Sports writer Josh Peter follows the 2004 PBR tour that crisscrosses the U.S. and ends with the finals in Las Vegas, drumming up excitement and suspense as he goes. He brings to life the widely divergent personalities of the riders. These range from seasoned champion and family-man Adriano Moraes and the stereotypical drinking, cussing Justin McBride, to the withdrawn, almost spookily religious Mike Lee.
Among them are a diversity of others, including rookies, old-timers hoping for a comeback, and competitors from countries as far away as Australia and Brazil. We learn that one out of 15 rides results in injuries requiring treatment, and Peter devotes a fair share of pages to the sports medicine room.
|Adventurous foodie tries a Fried Twinkie
Meanwhile, we follow the drama of big business as differences between the men who run this show create a number of behind-the-scenes conflicts. There are firings and the threat of a boycott by riders who feel they are being under-appreciated by their employers.
Peter's revelation of corporate and investor maneuvers will enlighten fans familiar only with the glitz and glamour of the sport and the men who are its stars. The book also describes the stock growers and investors who raise, train, buy, and sell bulls.
There's even a side trip to Brazil, where we visit the ranch Moraes has bought with his winnings. Fans will enjoy the DVD documentary, Rank, which is a compelling record of the 2004 season finals, focusing on Moraes, McBride, and Lee.
Fried Twinkies, etc. is available at amazon and AbeBooks.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Coming up: Mark Thompson, American Character