The Ride (2023–…): Season 1, Episode 1 - Ride or Die - full transcript

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[man] I'm still struggling,
trying to figure out how to explain

why somebody would do this.

[man 2]
Yes, sir, yes, sir! Let's do it!

[man] If I want to win, I gotta be
the best, making every ride count.

[man]
It's like trying to control an explosion.

[man 3]
Bull riding is the last gladiator sport.

[man 4]
It's David versus Goliath.

[Eli]
Nobody wants there to be a wreck,

but nobody's gonna turn away
when it's happening.

[man 6]
These guys have families...

girlfriends, wives and kids.



[woman]
Dear Heavenly Father,

we ask that you watch over
and protect him as he rides.

[man 7] Me trying to talk him
out of bull riding,

it's not gonna happen.

He's not gonna change,
and it's his life.

[man 8] Professional bull riding
has always been an individual sport.

One man, one bull...

[man 9] And now,
everything is about to change.

[announcer]
Please welcome the PBR teams!

[Kate] Eight squads,
five riders per team,

but only one PBR team's champion
when we get to Las Vegas.

[man 10]
There's only one way to be the best,

and that's be better than the best.

[man 11] When you
walk down that hallway, it's go-time.



It's do or die.

[man 12] It's not a question
of if you're gonna get hurt...

Finish him!

...it's when.

I look myself in the mirror
and I'll say, you fuckin' be a champion.

You fuckin' ride!

[Kate] This is
the inaugural PBR teams' draft tonight.

Eight teams will build their rosters
for the very first time

within a brand-new league of PBR teams.

[Daylon] It's exciting. And now,
they took it to a team deal, like...

and just kinda seeing
how everything's played out.

[Ezekiel] At the end of the day,
I want to beat the best.

That's why I came to the PBR,
is because I wanted

to go against the very best bulls,
the very best riders.

[Eli] When it comes down to it,
my job's the same.

I don't care if it's on a team,
I don't care if it's individual,

as long as I'm riding bulls for money,
it doesn't matter.

[Kate] What do you say we kick it off
with the PBR teams commissioner,

Sean Gleason. He's joining us now
on the draft floor.

Welcome, everybody,

to the inaugural PBR team series draft.

PBR was founded by 20 bull riders
that were going up and down the road,

riding in rodeos, risking their lives,

and couldn't make a living
doing what they were doing.

[crowd cheering]

At that point in time,
they had entry fees,

they had fuel charges. They had to pay
to participate in their sport.

And then, they didn't get paid
unless they won.

They wanted to be compensated at the level
of the risk that they were taking

and the popularity of their discipline
within the rodeo.

The founders broke away from rodeos,
invested a thousand dollars apiece,

and started the PBR with a dream

that they could create
a better future for themselves

and the bull riders
of the next generation.

[♪ country music playing]

Now, PBR is the fastest-growing sport
in America.

Bull riding is unlike any other sport
in its individuality.

[man 13]
Ride that bull!

[Sean] These guys learn how
to ride bulls at a very young age,

usually taught by their uncle
or their dad

or somebody that got on bulls
back in the day.

[man 14]
Pick your arm up! Pick your arm up!

[Sean] It's something that they
have to perfect on their own.

But the bulls are getting bigger,
stronger, faster and more athletic.

And we need our cowboys to do the same.

By putting the cowboys
into the team environment

and giving them the structure and coaching
that they've never had before,

we're gonna bring a little bit of the NFL
to bull riding.

Hey, Zeke, are you in the draft?

Yes, sir.

[Sean] Everything that happens here
tonight in these five rounds

is going to change the game
for professional bull riding.

I'm nervous, but nowhere near as nervous

as some of the coaches
and general managers,

and some of the athletes
waiting backstage.

[Michael] We're here, and I think
everybody's ready to go.

I think I'd rather climb on
a couple of bulls, even at my age,

than deal with this. This is
making me a little bit nervous.

When they asked me to be a coach,
and I started thinking

how to put a bull riding team together,
me and Austin Dillon

was butting our heads together,
it was a lot of things we was thinking.

