Thursday, January 9, 2014

A look back at Finals, Saturday night


Craig Hummer vomited hateful boxing imagery about Silvano Alves and JB Mauney: "trading blows," "heavyweights throwing punches," "winning by KO or by decision." I have yet to hear any rider with that attitude. They know it's a competition, not a death match. Both men enter, both men leave. (And there are more than two riders in this event.) Oh wait a minute, I get it: "Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting"--The Bummer was having an Elton John flashback.

Shock: they aired a video of Silvano Alves talking about his ranch, saying he wants to educate his kids here because it's safer than Brazil. He wants his son to be a bull rider and will help him if he wants to, but if he doesn't, that's okay. It was a big Awww! watching him telling his little son, who was riding a rockinghorse: "Good job, cowboy!"

Then they "balanced" that with another JB interview with Leah.

Said Hummer, "The top riders still to come, including JB Mauney. He sits first in the event, but second in the world." Forget about Silvano Alves, who sits FIRST in the world.

" back to the locker room where JB Mauney is waiting patiently " And a few riders later, once again, Hummer talks about JB. Back from commercial, more talk about JB. Now Hummer and Ty Murray are projecting about bonus points. Ty: "Silvano's betting on JB to fail. JB's betting on JB." That's low, Ty. I'd expect that of Hummer, but not you.

Ty talked about Cowtown Slinger's "Wow factor," Hummer picked up on that "Wow factor" to talk about JB again. Back from another commercial: a clip of JB on Bushwacker, and more talk about JB.

After Luke Snyder gets bucked off, The Bummer mentions JB.

After The Rocker bucks off Kody Lostroh, Ty talks about JB.

After Slash flipped Renato Nunes off his back, The Bummer talks about JB, as the camera shows him in the locker room checking his phone. Why don't they just follow him into the bathroom, already?

The Athlete's Profile of course was about JB, who had the class to say, "Silvano--he's not gonna mess up very much."

And just when you think Craig can't get any more assholic: "Still to come, the top riders in the top spots, including JB Mauney."

Hummer mentions the next 10 riders, then talks about JB again: "All eyes on the last two riders " He mentions LJ Jenkins's groin injury, then talks about JB.

Finally Craig remembers that there's a rider named Silvano in the race: "He's switched out of his stoic state, and isn't afraid to let his emotions show. He's trying to become a legend." Gag me!! Has ANY rider EVER said he wants to become a legend?? Where does the idiot get this stuff?

Back from commercial: "JB Mauney behind the chutes, getting ready bla bla bla."

Bad to the Bone made himself so dizzy spinning wildly without dislodging Eduardo Aparecido, he fell down. 87.75 for Aparecido, but Craig talked about JB again.

Back from commercial: a JB clip. (There's a never-ending supply.) I liked the shot of the riders behind the chutes yelling while JB rides. Douglas Duncan told him he gets way more nervous when JB rides then when he does. Jim Sharp called Ty to say the same.

JW Hart says of Alves, "This guy's got the best poker face I've ever seen in my life."

Guilherme Marchi is on Bull Arrow, "We Will Rock You" is playing in the arena, but we hear the arena announcers talking about JB.

Things reached an excruciating peak when JB picked Breakdown, sending Craig into paroxysms of adoration: "He chose Breakdown, and now is not the time for a breakdown of any capacity!" "The music is playing!" "The Thomas and Mack Arena stood up!" "JB Mauney said No! Fate said No!Alves has to answer!" Yipes. The score of course was 90.75. "Mauney continues to convert!" (I wonder if JB will ever again get a score below 90. Well; maybe if he falls off.) At least it was fun seeing the cowboys at the chute going berserk and slapping palms with him.


Silvano needed 90.75, and I'll bet those judges wouldn't give it to him no matter what. Hummer babbled about "the cheers for Mauney, the almost silence for Silvano." I don't know about anyone else, but I heard noise and Ty confirmed it. The chute bullies were yelling at Alves while the bull sat down; they even yelled at a guy who was putting his leg over the rail to help move the bull. You know if JB was in there with a squatting bull, they'd give him ten minutes and a whole crew to shift the bovine into position.

Alves was in terrible shape through most of the ride, but fought unbelievably hard to stay on--several times he should've been bucked off. True Blood came up and hit him in the chest, so Alves was called for a touch. He challenged the call, but the replay judge apparently didn't know the difference between when a rider slaps a bull and when a bull launches himself up into the rider's body. Correction: a Brazilian body. Result: Alves is 500 points behind JB.

