So, when I first caught wind of this PBR event, I wasn’t exactly pumped to go see it. I’d been invited by friends in the past, and I just never could get motivated to attend. I’ll never make that mistake again. Ned, Alex, and I hung out at the pre-ride press junket. I overheard the dude on the mic announce that Giants TE Bear Pascoe was present. Sweet. We got some Jack Daniel’s in our system and did a lap. I noticed a tall skinny blonde and thought cool, there’s a model here. I wonder who she’s riding. Then, Ned pointed out that it was Kate Upton. Even with my contacts in, I didn’t believe him at first, but she turned, flashing a smile, and I was sold. Holy f***ing sh*t.
As we formulated a game plan, she went to work, posing with the trophy. Ned and I had to battle brohams with way better cameras to get some decent shots, but it’s easy when it’s Kate. The girl is just… heaven. I mean, she was extremely nice and fun, but too tall in heels for my 6′ fat @ss. She was just the right height for Ned, though, so he snagged a pic.
Meanwhile, I did what I always do, securely fitting my foot into my mouth when I called Jake Ballard “Bear”. He immediately corrected me as he almost broke my hand during our shake. Dude is massive. I’d been around big dudes before, having played football in college, but I can’t imagine trying to tackle that monster. I asked him about the knee and he told me he’d play as he limped away. I thought no way is that guy suiting up, but he did hauling in 2 passes for 16 yards.
We wandered the floor a bit more and came across another big-ass dude in a cowboy hat. That’s gotta be Bear, I thought. So, I pulled up a quick Google image search and confirmed it. I asked him about who would be the toughest to face out of JPP, Osi, and Tuck, and he added Dave Tollefson to the list, stating he’s super quick before admitting that JPP is indeed a freak. I asked him what it is about Eli that motivates the team in tight situations and he said it was Eli’s even temperament that keeps them focused and calm under pressure. Finally, I asked how he got into bullriding and he mentioned that he’d had a ton of exposure to the sport growing up and was actually an accomplished team roper. He also hung out with Ross Coleman, Luke Snyder, Colby Yates and Brendon Clark at the Rangers game Thursday night. After wishing him good luck, we made our way ringside (?) to “The Party Zone” for more free adult beverages.
The vantage point wasn’t great, especially if you’re five foot nothing like Alex, but the huge jumbotron helped. Alex also claimed to be knowledgable about the sport, but every question I fired at her was answered with “I don’t know”. Even with my limited knowledge, the event was awesome. Can’t go wrong with PBRs at the PBR. The night took a serious turn when Dakota Beck took a horn to the dome and sustained a concussion, broken cheek, and facial and oral lacerations. He came back and competed in the final two days. I don’t think you could pay me enough money to do what these guys do.
I’m still baffled by the scoring system. We saw this one bull jump like 5 feet in the air, dude stayed on it for 8 seconds, and somehow got the lowest score. The crowd booed (I joined in) and the announcers mocked us saying, “I think they’re booing because it should’ve been lower”. Whatever, all I know is the bulls have the best names – After Party, High Steaks, Chicken on a Chain, Too Sexy, and Mood Swing were just a handful of hilarious monikers. Other highlights of the night include an indoor blimp, and poppin’ off pics with the Blue Emu mascot. This is definitely one of the more underrated sports spectacles out there. Definitely worth putting on the bucket list.