It seems ridiculous to rehash the last day of the PBR World Finals, but what the hey—they do flashbacks on their website all the time. So here goes:
REMEMBER WHEN SILVANO ALVES WON THE WORLD FINALS, THE FINALS EVENT TITLE, AND RODE ASTEROID?
THE LAST DAY
When I tuned into this confab at the top of the broadcast, I really thought the White Rabbit musta slipped me something:
Cody Lambert and J.W. Hart are now on the Silvano bandwagon.
After we were treated to Lambert’s Picks, he butted in on J.W.’s pontification. Mistake! “I wasn’t botherin’ you when you were talking,” JDub snarks at him. So now the genius Bobbsey Twins have predicted Alves will be the Round Winner.
Justin McBride: “I just hope they give him the points he deserves…” (Coulda knocked me over with a feather—this is McBride talking?? The same McBride who last month was still calling Silvano “Alvs”??)
J.W.: “If they don’t, it’s because he made it look too easy.”
Cody: “That’s because it was easy.”
They must’ve gotten the word from on high to stop slinging shit at Silvano, in case he wins the title and in case the sponsors get pissed off, yet even as they’re falling over one another trying to clean up their mess, somebody puts his foot in his mouth—and what a surprise, it’s the brains of the bunch (ha): Cody Lambert.
And now back to our regular programming: the J.B. Channel
Another interview. Even after the 12th replay of J.B.’s cheekbone colliding with Bruiser’s skull, the sound makes me cringe. As soon as you heard that crack it was a broken jaw. The bruise on his jaw has spread so far he can’t use that half of his face. Leah Garcia asks, Does his broken jaw affect his riding? Sez Mr. Mauney out of one side of his mouth, “No; I don’t need my face to ride.” He gets points for that one.
“J.B. Mauney has already won two rounds this week,” says Craig Hummer, giving us the loud hint that they want to MAKE him win the event title. “There is just no stopping J – B – Mauney!” (I’m surprised he didn’t say, “none other than.”)
Jordan Hupp got bucked off; “Let’s go back to J.B. Mauney,” says Craig. Sure, why not? Let’s go back to J.B. after every ride.
JB’s music has the crowd responding like Pavlov’s dog. He weathered Mr. Bull’s big stumble, racked up an 88, and moves to the lead; if he stays there, he’ll win the event title. You can bet the judges will do their damnedest for that cause. Hummer blathered about the crowd “cheering for one of the greatest we’ve seen.” He’d never say that about another rider.
It’s the 11th hour, and still Hummer is wishful-thinking: “J.B. Mauney perhaps salvaging the season…” “Will he win this year’s event title? He can only look and wonder.” “But most importantly, he has surpassed Silvano Alves and moved into the Bad Boy Mower Lead Dog position.” Most importantly?? Wow, if that isn’t the clearest PBR mission statement ever, I don’t know what is.
DON’T SCREW WITH J.W. HARRIS OR YOU’LL HEAR FROM ME!
Ty’s condescending comment as J.W. Harris takes on Pound the Alarm: “…that grit he has… once he finds his stride, and knows he can ride bulls in this arena, and has the confidence that he does belong here, I’m looking forward to great things from him in his career.” What, like 4 PRCA gold buckles don’t count? Harris turned in a 90.50 ride. EHD! (Eat His Dust!) Adds Craig: “A score based on honesty, and you’ve got to prove it every second.” Hey, this is the PBR—you can’t use “score” and “honesty” in the same sentence. Later JW is facing Honey Hush, and Ty chimes in with, “He is gonna try to play on a rider’s weakness, but JW Harris doesn’t have too many weaknesses.” Damn straight: he scored 93.25 and landed on his feet.
I almost forgave Justin McBride for calling Chase Outlaw “a little bitty guy” when Leah Garcia said that the 22-year-old has been skipping in the hallways every day.
I’m Just Sayin’…
- Has anyone else noticed that Ty Murray can’t stop talking, and most of what he says is negative? I have a feeling that the longer he’s an ex-bull rider, the worse it’s gonna get. If he starts sniping at J.B., then maybe the bosses will rein him in. He even made a condescending comment about Ben Jones: “He’s a fan favorite because they know how passionate he is, how much it means to him, to make the whistle up here with the big boys.” The big boys?? I’d put my money on Ben as the “big boy” if he and the pipsqueak ever met in a dark alley.
- I’m A Gangster Too bucked off Emilio Resende (and scored 45), causing The Bummer to blather that “he can only sit and watch and hope one of his compatriots comes through with the win.” Craig still thinks this is an international rivalry. I’ve got news, Hummer, the only ones with a chip on their shoulders are the Americans.
