We swear this isn't mission creep. Or infidelity, really. You see, college football, you're just not around enough to fulfill all of our needs. Really, how do you expect us to sit here, like some kind of wireless-addicted Penelope, awaiting your return with bated breath without getting any on the side? While you're off practicing, wooing 18 year olds with lurid promises, and gallivating around fundraising and doing everything BUT putting on football games for our viewing pleasure?
Who do you think we are? Chris Berman's wife?
It's time we made an arrangement. From time to time, we'll see other people. We won't be all downlow about it, but we won't be asking them to move in with the two of us. And we'll also promise this: we'll have had to see the whole thing in person, since we're hands-on like that.
We're calling it Seeing Other People, and this week our first "healthy diversion" comes to us from a sport no one in their right mind could miss seeing at least once: Professional Bull Riding. We covered the event for Professional Bull Riding Monthly. As improbable as the notion of actually climbing onto the back of a one-ton bull seems on television, it's infinitely more hackbrained when you see it happening right in front of you in the chutes.
That guy's about the size of Regis Phibin, just to make the whole endeavor look twice as cracked ballsy as it seemed before you knew that.
Since we're busy with unavoidable real-life stuff today, please take the following pics as our apologies. Be back on Tuesday AM.
PBR has a mascot, who obviously does not impress this judge. You cannot ride him, however, or at least not before buying him a few drinks.
This 19 hand Clydesdale is not, in fact, trying to eat this child. He could if he wanted to, of course. His turn-ons include carrots, a snug pair of horseshoes, and ladies who like Nicholas Sparks novels.
TOROS!!! Know what they're thinking about in this picture? Ramming the hell out of you. And no, not like that, bientai.
Out of the chute. Contrary to popular myth, no rope is tied around their balls to get them to buck. Apparently, they hate being ridden enough already, and buck so hard to get the rider off that it's common to see riders hit in the head by the flailing ass of the bull. The only testicular trauma involved seems to be on the riders, any of whom you do NOT want to engage in a Rochambeau contest.
Snot. It's hard to describe just how much force a bull can apply to the ground and the bandy rider atop him, but one indicator the casual observer can note is the propulsive force that snot/sweat/whateverthehellthatis flies from the bull's nostrils. This picture catches a fine sample in motion, with three foot long shoestrings reeling from the bull's nose.
There's no good way off a bull. Some ways, however, are better than others. No one really got maimed at the Atlanta Classic, but not too many riders stayed on 8 seconds, either. This shows one of the more benign ways to exit a bullride, with a Dickies Durabullfighter there to distract the bull. (Like NASCAR, PBR turns almost every element of the show over to corporate sponsorship. This picture brought to you by American Smokeless Tobacco, by the way.)
One real possibility for PBR is swinging a significant share of the female sports viewing market. Why? Because bullriders are more masculine than you ever have hope of being, and fall right into an established swoon category: cowboy.
TCOAN got to meet Adriano Moraes, the Brazilian three-time world PBR champ and the only 36-year old bullrider...um, ever, we guess. Her comment? "He smelled gooooooood." Potential a-plenty there, especially in a sport involving being light, wrestling huge animals, and wearing really tight jeans on national television.
Not that they're shorting the guys, bad camera angles aside:
The promo girls pictured above were one of a relentless series of interstitial entertainments. Their pants, too, were of the tight variety, but even with their freebies tossed into the crowd they couldn't compete with the greatest consumer firearm we've ever seen: THE JOHNSONVILLE BRATS SAUSAGE CANNON. It fired whole bratwursts in-bun into the crowd at high speed, and would have been really, really awesome at a much lower firing angle. Fortunately for the legal staff at Johnsonville Brats, the promo crew kept the cannon angled way above 45 degrees, landing each warm bundle of meatjoy gently into the hands of fighting onlookers. We didn't get a picture of it, because we were too busy fighting for bratwurst, of course.
Any sport using the phrase "rank bull" wins us over (especially because we've got a whole new term to describe nasty defensive tackles, as in "Allen Branch is one rank bull.") Thanks to Jeff at PBR Monthly, and to the media staff there for tolerating our wandering around the chutes.
We leave you by reminding you that this bull totally wants to kick your ass. Now.