Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Sacred and Profane Hype Machine

In case you haven't wandered over to recently, I'm happy to inform you that IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO BUY TICKETS to see the World Cup in Las Vegas this coming weekend. Considering that the broadcasts on Saturday and Sunday don't start till after midnight, your chances of actually staying awake to see the event might be better if you did hop a plane at the last minute. I, for one, will not be making the trip.

I have thought quite a lot over the past month about why I'm not terribly interested in the World Cup, and the thing I keep coming back to is the way the Powers That Be at PBR headquarters keep hyping it, but lately I've decided that's not really the root of my discontent. It's that the PTB are so damned bad at hyping it. Hell, they're bad at hyping anything.

Some people used to accuse Hillary Clinton of being insensitive and tone deaf--I guess some of them are probably surprised, if they have the grace to admit it, that she's turned out to be one hell of a diplomat. But if she was tone deaf, the dudes at the PBR have their eyes closed and their fingers stuck in their ears, and are yelling at the top of their lungs to keep any other subject from coming to the floor. Come to think of it, they bear a fair resemblance to a woman some of them doubtless worship, Sarah Palin, whom Wonkette, the merciless chronicler of DC gossip, described recently as a "screeching dingbat."

Of course I don't know what's going on in Pueblo, but it does seem like every week, some new *controversy* is brewing and the commentators just have to talk about it like it's as important as keeping Iran from building a nuclear bomb. Trouble is, the new controversy frequently isn't a controversy at all, or worse yet, there's some other, more important issue that should be talked about that gets short shrift.

For instance: While we were being tortured with endless, blow-by-blow reports of who's on the team, who's off the team, which team captain doesn't like which of his compatriots, which compatriots are begging on their knees to represent and which ones, in Travis Briscoe's words, "could care less," Nick Landreneau quit the PBR in the middle of an event--packed his gear and walked away--and apparently disconnected his phones and pulled the plug on his e-mail as well. Is he okay? Who knows? Is it likely we'll ever find out from the folks at the PBR? There's not a snowball's chance in hell of that.

It's a good thing that Cody Lambert, at least, is good at what he does, because if the PTB at the PBR picked bulls as well as they pick issues to hype, I wouldn't give you a plugged nickel for their chances. We'd be watching cowboys and bulls sedately saunter around the arena, and dozing off in our seats. I fully expect to be dozing when the World Cup is broadcast, and I am pretty damned sure that I won't miss a thing.


Shawk said...

The PBR probably would have sold a lot more tickets if they didn't wait until the very end to sell single tickets. In this economy, I don't think there is a surplus of people willing to blow the cash on a package deal, or book a last-minute trip to Vegas when the single tickets finally manifested themselves.

The hype is so ridiculously overblown. I know they have to talk about something, but there comes a point of saturation. At least the event is finally upon us, although I'm sure we won't escape commentary on who did what for some time, unfortunately.

My verification word is "scald." That seems appropriate. ;)

shannon said...

They actually called me personally to ask if I wanted tickets. I might have considered it (since Vegas is near me) if it had been in the middle of summer so I didn't have to worry about dealing with the kids during the middle of the school year (homework, soccer, to and from school...) and another year (lots of things breaking down these days--it's going to be one of those years).

However, I'd only go and will only watch because it's PBR bull riding. I've never cared for the actual event and I care even less this year. I'll start watching it (it's on at 9:30pm here) until I fall asleep and that will be it.

Stockyard Queen said...

It starts at 10:30 here, and I'm working from 10 p.m. till 2 a.m., so I won't be seeing it unless I record it. I haven't decided yet if I'll bother to do that. I would like to see the bulls, but all the nationalism and trash talking is hard to swallow.

shelia said...

I plan to miss the whole thing. I'm sure I'll hear about who did what and where and who won and who lost from the commentators of future events. I really don't want to get into the HYPE.

Good for JB, LJ, and Jody! JB REALLY needs to rest up and not risk injuring himself more. Didn't Kody L do that last year--SAVE HIMSELF FOR THE FINALS? And he wasn't just asked to be an alternate. He was asked to be on the TEAM.

I haven't thought alot about this, but it seems to me that team members should somehow earn their way onto the teams not be picked by the captains!

And what did happen to Nick? We didn't get to say goodbye. Nor did we get to say goodbye to Mike White or did I miss something?

Montana Barn Cat said...

Hyped or not, there were some really good rides and EXCELLENT bulls in Las Vegas. Killer Bs looked sharp! Definitely missed JB but he does need to heal himself up. Also missed Valderon who's all busted up, too. Reynato was awesome!

Shawk said...

How about that Silvano Alves? All the chatter about how he would handle the rank bulls seems like wishful thinking now (mixed in with a lot of other wishful thinking in general, such as all the talk about Palermo and Marchi being at 60% going in, but suddenly as Brazil is blowing everyone away, they're
healthy"). Silvano outgunning Big Tex when he knew the score wouldn't even count-- excellent.

I'm sort of surprised we haven't heard any screaming about how calling challenges on others is not the "cowboy way." I guess there is still time.

I still don't really "get" the WC, but there were some great bulls and great rides in there. Now I'm ready for Valdiron to come back and the regular season to continue.

shannon said...

Yeah, that was the most fun WC event I've watched so far. I think it was not only because of how great the Brazilians were performing, but also because of the bull line up. Somehow, knowing the bulls made a big difference for me.

But, I, too, am looking forward to the regular events again. Especially to see if the Brazilians (including Silvano) can continue the streak.

shelia said...

JB and Shane rode in the rodeo in Concord, NC last w/e. Maybe that's JB's way of, "getting my head straight."

There sure were a lot of temper tantrums and helmet throwing and JB wasn't even there....

nancy said...

I have to agree: with all the bluster and hype, I *picked* a decent weekend to miss the PBR. It's interesting that VS. has moved the Billings event air time to 4 pm here in EST land--maybe the ratings are skewing their decision? Who knows?

And yeah, we'd like some updates on Nick Landreneau, Ryan Dirteater, and some others who are either banged up/quit.