- Ty never tires of saying that Guilherme Marchi has a mental block against riding bulls that turn away from his hand, and that’s why he’s no longer in the race. So why did Cody Lambert match him with Poker Face, who’s a leftie?
- Ty comments that Alves “doesn’t get too high after a ride.” Alves is the only one who’s 4 for 4, he’s in the chute on Hokey Pokey (and of course on the clock), then rides for 50—god forbid the judges should move him ahead of J.B.—and he whooped and hollered like everyone else, screaming into the camera lens. It made the Brazilians in the audience start singing.
- It makes me mad every time someone says Bushwacker has been ridden only twice. It’s THREE times: J.B. Mauney, Markus Mariluch, and Thiago Paguioto.
Make up your mind, Murray!
- Billy Robinson had a messy out; the bull hipped himself, and “changed the trajectory of the ride.” As we were surprised to learn a couple of years ago (very surprised), that rule applies to certain riders more than others, and they’ll get a re-ride. Ty Murray was the one who told us all about that “rule.” Now he says he disagrees with it! In his not-so-humble opinion, the bull bucked off Robinson.
- “I’m gonna say Asteroid takes him down,” Fairweather Ty pronounces about Silvano.
- If a rider admits to pain or being less than 100% in shape, he’s making excuses. If he says he’s 100% when he’s hurting, he‘s not being honest, he’s kidding himself. Tell us what you did, because that must be right.
“He controls his own destiny,” pronounces Hummer about Alves. And THAT, in a nutshell, is what’s been pissing off the PBR judges (and announcers, and Director of Livestock) for two years.
Incredible! At the 11th hour, Ty Murray is now backing Alves.
Here we go again…the Chief Nitwit in action
“Heavy Dose is able to administer the heavy hand to Ryan Dirteater.”
“Boot Jack took the boot to Gage Gay.”
“Ty Pozzobon brings the truth against White Lie.”
“Thank you for being the yin to my yang,” Hummer says to Ty. ROTFL! Does he even know what that means? He’s calling Ty a girl, and saying that they, um—well, if you know what the yin/yang symbol looks like, you can figure out the rest. Clearly, Hummer thinks it just means they have opposite views on something.
“Joao has the drive of a little brother. He wants and needs to prove to the world he has a chance… and to himself that he’s as good as anyone else.” Uh, dude, it’s not like JRV is related to Fabiano Vieira. And stop pretending you’re psychic.
“The bull that has elevated bull riding in the eyes of the world…It’s a curtain call that will be remembered through the ages.” Hummer, losing his marbles.
“Asteroid has seen his competition and knows what’s on the line, he hopes that he can increase the stakes…” When did The Bummer study ventriloquism? How do you sit a 1700-lb bovine on your lap?
“Silvano is only part of the discussion where he has begun to state his case for that conversation.” I can’t figure out this one for the life of me.
“A new name will be etched into eternity,” blathers CH as we see a blank World Championship buckle on screen. Eternity?? Exactly how long do you think bull riding will be around, Craig? Or for that matter, the planet.
“The bulls are having their way with the cowboys.” Well, Craig, you know what they say: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
- Gage Gay’s instant buckoff was a terrible moment for him—it wasn’t a wreck, but his nerves got the better of him. He ran out as fast as he could, looking severely humiliated, knocked out of the Championship Round.
- Loved the videoclip of Joao talking about himself, saying he wants fans to know he’s a very humble person. “I have goals and I want to achieve my goals. I dream big dreams, I dream like everyone else. I’m very friendly, if anyone needs help, all they have to do is ask, and I open his heart to anyone.” He does have a sweet face and a gentle manner, I have to say. Can you imagine a bullrider from any other country talking like that?
Bulls to Remember
- Braveheart: his first two or three flying leaps were huge, then he pulled a direction change in midair. Yowza!
- Air Time, who has been spectacular, made a mess of this out. Joao Ricardo Vieira needs to ride Air Time, or he loses the World Championship. Justin rightly called it: “This bull is a ticking time bomb in the chute.” Renato was 92 on this bull—the only one to ride him. (Right here we catch a shot of Silvano in the wings doing that tennis player rocking back and forth thing.) What a terrible out for Air TIme! He bucked vertically in the chute before the gate opened, then again backwards as he came out, made a huge jump. and was trying so hard, he stumbled in front and fell on his knees; his ass hit the ground, but he got up and kept jumping. Vieira miraculously didn’t let go. He actually made 8 seconds, but had touched the bull. He had no option but to take a re-ride, on the bull that had slammed Robson Palermo. The bull’s one bad trip blew him out of the running for the world title. We all knew Bushwacker was going to be Bull of the Year, but still, I like to see spectacular bulls.
