First, the same old same old PBR storyline:
- First face we see on the broadcast is J.B. Mauney, who introduces the show, watching a video of himself.
- First thing we hear after that is Ty Murray talking about J.B. being #1, and having him demonstrate how to dress up a ride. Apparently it’s all about the free arm. Listen, that arm work is about balance, not for show.
- The Athlete Profile was again about J.B. I wonder how many there have been so far?
- More hysteria from Craig Hummer (they recorded this shit, so we’re going to hear it every time “the fan favorite from North Carolina” goes up to bat): “Is he on his way to a second gold buckle?!?” Ask the judges, Hummer.
- In a bogus attempt to pacify fans who have been shouting for the judges’ blood, the PBR put replay judge Jeff Shear on camera, clearly having been coached on what to say. We’re supposed to believe that the judges (who were not on camera) award one extra point to a rider who’s in total control of his bull, and if he’s off to the side or out of shape, he loses a point. Those might be the rules that apply to everyone else, but when J.B. looks like he’s in total control of his bull, he gets an extra 10 points. If he slips off to the side, he might get docked one point from his usual 90ish score. Pull the other one, Jeff.
- I’m A Gangster Too, who was 2 for 13, exhibited “a nice little duck and jive move,” according to Craig. He needs the same dictionary Ty Murray does.
- “Missoura”, Craig? Who are you, Ed Sullivan?
Interesting to hear about the gate man and latch man’s jobs, and to see how the bullfighters worked to get Billy Robinson out of a scary-bad hangup.
BootDaddy.com was dyed pink for his status as bonus bull, raising money for the fight against breast cancer. Either that, or he works for Betsey Johnson. We’re going to see a pink bull every Friday night from now on, so for those of you who get snockered while watching bull riding, don’t worry—it’s not you, it’s the bull.
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
- Hummer says they made a big deal about Silvano Alves’s hip surgery. Uh, no. That’s just his defense against people who have a working memory. The fuss about J.B.’s ankle was the size of a tidal wave. Occasionally we heard about Silvano; mostly we were getting hourly bulletins about J.B.
- Kasey Hayes scored an 87 on Hustle Man. First, Hallucinatin’ Hummer claimed that Kasey is “one of the riders we always highlight throughout the season,” then declared that he was “trying to imitate J.B. Mauney with his arm movement.” Uh, no, dude. Just because a guy sticks his arm in the air doesn’t mean he’s imitating Mauney. And the only time you mention Hayes is when he’s in front of you.
- Cody Nance wanted to ride Roy “because he reminds me of myself: he’s just honest and doesn’t cheat you.” Um, there is no mirror here, kid. Roy doesn’t leave the chute with his spurs stuck into the rope.
- Ben Jones definitely took it to Blind Spot in Round 3 and didn’t let up until he scored 88.25. He won the round. Not so much fun in the Championship Round on Modified Clyde; he became another cowboy crashed against the out gate—flung like a crumpled-up piece of paper you’d chuck at a trash can.
- Shane Proctor rolled under Darth Vader instead of away. He scored 86.50 but didn’t escape a stomping.
- Stetson Lawrence almost came off Buckle Up but recovered from being out of position, for 87.25. Then in the Championship Round, Semper Fi trashed him: stamped him hard in the middle, below the vest. He also took several hits from the horns to his head, shoulder, and a couple of other places. I’d have thought he’d have internal organ damage and broken ribs after this. He needed to be helped out by Sports Medicine.
- Tanner Byrne ate What a Burger for lunch (and 86 points)! 3 rides in the event. Looking good, Red!
- Mason Lowe was a serious hometown boy: he practically brought his whole town with him: 200 friends and family members. He won round 2 on Pushing Pills, with an 88.50, on his birthday. In Round 3, he earned 87.25 with Come On Baby. God forbid Hummer should let him have his moment of glory, though. His comment: “That’s the first time this season we’ve seen anybody rival the cheers that J.B. Mauney usually gets,” followed by a comparison of his riding style with J.B.’s. I guess it’s official: anyone who ever raises an arm in the air is imitating JB. That means Fabiano Vieira is the only rider who’s his own man.
- J.W. Harris on Long John was a thing of beauty! He rode him in Springfield last year, and did it for 90.25 this time. I’m sure he didn’t mind how hard he hit the ground, he rode so well. But I have that nagging question in the back of my mind: what was the difference between his ride and J.B.’s 92.25? Was it really just a matter of the bull’s performance?
- Rubens Barbosa got to 6.94 on Rain Man. Aww.
- Silvano has ridden only a shocking 2 out of 10 bulls. Obviously his broken hip still isn’t ready for action. He looked fine on Icy Hot, but only for 6.62.
- Fabiano’s free arm was a problem for him on Johnny’s Boy; he came down at 6.94.
- Renato was having a great ride on Bruiser in Round 3, but only until 7.41. Bull score: 46.25. In round 1, Bruiser took down Valdiron de Oliveira, for 46 pts.
