Every athlete trying to win a world title or any team trying to make the play-offs wants to be in the position of controlling destiny.
As the tie-down roping gets closer to the 10th and final round in Las Vegas, you can make a case that Fred Whitfield's destiny may be out of his control. He is No. 1 in the world, second in the aggregate, and that all sounds pretty good. But Cody Ohl, after making an early mistake, has fought his way back into the aggregate mix. The magic number right now is $11,412. That's the difference between these two in the world standings. Whitfield needs cowboys like Mike Johnson, Trevor Brazile and Justin Maass to stay alive in the average race. If those guys take care of business and Whitfield does his part, Ohl's job will be much tougher.
Working for ESPN I have a lot of resources at my fingertips. I went back and watched Dan Mortensen's alleged failed attempt to mark his horse out last night. Things happen fast and these Wrangler officials have to make decisions in a split second. I am not a big fan of instant replay in football. But it is a shame that Mortensen could not risk losing a time-out last night and ask the referee to take another look at that call. That is actually an option on the Xtreme Bulls tour. Maybe that day is coming at the Wrangler NFR as well.
Dodge is a national sponsor for the PRCA, but Ford has owned the bareback riding. Of course I am talking about Royce Ford. The son of five-time world champion Bruce Ford is having quite a first Wrangler NFR. It was not enough that he came into Round 6 on top of the aggregate; he had to go ahead win last night to boot.
Donny Gay has weighed in on who he thinks will win the bull riding aggregate. He likes Cory Melton's chances. He also says Greg Potter deserves strong consideration. These guys are good and Donny likes the fact they are healthy. Gay has not totally discounted Terry Don West, adding West has the talent to run the table with these last four bulls.
Kelly Kaminski is right where she wants to be. If she leaves the barrels standing in each of these last four performances she will be very tough to beat. Sherry Cervi is starting to rock as well. Cervi has won two straight go's and has even better ground tonight. It could be a cat fight by Sunday.
And for those of you scoring along at home ... Speed Williams and Rich Skelton are still way ahead.