INNOVATION WE LIKE
New introduction process—the riders’ photos are shown projected on the dirt. Neat trick!
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
- That new blonde commentator needs to dial it back a notch. Way too enthused.
- OMG–George Thorogood singing “Bad to the Bone.” This was a whole setup for Mauney’s entrance! For a minute there, I thought they were going to have J.B. lowered from the heavens. Uh, excuse me, he is NOT the #1 rider–he is #3! The PBR will look for any possible way to deify him! They are SO invested in having him “win” the world championship from Kaique Pacheco, they’re spending god knows how much in airtime to promote their boy. If any other sport favored one player like this, people would be crying “Foul!” all over the place. And while I’m at it: does anyone listen to the lyrics to that song? Does anyone think the character described in that song is a good example of “the cowboy way”? For that matter, does anyone who knows about J.B.’s private life and the way he treats women think that he’s the epitome of a cowboy? Get real!
Then they interview JB instead of Pacheco (#1) or Cooper Davis (#2)! How much more favoritism could you possibly show? How much disrespect can you possibly dish out to the other riders??
- What a bunch of guff from Ty about the judges’ tough job and all their training, and how it’s a thankless job. Yeah, I’ll bet JB is thanking them. Whatever “training” they’ve had sure goes out the window when they‘re judging certain Brazilian riders. One in particular.
- ABBI young bulls are featured this night. Some of them are definitely not ready for prime time.
- The “Hitch’d” segment was not worth talking about. Or watching.
- The stock contractors’ segment is always interesting. Jeff Robinson told the invisible interviewer, “Treat them like you would any athlete.” H.D. Page talked about getting the bulls’ trust and then teaching them their jobs.
- Hummer of course started talking about J.B. Mauney as “a man who not only wants it, but wants it every time.” As if only the great god Mauney does—not the rest of the riders working their asses off.
I’M SO DEPRESSED
Ty Murray was talking about Robson Palermo getting near the end of his career. “One of the best ever,” Craig Hummer had the grace to say. Robson’s attempt at riding Smokin’ Gun was disastrous. And boy, was Robson pissed. I’ve never seen him react to a buckoff like that.
- Lachlan Richardson took a loud pop from Cracker Breaker after both legs flew up behind him. (Lachlan’s, not the bull’s, should you be trying to picture that.) Richardson challenged his 7.97 time, but he had touched that bull.
- Frequent Flyer tried to fly up out of the chute. Says Craig, “Wallace de Oliveira is not going to be able to cash in any miles on Frequent Flyer.” How could you not see that line coming?
- Rebel Yell 2 just did too many backbends for Nevada Newman to handle.
- Emilio Resende on After Midnight was another fast buckoff. “Resende is going to have to set his alarm clock for a different time,” Hummer said, which makes no sense to me, but what else is new? The bull hipped himself, though, so Resende was offered a re-ride.
- Uncle Fester was one wild jumping bull. “Stormy Wing takes a knock to the noggin, and he might be seeing the whole Addams family after that one.” Didja ever notice how Craig’s train of what is loosely termed “thought” becomes more and more derailed by the time they get to the Finals?
- Locked and Loaded stomped and yanked and crushed and trampled Aaron Roy – it took the bullfighters forever to get Roy out of there, and he was left trashed on the dirt. No one’s body should bend in that position. It also took them a long time to get him strapped on the backboard and carried out. Even Motormouth Ty and The Bummer were almost lost for words. Almost. It was one of the worst wrecks to see, especially since Roy already had a wreck that almost paralyzed him.
- Finally there was a real ride: Tyler Harr on Flattop Pete (who was 1 for 10), for 83.75
- “Wicked Stick didn’t need a wicked first move,” Hummer babbled. “Gage Gay leaned back right away.” A lot of guys seem to be leaning back too far.
- Again Ty calls Valdiron de Oliveira “a freak of nature,” because the guy is 37 and has ridden 28 of his last 56 bulls. Smooth Over was a pogo stick, but Valdiron scored 84. More pushups.
- Report on Aaron Roy: he had a right femur fracture and will have surgery tonight. I just don’t totally believe that was his only injury.
