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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Eight in eight

By Jamey Bergman
ESPN.com

Each week, ESPN Bull Riding asks the winner of the most recent PBR Built Ford Tough Series event eight pressing questions in eight minutes. This week, it's Zack Brown's turn. ESPN caught up with Zack Brown in Nampa, Idaho after his recent win at the Built Ford Tough Series event in Albuquerque, N.M.

Zack Brown has won three PBR events in 2009, but he's also had to battle injuries. This photo shows the tear in Brown's shirt from a bull that stepped on Brown, ripping the shirt and protective vest in half.
ESPN.com: So, you got number three, congratulations. After your win, you said that you are simplifying things — taking it one event at a time...

Zack Brown: You can't focus on the whole year all the time, so you just try to focus on the task at hand. That's pretty much that day and getting your bull rode. And that weekend it's just to win the event, and that's a little easier than trying to worry about what's going on with your season every time you don't win an event.

As much money as it pays, you might as well just try to go win the event.

I kind of adopted that attitude after the World Finals last year. I went there and I had five good bull rides and won like $16,000, and I was like, "Well, I won an event last year and I won $40,000."

I figured, if I just try to win events I could do just as well doing that.

ESPN.com: It seems to be working for you, you've had three wins so far this year and you're in the top 10, does that mindset carry over to any other aspects of your life?

Brown: I suppose so. Once you know your mechanics, the rest of it's just mental. You try to learn from your mistakes and not repeat them, you know.

ESPN.com: How about golf?

Brown: (Laughs) Yeah, but it doesn't always work, though.

Frank Newsom works to save Zack Brown from Berger/Struve's Fully Loaded during the second round of the 2009 Birmingham Built Ford Tough PBR.
ESPN.com: Last time we talked to you, you'd just gotten off the golf course. You played any lately?

Brown: I was going to go out to the golf course today, but we didn't actually make it. My brother was driving up from Utah and my friend got here and forgot that his kids were getting off school and his wife wasn't going to get home in time to watch them. (Brown is in Nampa, Idaho, the next stop on the PBR's Built Ford Tough Series tour.)

ESPN.com:Well, you rode some big-name bulls this weekend, including a big score for Chicken on a Chain who'd bucked off world No. 1, Kody Lostroh, what's the secret to riding Chicken, and why'd you handle him when Kody couldn't?

Brown: Yeah, that was nice. I'd been wanting to get on that bull for a while, but with some of the trips that he'd been having, I'd been a little hesitant to pick him. But he seemed to be the best one left in the draft after Travis and Kody had picked their bulls. So, I figured that if I was going to have a chance to win the event, I'd better pick something that I was going to be able to score the most points on.

Kody said that [Chicken on a Chain] just made too big of a move on him, so I just kind of went off of that and tried not to make too big of moves on him.

Zack Brown has won three events early in the 2009 season, capturing first in Sacramento, Tampa, and Albuquerque.
ESPN.com: What do you think about the matchups that the PBR has been promoting lately?

Brown: If it's entertaining the crowd, that's a good thing, and I guess that if I was in the position where I could get a matchup and possibly win $20,000, then I'd be definitely happy.

Other than that, it's just a publicity thing. But, if it's helping the PBR grow, I'm all for it.

ESPN.com: Back to bulls for a sec, your high-score for that event outside of Chicken was on a bull named Kabookie — what do you know about that bull?

Brown: That was the one I got after the draw, I didn't actually have a choice there, the computer picked for me. I picked another bull called Cool Whip in the draw — I picked him because I'd been on him before. I rode him at the finals for 89 points, and I figured that'd be a good score, but he didn't quite have as good a trip there as he did at the finals. It still worked out. I got a score and it paid off in the end.

ESPN.com: You've said that this season you wanted to keep your "eye on the prize," so to speak — how do you pair up taking things one event at a time, while still being focused on winning the world title?

Brown: Well, the ultimate goal is always there, so if you focus on smaller goals that are stepping stones to the larger goals, then you're always on the right track.


Previous Eight in Eight: Brian Canter