As the Coronavirus pandemic has brought sports to a screeching halt and shut down all events, even “closed events” fell victim to the most recent guidelines to limit social gatherings to ten or fewer people.
That means PBR (Professional Bull Riders) is on a hiatus for the foreseeable future. But, fans of bull riding will be able to watch some bull riding action.
CBS Sports Network has opened a five-hour window on Sunday afternoon to bring the toughest sport on dirt to the fans fan by telecasting three events that have had major impacts on the 2020 season.
Starting at 12:00 PM ET the second major of the Unleash The Beast season Iron Cowboy presented by Ariat, as the PBR invaded STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. Coming into this event the big focus was on the Brazilian duo Jose Vitor Leme, who had been sitting as world No. 1 thanks to winning the Oklahoma City event and Joao Ricardo Vieria, the defending Iron Cowboy who has won this event three times.
But, in a shocking turn of events, it was Cole Melancon who strode atop the Can-Am cage and was hoisting the championship buckle as the prestigious Major wrapped. This started a great streak for Cole and was an event full of excitement up until the end.
Following that broadcast, at 1:00 pm ET fans will be able to watch action from the Little Rock, Arkansas BadBoy Mower Mowdown round three and championship round action for two hours. This event is where Ramon De Lima came into the Simmons Bank Arena with the bittersweet memory of one year ago when he walked out of the same arena after being cut from the tour. This year, De Lima redeemed himself with a perfect 3-for-3 weekend. He wound up smiling on top of the Can-Am shark cage as the event champion and rocketed up the world standings.
The final event concluding the bull riding mini-marathon starts at 3:00 pm ET with the airing of two hours from last weekend’s historic event that was closed-to-fans, the made-for-tv Gwinett Invitational, inside the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, GA. While yes, the bulls were bucked in an empty arena without Flint on the dirt, it was a unique way to watch PBR and still full of excitement with tremendous bull power on display.
While there might not have been any fans screaming after the biggest rides and wrecks, and it was an unprecedented, entirely different event that some were calling “PBR Unplugged.”
If you missed it the first time, turn up the sound and pay special attention to the clanging of steel on each out as the chutes bang shut, the sounds of bull riders supporting one another from the back of the chutes with cries of “HUSTLE, HUSTLE,” and some bull riders grunting during the incredible effort often required to stay on these powerful beasts.
On the dirt, Dener Barbosa posted his career-first 90-point ride on the elite tour to emerge as another rider to watch in the 2020 world title race.
This is a welcome respite from the relentless barrage of the gloomy news of escalating viral infections for all of us stuck inside our homes riding out the spread of the Coronavirus.
Thank you to CBS Sports Network for this min-marathon of not only a historic event but critical moments from the 2020 Unleash The Beast season.