The 2010 Jack Daniel’s Invitational is in the books, and it was one heck of a final day. There were five rides in the short-go round, three of which were 90.25 or better. The bull power was extremely impressive, and it was great to see stars like Code Blue, Bones, and Uncle Buck back in action. Renato Nunes struggled, and Austin Meier went 3-for-3 to close the gap in the world standings. In the end, Aussie Ben Jones won his first-ever BFTS event and danced like never before. I’ve put together five final thoughts from the Nashville event. If you have anything to add, please comment below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
Not So Fast Renato
Renato Nunes increased his lead in the world standings to over 1,700 points following the San Antonio event two weeks ago. A lot of people started to crown him the 2010 champ, but the Nashville event proved there is still a long way to go. Austin Meier, coming off an 0-for-5 slump his previous two events, rode all three bulls in the Music City and finished second overall. He made up nearly half the deficit in the standings and now trails by less than 1,000 points. Meier had plenty of chances to buck off all three bulls, but it was pretty apparent he wasn’t bucking off anything this past weekend. It was nice to see the grit and determination make its return.
In addition, Valdiron de Oliveira finished in 10th place and also moved closer to Nunes. Oliveira is now just 1,880 points out of the top spot. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, Nunes is still the top guy in the world and rightfully so. He might not have ridden anything this past weekend, but that probably won’t happen too often. Fans are going to see a race to the finish in 2010, and that makes the Final Five Chase even more important. It’s just nice to see some of the guys chasing the top guy making quality rides and progress in the standings.
Bones is Back
The top bull by bull score in Nashville was Uncle Buck, but Bones was the best. It’s been awhile since we have seen Bones (Arlington to be exact), but he was extremely rank this past weekend. He had the drop and kick fans expect to see from the 2008 World Champion bull, and if he continues that form, he will be a serious threat to win the title this year as well. It was very nice to see this bull return to form, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in Memphis this weekend.
While I’m talking about bulls, I want to give another shout-out to Major Payne as well. He has been out almost 20 times on the BFTS in 2010, and his trips just keep getting better. If he has another great out next weekend, he will definitely be moving up my power rankings next month. Finally, Highway 12 deserves some respect as well. This bull traveled halfway across the country and was awesome! Congrats to Mesa Bucking Bulls on a great animal athlete!
To Ride or Not to Ride?
With the World Title race heating up down the stretch, numerous top-10 guys are dealing with rough injuries. It’s admirable to see them in the draw every weekend, but there comes a time when decisions have to be made about the future. Guilherme Marchi, Travis Briscoe, and Robson Palermo are all fighting the injury bug, and they aren’t riding very well in the process. Marchi is the first who comes to mind because he looked the worst in Nashville. Not only was he bucked off very quickly in both outs, he looked off before getting dumped. I don’t recall Marchi looking off, but it’s definitely not going to get the job done moving forward.
Briscoe has been fighting injuries the last few months, and it looks like it’s time to take a break and heal up for the World Finals and/or 2011. It will be tough for him to compete for the title 100% healthy, but it’s almost impossible being this banged up. He said he will try to ride with his other hand this weekend in Memphis, but I can’t see that going very well. I applaud the effort, and I hope it works out for him. That being said, the immediate future doesn’t look good for Briscoe, especially if the injuries keep piling on.
The last guy on the injury list is Robson Palermo. Some injuries are worse than others, but an injury to a riding hand has to be one of the toughest to deal with. I’ll give credit to Palermo for at least getting one qualified ride in Nashville, but he didn’t have a chance against Voodoo Child in the short-go. And Voodoo wasn’t even as good as usual. Last week on the PBR website, it was stated the Brazilian would be missing 6-8 weeks because of injury. It looks like that is probably the smart thing to do, but we shall see. With a couple months break after the Finals, these guys might gut it out and deal with the injuries later.
Has Voodoo Lost a Step?
Voodoo Child is still the most deserving for 2010 PBR Bull of the Year, but it appears he may have lost a step over the summer break. He was still pretty impressive even after slipping in Nashville, but both of his outs since the break have been under 45 points. Prior to the break, he wasn’t marked under 45 points in 12 outs. He is still going to be one of the bulls to keep an eye on in Vegas, but there are others ready to jump up and win the title. If Voodoo looks like he has his last two outs, bulls like Uncle Buck, Code Blue, Bones, Major Payne, etc. will fare better down the stretch.
No Change in the Top 10…..Yet
The Final Five Chase is all the talk right now in the PBR, and while there wasn’t a change to the top 10 in Nashville, Shane Proctor stepped up and moved a little closer. Proctor has been known to start the season off hot, get cold in the middle part, and finish with a flurry. It might his time to get hot again, and he looked pretty good in Nashville this past weekend. A lot of changes could still happen, but it looks like Proctor may be the only one with a realistic shot at moving into the top 10. McKennon Wimberly and Mike Lee both looked good this past weekend as well, so it won’t be easy. If I was a betting man, however, I’d put my money on Proctor bumping Wimberly before the Greenville event.