Thursday, September 3, 2009
'I've got to take my hat off to those young guys'
By Ty Murray Special to ESPN.com
Bull riding legend and PBR co-founder Ty Murray thinks the PBR World Cup brings together the world's best riders in a patriotic fight to the finish.
Wow! What an exciting World Cup.
I talked to Randy Bernard, CEO of the PBR, about four or five times a day while he was down there for the event. There were times the excitement got so intense that he would call me and have me just listen to it through the phone.
Jewel and I even followed along on Twitter, and I just want to say that the PBR has done a great job with that. We were able to keep up with the competition just like we were there.
It was amazing at how exciting it was just reading all the updates.
There's really no other place like Barretos. I went there and rode in 1994, and it's hard to put into words what it's like to have 70,000 people there who understand bull riding and are so pumped up about the sport.
It's really neat to see the passion they have for the World Cup.
The guys on Team USA were talking about how, when they would buck off, 70,000 people would erupt into a loud cheer, and when they made the whistle it would be completely silent. I've got to take my hat off to those relatively young guys to go in there and ride in that atmosphere on such great bulls.
Really, that's the epitome of home field advantage not being on your side.
It's fun and exciting to watch the whole team dynamic and how the pride in one's country plays into it.
Unfortunately, there was some drama with Mexico not having five guys, and then, when they got down there, they just basically fell apart from the get-go. It just seemed like they started off on a bad note and it continually got worse.
I expect to see Mexico get that problem resolved by next year's World Cup because, I think, there are some very tough, talented riders down there. So it's a matter of getting to work on it now and finding someone who is going to put together a great team that can go represent the country of Mexico.
But this weekend was about what this young American team was able to accomplish. It was a come-from-behind, gut-it-out victory, and that's what makes sports exciting.
Brazil did a great job of hosting this World Cup. Randy told me it wasn't just the most exciting PBR event he'd ever been too, but that it was the most exciting sporting event that he'd ever been to. He compared it to the Super Bowl and the Olympics.
The success of this whole event is just going to help open more doors as the PBR continues to grow down in Brazil.
I mentioned in my last blog how the World Cup is only going to garner more momentum with each passing year, and I still do see it growing by leaps and bounds.
I want to congratulate Team USA. I thought they buckled down and showed the essence of what it means to be a professional bull rider that means you bear down, grit your teeth and just keep striving for that common goal.
To me, stories like that are inspiring.