BILLINGS – When the PBR stomps in to Billings Friday night, Montana bull rider Matt Triplett won’t be so jacked. The injured Columbia Falls cowboy, now living in Kalispell, admits it’s tearing him up.
“Yeah, I can’t even look at the standings,” Triplett told MTN Sports Thursday afternoon in studio. “Obviously, through Twitter or Facebook I can see it update and stuff. It kinds of gets me a little bit.”
As does being shelved with injury in his home state.
“This weekend will probably be the hardest for me because I love coming to Billings,” he said. “The fans that support not just me, but everybody else are amazing. They know what they’re watching. They know what a 90-point ride is. They get up out of their seats and they’re pumped.”
Triplett owns the firsthand knowledge. Almost a year ago to the day, he rode into town on an absolute high. This time, it’s the absolute opposite.
“It is,” Triplett acknowledged. “Last year was awesome. I’d just won Sioux Falls, coming into Billings on a hot streak. I even rode good in Billings. This year, not the same story. After the world finals I had labrum surgery. Doctor went in, had to take some bone out, move it and put some rods in there. I know I could get on this weekend, but I listen to the doctor and he says not quite yet.”
So Triplett is eyeing a return in a couple weeks. But he’s been out of commission since November, which makes it hard to get paid.
“There’s really nothing at all. We’ve got, like, a Western Sports deal that kind of gives us money to help us out a little bit,” Triplett said. “But I’ve been out of work for six months, so it’s been kind of hard. But in the same sense, it’s making me hungry so I’m ready to go.”
And you can expect him to go full throttle. Triplett’s not thinking about reaching the PBR World Finals. He’s fired up to win it all.
“Definitely. Easy for (Triplett to make) Las Vegas,” he nodded. “I’m still planning on getting in to that world title hunt. There’s been a lot of guys hurt this year, so nobody has really stepped up enough. It’s an opportunity for me to go super hard this summer. Come back in Vegas in two weeks, hopefully get the win there. It’s a major so you can get 600 to 700 points. Hit the summer hard and then second half of the season, just come on ready to go.”
The PBR runs Friday (7:45 p.m.), Saturday (7:45 p.m.) and Sunday (1:45 p.m.) inside Rimrock Auto Arena.