Craig's unbiased analysis of JB's situation: "Tomorrow he'll see his dreams come true."

JW, apparently the only voice of reason, compared Silvano's ride to what happened to Douglas Duncan on Bushwacker; he actually felt for Alves putting out all that effort and being DQ'd. (We need to hear from JDub more often.) If that had been JB on the back of True Blood, confetti would've been flying.

Hummer's parting gaffe: "Last night I said, check your pulse; tomorrow we may all need pacemakers." Clearly the fool has no idea what pacemakers do. Is he saying that tonight was so dull, everyone's gonna need revving up?


Jory Markiss said JB's going to win and is the best in the world. Now I like you a little less, Jory. During the Finals, it would be polite to keep that opinion off the air.

Then he does something that makes you like him again: wrestled with Spotted Demon, made it to 7+, then pointed at the bull, as in "I'm gonna get you next time." On his way off the dirt, he took a marker pen and wrote his name on the camera lens.


Hummer: "The Thomas & Mack Center filling up still." Translation: lots of empty seats still unsold.


As he watched Flirting with Disaster bump Douglas Duncan around in the chute, Ty added to last night's words of wisdom: "Another way you have to trick your brain is, you have to forget about things like what happened with Bushwacker, and go forward."

Luke Snyder said he'd try not to do what Brendon Clark did and cry during his retirement ceremony. Ty's remark: "The bulls don't get too emotional about anybody retiring."

A slight exaggeration: Marchi has trouble "If a bull even turns on his left blinker."


* We missed Brendon Clark on the Shark Cage last night being given a plaque, getting a tribute, and tearing up. Did we get stuck with a commercial instead?? Why wouldn't they televise THAT moment??

* Brant Atwood mentioned all the PR work the riders "have to block out." HINT HINT, JC. Their work IS the PBR; let them do their jobs without extra stress.

* Hummer is the single most negative influence on every broadcast, obsessively emphasizing a rider's nationality in a way that's guaranteed to raise hackles and create hostility among American fans. That is, the ones who have a problem with the fact that some riders from other countries are just as good as, and a lot of the time better than, riders from this country. He is virtually incapable of saying a rider's name without emphasizing that he's from Brazil: "We transition to the Brazilian Agnaldo Cardozo He'll help cheer on his fellow Brazilians as well as the other qualified riders." "And as we often see with all the Brazilians, there is a show of force and support at the chutes."

* At least we could see Cody Nance's feet bouncing all over one-horned Class 6 Kat, so his spurs weren't in the knots. That's why his score was a more reasonable 82.25.


* Valdiron de Oliveira's ride on Super Cool Cat. The bull spun his ass off, but couldn't get Valdiron down into the well. He reversed the spin too late--Valdiron was ready to dismount. The judges replayed the ride twice looking for a slap they hallucinated. Everyone knew Valdiron had made 8. He was PFF on his way off the dirt: looking puzzled, shaking his head in amazement, pointing to his head, clearly indicating, "What were they thinking??" Or, in less polite terms, WTF?? Fortunately the judges didn't think they could get away with completely fabricating a slap; they gave de Oliveira 86 points--after taking an ice age to announce it.

* Ben Jones performed his longest dance ever--actually, he danced, then did an encore--for his 88.50 ride on Earl. He was ecstatic; the crowd cheered even louder than when they saw JB.


As Roy swung himself around, the slow motion camera showed you his front feet making a 180in the air.

Pecos Bill: strong bull, plenty of air, and big drop.

Cowtown Slinger really wound up; as Ty put it, "There's a real Wow factor to it" when you see such a big bull spin so fast


Robson is a true diplomat! A pointed question asking him about Alves and Mauney put him on the spot: what's he going to say? Pretty shabby treatment. Robson rose above this petty crap, praised both riders, said he's a Brazilian, but he's also been in the same position as JB, being so close but not winning. He said this year JB's healthy and focused, and he hopes he rides everything; he also said Silvano could win three times--a very balanced statement. He seems to have learned English faster than any other rider. He sure handled that potentially ugly situation with panache. Or (says my suspicious journalist mind) the whole thing was rehearsed, to soothe ruffled American feathers.


"When I quit riding bulls, even if there's no world title, I just want everyone to know there was no backup in me . My mouth's never been so dry in my entire life. But every time I get in the bucking chute I look up at my wife, and ." The gist was, Lexie makes everything all right. I dunno; I kinda think when he's in the bucking chute he's looking down at the hunk of beef under him. One thing JB does not lack is focus.
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