We need a really good lefty,
we need a really good righty.

Hey, but this guy's got
a good mental attitude.

Trying to put the best team we could do.
It just hadn't been done before.

[announcer]
Prior to today, they're not just...

Come on, we gotta do this...
Eli, one.

[Kate] The entire league has put together
a team of coaches that have been there.

They've strapped their hand
into a bull rope.

[Sean] They're gonna have to learn
how to actually communicate to people

and teach and educate,
and they gotta learn patience.

Which, I've never met a bull rider
that actually has patience.

I just wanna know who is going to be
the number one pick in this draft.

Who's it gonna be?
They're telling me the pick is in.

With the very first pick,
in the very first draft

of the PBR team series,
The Austin Gamblers

take two-time PBR world champion

Jose Vitor Leme.

[crowd cheering]

[Kate] This is a guy who constantly is
on the forefront of rewriting history,

the two-time champ who's broken more
records than any other PBR rider.

That is Leme.

Jose is the most uniquely talented
bull rider that I've ever seen.

[announcer] The man who seems
to eat pressure for breakfast...

Ninety-eight and three quarters!
It's another record-setting ride!

[JJ]
He's a machine.

He's a five-foot-three
Brazilian Tom Brady.

[announcer]
No score has been better

in the history of the PBR!

Back-to-back world champion!

[JJ] He's a Brazilian Derek Jeter.
He's a Brazilian Michael Jordan.

All three of those are arguably, you know,
some of the most talented,

if not the most talented in their sports.

Everything they did,
everything they said, all business.

That's Jose.

[announcer] You cannot overstate how much
Jose Vitor Leme means to this sport.

If he can stay healthy and if he keeps
competing at the highest level,

Jose's got a chance to truly define
himself as the greatest of all time.

[Jose speaking Portuguese]
In the team series,

my biggest goal is
to win the biggest title...

to make my team become the champion and...

to do my job, 100%.

When I want something,
I try to do everything I can to get it.

[Michael] As a coach, you want
an individual like Jose to raise the bar

for everyone in competition
because you're gonna strive to be the best

and if you're gonna be the best,
you have to beat him.

[Sean] There's so much talent
still available.

Now that Daylon Swearingen
is the 2022 World Champion,

maybe he becomes the number three pick.
In my rankings, that's what I would do.

Daylon won the '22 World Championship
back in May.

[announcer] Swearingen goes big
aboard the money bull, Big Black!

[Michael] On that day,
he was the best bull rider in the world.

[Daylon] I've wanted to be the best
at this. Jose's a great bull rider.

I mean, ever since he came over
from Brazil,

he's just lit up the United States.

He's won the past two World Championships.

And then, I stopped him here
this year, you know.

So, I mean, there's definitely a rivalry.

[Jerome] I told Austin from the beginning,
I said, we gotta get Daylon.

I helped Daylon growing up,
I know what makes Daylon click.

We get along. We need Daylon.

[Sean]
With the number three pick

in the 2022 PBR team series draft,

the Ariat Texas Rattlers select...

- reigning champion...
- [Jerome] Golly. Dang it!

[Sean]
Daylon Swearingen.

[Jerome] He didn't want that.

His ass...
He is not happy. I'm telling you.

[Kate] ...the third overall pick
in the very first PBR...

[Jerome]
Will they trade?

I want Eli first.

When the draft was coming around,
I think we had a list of 267 guys.

We knew what we were looking for.

[Sean] With the eighth and final pick
of the first round,

the Oklahoma Freedom select
Eli Vastbinder.

[Kate] You can't get a more flux player
than Vastbinder.

Veteran of the group,
leader of the locker room...

[Sean]
And I love that he's 31 years old.

A lot of guys are gonna be looking
to build that young superstar.

Eli's a father, he's grounded, he's
a great number one pick for the Freedom.

[Michael] Eli had been in
the top ten a couple years.

His age, his maturity,
he'd never ride hurt.

There was a lot of things that go into
what makes him a round one draft pick.

