme was yanked around, up and down, the bull’s hooves landed hard on his back, and every time the bull yanked, Marchi was dragged and dropped; must’ve been about three times. Out of the hangup, he sat there unable to get up, reaching out one arm, looking dazed, as the bull continued going berserk. We heard Shorty yelling for Julio Moreno to get his rope on the bull; the bullfighters did a fine job of keeping Psycho away from Marchi. I don’t think anyone believed Guilherme could get up and walk. Can’t imagine that nothing’s broken.
The bulls shut out the cowboys.
- About that Clash of the Cowboys hot sauce stunt: I wonder how many of them barfed? “I don’t know if I can be honest and tell you, Yes it was really fun.”—Shorty
- Nice to see Chris Shivers, but not in an ad for Echo chain saw! Couldn’t the PBR get him a better deal than that? The money can’t be good enough.
- I liked the Bullfighting 101 clip of the team in action, when I’m not focusing on a ride, but seeing it after watching the two monster bulls buck made it very anticlimactic. It’s all about sequencing, boys: if this broadcast were an album, you wouldn’t put the filler track right after the blockbuster hit.
Valdiron drew Bushwacker, with a big smile. Unfortunately we had to see a feathered bimbo in ridiculous soft-porn gear standing next to him wearing a frozen grin. Whose dumb idea is that? I mean, seriously, I’d like to know how the conversation went with management: Mandalay Bay: “Look, we’re lettin’ you hold your event here, givin’ you a cut rate on the rooms, and you didn’t sell out. We gotta sex up this thing. That’s what the house broads are for. It’s a package deal: we take your cowboys, you take the bimbos.” PBR: “Okay. We’re ascareda you. The 50% of our fans who are female will just have to STFU. Except for that BullRidingMarketing chick. She’ll never STFU.”
- Rango launched LJ Jenkins (which Craig said right after me; dear god, that’s scary)! LJ must’ve been more than 12 feet in the air. Ty said 15; try going up on the roof of your house and jumping off. McBride warned people not to try that at home. Wow, are there really that many jackasses in the crowd?
- Mick E Mouse is now 0 for 12.
- Asteroid scored 46.75. That kick after he bucked off João Ricardo Vieira was fabulous.
- Bushwacker scored 47.25. That’s my boy! Valdiron was still smiling as he left the dirt; you really can’t be pissed off about not riding Bushwacker.
Talk about anti-climactic! Why on earth did they have the two Big Men On Campus buck in Round 3 instead of the final round??
Alves was the only one to score.
Why is Cody Nance wearing a spoiler on his back?
SCORE ONE FOR HUMMER
Nathan Schaper, who won the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Winston-Salem, faced Lucky You, a bull descended from Lucky Strike. He trounced Nathan. Justin remarked that the bull is the opposite of his name. Hummer went him one better: “This bull’s name should be Lucky Me.”
Shepherd Hills Trapper (yes, Ty, we know he’s the Barry Bonds of the bull riding world) dumped LJ Jenkins (in their 3rd match), then slid on his side and had an awkward getup. What’s up with that? Is his signature move out of the gate stressing his front legs too much?
THE LAST COWBOY STANDING
How do you make Smackdown look easy?? Defending Champion Silvano Alves scored 92.50 on him. This was his 10th career win, and I’ve never seen him so happy and noisy! He was a jumping bean until some of the riders lifted him up on their shoulders. “I won it twice!” he yelled into the camera. Yep, his English is getting better. Okay, I’m gonna sound like a “girl” now: it was so cute to see the big hugs his compatriots gave him— Marchi, Nunes, and de Oliveira. Real men hug!
So right now, half of the top 10 bull riders in the world are from Brazil, and rookie Vieira in sitting in 4th place. Everybody else, pull up your socks this summer!