A look back at Finals, Saturday night

Craig Hummer vomited hateful boxing imagery about Silvano Alves and JB Mauney: “trading blows,” “heavyweights throwing punches,” “winning by KO or by decision.” I have yet to hear any rider with that attitude. They know it’s a competition, not a death match. Both men enter, both men leave. (And there are more than two riders in this event.) Oh wait a minute, I get it: “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting”—The Bummer was having an Elton John flashback.

Shock: they aired a video of Silvano Alves talking about his ranch, saying he wants to educate his kids here because it’s safer than Brazil. He wants his son to be a bull rider and will help him if he wants to, but if he doesn’t, that’s okay. It was a big Awww! watching him telling his little son, who was riding a rockinghorse: “Good job, cowboy!”
Then they “balanced” that with another JB interview with Leah.

Said Hummer, “The top riders still to come, including JB Mauney. He sits first in the event, but second in the world.” Forget about Silvano Alves, who sits FIRST in the world.

“…back to the locker room where JB Mauney is waiting patiently…” And a few riders later, once again, Hummer talks about JB. Back from commercial, more talk about JB. Now Hummer and Ty Murray are projecting about bonus points. Ty: “Silvano’s betting on JB to fail. JB’s betting on JB.” That’s low, Ty. I’d expect that of Hummer, but not you.

Ty talked about Cowtown Slinger’s “Wow factor,” Hummer picked up on that “Wow factor” to talk about JB again. Back from another commercial: a clip of JB on Bushwacker, and more talk about JB.
After Luke Snyder gets bucked off, The Bummer mentions JB.
After The Rocker bucks off Kody Lostroh, Ty talks about JB.
After Slash flipped Renato Nunes off his back, The Bummer talks about JB, as the camera shows him in the locker room checking his phone. Why don’t they just follow him into the bathroom, already?

The Athlete’s Profile of course was about JB, who had the class to say, “Silvano—he’s not gonna mess up very much.”

And just when you think Craig can’t get any more assholic: “Still to come, the top riders in the top spots, including JB Mauney.”
Hummer mentions the next 10 riders, then talks about JB again: “All eyes on the last two riders…” He mentions LJ Jenkins’s groin injury, then talks about JB.

Finally Craig remembers that there’s a rider named Silvano in the race: “He’s switched out of his stoic state, and isn’t afraid to let his emotions show. He’s trying to become a legend.” Gag me!! Has ANY rider EVER said he wants to become a legend?? Where does the idiot get this stuff?

Back from commercial: “JB Mauney behind the chutes, getting ready…bla bla bla.”
Bad to the Bone made himself so dizzy spinning wildly without dislodging Eduardo Aparecido, he fell down. 87.75 for Aparecido, but Craig talked about JB again.
Back from commercial: a JB clip. (There’s a never-ending supply.) I liked the shot of the riders behind the chutes yelling while JB rides. Douglas Duncan told him he gets way more nervous when JB rides then when he does. Jim Sharp called Ty to say the same.

JW Hart says of Alves, “This guy’s got the best poker face I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Guilherme Marchi is on Bull Arrow, “We Will Rock You” is playing in the arena, but we hear the arena announcers talking about JB.

Things reached an excruciating peak when JB picked Breakdown, sending Craig into paroxysms of adoration: “He chose Breakdown, and now is not the time for a breakdown of any capacity!” “The music is playing!” “The Thomas and Mack Arena stood up!” “JB Mauney said No! Fate said No! …Alves has to answer!” Yipes. The score of course was 90.75. “Mauney continues to convert!” (I wonder if JB will ever again get a score below 90. Well; maybe if he falls off.) At least it was fun seeing the cowboys at the chute going berserk and slapping palms with him.

Silvano needed 90.75, and I’ll bet those judges wouldn’t give it to him no matter what. Hummer babbled about “the cheers for Mauney, the almost silence for Silvano.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I heard noise and Ty confirmed it. The chute bullies were yelling at Alves while the bull sat down; they even yelled at a guy who was putting his leg over the rail to help move the bull. You know if JB was in there with a squatting bull, they’d give him ten minutes and a whole crew to shift the bovine into position.