- At least the chute clock is visible, even if they’re putting an awful lot of riders on it.
- The “Run Mike Run” sign rimmed by lights, courtesy of a fan.
- Fabiano Vieira didn’t tape up his shoulder the last two nights, and has been getting physical therapy, so he can lift his arm higher now: he says his shoulder’s 100% fine, “I’ve just been falling off these bulls.” Crossfire blew him up out of the rope, and Fabiano landed hard right on that shoulder. Concussion. Serious bummer.
- Renato was hustled out of the chute before he was ready, the bull had an instant bobble, bashed him in the face with his skull, and threw him—except that Renato’s hand was stuck; when he came down, the bull went at him with his horns and then danced on him. It took the whole bullfighting gang to get RRR off Nunes; if it weren’t for them, as Ty said, “that bull would still be camped out on Renato.” I always wonder if, as he’s as he’s sailing through the air, probably upside down, or flattened on the dirt with a monster coming down on him, a rider is thinking: “Mama shouldn’t have let me grow up to be a cowboy!”
NEVER SEEN NOTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE (a nod to Robbie Robertson)
JRV was on the clock. The gate opened before he nodded. He held onto it to pull it shut; the bull wouldn’t move. He nodded again, then the bull came out. Joao did an astounding job of pulling himself back up to center over and over, but touched the bull. I think the gate man did it on purpose. I also noticed that the background music becomes “Born in the USA,” as if in response to Brazilian fans in the audience singing. Talk about hostility.
- Percolator by the bull. 94, to drop Alves to 2nd. Man, talk about bullshit! The judges had this one worked out. Leah throws him a creampuff, giving him a chance to lick some PBR boots. “What’s this mean to you, the PBR & the World Finals?” This kind of scoring is how the judges managed to push JB up in the standings to #4 in the world, when out of the top 10, only one other rider had a lower rider percentage than Mauney.
- “Meanwhile, if Mauney stays in first, he will be the one who faces Asteroid,” and Craig goes into comparisons of the top “greatest of all time” athletes. He’s all excited that J.B. “still could knock Silvano out of the top spot!” “We could see some huge numbers,” Ty predicts. Well, DUH; all J.B. has to do is stay on Percolator, and the judges will do their darnedest. “Put an obstacle in front of Mauney, and he’s gonna knock it down, in emphatic fashion.” Ya mean the judges are gonna knock it down, which they did with a 94. This drops Silvano to second place. J.B. of course rode him “dead easy and steps off him like he just steps off the bus.” If that were Alves, they’d say the bull was too easy, score him in the low 70s, and Ty would remind us that if you land on your feet after a ride, you should be ashamed of yourself, and you’ll take shit from your buddies in the locker room (except that this is J.B.).
For this ride, Mauney was given the Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award for the second year in a row, which goes to the rider with the highest-marked ride of the event. The judges were throwing every consolation prize at him that they could.
- Julio Moreno, chomping on his gum at 100 mph, was more nervous than Mike Lee, who was getting on Bushwacker. Lee was the victim of a brutal crunch; afterward, he was so wobbly and stunned, he could barely wave. After the bull’s final out, Julio was trying so hard to hold back his emotions, he could hardly get out one sentence to Leah. I don’t know why men are afraid to leak a few tears when they’re feeling something big. When he retired, Chris Shivers wasn’t embarrassed to cry in front of thousands of people.
- Love the old clips of Bushwacker as a calf. Bulletin: Cody Lambert finally admits it: “J.B. got lucky to ride Bushwacker.” B.’s comment later when he was interviewed (again): “You see bulls slow down a bit after they get conquered, but he hasn’t lost a bit.” Conquered?? Surely you jest. Nobody conquered that bull. He was being careful on the weird dirt at that event—in case anyone has forgotten the bulls slipping and sliding. The Big B felt it: he couldn’t give it his all without falling and hurting himself. He’s the smartest bull on the planet: acted for self-preservation instead of turning it up to 11. A score doesn’t mean bullshit to him. (Hey, if Hummer can tell you what Bushwacker’s thinking, I can tell you what he’s feeling. Why not?)
- And I don’t think his 46.50 tonight was enough. It still amazes me how he explodes, finishes his job, then just goes right back to the chute and stands there quietly, like, “TGIF.” And when he bucks a guy off, he always gives one or two more showoff kicks; I love that he keeps flinging his kind end skyward even after he’s gotten rid of the cowboy and is halfway into the exit chute. I think he knows he’s spectacular; he’s giving people the full 8 seconds, no matter what the cowboy did. Class act.