[Eli] I love it. I love this sport.
There's nothing else I'd rather be doing.

The thrill of success,
the thrill of conquering the bull...

That's my why.

[Jerome] Hey, hey-hey-hey.
Hold on, hold on.

It happened.

[Jerome] Oh. Oh!
So, we can trade for Daylon?!

- Yes.
- [Jerome] Go, go, go, go!

We gotta do some trading.

We have our first ever trade
in the PBR team series!

The Texas Rattlers are trading
Mason Taylor and Daylon Swearingen

to the Caroline Cowboys for Cody Jesus,

João Ricardo Vieira and
the number 26 pick.

[crowd cheering]

[Cody] Daylon,
he just wins the 2022 world title

and a few days to pull the guy
out of the draft.

It just worked. It's crazy.

Only go for that fourth spot.

[Cody]
Twelve was the better deal earlier.

Yeah, right, we kept 23.
You're right, we did get a better deal.

[Sean] These teams have selected
five riders tonight.

They have an active roster of seven.
Free agency begins tonight at midnight,

and anybody that was not drafted
can sign with any team.

[Ezekiel] I can not think of
a single day of my life

that I did not want to be a cowboy.

A lot of my earlier years
were spent in Rockdale, Texas.

I got to be a country kid.

I had a best friend named John.
All we did is ride horses all day

and try to be cowboys.

I was a freshman in high school, or so,
whenever I started riding bulls, actually.

That's when things
really got serious for me,

but then, that's where things
got complicated as well.

My mom and dad, they separated.

It was kind of a back and forth thing
from Rockdale to Baytown,

which is huge.
That was an experience in itself

because I'm an African-American guy
and the way I'm dressed now

is the way I liked to dress then;
a polo shirt, some jeans and some boots.

At that point, young African-American kids
hadn't really ever seen that, you know.

I was probably five foot two or
five foot four at that time.

I was a little bitty dude, but I tried to
take on half the varsity football team

'cause they wanted to pick on me.

It also helped me grow up.
I learned a lot about myself

and where I wanted to go in life.
I wanted to be where the horses were.

Got the opportunity to come to Morning
Star Ranch for Christian youth camp.

[Andy] What do you know?
God, I missed you, man.

[Ezekiel]
I missed you, too.

[Andy] Zeke was a huge surprise for us,
the first time we met him.

All the horseback riding we did out here,
you remember.

- Yeah.
- You actually ride pretty good now.

- Yeah. [laughs]
- [laughs]

- Surprise. [laughs]
- [laughs]

[Andy] He had
such great leadership abilities,

even at 12 years old.

I ask all the kids that come here, what is
your dream, what do you want to be?

A lot of 'em are like... I don't know,
I don't have a dream...

Well, you're never gonna get it
if you don't have one.

I said, "Zeke, what is your dream?"

He said, "I want to be a bull rider
and a preacher."

I said, all right, well, I'm gonna pray
that you get your dream.

[Ezekiel] Once I turned 18, then I
really started figuring out bull riding.

There was no doubt in my mind
that I could make it in the PBR.

[announcer] He rides too damn good!

No match for Zeke!

[Ezekiel]
I then got swarmed by the media.

I did Good Morning, America twice.
I done GQ.

Did my SnapChat series.

[Matt] In terms of
media attention and hype,

I don't think we've ever seen this before.

Most guys in the sport have always kind of
shied away from cameras. Not Zeke.

Rodeo superstitions right here.
Always gotta wear winning socks.

Hey, man, what're you doin'?

I've tried to build a brand
around my name.

[announcer] There's a dance coming,
Forth Worth!

[Ezekiel] Through all my hard work,
I've developed a real talent for this.

I just gotta prove myself,
I'm a, I'm a bull rider.

As long as you stay humble,
the sky's the limit.

- Mm.
- You need all the help you can get.

All the help you can get.

You know, Zeke wasn't drafted
on draft day.

[Ezekiel]
Heard 'em call out each round.

First round draft pick,
second round draft pick.

