This weekend the PBR made its appearance in the Staples Center in Las Angeles. Going into the weekend all the talk was about 3-time Iron Cowboy Joao Ricardo Vieira and his past dominance in the history of this event.
Cole had earned his shot at the top tour with a recent win on the Velocity Tour. Not many really had him on their radar since only 1 time prior, has a rookie climbed the center stage as the winner. Add to this the ongoing discussion that the guys who primarily rodeo can not handle the top level of competition in the PBR.
This weekend’s proof my not be definitive that that “rodeo guys” can not handle the top levels of bull riding but its sure swings things in the other direction.
When trying to develop proof in this argument a lot of cowboys have been asked why it seems that pro rodeo cowboys do not seem to do well at the higher level. Nearly every time, you get an array of answers, ask PBR fans and they say they can not handle the bull power. Ask a PBR bull rider and they say the grueling schedule is a factor. Ask a Pro Rodeo guy and they say why go to that level and risk injury when they can have a strong career in Rodeo. Other Pro Rodeo guys will claim they do not want to deal with the hype and production that goes on at that level.
No matter what the answer you receive many will stand on the fact that there has not been many Pro Rodeo Cowboys to compete and win on the highest level of the PBR.
With Melancon winning his Unleash the Beast debut and doing so at a PBR major, is this the first solid piece of evidence that it is true that the traditional rodeo cowboy can compete. Some naysayers will claim this victory is “luck”, in round 3 of Iron Cowboy Melancon bucked off Big Black Cat which eliminated him from the event. He earned his round 4 slot when fellow bull rider Ryan Dirteater came injured during his round 3 ride. This afforded Cole his shot at round 4 where he capitalized and finished the event with the victory.
The next foreseeable argument is that his round 4 ride on Spotted Demon gave him an edge. Spotted Demon has been recognized as a PRCA bucking Bull of the year and Cole has seen this bull in the past. This argument is probably a little thin but those who look to disprove the success in L.A. will take a stand on any platform they can find.
In the end we know this, Cole Melancon took his opportunity on the biggest stage in bull riding and made it happen. This means a Pro Rodeo guy earned his way to a tour performance and has now locked himself a spot-on tour for the future. Over the weekend he has proven he has the try to compete with the top bulls in the world.
Will he be the proof that the rodeo cowboy are just as capable?
What do you think?