- Ty Pozzobon drew J.W. Hart’s bull, Glory Days. McBride said J.W. thinks Justin’s a jinx. Ty handled the direction change very well, and blew off the bull’s back in a twirl right at the buzzer. He did this with an injured riding hand. Hart was not happy with the bull’s share of the 84.25 score. Craig reminded him that McBride is a jinx.
- Dener Barbosa, who’s ridden 60 out of 66 bulls in Brazil, couldn’t stay on Hustle Man.
- Losing My Religion was a very righteous bull, but I’m sure Zane Cook wasn’t feeling too sanctified on that one. (Do I sound like Craig yet?)
- Derek Kolbaba’s trip on Cut the Cord looked like it would be a ride, but Kolbaba lost his balance.
- CanadianDakotaButtar, who qualified for the BFTS, coming in at #35, based on his BlueDEF tour performance, took on Deep Water. Ty Murray: “For these young bulls, it’s a sensory overload in here.” Yeah, and for a lot of us viewers, too. “Didn’t take long for Deep Water to put Dakota Buttar in the deep end,” was the Craig comment.
- Mason Lowe’s Lifting Lives was another bull throwing himself forward in the chute. Lowe gets to rewrap. Little quirky bull; I like it. Mason didn’t.
- Neil Holmes on Bottoms Up was “able to keep his bottom down,” per Craig, until 7.94 when he apparently slapped the bull. On the replay, he lost .88. How is that even possible?? I wish Neil was miked, because he had something to say!
- The Athlete Profile made me very happy, because it was about Tanner Byrne. Video clip: “You all right, bro?” Jesse Byrne asked his brother as soon as Tanner completed a ride. Jesse looked as happy as Tanner did. That’s the thing about those guys. How can you not love them? Tanner was not having a good time tonight, though. Handsome Jeff gradually worked him off the right side.
- Cody Nance somehow rode Wired Crazy, resulting in an 85.25 and a neckerchief toss from the top rail. It’s such an artificial, manufactured move. He just doesn’t have a natural end zone dance.
- “Kasey Hayes,” said Craig, “was his own form of dragon slayer.” Finally, an American was put on the clock. Hayes took so long on Red Rocket’s back, he was disqualified. “The victim of his own preparation, or lack thereof,” was how Hummer characterized it. I don’t get it. If you know the clock is counting down, and the bull isn’t going to cooperate, just nod, and if the bull won’t come out of the chute, it’s his fault, not yours, and you should get a re-ride, right? Words of wisdom from Hummer: “The first person you want to talk to after doing something like that is not Cody Lambert.”
- Nathan Schaper came in second in the BlueDEF Finals. I liked the story about him putting family first: he went to his sister’s wedding instead of the last regular season BlueDEF event, then got it together for those Finals and this one. (Another reason to like Nathan.) Crunch Time gave him a hard time in the chute. “It didn’t take a ton of fire to best Crunch Time, but Nathan Schaper’s candle has blown out” was Craig’s mystifying comment. I can’t even…
- Another not-subtle Lambert dirty ha-ha: Native American Stetson Lawrence was matched with Red Dawn (red—get it?). The bull did some weird skipping thing that threw him. Again the challenge button went off for no reason.
- Chase Outlaw surprised everyone with his excellent ride on Air Marshal. 89.50 for him, 43.50 for the bull. “I’m happier than a gopher in fresh dirt,” was the highlight of his interview with Leah Garcia.
- Guilherme Marchi, gunning for his 577th ride, got worked off to the side of Polar Vortex, who went away from his hand. He is so not happy.
- Paolo Lima had no luck on Burn it Down, though at least he wasn’t put on the clock. Predictable Hummerism: “Burn it Down is able to burn through the Brazilian quickly.” The bull was pretty steep.
- Shane Proctor had just a bad out all around on Swamp Wreck. He looked like he didn’t even know how to ride bulls, which is definitely not the case.
- On Aristokat, Mike Lee was moving faster than the bull. “Able to turn Mike Lee into a human kite,” Craig came up with. Again, I have no idea how this man’s mind works.
- Hummer says Ryan Dirteater is one of the calmer guys he talks to in the locker room. Dirteater has a whole routine of strapping on various braces. He, too was put on the clock. Were these judges in a hurry to get to the bar or something? At 8 seconds, Ryan went helicoptering off High Test. The ride was reviewed to check whether his elbow had contacted the bull before 8, but it did not. 86.75 and I did a little happy dance.