By the time we got to the third round,
I was like, oh, it's got to be this round.

But after it got down to the fourth round,
then ultimately the fifth,

I realized that it was over for me.

[Kate] Each team
now has their first five.

[Ezekiel] It was kind of
a slap in the face.

It was gut-wrenching.

[JJ] Zeke was a really well known rider
within the PBR, wildly popular.

But some people felt that Zeke's attention
was more on Zeke,

more on Zeke's PR.

- What's up, TikTok?
- [JJ] More on everything outside the dirt

and off the bull, than inside the dirt
and on the bull.

We're heading out to the practice pit
in Dayton, Texas.

[JJ] The more that we dug into this,
the more we thought about it,

Are we looking at somebody
that's a reality star

that's trying to become a bull rider?

Or is a bull rider
that's got caught up in some PR?

The more we looked at it,
we thought it was the latter.

- You know, get him in the right path.
- Yeah, for sure.

As long as he's not, you know,
as long as he'll listen and not...

Yeah, yeah...

We all love the attention. Ezekiel
loves the attention and he's good at it.

He's very charismatic,
he's very approachable.

I mean, he's really the whole package.

But there's a lot of noise out there
for him.

Whether that's interviews
and the social media aspect...

I heard about that new chicken sandwich.
Thought I'd go try it out.

What he needs to make it to that next step
in his bull riding career is focus.

We need to get on the horn. We
need to get on the horn and do this.

You have his number?

We felt like Zeke had the talent,
and if he didn't have full dedication,

if there was anybody that could pull it
out of him, it was gonna be Jose.

- [country music playing]
- [cattle mooing]

Sometimes I just look to this buckles
and remember all the events

where I won, and, uh, it's pretty cool,
you know.

All the events have their special prize.

And all the time when they
put something different in there,

I want, I want to win. [chuckles]

[speaking Portuguese] I grew up
in the city of Ribas do Rio Pardo,

in Mato Grosso do Sul, in Brazil.

I think that for everyone who rides bulls
in Brazil...

the dream is to start by becoming
a Brazilian champion,

and then coming here...
and trying to become a world champion.

And today, thanks to God
and my dedication, I am.

God only knows how much
I've dedicated myself.

I worked hard during the training...

Always riding every day on bulls
so that I could...

So that I could improve day by day,
learn more...

Try to be who I am today.

[announcer]
Jose Vitor Leme!

[fireworks exploding]

Prior to launching PBR teams,
there was some skepticism.

These are guys that are very much used to
nodding their heads by themselves,

and working hard by themselves.

[coach] Cowboys,
they were in the locker room together,

they were in the bucking chutes together,
but they weren't a team.

[Daylon] I don't know how to be
part of a team.

I've never been part of a team
professionally.

I'm not really sure how to handle it.

Either way, my goal is
to be the best at this.

In the team series, there can only be
one MVP. It's gonna be me.

[Kate] All these guys, at certain points
have won events,

had the high-marked ride.
Now, can they do it together?

[Kate] For two decades, Kansas City
has been a key stop on the PBR schedule,

but this is a new era in bull riding.

To win here, it takes a team.

[announcer] This is the moment
we've all been waiting for,

to see this arena, to feel
this excitement, this energy.

This is going to be one for the ages.

It's gonna be a shootout to the finish
here, this Kansas City weekend.

[crowd cheers]

[Kate] This is brand new, so
here's the big picture of PBR teams.

Every team will play and face off
every night of competition.

A game, it consists of five riders
from each team.

Five best outs wins the game.

[man]
The rules are easy to understand.

You gotta stay on for eight seconds
to get a score.

[timer buzzes]

[Kate] One hand in the rope,
one hand in the air.

Your free arm cannot touch the bull
at any time during that eight seconds.

[man 5] The guy that gets on the bull
that bucks the hardest

and can make it look the most
effortless is gonna be the winner.

[man 14] So, the highest score
is the hardest bull to ride.

We just put five guys together,
and the five scores are compared

to the five scores of the other team.

