Monday, March 26, 2012

Where Do I Begin?

No, I am not dead, nor am I hospitalized with two broken legs and a fractured pelvis. I have just been buried under a pile of work that would make Hercules pause a moment, pull out his bandana, and wipe his brow in anticipation. Sometimes I feel like a postal worker, toiling away on one emergency and seeing, out of the corner of my eye, a never-ending line of other people and projects who need my attention. Fortunately, I had the good sense to move to the online end of my business, so I, unlike the U.S.P.S., am unlikely to ever become obsolete because I didn't foresee what was coming down the pike.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I actually have been pondering for a couple of weeks which of the nearly intolerable issues with the current PBR season I should tackle first. They gather 'round me, friends, like so many hungry puppies, nipping at my sleeves and begging pathetically for Pupperoni snacks. But one of them is growling now, and growling loudly, so I guess I better put down the tools of my trade and feed the bulldog.

And that bulldog is the damned broadcast schedule. I have thought about this seriously, and I cannot for the life of me see how the Powers That Be at PBR headquarters could possibly have made it any harder for us to watch the sport. And since I can search for "bull riding" via my DVR, I am more fortunate than most fans, who have to go to the website and poke around (and we all know how user-friendly and helpful the site is) to determine what network will be broadcasting the event, and when, and then translate that to their own particular time zone.

Honestly! Do the dolts who caused this mess not understand that the broadcasts are the ONLY reason the PBR has managed to gain a decent fan base outside of the NASCAR-loving, Stars-and-Bars waving, redneck, fundamentalist, snake-handling, right-wing demographic? Maybe that's straying from the main point, which is this: Take away the broadcasts, and the number of attendees of all persuasions at live events will plummet. You (and the PBR accountants) can take that prediction to the bank.

So here we are, with only ONE broadcast per event on most weekends, if we are lucky, and it is a not infrequent occurrence that the programming immediately before the PBR runs over, thus truncating an already abbreviated experience. I literally cannot count the number of times I have recorded the event, only to discover that the end has been lopped off because some eighth-tier basketball game slopped over into the PBR timeslot.

Just consider the atrocity perpetuated on us this past weekend--the Albuquerque event was a three-day event, and in the end, J.B. Mauney won for the third time this season, but all we got to see was one hour--the 15 on 15 on Sunday afternoon. How can any sensible person consider that a fair representation of the sport?

I hope somebody in Pueblo is working on solving this problem, because it is rapidly sapping a lot of my enthusiasm for the sport. It just makes me weary, and I assure you that I am not alone.


shannon said...

I used to make time for any event I missed, even if it meant starting late and staying up until midnight or shooing the kids into another room so I can watch it the next afternoon. Now? I don't care. If I miss it, so be it. Which is sad for many reasons, but especially because I've always wanted JB to have a really good year and win a title. Too bad the year that seems to be his is the one in which you can barely watch.

Shawk said...

The wacky scheduling is definitely interfering with my enjoyment. When the 15/15 is on at 9am for me and the one day of a three day event that is shown on TV is at 3, it's hard to get inspired. I have other things to do during daylight hours on my weekends. Taping is fraught with frustration as I usually get the surprise basketball treatment.

I can only imagine that newer fans are utterly confused and much more likely to wander away. And forget totally new fans-- how would they even begin to find the sport in the first place?

I really hope the PBR has been working like crazy to get a better schedule set up for next season, because this is the pits.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Shannon. I no longer care if I miss the broadcast. I watch/listen to it on the LEC. Many times I fall asleep before it is over. I know who has won before it has been shown so I really don't care if I see it or not. So many of the ride are not even on the broadcast. Ho hum. I can't believe that they only show only one night of the event. When watching on the LEC it is so evident that the PBR is not playing to a full house. I see many empty seats. Too bad for the PBR. They need to understand that this is a rodeo event, not WWE or a soap opera. There are no story lines, just bull verses man. I believe that the PBR has moved so far away from their roots that they can never come back to a pure sport. PBR - RIP.

Anonymous said...

There is no joy in Mudville... The hilarious TV "schedule" is a result of Versus dropping the PBR, but honest to god, did NOBODY at the PBR know about this well in advance? The end-zone scramble is no way to reach an audience, let alone build a new one. I would've been hounding one of the ESPN channels for months ahead of time to snag a contract.
Watching on YouTube is a pain in the ass-- who wants to sit at a computer straining their eyes and seeing the action freeze at the most aggravating moments?
Trying to use the Live Event Center is just torture. You practically have to know secret codes to find day sheets, previous results, and other necessary info. If not for Andy's still photos, you'd never know what the hell happened on the non-broadcast days. Hell, even on the broadcast days! I just don't get how the PBR makes progress in one area only to shoot itself in the foot in another area.
A postal worker once said to me (this is for real; I was dealing with an outrageous USPS fuckup due to some new "system" they put into place):
"The farther ahead we go, the further behind we get."
Couldn'ta said it better myself.

Jean said...

The only reason we got hooked on the PBR was because it was always on at or near the same time on weekends at a time of day when we were generally ready to flip channels in search of something to watch. It took us a few months to become totally addicted but we would wait anxiously for the weekends to arrive. We could identify the bulls, we could identify the riders by style and/or body parts and we religiously bought our tickets to the Glendale Event (We were there when Robson Palermo won his first PBR event). After William's heart surgery, sore as he was, we went to that event. During his cancer treatments, sick as he was, we went to that event. We blogged, we made notes, we blogged, we discussed bulls, riders, events, and venues. After Justin McKee was let go, bull info became thin on the ground, taking away much of our enjoyment (wouldn't want to be his neighbor but we miss his good info). This year, trying to FIND the TV broadcasts has become an exercise in utter frustration. Even when I search our DirecTV guide for Bull Riding it seems to be hit and miss. We're not avid tube watchers. We're, at best, channel flippers in the evening. If we find a show we really like (hasn't happened since Frasier) we will sit down and watch it, but once a show starts getting moved around the schedule we lose interest. This has happened to us with the PBR. We just aren't going to chase them around the dial and spend time trying to figure out when it's on. We hardly know any of the bulls anymore, heck a lot of the riders are total strangers to us. All that remains the same is the invented drama. Rather than ordering our tickets for Glendale as soon as the schedule was published, we waited, waited, procrastinated, forgot, procrastinated until two weeks before and finally decided "screw it too expensive and we haven't been able to keep up with the season enough to care". We're back to the place we were the first year we started watching it. If it's on when we're channel flipping we watch.