First event of the PBR season, from “none other than Madison Square Garden,” as The Bummer put it. (Good grief!)
I missed the 1st hour of the broadcast because I totally forgot about the PBR. Seriously. I tuned in at 11pm, and saw the Athlete Profile about—what a surprise!—JB Mauney. Apparently there’s only 1 bull rider in the world and we’re never going to hear the end of it. Remember this crap? “Mauney’s historic comeback is complete!” “He has waited a lifetime!” “Mauney Makes it Matter Most!” “Alves has an answer!” “Our heavyweights trade blows yet again!” “He could have bucked off at three; JB Mauney said No! Fate said No!” “There’s your exclamation point!” “The ride heard round the world!” “It was like a Shakespearean play!” GAAACKK!
We’re probably going to hear replays of Hummer’s hysterical hyperventilating on every broadcast from now until JB retires.
In the first 3 minutes I watched, I was ready to quit. The arena music was SO LOUD, I could hardly hear Shorty Gorham. If only it could drown out Craig Hummer!
Unlike a mainstream sport, which almost never changes its rules—people have been griping about the designated hitter since 1973—the PBR has declared a new rule this year: every championship round will have 15 riders. I guess the bulls are getting too big for their britches, and the PBR’s worried that the cowboys might get skunked. I saw that happen at a Touring Pro event in Worcester ages ago: not one ride in the final round, so instead of splitting up the prize money among the bulls, the judges awarded it according to who rode for the longest time.
ROBSON’S BACK IN TOWN
Thank god the powers-that-be noted that Robson Palermo is back, showed footage of him winning NYC last year, and reminded people that he’s the only 3-time Finals event winner. He looked nervous before his first out, pumping himself up, slapping his face before he got into the chute.
One of the most motivating—or discouraging—workout videos I’ve ever seen was the cell phone glimpse of his 8-hour daily training regime: 2,000 sit-ups a day, and the most brutal ones I’ve ever seen: clamping his legs around a heavy punching bag suspended in mid-air, his shoulders nearly touching the ground, pulling himself all the way up—then lowering himself back down again. Over and over. Talk about core strength! On Sunday Brandon/Clint admitted that just looking at that video made him “nauseous.” Wrong word, but I know what he means: urpy.
Palermo’s riding was in fine form, too. 85.75 on Monsoon, 86.50 on Pretty Boy Floyd. It was nice to see him fooling around with Flint, making that “call me” gesture. A bit of joshing goes a long way toward good international relations.
OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES…
Leah Garcia interviewed Silvano Alves and asked him about his mindset after winning “back to back to back” world titles.
Shorty Gorham got it half-right: “I don’t know how much better JB really was, but Silvano gave it to him by not taking re-rides.”
…AND COWBOY KINGS
“It’s nice to see the PBR bleeding into the mainstream.” —Ty Murray talking about Jory Markiss being chosen for the cover of that romance novel.
“His physique is still just topnotch.” —Ty, telling us gals something we don’t know about Guilherme Marchi. Silly bull Blackberry went into his hand and gave him an 86.50.
“There’s a reason these guys are the best in the world.” —Ty, after João Ricardo Vieira scored 86 on Juke Box Hero.
Why did Silvano pull the ripcord a couple of seconds into his ride on Steamer?? Maybe because the bull’s exit from the chute was odd, but there wasn‘t an orange flag in sight; the judges obviously could’ve cared less. After the ride, he was smiling sheepishly as he walked off the dirt. He told Ty he panicked. The World Champ panicked?? The man with the world’s best poker face? WTF is going on with him? Maybe being treated shabbily most of last season finally got to him.
TIME TO GENUFLECT
Past Time, who’s 1 for 8, was bouncing around in the chute while a whole pit crew worked on getting JB Mauney set up—and not a peep from the chute judge. “Mauney’s magnificence continues,” oozes Craig. “When you’re hot, you’re hot.” (Yeah, Hummer, we know you think JB’s hot.) And then when he scored 89.50, “Mauney makes another exclamation point.” OY!