[Kate] We'll do this 28 times
through eleven different cities

and eventually crown a PBR teams'
champion when we get to Las Vegas.

Feel that stretching out,
feel that stretch. It's all the way down.

Buck kicks, ready, go!
Don't spur yourself. Buck kicks.

Set the tone tonight, boys.
Get to set the tone tonight.

[Kate] Game number one,
Missouri Thunder, Austin Gamblers.

Jose Vitor Leme, the easiest decision
Coach Gaffney ever had

was drafting him first. The big key here,
other guys have to step up.

[Michael] There's high expectations
of our team. We have a lot of talent.

There's no question
that they want to be the best.

[all]
Gamblers!

[Michael]
And it's fine to talk the talk,

but to walk the walk
is two totally different things.

[announcer] Ladies and gentlemen,
the starting line-up for Austin Gamblers!

Being on a team,
everybody has to get the job done.

[Ezekiel] Before, it was,
you know, if I buck off, it's on me.

But now, it's like if I buck off, I could
potentially lose this game for my team.

You gotta take advantage
of every opportunity you get.

[announcer] Jose Vitor Leme,
gonna be the lead-off man

now for the Austin Gamblers.

Why not start with your home-run hitter?
Go right out of the park

the very first match-up of the game.

[Jose speaking Portuguese]
From the very beginning,

I was appointed as captain
of the Austin Gamblers.

For me, it was an honor.

[Michael]
Go after 'em, Jose! Attaboy!

[announcer]
Kansas City, let's get ready!

[Jose speaking Portuguese]
You have to guide your teammates

only to the right path.

[Michael]
Couple deep breaths.

Ten seconds! Ride like you do, champ!

[man 15] All day now, Jose!

[Jose speaking Portuguese]
It's a big responsibility.

[Michael] Ride like you do!
Go to 'em!

Do it little brother!
Do it little brother!

[overlapping shouting]

[Michael]
Attaboy! Attaboy!

[timer buzzes]

[Kate] All day long!
Time for celebration!

[announcer]
The Austin Gamblers strike first.

- 86.25 points for Jose Vitor Leme.
- [Michael] Way to be!

[Kate] Missouri Thunder,
they want to get on the board here.

[man 15] Be a cowboy right now.
Be a cowboy, let's go, hustle! Yeah!

[timer buzzes]

[Kate] For eight seconds, it's Thunder
takes the lead away from Austin!

[man 16]
We got a game on our hands!

[Jose speaking Portuguese]
I'm very competitive,

and I don't like to lose at anything,
not even video games.

It's hard to hold back your emotions.

To not get upset.

In my role as a leader,
it's hard to hide that...

my mood.

[announcer]
The pressure is on.

Who else is gonna step up
for the Gamblers here?

[man]
Keep moving! Don't give up!

- [announcer] Ooh!
- [Kate] Ooh! Tough landing.

[announcer] Coach Michael Gaffney
will do everything he can

to correct every mistake that's
been made by his team thus far.

[Kate] Well now, Missouri Thunder,
they're looking to keep the lead.

All right, ass down, Jesse,
get outta there!

Go, Jesse! Go, Jesse!

Get out there! Get out! Go!

[crowd] Oh!

Do it, Lucas!

[announcer] Lucas Divino,
the 28 year old right-hander ready.

All right, Lucas! Attaboy! Attaboy!
Get on there!

Get on there! Attaboy!
Get on there!

[Kate] Divino does it!
His team needed him to step up!

Austin takes the lead away
from the Thunder!

[announcer]
Missouri Thunder!

[overlapping shouting]

[timer buzzes]

[Kate]
Another one down for Missouri.

Thunder now, they've got
just one attempt remaining.

What that means for the Gamblers this game
is still alive.

Who do they look to? Ezekiel Mitchell,
the free agent. He's aboard Magic Potion.

[Michael] You beat this.
Be ready for whatever.

You could... either way. Either way.
You can do this!

You can do this! Keep going after it,
big cowboy!

Big cowboy tonight! Keep gettin' there!
Keep gettin' there!

You hear me?!

