Sunday, January 6, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Finally we are back in the swing, with the PBR season launched last weekend at the Copenhagen Bull Riding Invitational in Atlanta and Mike Lee in the lead. Since it is the first week in January of the New Year, I am offering up some resolutions. In the spirit of fairness, I have made five for myself and six for the PBR, in the hope that the organization will continue improve in more than just ways monetary.

Resolutions for the Stockyard Queen
1. I will pay more attention when I’m simultaneously doing laundry and watching the PBR, so Barn Cat’s best Wranglers don’t come out of the wash with big bleach spots on them (ever again). Likewise for trying not to leave a hot iron sitting on his best dress shirt while I jump up and down and scream at the television.

2. I will at least close the windows and doors during broadcasts, so the neighbors won’t be obliged to cover their children’s ears whenever they pass by my house.

3. On behalf of those few people who see me in the flesh when I attend a PBR event, I will forego the teeny little muscle shirts the PBR merchandises to women at $30 a pop. Actually, I would never spend $30 on any tee-shirt under any circumstances, so the fact that people won’t have to see my girls trying to escape from a too-tight tee-shirt is just gravy.

4. I will do my best not to rant endlessly when I am certain a bull has been scored low because “He don’t love his job.”

5. I will make an honest attempt not to gloat when one of the riders I particularly disdain (and there are several of you, boys) gets pitched off and face planted, particularly after the commentators have bragged for five minutes about how great he is. Or was. Or has the “potential” to be.

Resolutions for the PBR
1. To do away with the flame-shooting bull heads. Today a friend directed me to an article on Yahoo News by Ben Klayman that described the PBR as a cross between NASCAR and a rock concert. Right. Those flame-throwing bull heads are just dumb. What do they possibly add to the experience? More smoke, that’s all, and there was already considerable smoke hanging above the arena before the bull heads appeared. Smoke naturally suggests smoke and mirrors, which is not something the PBR should be encouraging its audience to think about.

2. To abandon the ’80s rock music as well. I have yet to figure out whether the heavy metal tunes we are tortured with are the brainchild of Flint Rasmussen, or of someone higher up the food chain, but please, guys, cut it out. At the very least, you could play more recent stuff. (Yes, somebody has made a record you might like since 1983. I’m positive about this.) And it wouldn’t hurt you to turn the volume down a little.

This practice is really dating you—it makes us wonder if you have progressed a single step since you barricaded yourself in your room during high school and cranked the stereo up to 100 decibels. And now I see on the PBR website a link to “The music of the PBR.” Can you be serious? I know (because I feel the same way) that the music a person grows up with is the best damned music in the world, but the fact that it’s a universal sentiment makes it highly suspect. For the record, I have a couple of decades on practically all of you and I KNOW the Doors will always trounce Van Halen. See my point? Please, give it a rest.

3. To tell the jerk who hits the bulls in the face with a clipboard to just stop it. I know that sometimes bulls don’t cooperate in the chutes, and they kneel down, lie down, and lean on the riders, and that nudging and prodding them is necessary to get them in position and the gate open, but hitting them in the face with a clipboard? Come on! You certainly aren’t doing yourselves any favors with the PETA set, not that we give a particular damn what they think, but there are those among us who love the sport and still think this practice is out of line. Count me as one of them. Even the PRCA dudes use a padded four-by-four instead of a bare-knuckle version to pry the bull off the chute. You would do well to follow their lead in this one instance.

4. To ask the sponsor that manufactures smokeless tobacco to lose the girls in the skintight s&m outfits. One of these days I am going to discourse on the apparent disconnection between the insistence that the PBR is a “G-rated” sport and the constant in-your-face sexiness you can’t escape from at an event, but in the meantime, could we at least be spared the sight of these girls in their leathers and chains? It mystifies me who would think that’s appealing (doubtless the sponsor thinks it appeals to its customers, but that’s a whole different subject), but I’m telling you I find it extremely distasteful. If you can’t put a stop to it, please, at least make them ditch the chains.

5. To encourage your riders to come up with some new descriptions of how they ride. One of the funniest scenes in any sports movie takes place in
Bull Durham, when Kevin Costner helps Tim Robbins work on his baseball-playing clich├ęs. “I just want to go out and contribute to the team and good Lord willin’ and the creeks don’t rise, we’ll win.” Well, in my book, “I just try to ride ’em jump for jump” is fast becoming the dumbest string of words ever uttered. Every sport suffers from this kind of crap, but so many PBR riders repeat the same stuff over and over that I can barely tell them apart. Sure, virtually all the riders are under thirty, and a stack of them are barely more than eighteen, but I really can do without hearing the same tired expressions week after week. It may not be Shakespeare, but Adriano’s advice that a rider “tuck his chin and remember why he’s here” is still a huge improvement. I recommend some riders’ meetings specifically to deal with this issue. Maybe you can get Costner in to coach.

6. To reconsider the premise that spinners should always outscore jumpers. I know that a lot of different factors are at play in judging bull rides, and I know that the judges don’t like bulls who leap and charge out into the arena because the farther away they get from the chutes, the harder it is to see what’s going on, but could you please stop giving 90+ scores to bulls who run five feet out into the dirt and then spin like tops? My GRANDMOTHER could stay on the back of one of those bulls, and bake a cake and adjust her Sunday hat at the same time. I don’t buy the notion that spinners score higher because the riders look so good on them. You guys are getting the big bucks to make the hard calls, so let’s step up and acknowledge that it’s harder to stick to Raindeer Dippin’ when he’s trying to fly than to Ditto when all he does is make the riders carsick.

Even if Raindeer “don’t love his job.”


UB said...

Re: Resolution PBR:3

I understand the smokeless tobaccy folks are going to have their models sport a bit-and-bridle look for 2008.

UB said...

Also, you appear to have 2 PBR No. 3 resolutions. Earlier comment intended for the second No. 3 resolution.

Stockyard Queen said...

Thanks, I fixed it, which naturally led to fixing some other stuff, but that's life.

Anonymous said...

Looks good. Getting any visitors?