I don't want to be negative, but when you look at the guys who are getting cut from the Built Ford Tough Series, none of them have been cutting it, so going from 45 riders down to 40 is a good thing.
I think when we're getting down below the 40th place, we're looking at guys that aren't competing at a world-class level.
The PBR has always been about being and having the best.
It's getting harder and more competitive, and that's how it should be. To get in the Top 40 it needs to be a fight. It needs to be where you have to produce to stay in there. The guys who are getting cut are just not producing.
The first thing people need to realize is that the PBR is not an association. It's a sports property. It's not an association.
For instance, Ednei Caminhas was a World Champion, and he may be able to come back with his one-time World Champion exemption for the next five events, but the bottom line is that he's not cutting it. That's the case with all the guys that are in the position of getting dropped.
You have to produce if you're going to ride on the Built Ford Tough Series. It's the same thing in every professional sport — you don't produce, you don't play, and that's the way it goes.
Imagine if the NFL was an association and you said, "Well, that guy is not very fast, not very strong and not very big, but he paid his dues so he gets to play." That's not how it is.
What I mean by that is that to make it into the NFL, at the end of the day, they don't care what family you're from or how much money you have — none of that is taken into consideration.
It's about whether you're big enough, strong enough, fast enough and athletic enough. That's all it comes down to, and when you look at the Rookie Combine, they're looking at you like meat — you either have what it takes or you don't.
Well, in the PBR you have to produce because there are no 8-year, $80 million contracts where you can be lazy and slide by or anything like that. That isn't how this goes.
The PBR is only about the best and for the best. There are avenues every day to get to the Built Ford Tough Series, if you have what it takes, but it's not a good guys club.
We only want the best when they're at their best.
We designed the PBR so that if you can ride good enough, the channels are there for you to get to the top. But if you're not cutting it — trust me, I watch young guys get cut that I root for, old guys get cut that I root for and everyone in between — but, the fact of the matter is, at the end of the day the Built Ford Tough Series is about the best bull riders in the world battling it out against the very best bulls in the country for the fans to watch on TV.
Think of the bulls — they don't get five events to just barely cut it. One bad out where they don't produce, and Cody Lambert isn't going to use them again.
If we had the abundance of great bull riders as we do bulls, it would be even that much harder for the riders to stay in the Top 40.
Sometimes that's a wakeup call for the guys. Sometimes they go back to the Challenger series and they realize how great things were for them — not that the Challenger is that bad, but there is no higher pinnacle than the Built Ford Tough Series.
Some of these guys need to go down there for different reasons — sometimes it's a reality check, sometimes it makes them focus and sometimes it's a confidence builder.
There are different ways that getting dropped off the tour can maybe help a guy, and there are some guys that are just getting to that point where they don't have what it takes anymore, but either way it's fun to watch a guy like Ryan Dirteater.
He's a young guy who is loving it, craving it, wanting to bear down and give it everything he's got. He's producing.
I do see the PBR growing. I do see it becoming even more competitive. I do see those 40 spots becoming more coveted. It's great because it shows the healthiness and the vitality of the sport.
It makes it that much more exciting, and when it comes cut time, it really makes you root for those guys that are on the bubble.
It's fun to watch and it's fun to know that when you tune in every week to the PBR that you're going to get to watch the best guys. That's what the PBR was founded on. We wanted the fans to have a sport they could follow, tune in every week and see the best guys against the best bulls.
There are a lot of elements that are fun to watch.
It's fun to watch guys rise up the standings. It's fun to see the race for the championship. It's fun to watch the guys on the bubble see if they can squeak through and get things turned around or not.
One of the most exciting things that we know we're going to get to see is on NBC, when then the best bull rider in the world matches up with the best bull that I've seen.
There are a lot of exciting elements to watch on TV.
When I look at that matchup I can't make a prediction, because I think Guilherme Marchi, when he has his day, can ride any bull there is, but, on the other side of the coin, when I watch Bones buck and he has his day, he can buck off any guy in the world.
That's the reason it's going to be such a great matchup, and that everyone in the world, including me, is going to be on pins and needles to watch.
To read Ty's previous blog, click here: I think Kasey's gesture was horrible