Get up there! Get up there! Attaboy!

That a boy! That a boy!

Oh-oh-oh!

[Kate] Some tense moments
right after that buck-off.

Both bull and Mitchell safe,
but not happy with the result there.

[Michael]
Dammit!

[announcer] That bull just had
his sights set on Zeke from the word go.

- I got around there.
- Yeah. He's losing his hat.

Good effort.

He didn't get you outta there, did he?
Not there.

[Ezekiel]
Not there. [indistinct]

Hey. Hey... Yeah.

[Ezekiel] My hand just rolled out.
Right there, it just rolled out.

He didn't get you outta here, though,
did he?

You left here good.

I know, and I wanted to kill him.

I know. That's the mindset
that you needed, though...

- Aah!
- Yeah.

Argh!

[Michael]
I'm proud of you. That's all right.

He can't buck me off.
That bull's never bucked me off. Ah!

No.

[Kate]
Austin, they're done.

Missouri Thunder, it all comes down

to their number one draft pick,
Colten Fritzlan.

[announcer] My magic crystal ball
says he's gonna ride this one

for eight seconds. The question is,
what will the numbers be?

Get up there! Get up there!

Get up there! Get up there!

[timer buzzes]

[Kate] Looked left, went right!
Fritzlan on his feet!

Missouri Thunder fired up!

[announcer]
All business, all focus!

[Kate] He needs 86 and a quarter.
This home state is saying he got it.

And he did! Eighty-six and three-quarters!
Missouri takes the game!

[man] Whoo!

[groans]

[clears throat]

[Ezekiel] We all shoulda
done our fucking jobs.

[indistinct remarks]

I'm supposed to ride that son of a bitch.

The thing about it is,
is we just gotta focus.

When I look at you guys,
I don't think it's a lack of effort.

You just gotta just fuckin' battle it
every time. Every time.

[Cord] You two, remember to take off
your wedding rings.

I was the bull rider out in Houston
one time,

I had my ring on, he said,
"You wear that ring when you're riding?"

I said, "Yeah, I switch hands."

He's like, "I wouldn't do that
if I were you." It ripped his finger off.

- Don't say that.
- He hung it on the chute.

I'm serious as a heart attack.

I switch. I'd put it on my right hand
when I rode.

[indistinct], like two years ago,
it ripped all the skin off his finger.

[gasps]

I'll take tape and I'll tape my finger
right here,

and then it'll just slide, or make it
to where it doesn't come off

or nothing can get underneath it.

I don't know what I would do
without my wife.

I don't know.

Look at Blake hanging over the side.

[Page laughs] I know.
She loves to lean out the side.

But she also likes, eventually the tire
will catch her eye.

[Eli] That seatbelt is just amazing,
isn't it?

[Page] Hey, don't chew on that, baby.
Girl... [whooshing noises]

[laughs]

Page was with me before I had any money.
You know, before I had won anything.

We lived in this trailer house
for two years,

me, her and
a handful of other bull riders.

I was gone rodeoing
ten months out of the year.

She was back here, working. There
was times where she was paying my way

and paying for me to go to
the bull ridings and helping me out.

It was just a lot of going to rodeos
and practicing.

He was just always on the move.

[Eli] Since day one, I told her that
there's a better life coming.

Just hold out, and I promise you
that it's gonna be worth it.

[Page] Can you smile?
Blaire, you look so relaxed.

[Eli] Nothing like a little Sunday cruise,
huh, Blaire?

I was 30 years old
when Page come up pregnant.

That was a big time in my life.

I kinda went through a point
where I was struggling,

um, more so than I ever did
with bull riding or anything.

I'd been a rodeo bum and
didn't have to answer to nobody.

And now, I've got a baby on the way,
and not just one, two of 'em.

I was excited, but I had no idea
what I was getting myself into.

We had the girls at 30 weeks,
they come premature.

Whitney Blaire was healthy as could be,

Vicky Blake had a little bit
of a heart condition.

[Page] She had transposition
of the great arteries.

