Gitty Up's Best Posts

Friday, April 15, 2011

Time, not judges, will decide 'Last Cowboy Standing'

Time, not judges, will decide 'Last Cowboy Standing' bullriding event
By Gary Mihoces

The Professional Bull Riders has an entirely different format and a top prize of $200,000 for its "Last Cowboy Standing" pay-per-view TV event Saturday night in Las Vegas. But while the format will put a premium on just staying on for eight seconds — not on judges' scores — the man who rounds up the bulls doesn't foresee a more conservative riding style.

"It's really not a sport that you can be conservative. It's kind of an all-or-nothing game," says Cody Lambert, PBR livestock director.

"They've got to put out the effort to ride the bull whether he is worth a big score or not. … It's not like football, where they can just hand the ball off and run it up the middle, just protect their lead. They don't have a lead. They have to score (stay on for eight seconds) on that particular down."

Forty riders are entered, including PBR points leader Valdiron de Oliveira of Brazil. Those who stay on their bulls for eight seconds in round one will advance to Round 2. That elimination will continue until one rider is left.

Typically, the judges' scores for a successful ride (based on the performances of the riders and bulls) determine final standings. At this event, it's initially all about just staying on for eight seconds. Scores will come into play only if more than one rider is left after the maximum five rounds. If that happens, the winner will be based on total scores from all the rides.

The PBR is doing the pay-per-view event because its usual network, Versus, is doing the NHL hockey playoffs. The PBR event, which begins at 9 p.m. ET, is available for $29.95 via local pay-per-view channels or satellite providers.

This is the PBR's first venture into pay-per-view.

Lambert says it also presents a challenge in rounding up the necessary number of bulls.

"It's a thing we've never done before. We have no idea how many it's going to take," Lambert says.

"We know the first round's going to take 40. But after that we don't know if there's going to be 15 qualified rides, 20 qualified rides."

So he says he's got "81 bull there that are ready to buck." He based that on projections from typical PBR events.

"I think Round 1 will ride anywhere form 40 to 50% of the bulls. In Round 2, I think they won't ride over 25% of them…so I'm hoping they ride 20 bulls in the first round and four or five in the second round. And then they go from there," he says.

In Round 1, he'll trying to group comparable bulls.

"We're trying to keep the round even and not necessarily by bucking style or anything," he says. "We don't know the way a bull is going to buck. That's kind of his choice. But we'll buck bulls that statistically would buck about the same score."

He'll turn loose tougher bulls in Round 2 and not save them for maybe Round 5. He figures that will be the toughest round.

"I don't feel it's beneficial to the event to put the toughest bulls in Round 5. That bull only has to buck one time, and he's fresh, and the rider getting on him will have already been on four bulls," Lambert says. "So I want to put the toughest bulls in there while the riders are still ready to challenge one of the toughest bulls."

No comments:

Post a Comment