Wanna see how the PBR started setting up the 2015 season? Go back to Chicago. It was only the 2nd event, but already Craig Hummer was talking about “storylines.” This does not bode well. Some of the hot issues to track this season:
1) COMPLAINTS ABOUT YOU-KNOW-WHO NOT TAKING RE-RIDES? HAH!
3 Americans did not take re-rides: Brady Sims kept a 74, Nathan Schaper kept 74.50, and Harve Stewart kept 78.75.
Brazilians did take rerides: Robson Palermo sacrificed his 80.25 (that’s why some guys don’t take re-rides!), Silvano, of all people (he asked for his original bull, Hy Test, as his re-ride), and Guilherme Marchi. For those who think Alves is “chicken,” he took that maniacal bull for an 86.25.
2) FOMENTING FALSE RIVALRY
Onscreen, national icons were alongside rider names. As Craig put it, “all the guys and the country they represent.” WRONG. There are no national teams! Statements like these whip up the morons in the peanut gallery who think the events ARE the U.S. versus Brazil. It’s not the Olympics, folks.
Jared Allen put together a rider team AND a bull team. Speculation: is this an experiment to see how the concept goes down with the contractors and riders—after which the PBR either will set up a Beta test event, or encourage teams as a regular part of the tour? They might want to look at CBR’s bull teams, and the PRCA’s rider teams, each representing a sponsor. The idea of rider teams in the PBR hasn’t appealed to anyone I’ve heard from on the subject. Some people even see it as a death knell.
4) WHY A LOT OF AMERICAN RIDERS DON’T DO AS WELL AS BRAZILIAN RIDERS:
Riders talked about their physical preparation for bull riding. A lot Americans (for those with reading comprehension difficulty: I said “a lot,” not all) said that they don’t work out or don’t do much; J.B. Mauney thinks working on the ranch makes up for it. That’s out of their own mouths, folks.
5) THE DRAW ISN’T RANDOM:
Cody Lambert continues to pull stunts like matching little Lachlan Richardson with Big Enough.
6) THE BRAZILIANS-TAKING-TOO-LONG-IN-THE-CHUTE CHESTNUT:
Valdiron de Oliveira on Stanley Fatmax was “being very particular in the chute,” Hummer starts off. “Very particular, Craig,” Justin McBride piles on. They change this refrain when it’s a different rider, to “He wants to get everything just right.”
Marco Eguchi on American Gangster: 81.75
Guilherme Marchi on Let ‘er Rip: 84.50
Silvano Alves on Redbone: 85
8) PREJUDICE IN ACTION:
Valdiron de Oliveira was the Round 1 winner. The next words we heard were, “Let’s check in with Leah Garcia and J.B. Mauney.” Not with the winner.
9) THE NEW POINTS SYSTEM:
That interview was a set-up to have J.B. comment on the new points system. PBR thinking: if one of the top bull riders in the world (“fan favorite”) gives it his seal of approval, then the sheep will follow. J.B. said it was “a little confusing, but I like the way they’re doing it.” If one of the top bull riders in the world diplomatically says the system is “a little confusing” (the look on his face spoke volumes), you know it’s a LOT confusing. He has to say he likes the way the PBR is doing it, because he’s their Golden Boy. They would expect nothing less.
10) SEXISM STILL IN PLACE
Very cool that Silvano brought his kids with him up onto the Shark Cage for the ceremony. (Family values.) Very uncool that they all had to walk though the Bimbo Bookends to get there. (Not family values.)
11) HYPOCRISY #101
Alves won the Championship Round and the event—his first event win in 2 years. Craig: “He didn’t win anything last year except the World Finals.” Sigh. How do we wrap our heads around that idiocy? “It seems the Universe is lining up for him.”
McBride: “He’s making it line up for him. When you do things right, good things are going to happen.” Didn’t he spend all of 2014, except for the last day of Finals, talking about how Silvano was wrong about everything?
He mentions the new points system: “Silvano Alves isn’t worried about that.” Um, has this bright bulb figured out yet that one huge reason the new system showed up was that Silvano knew how to play the old system?
So now are they all on the Silvano bandwagon? The haters from last season are now kissing some Brazilian butt?
JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT–
MALAPROPISM OF THE MONTH:
“You can’t even hold a candlestick to how tough he is.”—Chase Outlaw re Ben Jones.
“The cream of the crop rises to the top.” Courtesy of Craig’s Mixed Metaphors Department.
I COULDN’T RESIST:
“No one has rode more bulls,” said Craig Hummer, who’s obviously been taking cowboy lessons in a vain attempt not to stick out like a sore thumb.