The Professional Bull Riders Kicks Off Its 2020 Season at Madison Square Garden with the Monster Energy Buck Off
Opening its 14th year at the World’s Greatest Arena in New York City, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) kicks off its 2020 season this evening with round one the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden – part of the PBR’s Unleash the Beast tour. Among the 36 bull-riding human athletes will be the returning PBR World Champion, 22 year old Jess Lockwood, former 3-time Champion Silvano Alves from Brazil, the 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis, and series rookie from upstate New York, Daylon Swearingen.
Swearingen, a 150 lb 5’6” 20 year old from Piffard, NY, is no novice to bull riding and is currently ranked #13 in the world. MetroSports Magazine had the opportunity to interview Daylon outside of Madison Square Garden on the corner of 33rd Street and 8th Avenue at a pre-event gathering. He told us that “It feels great to be here in New York City, especially because the PBR Tour starts here. I’ve been riding pretty much my whole life. I kind of grew up around it - my family produced rodeos. I started on sheep and then worked my way to calves and then bulls.” Speaking. With a big smile, about the thrill he gets from the sport he said, “I love it every time I get down there. It’s exciting. It’s just something you can’t find everywhere – that feeling you get. There’s a danger to it and it’s a sport where we don’t get paid unless we perform well and that’s something you don’t find in a lot of sports now. When your ride starts, you can’t stop it. You can’t slow down. It all just plays out and there are so many different scenarios that can happen.
Daylon comes into the event well-prepared having competed in 44 events during the 2019 season and placing first in seven of them. His previous ride in his home state was in Elmira, NY, on May 11th where he posted a 3rd place finish. His opening round opponent in New York City will be Tulsa Time.
Above (from left to right): Ezekiel Mitchell, Jess Lockwood and Daylon Swearingen
Prior to tonight's Buck Off at the Garden, the PBR put on some fan-friendly media day events out on the corner of 33rd Street and 8th Avenue. in addition to the interviews, several NYC based sports mascots tested their skills against a mechanical bull. New York University’s “Bobcat”, St. John’s University’s “Johnny Thunderbird”, Columbia University’s “Roar-ee” and Major League Baseball’s minor league Staten Island Yankees mascot, “Scooter the Holy Cow” each climbed aboard a mechanical bucking bull in front an eager late morning crowd of New Yorkers.
The university mascots didn't fare well. Perhaps it made sense that a cow was the only successful mascot to complete a ride on his species mate, a bucking bull – granted, neither the cow nor the bull were real.
Above: (Left) Mascots posing with PBR Bull Riders, (Right) Scooter the Holy Cow with his winning prize
Following the Mascot Buck Off at the Garden, it was time for another NYC sidewalk contest, this one between an actual PBR bucking bull and eight members of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority Police Department (PAPD). The PAPD dates back to 1928 and is today charged with securing many of the City’s vital bridges, tunnels, airports, bus terminals, commuter railroad, ports and the World Trade Center. Thirty-seven PAPD officers were among the first to respond to the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks of 9-11 and gave their lives in the process. Others have since suffered, or are currently suffering, from post 9-11 diseases. This competition was one of pure brawn – who would show the greatest amount of muscle mass in a pre-event Bull vs Police Officers weigh-in challenge.
It turned out to be “no contest”. The PAPD put the bucking bull to shame, outweighing it by 400 pounds. And it was all for a good cause – to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation honors the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001 and also honors our military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country. The Foundation contributes in many ways - one being to provide mortgage-free housing to the families of the heroes who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Following the weigh-in, the PBR presented the Foundation a check for $2,000.00
Look for more complete coverage of the 2020 PBR Monster Energy Buck Off in the upcoming January-February issue of MetroSports Magazine accessible at
Please be sure to read our coverage of previous PBR events in NYC in the Jan-Feb issues from 2019, 2018 and 2017.