Archive for January, 2011

postheadericon Technical difficulties

I’m not sure if NBC was looking to pad today’s coverage of the Jack Daniels Invitational or if there was a computer error, but the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series broadcast had a serious hitch in its get-along during intermission between the third and short go-rounds.

That’s the kind of stuff that turns viewers away, something the sports of rodeo and bull riding don’t need.

postheadericon Showing emotion

A good Ben Jones is great for the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series.

He shows his excitement and dancing prowess every time he does well. The Australian makes watching bull riding a lot of fun.

I understand that it’s difficult to hide emotions, and that with great joy oftentimes comes great sorrow. But throwing a hissy fit in the middle of a rodeo arena isn’t much of a cowboy. Every time Ben throws a fit, he loses credibility.

postheadericon “That’s an expensive flight …”

Cord McCoy made his first ride on a Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series event Saturday night, and it lasted just a couple of seconds.

McCoy, an injury replacement at the Jack Daniels Invitational in Indianapolis, learned he got his shot late Saturday afternoon, so he booked a flight and scrambled to the nearest airport in order to make the early evening performance.

“That’s an expensive flight to come fall off about the third jump,” he said behind the chutes after the ride.

Before he left the arena, he had a few words for entertainer Flint Rasmussen and the bullfighters.

“It’s good to be here, I’m telling you.”

“I’ll try to ride longer tomorrow. ”

It’s that attitude that’s made Cord a fan favorite.

postheadericon The Flying Nun?

I just saw the hat Luke Snyder’s wearing in Indianapolis.  Looks like something Sally Field wore in the late 1960s in the TV show “The Flying Nun.”

postheadericon Oh, hockey pucks

I’m glad I’m not recording the opening night of the PBR in Indianapolis.

The NHL All-Star weekend’s skills test challenge has gone into overtime, pushing the coverage of the Jack Daniels Invitational back about 20 minutes so far. For PBR fans who like hockey, they get a nice double dip. For most of us, though, it’s just a delay.

And it’s unfortunate.

postheadericon A perfect fit?

Cord McCoy

Cord McCoy

Talk about last minute: As of 2 p.m. Central time, bull rider and amazing racer Cord McCoy is en route to Indianapolis, where he’s a late replacement in the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series event, the Jack Daniels Invitational.

It’s the fourth premier tour event of the season, and McCoy has worked his way up to be an alternate. Hopefully it’ll lead to him staying on the tour, which is a good thing for McCoy, his new bride, Sara, and the PBR.

As far as I can tell, Cord was notified late this morning, which meant flying this afternoon and getting to Conseco Fieldhouse in time for the show, which is scheduled to begin at 6:50 p.m. Central.

Talk about an amazing race. Maybe this trip is right up Cord’s alley; he’s been in this position a few times before.

postheadericon That’s a bunch of bull

Some of the best known legends in bull riding have been the bulls themselves.

From Bodacious to Dillinger to Little Yellow Jacket, the bulls have been more than just half of the score of a particular ride; they’ve been superstars in the game.

Young Cade Hemphill reminded me that even 3-year-olds have their favorite animal athletes. He liked Chicken On A Chain, a bull that’s been part of the PBR for five years.

So what is your favorite bull going down the road now, whether in the PBR, the CBR, the PRCA or any other association? What is your favorite bull of all time?

postheadericon Scary collision

McKennon Wimberly

McKennon Wimberly

McKennon Wimberly’s wreck last weekend while trying to ride the bull was one of the worst head-to-head collisions I’ve seen behind bull and bull rider.

Wimberly, 22, of Cool, Texas, was competing in the short round of the Anaheim (Calif.) Invitational, a Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough series event. The son of five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Joe Wimberly, McKennon is one of the outstanding young guns in the sport.

He also is one of those cowboys that chooses to wear protective headgear. But in Anaheim, the lacrosse-style helmet took the brunt of just one of two blows to McKennon’s head. With the first hit, the headgear flew off; but’s bucking motion brought McKennon back down just as the bull’s head came up. The sound of the two skulls smacking was simply scary.

McKennon was knocked out. He suffered a concussion and a broken jaw, the latter of which was surgically repaired Thursday at UC-Irvine Medical Center. Teenage stock contractor Mesa Pate reported Thursday on a blog posted on that McKennon came through surgery well and that doctors were pleased.

“Now it’s just a waiting game,” she wrote. “McKennon suffered serious trauma to his head and isn’t quite ready to wake up yet.”

My prayers go out to McKennon, his family and his friends. He’s a great bull rider.

But what’s more important, he’s an outstanding young man.

postheadericon Let’s talk Leah Garcia

Maybe I’m missing something, but I haven’t seen a report on Leah Garcia leaving the Professional Bull Riders telecasts. In fact, a release issued Dec. 28, 2010, lists Garcia as one of the behind-the-chutes announcers, along with Erin Coscarelli.

I’ve read a considerable amount of feedback from PBR fans who are unhappy with the changes on the VERSUS telecasts of events, and many fans miss Garcia and longtime announcer Justin McKee – see this post. In fact, several fans have made reference to Garcia on that link.

I’ve received word from the PBR that supports the Dec. 28 news release indicating Garcia and Coscarelli are sharing the “sideline reporter” duties. But that doesn’t mean fans are happy about it. From what I gather, it’s just another straw on the camel’s back for many who aren’t happy with the changes in the TV production.

What do you think?

postheadericon The education process

Kindergartners at Graland County Day School got a different kind of education when ProRodeo athletes Chad Van Campen, Jule Hazen and Garrett Nokes visited with them on Jan. 14. 

Garrett Nokes

Garrett Nokes

The timed-event cowboys were in town to compete at the National Western Stock Show rodeo, and they visited the school to talk about their sport. Nokes and Hazen have qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in steer wrestling, and Van Campen has been one of the elite bulldoggers in the game for a number of years.

The students had already prepared some questions, which the cowboys did their best to answer. It’s all great public relations for the sport, something rodeo needs. Nokes is well aware of that, so that’s why he talked his cohorts into going with him to educate the youngsters.

I roped Jule and Chad into it because we were all staying at my cousin’s house in Denver,” said Nokes of McCook, Neb. “I also had my son, Parker, with me, so he went, too.

“Actually, Parker stole the show. He’s my 2-year-old, and he was all dressed up cowboy and having a ball. He’s my cowboy; he eats it and sleeps it and carries ropes everywhere.”

And when the 5- and 6-year-old students posed their questions, their younger counterpart was more than willing to answer. Decked out in his cowboy hat and belt, young Parker also carried his piggin’ string like a well-trained calf roper.

“There was no stage fright there,” Nokes said. “He had a ball. The kids just enjoyed it. When he was showing all the kids the piggin’ string, he put it around his head and one arm like all the old men do.”

The cowboys answered all sorts of questions, from the names of their horses to how fast they can run to the animals’ colors. It wasn’t the State of the Union Address, but it was a great way to get more young fans involved in rodeo.

“The PRCA asked me if I could do it, and, of course, I said yes,” Nokes said. “I think the more of those kinds of deals contestants do during rodeos the better. If you have a chance to bring 100 more people to a rodeo, why wouldn’t you do it?”

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