- Fabiano Vieira (#7 in the world) pulled an 84.50 out of All Nighter, even with that crooked free arm.
- Eduardo Aparecido (#6 in the world) scored 85 on Sketchy Bob, a pretty good bull that I could swear was on another circuit; he’s pretty rideable.
- Jess Lockwood (#5 in the world) has a 48.08 riding percentage, and is leading the rookie race by 1,000 points. Awww! Buckoff. 44.50 for Acting Crazy was the result.
- João Ricardo Vieira on Rocco was aggravating. McBride was right: Vieira handled the bull just fine to the left into his hand, but when it turned back to the right—fooey. I don’t know why Vieira bothered to challenge; he didn’t make 8; his time was 7.89. That bull was excellent but was awarded only 42.50.
- Mauney took on Valedictorian. More worshipful shit-slinging by Ty and Hummer. “Start your engines, ladies and gentlemen. J.B. Mauney crosses swords with Valedictorian, as well as sends a message to Davis and Pacheco.” I don’t know what the hell Hummer was talking about here, but clearly J.B. makes Craig’s engine race. As for crossing swords, methinks Hummer may have confused the head of the class with some non-existent Roman emperor. For once, the score was reasonable: 85.75 instead of 95.75. Shocker!
- I have to admit, Cooper Davis is unflappable. He rode Show Kitty for 87.50; no fuss, no muss, no bother.
HICKORY DICKORY DOCK, BRAZILIANS ON THE CLOCK
- Silvano Alves has a riding percentage of 41+. He was immediately put on the clock, of course. Clearly the judges’ “training” included The Alves Clause: always put Silvano on the clock, no matter what. Wedding Crasher was a pretty dopey bull; definitely worth a re-ride, but Alves was happy to keep his 63 score. His attitude: this is only the first day.
- Another one’s on the clock: Rubens Barbosa, prepping on Udder Lover. J.W. was helping to get the bull to stop leaning, so Barbosa could get a fair shot. The bull sticking his nose out through the gate made quite the pretty picture. A closeup of that drooling muzzle would’ve been just the thing for a Cody Lambert Christmas card.
- Juliano Da Silva, who was at the Finals because of his work on the BlueDEF tour, was also put on the clock. Flight Plan was not a good match for him. “Flight Plan causes liftoff,” Hummer announced. Rider and bull were kicking up a huge dust cloud; it was very impressive, and I hope Andy Watson caught a still photo. Somebody hit the challenge button before the ride was over, though. Ty Murray landing a good one: “With J.W., the dirt was usually comin’ offa him, not the bull.”
- Judges’ training manual: ‘It’s Marco Eguchi in the chute. Another Brazilian. Put him on the clock.’ Killing Time was a wild bull, scooping his front end down on the dirt. It worked to get rid of Eguchi.
- Emilio Resende, on his re-ride, Jack Shot: on the clock. He could’ve ridden that bull, but then got leaned back. “You cannot ride what you cannot see,” was how Justin McBride put it. Yup. Hummer joked about McBride filling in for Ty Murray when he took his “union-mandated” break. Ty told on himself: “I can say the same thing only so many times a night.” Oh, we agree with you, Ty; we really do. Try to decrease the frequency, will you?
- “He seems more like a machine than he does a man,” Ty once again said about Kaique Pacheco, who was, not surprisingly, put on the clock. Organized Crime just didn’t know what to do to get rid of that pesky kid on his back. The bull hipped himself and stumbled twice, but Kaique stayed on, for 84.25.
- Chase Outlaw wins Round 1. I can’t stand to watch that mustache. It’s too Yosemite Sam for me.
- “The script that we all pre-wrote for these guys is true to form,” says Hummer, blowing the PBR’s cover. (as if we didn’t know)
- “Kaique gets into a groove where he gets these low scores,” says The Bummer. Um, who’s giving him those low scores, dude? It’s the same “groove” Silvano Alves magically got into when he was about to win his world titles.
- And then they interviewed Cooper Davis, world #2 rider, but not Pacheco, world #1. That’s twice in one round the PBR dissed him (not even counting the clock business).