For much of Saturday afternoon, a contingent of Brazilian riders sat in front of a computer in a Milwaukee hotel lobby and watched videos.
They looked up old videos from their days in Brazil, and sought newer videos of bulls they had drafted for later that night.
"They're all very tech savvy," said Ty Murray. "They all have the latest iPhone, and they're always downloading videos."
In his weekly Podcast, Murray said that "it speaks volumes" about their love of the sport and their desire to succeed in the PBR.
While professional bull riding is hardly a typical job, it is just that for each of the Brazilian riders. It remains the reason they get out of bed every day.
As they have since the first event in New York, they dominated last weekend's event.
Four of the Top 5 finishers were Brazilian, and they accounted for three of the four qualified rides in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, including Robson Palermo's 93.5-point effort on RMEF Gunpowder & Lead.
And yet only one of those four - Palermo, who finished second - is among the Top 4 Brazilian riders in the world standings.
"They work at it, they're dedicated to it and they're over here for one reason, and that's to capitalize on the opportunity that's in front of them with the PBR and all it affords," Murray said.
"They look tough to me, from top to bottom."
Paulo Lima, who Murray said finally looked like the threat he thought he would be, won his second BFTS event of the season.
Palermo was second, while Fabiano Vieira was fourth and Rubens Barbosa finished fifth in the average. Barbosa is the leading contender for this year's Rookie of the Year title. It would be the second year in a row a Brazilian newcomer has won.
Silvano Alves, the No. 1 ranked rider in the world, won last year's title.
Alves was 2-for-2 in Milwaukee, but missed out on the first short round and the championship round because of low scores. He still managed to increase his lead to 1,012.75 points over Valdiron de Oliveira.
Palermo is third in the world, a single point ahead of Guilherme Marchi.
Murray said the riding percentages show all there is to know. Alves is covering 67.1 percent of his bulls, compared to Oliveira, who is at 63.9 percent.
"That's what you have to do," he explained. "You have to take it one bull or one jump at a time, and you have to do everything you can with each one of those bulls, and Silvano seems to understand that. If he keeps doing that, these guys have a tall order in front of them to go catch him."
Murray's entire conversation can be heard here.
NEWS & NOTES
Negative X-rays positive news:According to an email from Dr. Tandy Freeman, X-rays showed no fracture in the injured wrist of Guilherme Marchi. Freeman added that Marchi, who was injured Friday night when he landed awkwardly after bucking off T-Rex, was diagnosed with a bruised forearm. The 2008 World Champion has less pain and swelling today than he did over the weekend, but remains questionable for the upcoming event in Springfield, Mo.
- by Keith Ryan Cartwright
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