- Buck Autism bucked hard and scored 45. On the ground, Kaique Pacheco’s instant reflex moved his (helmeted) head out of the way just after a hoof grazed his face; he was 2 inches from having the whole bull land on top of him.
LANGUAGE, TY, LANGUAGE!—LEARN HOW TO USE IT
- His comment on Douglas Duncan’s buckoff by Legacy: “You can’t just be settin’ up there in a prone position.” Somebody hand him a dictionary.
- Here’s a real mean-spirited comment on Duncan’s injury, which has been hampering his riding for months: “Nobody cares but his mom.” Wow.
- “All the inertia going away from you” was his mantra this weekend. Dear, inertia doesn’t go anywhere. Again—crack open your Funk and Wagnall’s.
- And how about that insulting comment Ty made about Zane Cook, a 3-time Native American invitee to Springfield? “This is like having a high school kid have to step up to the pro level.”
- Sigh: he’s back to saying “Noonyez.”
- Talking about Little Red Jacket: “He almost is like dancing on his feet… knuckling them over…”
- After both Mauney and Vieira were mincemeat, Ty uttered one of his most idiotic comments yet: “Who wants that million dollars the most?” Somehow he can’t grasp that when a guy can’t walk, he might not be able to get on a bull, no matter how much he wants the million. “You just don’t want it enough” is the dumbest thing to say to a bull rider. OF COURSE they want it, or they wouldn’t be doing such a dangerous job for a living! STFU, Murray.
- Why do they show Neil Holmes’s Thackerville wreck, but not tell us about his health?
- Hometown boy Brady Sims was taking too long in the chute on Bourbon Borderline; I heard somebody saying, “Come on, Brady!” but it wasn’t a judge. Nope, Sims was not put on the clock. And of course after all his fussing in there, he got bucked off pretty quickly. Ty’s comment: “Where this all went wrong was right when he nodded.”
- Now we’re identifying Stormy Wing as “J.B. Mauney’s good friend.” Spare me!
- Gage Gay touched I’m Trouble and didn’t make 8, as far as I could see, but he scored 85.75.
- Cooper Davis is existing on 1200 calories a day, and has lost 13 lbs. Who knew bull riders starve themselves like models do?
- J.W. Hart’s two bulls, Born in the USA and Glory Days, turned in Bruce-worthy performances. The first guy kicked the shit out of a fence and deprived Stormy of a ride; the second one ditched Renato Nunes in Round 1, and Ryan Dirteater in Round 3, scoring 44 and 44.25. Was J.W. nervous? “I ain’t had to pee yet.”
- Slinger, Jr. has an utterly vertical kick—like what’s-his-name, remember? That bull whose name begins with an A?
- David’s Dream, 11 straight buckoffs. Boot Jack, 1 for 15.
- J.W. Harris and J.W. Hart were talking about Harris’s 88.25 ride on King Buck in Biloxi. Harris, explaining his post-ride interview: “I was trying to think of something really smart to say at that moment, and it just didn’t come out.” JDub: “Maybe I should’ve given you a clinic for how to get off.”
- Robson Palermo’s wife Priscilla had baby Lucas at 5a.m., so Papa Palermo got no sleep, but he scored 87.50 on Rebelution, riding loosely rather than clamping down (yay). Very sweet, what he said to Leah Garcia about his third child giving him more motivation: “I make this ride for him,” and talking about how his wife was hanging on by herself with her mama, then telling his wife through the camera lens, “I love you.” Aww!
- Craig referred to a spectacular photo taken by Andy “Watkins.” Watson, you dolt, not Watkins! The guy’s been working for the PBR forever, and is a fantastic sports photographer—how could you POSSIBLY get his name wrong??
- J.B. Mauney has a 56.86% riding percentage, which you know is for real, because judges can’t make him stay on a bull. Pearl Harbor didn’t add to that percentage; he went berserk in the chute, crashing against J.B.’s bad ankle and knee. Nathan Schaper was the hero: he singlehandedly lifted J.B. up and out of the chute. (It’s good to have a big guy around.) Whatever happened in there really messed up J.B.; he was on his knees in pain, and you know he tries to hide pain. No Championship Round for him. Backstage shot: a miserable face on J.B., sitting in his shorts with an ice bag on his bruised leg and sprained MCL.
- Another semi-casualty was João Ricardo Vieira (49.32% riding percentage). Crazy Days bashed him against chute on the way out. The hit to his leg had him down on the ground, unable to walk without help. He “cowboyed up” to accept a re-ride— on Pearl Harbor, the bull that messed up J.B.—an unsuccessful attempt.
- Valdiron de Oliveira had to bow out after his bad luck with Time Bomb in Round 3, which aggravated his back injury.
J.W. Harris wins—and I’m doing my happy dance. The rest of the top guys: Mason Lowe, Tanner Byrne, Stetson Lawrence, Ben Jones, and Robson Palermo. Nice mix!