PUEBLO, Colo. – Two-time World Champion Chris Shivers’ reaction to J.W. Hart calling him about the possibility of coming out of retirement for one ride on May 30 in Decatur, Texas, was similar to the rest of the three other PBR Ring of Honor inductees who have accepted Hart’s challenge.
“I thought it was crazy,” Shivers said. “I told him, ‘No, I retired.’ Then I got to thinking about it and he got to telling me all who was in it and I said, ‘Well, maybe that might be something I am interested in doing.”
After mulling Hart’s offer, Shivers officially accepted the invitation this past weekend during the Bass Pro Chute Out in St. Louis.
PBR.com had a chance to catch up with Shivers after he accepted the challenge.
JF: Is it hard to fathom that you will be getting on one more bull at a PBR event?
SHIVERS: You bet. I never thought that I would want to do that again, but reminiscing a little bit about some of the things you used to do, I think each and every guy that is done riding bulls has that same feeling of maybe I want to do this a little bit. Then you say, ‘Well, maybe I don’t.’ This will be something special and something different. I am involved. This is something I am interested in doing one last time.
JF: Not only do you get to put on your gear one last time with your buddies, but you get to perform in front of PBR fans again.
SHIVERS: It is something that might mean a lot to a whole bunch of people, and it means something to us. From the things you read on social media, you hear, ‘You and such and such were our favorites.’ You hear about all of these old guys. The people that don’t get to see that rider anymore or don’t get to cheer for the guy they cheered for years ago, this is going to be an opportunity they are not going to want to miss.
JF: You’ve said before that pre-event introductions was always a favorite moment for you.
SHIVERS: That is one of the special things when I was riding. I always enjoyed introductions and going out there. When people holler for you, it means you have done something right. It shows your appreciation and that was a big part of it for me. That really drove me a lot of times. I appreciate what the fans do for us and to get to come out there and ride for them again.
JF: You also will get to ride in front of your sons, Brand and Blayne.
SHIVERS: I think that is what makes me more nervous more than anything. (Brand) is riding bulls now and I am kind of somewhat his coach. Whatever I do, I need to do well because all of the stuff I have done told him I have to follow up with that. I thought I was done with it and would never have to do it again. He will be expecting something good to happen, so it is my job to make it happen.
JF: So where are you at physically from when you retired in 2012.
SHIVERS: I can get around and do things that I want to do. I have a few pounds that I never rode (with) before. I’m going to start doing a few things to kind of tweak my ability. I don’t know. I may go to the gym some. I don’t really know yet, I quit studying on that when I retired.
JF: You must be motivated to make 8 seconds. Certainly a buckoff is the last thing you want to experience one more time.
SHIVERS: Oh, no that is what Justin (McBride) did at THE AMERICAN. He rode one jump and that is not the way you want somebody to remember you. I think each and every guy – it doesn’t really matter if they ride one jump or 10 jumps. Every guy out there that has the Ring of Honor has proven themselves. I think it is going to be well worth watching and I think some are going to expect these guys to fall off because they are washed up, too old, fat or whatever. I think some of them guys are going to see some really good rides.
JF: Surely, there will be some rust, but do you think timing will be the biggest obstacle?
SHIVERS: Our reactions aren’t as fast as they used to be, I am sure. I think when we let our reactions take over everything will fall into place. It is kind of like riding a bike. You never really forget. Some things are slower. On these super rank bulls, things have to be in time too to make things happen.
JF: Who is the early favorite among you, Hart, Coleman, McBride and Gaffney?
SHIVERS: I don’t really know. All of the fans have their favorites, so I think we need to take some kind of vote or something.
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