MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NY – We had the pleasure of attending the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Invitational (catchy name, no?) last night at the Garden and we must say, it was fun – if not boring for stretches at a time. Our long lost pal – the legendary mountain man/flute player ( had tickets for us. Anyway, the transformation of The World’s Greatest Arena into something out of heartland Texas was truly amazing. In fact, if you focused on the action and ignored Johnny Bag-A-Donuts on your left and the bald guy in the blue suit on your right, you’d swear the V Train had magically deposited you somewhere far, far away from Greeley Square on 6th Avenue. The huge Montana Tractors video scoreboard, complete with the timer that told us how long these crazy cowboys lasted on their ‘agitated’ opponents, was straight from Wide World Of Sports, ESPN 2 or OLN (now Versus). Now, while we are more than familiar with bull sh*it, we didn’t know a thing about bull riding. So, instantly, we had some questions.
-How does one calmly walk a bull into MSG? After all, this isn’t Michael, Scottie and Horace Grant come-a-playin’…
-How does one get a bull to hang out with a Zamboni backstage without at least puncturing a tire?
-Do the bulls have names?
-Can you call a bull by his name and get him to come your way?
-Why, for the love of Pete, would you call a bull over to you?
You can see, the questions were just spinning like a NY Jet top in our cramped and confused melons – and this was just the pre-game. We watched intently as the combatants confronted each other for the first time in a place very different from the one that Mariano, F-Rod and Putz call home – the bullpen. You want to see instant tension? OHMYGOD! Then it all happens, the whole shebang in under ten seconds. The pen gate slides open and there before us is a flailing, potentially fatal and utterly (pun) riveting meeting of man and beast. Here’s where some other questions presented themselves:
-Other than having someone on his back, why is the bull so darned ornery? After all, he must know the drill by now. Indeed, it’s not his first rodeo! (We kill us!)
-Why does the buzzer go off at 8 seconds? We say let ’em ride till they fall off or the bull gets tired. Hell, we are talking seconds here. We’re not talking Steve Trachsel pitching ‘carefully’ to Texiera.
-Why does the bull eventually go back to his beloved Zamboni after only briefly trying to maul anything in his path? It’s a bit disappointing, to be honest. After all, we’re paying to see someone get gored.
-How many surgeries does a rider undergo JUST FROM PRACTICE?
-What is the shelf life of a rider – like how long does he LIVE?
-How much money do these clowns actually make? (The clowns – literally. We’re looking for any income.)
-How bored was the first guy that decided bull riding was a good idea? Or, how drunk?
Fortunately, we got many of said questions answers during our eye-opening evening and want to see what you, the citizens of Mattville know. Don’t Google for the answers, either, wisenheimers. Just think and type and prepare for the GIANT THRASHING/VANGUISHING of Philthydelphia (vindicating the Mets) tomorrow after reading our man Rex O’Rourke tomorrow.

P.S… It is with great angst/sadness/consternation that we bring you the following news: After 3+ years of GREAT STUFF, we’re not sure if previous posts will carry over to the new site. That is not good and we are trying to figure out a solution. Moreover, the change-over may take place today or tomorrow. That means, they may be lost forever – you should copy the ones you like – as ridiculous as that sounds. It’s a Y2K situation – we don’t really know what is going to happen and apologize for the inconvenience. Progress always makes for collateral damage. Just look at the Knicks.

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About The Matts 376 Articles started out as a NY Mets website and organically grew into an entity covering all professional sports. Our daily contributors, as diverse as they may be, share two important traits: -They toil for the "love of the game..." -They have a sense of humor. This is, after all, sports entertainment.