Alves was in terrible shape through most of the ride, but fought unbelievably hard to stay on—several times he should’ve been bucked off. True Blood came up and hit him in the chest, so Alves was called for a touch. He challenged the call, but the replay judge apparently didn’t know the difference between when a rider slaps a bull and when a bull launches himself up into the rider’s body. Correction: a Brazilian body. Result: Alves is 500 points behind JB.

Craig’s unbiased analysis of JB’s situation: “Tomorrow he’ll see his dreams come true.”

JW, apparently the only voice of reason, compared Silvano’s ride to what happened to Douglas Duncan on Bushwacker; he actually felt for Alves putting out all that effort and being DQ’d. (We need to hear from JDub more often.) If that had been JB on the back of True Blood, confetti would’ve been flying.

Hummer’s parting gaffe: “Last night I said, check your pulse; tomorrow we may all need pacemakers.” Clearly the fool has no idea what pacemakers do. Is he saying that tonight was so dull, everyone’s gonna need revving up?

Jory Markiss said JB’s going to win and is the best in the world. Now I like you a little less, Jory. During the Finals, it would be polite to keep that opinion off the air.
Then he does something that makes you like him again: wrestled with Spotted Demon, made it to 7+, then pointed at the bull, as in “I’m gonna get you next time.” On his way off the dirt, he took a marker pen and wrote his name on the camera lens.

Hummer: “The Thomas & Mack Center filling up still.” Translation: lots of empty seats still unsold.

As he watched Flirting with Disaster bump Douglas Duncan around in the chute, Ty added to last night’s words of wisdom: “Another way you have to trick your brain is, you have to forget about things like what happened with Bushwacker, and go forward.”

Luke Snyder said he’d try not to do what Brendon Clark did and cry during his retirement ceremony. Ty’s remark: “The bulls don’t get too emotional about anybody retiring.”

A slight exaggeration: Marchi has trouble “If a bull even turns on his left blinker.”


  • We missed Brendon Clark on the Shark Cage last night being given a plaque, getting a tribute, and tearing up. Did we get stuck with a commercial instead?? Why wouldn’t they televise THAT moment??
  • Brant Atwood mentioned all the PR work the riders “have to block out.” HINT HINT, JC. Their work IS the PBR; let them do their jobs without extra stress.
  • Hummer is the single most negative influence on every broadcast, obsessively emphasizing a rider’s nationality in a way that’s guaranteed to raise hackles and create hostility among American fans. That is, the ones who have a problem with the fact that some riders from other countries are just as good as, and a lot of the time better than, riders from this country. He is virtually incapable of saying a rider’s name without emphasizing that he’s from Brazil: “We transition to the Brazilian Agnaldo Cardozo…He’ll help cheer on his fellow Brazilians as well as the other qualified riders.” “And as we often see with all the Brazilians, there is a show of force and support at the chutes.”
  • At least we could see Cody Nance’s feet bouncing all over one-horned Class 6 Kat, so his spurs weren’t in the knots. That’s why his score was a more reasonable 82.25.

• Valdiron de Oliveira’s ride on Super Cool Cat. The bull spun his ass off, but couldn’t get Valdiron down into the well. He reversed the spin too late—Valdiron was ready to dismount. The judges replayed the ride twice looking for a slap they hallucinated. Everyone knew Valdiron had made 8. He was PFF on his way off the dirt: looking puzzled, shaking his head in amazement, pointing to his head, clearly indicating, “What were they thinking??” Or, in less polite terms, WTF?? Fortunately the judges didn’t think they could get away with completely fabricating a slap; they gave de Oliveira 86 points—after taking an ice age to announce it.
• Ben Jones performed his longest dance ever—actually, he danced, then did an encore—for his 88.50 ride on Earl. He was ecstatic; the crowd cheered even louder than when they saw JB.