And it's where your pulmonary
and your aorta aren't crossed

the way they should be,
so your blood doesn't get oxygen.

So, as soon as she came out,
she was intubated and taken to the NICU.

[Eli] She ended up having heart surgery
on her, and everything come out great.

Stayed in NICU with them for two days.

Flew out and flew to Las Vegas to the PBR,
my very first PBR World Finals.

[announcer] Night number one of the 2021
PBR World Finals has finally arrived!

[Cord]
Go on and get it now, Eli!

[Page] We would FaceTime
whenever I would go to the NICU

so he could see the girls.
We watched every round, of course.

And screamed at the TV.

[announcer]
Go, Eli, go!

[Kate] This crowd is cheering
because they just marked you at 91!

What do you make of that out?

I dreamed of being here since I was a kid.
It's definitely a dream come true.

[announcer] He's gonna want to change
that bull's name to Hell, Yeah!

He just became the best scorer
of the finals.

Ninety-two and three quarters!

Started the week out really good.
I had a couple of 90-point rides.

And then, one of my bulls,
he slammed me on my shoulder,

which ended up separating my shoulder
and breaking a rib.

He's extremely tough,
and I'm not a huge worrier.

But as far as he was still gonna get on
and compete... I don't know.

I showed up there with bigger problems
than riding bulls on my mind,

and so it was easy to not think about it
and just let my body take over.

[announcer] Nobody is cowboying-up
more this week than Eli Vastbinder.

Ninety-two and three quarters!

Every score he's had has been
over 90 at the finals. Unbelievable!

He's busted up ribs,
he's crawling out of the arena.

Most guys that we look at,
they come into their rookie season,

they're 18, 19, maybe in their early 20s.

But at 30, Eli becomes
the rookie of the year.

[Eli]
It was a big moment in my life.

[announcer]
Vastbinder is getting better and better.

He's a rookie, but he's
been riding bulls a long time.

[Eli]
I was definitely riding for the girls.

When Eli came home from Vegas,
he's trying to lift the car seat up,

but because of his ribs and his shoulder,

he can barely get it lifted up
into the car.

And so, the nurse is looking at us like,
you're gonna take a baby home?

You can't even pick up the car seat.
But we made it work, we figured it out.

Can you smile? [laughs]

- [cooing]
- [Page] Good job. Yeah. Yeah.

[Eli] Come on.

Having the girls, it's really changed
my whole career, bull riding-wise.

You know, it's kind of put a fire in me.
And then, when it's all said and done,

you know, it's gonna set them girls
and us up.

This is my job.

[Page] His goal is to provide for us.
That's the way we accomplish those goals

is through him riding bulls and,
um, earning money.

And so, he's not gonna quit,
that's for sure.

[baby]
Da-da-da-da-da-da.

[Eli]
Da-da-da.

This is a sport where the majority of us
grew up dreaming of something.

Our way to get it is to win.

I can either do this
for these next couple years,

set ourselves up for the future...

or go get a job making $10, $15 an hour.

My wife, me and the kids,

this is the only way I have
to give us everything we want.

In this sport, if you don't ride,
you don't eat.

This is the only option I got.

[announcer] ...number-one pick
from North Carolina, Eli Vastbinder!

[Kate] Game number two,
it's the Carolina Cowboys,

the Oklahoma Freedom.
Different strategy on both sidelines.

You see Vastbinder, their top draft pick,
he'll be last to go, the anchor.

Carolina Cowboys, they start with their
top draft pick in Daylon Swearingen.

[announcer] They want a statement made,
they want to get on the board early.

They want to put scoreboard pressure
into the other bucking chute.

Daylon really gets these guys pumped up
and, uh, this bull he's got tonight

ought to be a good matchup. So, we gotta
step up to the plate and make it count.

[Kate]
Here we go...

[crowd cheering]

- [timer buzzes]
- Daylon Swearingen, the reigning champ

sails to eight.
Carolina, first on the board.

[Cord]
We're rolling, let's go!

[Kate] As for the Freedom,
can they answer?

[Cord] All day long, now! Get over there!
Go ahead! There you go!