WAS HER FACE RED!
Leah Garcia interviews Gage Gay as Rookie of the Year, who says he wasn’t happy with how he was doing, and that Tanner Byrne (his main competition) was riding “real good.” He still wasn’t looking thrilled: “I guess I lucked up and I got it I guess.” Guess is right. Poor thing, as Mom would say. Only much later, after the event was over, did the PBR issue an “oops!” tweet that in fact, J.W. Harris was named Rookie of the Year. There was quite a kerfuffle on Twitter. I thought it was a joke when I saw the announcement; JW is no rookie! Again, poor Gage—it’s not like he can get a do-over.
- The standing ovation for Bushwacker.
- Eduardo Aparecido, despite being put on the clock (the usual theme for Brazilian riders), had a lovely waltz with Roy (46 for the bull); the Wow! Factor: he scored 93.25.
- J.W. Harris’s 93.25 on Honey Hush. Leah asked how he has two 90s in one event: “Just keep your hand shut.” He don’t need no stinkin’ judges.
- “When it comes to bullriding, the Brazilians set the standards.” That came out of The Bummer. It only took a few years for him to get it.
J.W. Hart thinks Asteroid will beat Alves. Shorty says, “We really know nothing” about what’s going to happen tonight. Aw, come on, you don’t see “The Brazilian” winning?
This time Ty refrained from badmouthing Alves, giving him credit for understanding the points system! I guess a 53% riding percentage can’t be ignored. Check this: “In final situations, I think he’s as good as anybody we’ve ever seen. We’ve never seen Silvano have a misfire here at the World Finals.” “Alves has done everything right so far,” oozes Craig, who has been right on the anti-Alves bandwagon for much of the season. Now Justin says, “He’s done some incredible things; I want to see him get on Asteroid.”
For his 5th match against Asteroid, Alves was put on the clock (quelle surprise!); even at the end of the season, the judges have to get in their digs. “When he believes in himself as much as everybody else does, he can ride anything,” says Ty Murray, who apparently has amnesia about 15 minutes ago, when he said he’d give the match to Asteroid—not to mention everything he’s ever said about Silvano Alves, and somehow is under the delusion that Alves ever doubted himself. And he’s still harping on re-rides.
Silvano gets 87.25– the SOB judges couldn’t stand to give him a 90, but JB gets 90s for lesser bulls. During that ride, it was crystal clear how aware he was in the moment, keeping his free hand from touching the bull. The Booth Boys didn’t even announce his score; you had to catch it on screen. “I be happy to ride Asteroid, ride him before,” meaning, this was the 5th matchup, and the first time he scored. Well, 87.25 ain’t too shabby.
He won the event title, too. When Joao (put on the clock) got bucked off by Yo Yo, Alves became the World Champion. His compadres threw him on the dirt and pummeled him. Hilarious! Adriano Moraes was in the stands screaming. He was the first to run out and grab Silvano, who head-butted his chest, and Marchi, then was airlifted onto a lot of Brazilian shoulders. It’s no surprise to Moraes: six years ago Adriano predicted that Alves would become the greatest bullrider in history. Silvano had good reason for putting his arm around Moraes.
Now JDub is praising Alves’ resilience, talking about how he didn’t let anything bother him, “what anyone said, whatever we said…,” not letting what anyone says about him bother him, and us giving him heck…” (I think that was the word). So, you’re admitting you guys were a bunch of sour-grapes bad sports, and Silvano rose above your bullshit?
Not exactly shocking: Leah interviews J.B. instead of Alves, as if he’s more important than than the winner! When the Booth Boys ask Shorty about this week, his comments are all about Bushwacker. And I don’t think I saw one American or bullfighter congratulating him Silvano.
Bulletin: Justin McBride pronounced Silvano’s last name right—an amazing feat, considering his mouth is clenched so tight, it looks like it’s killing him to admit that Silvano is a three-peat champ. (Four-peat, for those of us who paid attention to the judges’ agenda last year.) Now McBride and Lambert have to eat crow and say that Alves is the second man to win three titles, and the only one to win back-to-back, but they get off the subject of Alves a.s.a.p. and talk about everything else. I also noticed one jerk in a black suit and white shirt on the podium looking very displeased about seeing Alves holding up the trophy and the Brazilian and American flags.
Silvano’s statement: ““I’m just so thankful to God; this has been an amazing year, I can’t believe I actually reached my third year, even despite all the criticism I faced throughout the season, I backed myself up and proved my point.” YEAH!!