The Fine Print

That new point system initiated by PBR last year confused a lot of people, and I’m still wondering about that second sentence:

“There will be only one set of standings, starting this year (2014), and the draw for each Built Ford Tough Series event will be the top 35 riders on Tuesday, based on cumulative points from BFTS, TPD, and international events.”

This change confirms my half-facetious comment a while ago that more Australian riders are showing up at BFTS events, as part of the PBR effort to combat the Killer Bs.

Here’s the thing about the new system: Most of the Western Hemisphere riders aren’t going to schlep to Australia to rack up points, though they’ll go as far as Canada. But that factor is balanced by the fact that now, BFTS riders have even more incentive to work TPD and Canadian events–wearing themselves out before the second half of the season. The Americans aren’t going to shlep to Brazil to compete, though I think Douglas Duncan did at one point. (Not sure.) So the U.S. is still the battleground– but the Brazilian riders are smart; they go home to rack up points, and so far as I can see, they don’t come back from the summer all banged up. (Robson Palermo’s boo-boos were all acquired here.)

Maybe this new system will level the field a bit for the TPD guys so they can open the BFTS door a crack. Lately, we’ve seen new names at BFTS events more frequently. Usually the explanation is that the rider won some event last weekend that entitled him to be at the BFTS event, but that doesn’t quite make sense to me, unless his cumulative points somehow vaulted him up to a position just below the top 35 guys. Or maybe it’s a quota system, but nobody’s calling it that.

Speaking of quota systems: do you mean to tell me that in all of the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Brazil, in both the BFTS and the TPD, the only black cowboy is Jay Miller? We haven’t seen Craig Jackson on the BFTS since 2007, so as far as I know, that’s the current total. In any business or institution, the usual explanation for this scenario is that “The competition’s open to anyone at the entry level,” “Black people just don’t apply for the jobs,” “We tried recruiting, but they weren’t interested,” “We don’t intentionally exclude anyone,” “This is just about meeting the requirements, nothing else,” bla bla bla.

Pull the other one. This setup is NEVER accidental. At least the CBR doesn’t seem to have an issue with the color of their cowboys.

And now someone will post a comment to this blog saying, “You always think there’s a conspiracy.” “What about Myrtis Dightman,” “What about Fred Whitfield,” “What about Charlie Sampson,” “What about Abe Morris,” “What about Willie Thomas”?

Uh, if you can name most of the well-known black bull riders, that should tell you that there’s something going on, other than talent. Incidents like this may explain what the atmosphere is like: in a San Antonio event, PRCA rider Willie Thomas rode his third bull for 14 seconds, and then the whistle blew. Somehow that put him in 2nd place, without the average money, instead of 1st, which an 8-second ride would’ve done. I’m sure the scoop on that one was, a clock malfunction. Uh-huh.

If some math whiz out there wants to compare what this season’s standings are like, using the new system, with what they’d have been under the old system, I’d love to see the stats. The numbers might not make me happy, but the truth would be nice to hear.





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12 Responses to The Fine Print

  1. Trying to be a fan says:

    Kris, are you on vacation? No new posts?


  2. S. says:

    From what I can gather, TPD points are still worth a fraction of BFTS points. A guy who wins a TPD gets a one-event invite to the BFTS (this is independent of the top 35), and obviously if he does really well, he might get the chance to vault up to alternate and stick around. The rest is just whoever the top 35 guys in points are that aren’t hurt at the moment.

    I initially thought the point breakdown being so small for TPDs would mean that BFTS guys wouldn’t want to go get banged up for fractions of what they could score at the BFTS, but that doesn’t seem to be how its playing out.

    The part I’m not clear on is if there’s any difference between TPD and Velocity Tour as far as points. Or what points are distributed at international events– seems like many Brazilian events ought to have an equal point distribution to US events, but what about some little event out in the middle of no place in Australia, or Canada? Is there a sliding scale based on the amount of participants or how does this work?


    • Very clear analysis! Thanks.
      I think the craziness of BFTS guys competing at TPD events is just to earn more money. I can understand why someone who’s fallen below the top 35 or 40 in BFTS standings would do it to scrape up more points before the Finals, but when I hear about the big names doing it, all I can think is: not too bright. Doing that was why JB came into the Finals a few years ago in such bad shape he could hardly walk. I think a lot of those guys just can’t tone down the adrenaline craving during the break, so they ride without thinking long-term.

      The Velocity Tour puzzles me, too. I think it’s a marketing device, like an appetizer, to hit markets that the bigger tours don’t, to try to drum up interest, so theoretically those audiences can be turned into TPD audiences, and if the market shows promise, maybe even BFTS audiences, if the marketing guys decide to hold an event there. I kinda don’t see a BFTS event happening in Newark, though. New Yorkers don’t want to travel to a city that is, let’s face it, less than nice. They’ll just save their money for the Madison Square Garden event. Or Connecticut, if there’s not another snowstorm!

      God knows what the deal is in Australia and Canada. I’d think the people who run those events would be insulted if their points were worth less. (Speaking of which, what’s Aaron Roy doing?) I sure hope Brazilian points are the same as USA points, considering how those guys are kicking American (and Canadian, and Australian) asses. If their points are of less value, that makes the guys even more amazing, maintaining the top spots.

      I think you pose excellent questions, and should post them to the PBR website to see if you can get answers. If you get ignored, that would be a big ol’ red flag about some behind-the-scenes finagling going on.


  3. Kim says:

    Why did a-hole Keith Ryan Cartwright quit? What is he doing now?


    • He’s going to journalism school somewhere in Tennessee; I guess it ups his market value for the next job. I can’t call him names anymore, though. I got a funny, diplomatic private message from him, and if I read between the lines, he may have been a hostage who had to follow orders, while secretly, possibly agreeing with some of what I’ve said. (That still doesn’t explain the grammar errors, though!)


      • S. says:

        The new guy used “collectively” instead of “collectedly” in his article about Kasey Hayes. Maybe there’s something weird in the air at the PBR offices.


      • LOL! I think it’s called stupidity. Get this: the photo caption for their article on Jay Miller referred to the “BlueDEF Celocity Tour.” If they can’t hire a decent writer, they at least should hire a good proofreader!


  4. Trying to be a fan says:

    Keith Ryan Cartwright has quit the PBR. Kris, this would be the perfect job for you and your journalism expertise! Head writher for the PBR. Wow, I would love to read your truthful articles! Apply please!!!


    • Well, thanks for the compliment. There’s just one wee problem: that word “truthful.” That’s the last thing they want. I remember a few years ago I had to decide between trying to work for them and being truthful in my blog. You can see what I decided. And then a couple of years ago, their PR guy called me up to yell at me for being critical of PBR. He’s a maniac. I think he’d chew off his right arm rather than have me around.

      Besides, can you imagine me writing 500 pieces about JB Mauney, and trying to pretend the judges are fair? 🙂


    • S. says:

      I was wondering why there were some straightforward interviews from a Brazilian journalist. Wow.


      • Yeah; a Brazilian journalist has nothing to fear– unless s/he’s on the PBR payroll. I’d love to be able to read their newspapers and see if they cover PBR events, and how they talk about the riders. That would mean Portuguese lessons. OY!


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