[Kate] Kolbaba, quick to steal that
momentum away from the Carolina sideline!

The Freedom, they're on the board.

[announcer]
Here we go!

[Eli] This bull riding stuff
is mostly mental.

Your mind is a crazy, funny thing.

[Jerome]
Hustle! Hustle! Oh! Great buck today.

[whistles]
Yip yip yip.

[Eli] Your mind's out to defeat you,
every time.

Right before you're gonna get on,

your mind's gonna tell you
you can't do it.

[crowd cheering]

[Kate]
Carolina Cowboys celebrate.

[announcer]
It comes down to this:

Eli Vastbinder has to ride eight seconds
to win the game.

[Eli] And your mind's gonna tell you
you're gonna get hurt

and you're not capable of riding this bull
and you're not gonna win,

and them guys are better than you.

[Cord]
Eli! [whistles] We're ready.

[Eli]
It's just straight panic mode.

[crowd cheering]

[Eli] But no matter how scared you are,
you saddle up and get on anyways.

It's really what being a cowboy
and bull rider is all about.

[Cord] Hey, don't let off the gas, now!
Go ride him!

Go to work now.
All day long now, keep riding!

Frickin' take their trophy away from 'em,
Eli. Go win this sucker.

Now ride! Get over there!

Go ahead! Finish it! Finish it!
There ya go!

Keep riding, keep riding!
Keep riding! Stay on!

Use your head! Go, go, go!

[Cord] Get up.

[Kate] Eli makes his way
to the sidelines.

[announcer] Our sports medicine team
moving into place there

to help him out of the arena to safety.

It is deafening quiet
in this building right now.

And it just goes to show you
the respect our fans have

for these incredible athletes.

[Kate]
It's been a weekend to forget.

[Eli yells]

It's my back, and my knee
feels like it's tweaked.

[medic]
Your chest...

My chest doesn't hurt yet,
but I feel it getting there.

[Cord] Yeah, he's in there getting
worked on right now. And he's hurtin'.

You watch the video in slo-mo,
he twisted his knee pretty good.

Just hoping it looked bad.

Injuries are not unavoidable
in this sport.

It... it comes with the territory.
It's dangerous,

but I think all the guys know that and
know what they're signing up for already.

[Eli] Ah!

Does that hurt worse than anything else?

And that hurt over on this inside
when I did that? Huh?

[Eli] Yeah.

[man] This sport isn't something that you
do thinking that you're gonna get by it

without ever getting hurt.
That's just the nature of the beast.

I think danger is what this game is.

Like, if you had to say,
what's one word for this sport?

Would... would it not be "danger"?

[narrator]
This season on The Ride.

[man 16]
Fear is taught. You know?

We wasn't taught fear.

[man 17] In PBR teams,
you cannot win with one great athlete.

If I want to win, I gotta be the best,
making every ride count.

- [shouts]
- "We" is better than "me."

You don't gotta go through it alone.

[rider 2]
You start second-guessing yourself;

What if I'm not cut out for this?

Flip that switch right fucking now.

So many things that can go wrong.

[Kate] Oh!

[Eli]
So many things that can go bad.

[announcer]
Oh, boy!

There isn't one time I don't pray
before he gets on.

There's not another sport out there
that comes with this amount of danger.

[Sean] Top 15 guys in the world.
Two of them got killed riding bulls,

and I got paralyzed.

Just shows you how tough
this sport really is.

[Kate] You have to love it
and crave it so much

that you want to come right back
and do it again.

You gotta get back up
and get back on.

[Ezekiel] You gotta go ride bulls.
That's what we do, we ride bulls.

[announcer]
Guys, I got goosebumps.

The hair on the back of my neck
is standing up.

[Kate] Doesn't waste any time
getting back in the ride column!

There's a target on my back. Those guys
are gonna ride even harder, even better.

[announcer]
He did it! Are you seeing this?!

[crowd cheering]

[announcer]
I love this sport!

Hey, hey. This is fucking war now.
From now until Vegas, this is war.