Wednesday, January 30, 2013

PurePBR? Pure... Something.

While I am demoralized by the sudden return and inexplicable triumph of Sean “What’s the Next Step?” Willingham, I am not unaware that I have been neglecting my blog duties and so will charge into the fray.  This will probably be a bit snarkier than my usual foray here, but I’m tired, under-caffeinated, and cranky about last weekend’s event.

So let me just start right in on David Neal’s latest and greatest invention, PurePBR.  Not satisfied by merely wiring riders so we can hear a thrilling series of grunts, or setting up the Truth Booth so we can experience cowboys utter such illuminating insights as, "That’s a little black bull, and, um, I fell off him," Mr. Neal has decided to bring us even closer to the "action."  Unfortunately, Mr. Neal apparently doesn't realize that a clearly uncomfortable circle of cowboys sitting in folding chairs and mumbling unintelligibly is not terribly exciting. 

Also unfortunate is that, in addition to being rough and somewhat boring, there were huge sound balance issues, and a couple of the more interesting "moments" were ones that clearly slipped by the TV crew.  And while J.W. Hart telling us about flank straps and bull ropes might be marginally intriguing for new fans, it's old hat for the rest of us, and it verges on irritating when they insist on showing Hart nattering with a rope in his hand while they do a split screen and we can barely make out whatever ride is in progress.  

And now that they've explained bull ropes and flank straps, what do they plan to talk about for the remainder of the 10 thrilling PurePBR episodes slated for us?

Never fear, I have the solution! Simply hand me the controls to Telestrator (remember when they used that about three times and promptly forgot about it? Or maybe it was like the X-Mo and just on loan), and I would surely spice up the proceedings!

For example, I would be sure to highlight whenever the chute judge begins prematurely yelling at a Brazilian rider, or lets a rider from another country dink around in the chute for a long periods of time with no comment.

Along the same lines, I would happily do side-by-side ride comparisons to attempt to explain to the viewers why one ride gets a widely divergent score from another similar-appearing ride, in my own streamlined fashion.

I would also be sure to point out whenever a cowboy would land in a horrible way on some previously injured body part, only to have Shorty Gorham ask, "Hey, buddy, how’s that elbow?"  Maybe he needs more notes in his armband.  Or to be able to do his main job without being overtaxed and asked to do things that he clearly isn't quite prepared to do.

I would like to say that I would highlight when Flint is repeating the same material from the last several years, but then again, as he is always sure to point out, they never show him on the broadcast anyway.

And finally, since it was mentioned on the broadcast, we might as well really get our money's worth out of the Telestrator.

Yup, I went there. 

Let us hope, for everyone's sake, that PurePBR finds its footing and becomes less of an experiment, and more of an experience. And that I get some coffee soon.


Stockyard Queen said...

Montana Barn Cat and the Stockyard Queen were wondering out loud whether when Willingham said he "didn't know how to handle" being cut, he really meant "I drank an entire liter of Old Crow in two hours flat and woke up in a gutter in San Antonio." Yes, we are that mean.

shannon said...

lol! You really make me smile when you get snarky. I still haven't seen an event this year, but since I'm well versed in the PBR by now, I'm finding your posts informative and entertaining.

Sounds like they are still doing things to attract a new viewer. I maintain that if they want to keep new viewers they'll having their players and staff knock off the ugly political commentary on Twitter and Facebook (I had a friend delete all of them from her list after this past election).

Jean said...

omg I hope you get snarky more often! I LOVE it! You definitely need to be in charge of the telestrator!

Stockyard Queen said...

Yeah, you can really tell when Pearl has gone too long without coffee.

Pearl de Vere said...

Sadly, I have yet to receive any offers from David Neal, but you all will be the first to know should that occur.

I try not to pay attention to what PBR-affiliated folks are saying on social media as it tends to make me insane, but Justin McBride was sure letting loose some insults regarding the presidential election, which I guess PBR HQ doesn't care about? Not saying people can't have their own opinions, but when you're a spokesperson, when, where and how you express your opinions should be subject to careful review.

Hummer's back this weekend, so I better have a couple of double shot lattes, or it could get ugly. ;)

Stockyard Queen said...

Maybe McBride thinks being a spokesperson means he can say anything stupid thing he wants and nobody will call him on it because he's such an awesome person. Whenever I hear that these PBR guys are making boneheaded comments, I flash back to my short-lived career as a college instructor, when I had to read essays written by ignoramuses who had never been taught how to think critically. I wasn't surprised to learn that McBride left UNLV after a year to ride bulls. It clearly shows in how he expresses himself.

Shawk said...

While there is something to be said for change, the PBR is so random and spastic about it. I would love to be a fly on the wall when these David Neal Production ideas are discussed, assuming they are in any detail. That being said, I will be sure to laugh and think of this post if they break out the Telestrator anytime soon!

Did you see the PBR article about the early days of the sport getting media attention and McBride saying dumb stuff? It would be funny except I don't know that the PBR has really improved in their media training for the guys-- I seem to recall the Cooper Tires was putting Renato through media training -- why are the sponsors doing this and not the PBR? Seems backward to me.

shannon said...

"I guess PBR HQ doesn't care about? "

Pearl, not only do they not care, but I'm convinced that they blackballed me. Not got get too detailed because a couple of people here have heard it already, but I confronted one PBR employee on FB and wrote to admin saying that allowing ugly political rhetoric on public boards was not a good way to get and keep new fans. Later, I was told by the guy who wrote the political stuff that his boss "didn't care much". After that, every single PBR person that used to respond to me stopped. Completely, 100%. Not one response from anyone after that. Coincidence? Maybe.

When people on the FB were telling me that I was being stupid and they guy had every right to say what he wanted because it was his board, I reminded them that by identifying as a PBR employee, putting pictures of himself with his sponsors logos and by accepting the fans as friends, he needed to remember that he was representing the companies and needed to make them look good. If he wanted to engage in personal conversation, he could do that by simply listing himself as "Athelete", putting up pictures of himself in everyday clothing and only accepting family and people that he knows personally as friends. Then it wouldn't look so bad on the PBR. Guess how well that went over? :)

Oddly enough, I haven't been as interested in watching the events as I was before that.

Stockyard Queen said...

I think the folks who run the PBR are incredibly thin-skinned and defensive about any criticism, whether snarky or constructive. That just proves to me that they are amateurs. Nobody likes being criticized, but professionals have the ability to analyze the criticism and determine whether it's justified, and if it is, they act on it. Amateurs just get their backs up and shun anybody who dares to point out they might be less than perfect.