As Roy swung himself around, the slow motion camera showed you his front feet making a 180° in the air.
Pecos Bill: strong bull, plenty of air, and big drop.
Cowtown Slinger really wound up; as Ty put it, “There’s a real Wow factor to it” when you see such a big bull spin so fast

Robson is a true diplomat! A pointed question asking him about Alves and Mauney put him on the spot: what’s he going to say? Pretty shabby treatment. Robson rose above this petty crap, praised both riders, said he’s a Brazilian, but he’s also been in the same position as JB, being so close but not winning. He said this year JB’s healthy and focused, and he hopes he rides everything; he also said Silvano could win three times—a very balanced statement. He seems to have learned English faster than any other rider. He sure handled that potentially ugly situation with panache. Or (says my suspicious journalist mind) the whole thing was rehearsed, to soothe ruffled American feathers.

“When I quit riding bulls, even if there’s no world title, I just want everyone to know there was no backup in me…. My mouth’s never been so dry in my entire life. But every time I get in the bucking chute I look up at my wife, and….” The gist was, Lexie makes everything all right. I dunno; I kinda think when he’s in the bucking chute he’s looking down at the hunk of beef under him. One thing JB does not lack is focus.


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11 Responses to A look back at Finals, Saturday night

  1. S. says:

    Ugh, and the PBR is still going on about J.B.! They keep posting/tweeting “throwback Thursdays” saying things like, “Remember when J.B. Mauney won the world title?!” Um, A) it just happened, so we probably remember, and B) the PBR never shuts up about it so it’s not like we could forget even if we wanted to do so!


    • If they keep yammering about JB, they might cause a rebound effect, just the way their incessant use of the word “Brazilian” has irked some people to the point of wishing the South American riders would go home. (Those people are f***ed up, to say the least.) Maybe people will get so sick of hearing about the PBR fanboys’ heartthrob JB that they’ll revolt and find a new “fan favorite.” I nominate Jody Markiss. I don’t think he’s the “sexiest cowboy,” but he sure is the most fun, second only to Ben Jones. I just can’t wait for the PBR to get over their huge man crush. It’s embarrassing.


      • S. says:

        See, the “Brazilian” crap just makes me want to hit the mute button, but the glorification of J.B. is really starting to get to me. I am one of the few people who apparently manages to neither love or hate J.B., but the non-stop gush-fest is just over-the-top. I realize it’s not his fault, but the PBR really needs to get a grip.

        Looks like the PBR is tentatively setting up Markus Mariluch as a successor. You never know when someone might get hurt, so you have to have some reserve Great White Hopes.


  2. Sarah T says:

    Hi Kris. Great reviews of the PBR Finals. I got so tired of all the hype that I stopped watching until the end of the last day of the event. The finish was exciting, but the lead up to it was incredibly annoying…enough to turn the TV set off. I just heard that the NFR is moving their televised events from GAC to CBS Sports next year. Let’s hope and pray they keep the televised events grounded. My fear is that the NFR will start trying to hype everything up like the PBR does to try and grow their fan base. I think it’s a really bad move.


    • Hi! Nice to hear from you. I thought you might’ve been turned off bull riding forever, as the PBR broadcasts get more obnoxious every season. I was actually relieved to be watching less of it. (Maybe the fact that the LEC isn’t free anymore is a blessing.)

      I’ve been watching PRCA and CBR events; and so far it doesn’t look like the PRCA has lost its marbles. (The CBR doesn’t air many events I can see.) I like the WNFR announcers SO much better. At least when Donnie Gay gets excited about a ride, it’s genuine excitement, because he was a bull rider. (He’s the Phil Rizzuto of the rodeo world.) They don’t crank up the hysteria and hyperbole. The only thing I don’t like is that since their events are a full rodeo, bull riding is crammed into a half hour; it’s paced too fast to be able to catch the riders’ and bulls’ names and scores on a consistent basis; the guys say them once (if we’re lucky), and the info stays on screen for only a split-second. If I could go to their website and look it up, I wouldn’t mind, but they don’t have results posted the way the PBR does. That’s an easy fix–get a tekkie to post them directly from the events.

