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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

At Least Somebody Is Reporting on an Injury

For those of you like the Stockyard Queen who love the bulls, Jeff Robinson is reporting on Facebook that Pawn Broker is making good progress. That was one of the worst accidents I've ever seen, so it's a huge relief to know he's recovering. Best wishes to you, Pawn Broker! Hope to see you back in the BFTS soon!

Monday, January 14, 2013

One Observation Before We Open the Floodgates

Ben Jones--really? You've been "riding like a fat girl"?!?!?!?!

I imagine a lot of girls with big butts and low centers of gravity would have ridden a lot better than you have lately. I've been a fan of yours for a long time, but as of right now, that is over.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Just When We Thought It Was Safe

Before I dive off into my current musings, I want to congratulate Robson Palermo on a masterful win in New York last weekend. He looked beautiful on the backs of those bulls. I hope he finally manages to stay healthy and has the season he so deserves.

And now, friends and neighbors, on to the main subject of this post. Please fasten your seat belts and prepare to be overrun by a thundering herd of Mauney’s Minions, because I am daring to do something that instantly sets them off: I am going to criticize J.B. Mauney! Yes, I am going to go right ahead and state for the record that his decision to abandon his helmet is about the dumbest move we’ve seen this young man make in his career.

When Ty Murray recounted his conversation with J.B. about this decision, I realized that there is at least one difference between me and Mrs. J.B. Mauney (besides probably 30 years and 30 pounds). If I were Mrs. J.B. Mauney, I would have already filed for divorce, because I would not stay married to a man in a dangerous profession who refused to take reasonable precautions to protect himself and thus his family.

I have to admit, I was pretty stunned by this development, probably because it came to light AFTER J.B. had told Leah on air that he had realized he is halfway through his bull riding career and thus needs to maximize his riding percentages and his earnings. I don’t quite see the line of logic between that idea and throwing away the helmet, which he has been wearing since he started riding bulls as a child. The only explanation I can come up with is an adolescent fit of rebellion. Is J.B. really so foolish as to think “nobody can tell me what to do” is a good approach to being a businessman, let alone a husband and father?

Come to think of it, his picking Rock and Roll, who had not been ridden up until then and who was STILL not ridden after the short-go was over, is parallel to this way of thinking. I really don’t get it. J.B. had first pick in the draft, so why didn’t he choose a good bull he could be reasonably assured he could ride? Oh, I forgot—“I’m going for the rank ones every single time.” Spoken like a true businessman, and furthermore, a businessman whose instrument for making a living is his body. Good call, J.B.

Overall, my reaction to this is disgust. We have endured years of J.B. Mauney acting like a spoiled brat, throwing his bull rope and punching out trash cans when he didn’t ride. We have put up with endless bullshit explanations by his fans that he is just so “passionate” that he “gets all worked up” and that we are obliged to excuse his behavior because he is a brilliant bull rider. If we did excuse it, we mostly did so because he was still a kid and we weren’t surprised when he acted like one from time to time.

And just when we thought maybe J.B. was maturing, we come face to face, yet again, with J.B. the 12-year-old. Research into the development of the brain has determined that people don’t really develop decent judgment skills until they are about 25. I guess I have to conclude that J.B. is a late bloomer. I also have to hope that he has a pile of health and life insurance stashed away somewhere, because riding without a helmet is not a good way to ensure a long and healthy career in this sport.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes

Gather 'round, friends and neighbors, while once again I proclaim that the season is starting up and we are all fired up here at the Stockyard. I try not to torture you fabulously patient folks with my personal issues, and I don't plan to now, but man! What a year this past one has been!

I actually am taking a few liberties, because it's been a little more than a year since the earth started shaking around here. Still, in the space of a mere 14 months, Pearl has bought a house and moved into it, and Montana Barn Cat and I stumbled upon our own little piece of heaven in Big Sky Country and, in a completely characteristic act of impulsiveness, bought it.

Since then, the people involved with this blog have hired painters, cleaning professionals, landscape designers, architects, moving companies, carpet cleaners, and dog trainers. We have paid out thousands to other people who have cleaned up our flower beds and wiped out the insides of our refrigerators and polished up our floors. We have signed contracts with banks and realtors and prospective buyers of our homes. Just to add to the fun, we have acquired yet more animals and weathered the attendant dog food and vet bills. The economy may still be ailing, but we are doing all we can and then some to hold up our end.

Thus, it is with a great sense of relief that we anticipate the beginning of the PBR season this coming weekend. Valdiron de Olivera and several other boys are out with injuries, Chicken on a Chain is making some interesting observations over on Facebook, and God only knows what crazy shit the dudes at headquarters are dreaming up. The reelection of Barack Obama is certainly a sign of the coming apocalypse, and gun nuts all over the country are buying more guns and stockpiling ammo because of course the feds are going to show up any second and confiscate ALL weapons, but frankly, we can't be bothered with any of that right now! We are TIRED of thinking serious thoughts and we are ready to PAR-TAAAYYY!!!!

No, we are preparing to grill a steak and wash it down with Jack Daniels while watching cowboys hit the dirt in Madison Square Garden. Bring on the bulls!