      Only a few events will be moved to CBSSports. The “we want to be part of the mainstream” bug has bitten; I just hope their broadcasts don’t get all hokey and lose the real flavor. (If they find another Craig Hummer, I will kill somebody.) I especially hope they don’t ditch the Duluth extra-long tee shirt ad– it is just too funny. So far, I haven’t seen any hookers selling lawn mowers, or women wearing half a shirt and hot pants, and the riders aren’t plastered with logos from head to foot, though they do have sponsors.

      One thing the PRCA may not have thought about is the animal cruelty issue; bulls are one thing, because they can crush a cowboy, and a bronc can kick somebody’s ass, too, but when people outside the farm belt see steer wrestling and calf roping, they’re going to have a problem with it. I know I can’t watch. Those events are just not fair; I’m sure those animals are frightened when someone ropes their legs or twists their heads around and throws them to the ground.

      If the PRCA starts copying the PBR too closely, you can bet I’ll be squawking.


      • Trying to be a fan says:

        Don’t forget the pre-show with Justin McKee. I hope when they make the move to CBS Sports they keep that aspect of the show. I have enjoyed the last 10 days of NFR. I thought that I read or heard somewhere that JW Harris was going to go to the PBR. Have your heard that?


      • I do miss Justin McKee– I hope the PRCA uses him during the show as an announcer. He and Donnie Gay would be hilarious together.

        I heard the same rumor about JW, and haven’t tried to confirm it. I wonder if he’d have to start in the Touring Pro events, or if they’d give some consideration to a 3-time NFR winner?

        I’m still wondering how CBS Sports is going to schedule both organizations. If the PBR can be bumped for volleyball games and bicycle races, god knows what’ll happen to the PRCA events. As it is, the NFR time slot leaves a lot to be desired.It’s bad enough that the repeats air at the crack of dawn. I just wasn’t enough of a night owl the last 2 nights to make it through to the bull riding. Tonight I MUST!!


  3. BullT says:

    Did I mention that the person running the sound system needs to be deported or incarcerated, whatever it takes to get them away from the controls? You can’t be a rock start if you don’t have good sound people on board!!!!


    • I met him at one of the New York events–I think his name is Jeremy– and told him the music was deafening. I said I worked in the rock & roll business and I never had to wear earplugs at any concert (although Golden Earring were so loud, I fled), but I had to put cotton in my ears for the PBR. I wish I could remember his exact words; basically he thinks people like it and it creates excitement. You’re dealing with an idiot. He probably lost half his hearing when he worked sound at rock concerts, so he doesn’t know the difference. Get this: sustained exposure to 90-95 decibels can cause hearing loss. (That’s why subway train drivers wear those big headphones–they’re exposed to 95dB.) A loud rock concert is about 115 dBs. Figure that a 3-hour PBR event has blasting music about half the time. The OSHA guideline for daily permissible noise level exposure for 1.5 hours is 105 dB. So that idiot is making the PBR crew go deaf– think how many hours of exposure they have during a season. (Never mind the children in the audience going deaf.)


  4. BullT says:

    Used to be sold out way ahead of time and no high-ticket seats available except from last minute eBay deals. And a few years ago, those disappeared (I guess the scalpers – an insitution in Las Vegas – got much better of late). The over-hype, the bad bad bad sound control, and the general dumbing down of the events had me sitting it out at home this year. And my wife didn’t even watch anything but the first and alst nights of the Finals. Between air fares, hotel, food and beverage, and mtickets at something like $350 a seat each night, I figure that the PBR mis-management saved me an easy $10,000 over the past 2 years, Thank you, guys!!


  5. closeobserver says:

    I wish PBR, especially the judges view all website and read what we all see that’s going on. All year long it was “JB this, JB that”. JB didn’t win the World Title, it was given to him by the judges!


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