Just couldn’t get to this anti-climactic post (other kinds of writing had to take precedence), so it’s a mammoth one.
Next weekend the 2014 Built Ford Tough season starts, and I’ll be at the Championship Round in New York; the highlight of my day will be that I don’t have to listen to Craig Hummer slobbering over JB Mauney. I may have lost count, but on the last day of Finals broadcast, before the Championship Round he mentioned JB 36 times. The real total probably was astronomical, since TV viewers don’t hear him during commercials.
Let me set the scene:
Bull riders traipse up “the blue carpet” in some pre-show puffery à la Oscar night. Next year, will Joan Rivers or Ru Paul interview them about whose designer chaps they’re wearing? And oh lord—a phalanx of bimbos in black (probably faux) leather halter tops and sprayed-on pants, waddle along behind JB, then applauding sex objects flank the building entrance. So the PBR’s classy message is that if you’re a top bull rider, you will have access to all the T&A you want. Remember, little girls: you can’t grow up to be a bull rider, but you can become a Buckle Bunny. (Apologies to those of my gender who are breaking stereotypes and are riding bulls.)
Interesting how a lot of old white guys didn’t make a peep when Silvano Alves showed up, but women and younger people cheered and asked for autographs. I guess our sexuality isn’t threatened by people from other countries being successful.
Here’s a Real Man talking: whichever announcer said, “If you want to pick sides, I guess you can, but JB will be the first to tell you: it’s not JB against Silvano, it’s the rider against the bull.” He commented on bull riding’s camaraderie, and reported that the audience got to their feet for JB’s ride last night and stayed on their feet for Silvano’s ride, that JB wasn’t happy when Silvano got bucked off, and that he was the first to go over to Alves after the event was over, and later played with Silvano’s kids.
In contrast, here’s a Big Ol’ Baby talking: “I’m a huge JB Mauney fan. Silvano is a great bull rider, but he does it in such a conservative, dull way that I really hope JB Mauney wins it.” —Cody Lambert, with hoof in mouth. No wonder a former rider (who once got on Bodacious and shall remain nameless) once told me he had “a hate-hate relationship with Cody Lambert.”
Big Ol’ Baby #2: How can Justin McBride possibly keep mispronouncing Silvano’s last name, one second after someone else just said it—and 3 years since Alves got here—with two World Championships in between? It’s two f***ing syllables, dolt! I know it’s deliberate; it’s insulting, and it’s such bad sportsmanship. McBride can’t be THAT dumb. (On the other hand…)
OMG—on the Live Event Center, Keith Ryan Cartwright interviewed Craig Hummer. Are they that desperate for “news”? I couldn’t bear to unmute my speakers; I just knew I’d hear “JB” every 30 seconds.
I’M JUST SAYIN’…
Throughout the entire event, not once did the chute guys hassle anyone but Brazilian riders. (What else is new?) They gave Valdiron de Oliveira grief because Mick E Mouse was standing still in the chute—never mind what condition the rider was in. Then the bull hipped himself, but of course there was no re-ride. Meanwhile, Douglas Duncan and Luke Snyder were able to take their time prepping in there.
Pound the Alarm’s horn hit Shane Proctor; the replay, TV audience, and Ty Murray saw it, but Shane made 8, so they gave him a 90. When a bull touched Alves last night, he got a zero.
I’d hate to think what’d happen if Brazilian bulls were in the mix. They’d all get 30s.
ON TAP TO BE THE NEXT OBJECT OF HUMMER’S DROOL:
Jory Markiss took on Red Hot. (“The bull Silvano Alves chose not to ride in Round 1,” Hummer found it necessary to say.) He fought for it, and at 8 was thrown against the steel rails, with a big bang. Jory didn’t have the rope in his hand at 8, as the replay made clear, but he got away with it and an 82, because he’s a “fan favorite.”
MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY
Leah Garcia asked Renato Nunes the same thing I say out loud every time he rides way back on the end of his arm and gets bucked off: Why can’t he stay forward and keep his head down?? He said that’s his goal, but sometimes if he does, he clamps up. This time he did it right, on King Lopez, for 87.50, and threw his hat into the crowd before the backflip. Apparently he carries a supply with him.
AND NOW, TO THE OTHER STARS OF THE SHOW:
Ryan Dirteater becomes the last rider on Carrillo Cartel’s back, and in their 5th matchup—after 4 buckoffs—Ryan scores 89 on the bull’s 95th and final out. He attributed his success to Adriano Moraes telling him it’s mostly mental.
Tiffany Davis helping flank her bull, Super Freak, scratching him in the chute. “He thinks he’s one of the biggest ones in the herd.” She calls his name and he perks up his ears! “My husband has to remind me he’s not a pet, he’s a bucking bull.” Fabiano Vieira rode 60 in a row in Brazil, but Super Freak was having none of that.
“I think Mick E Mouse is the rankest, most dangerous bull we’re going to see today. I think he’s a contender for Bull of the Year.”—Ty Murray
“This bull’s had more press than Paris Hilton.”—Ty, talking about Bushwacker.
FAREWELL TO OUR SECOND FAVORITE AUSSIE
Sorry to say, Brendon Clark isn’t going out with a bang. (He’s 0 for 5.) Wife Alli was tearful as she applauded, everyone in the ring hugged him, the crowd stood up clapping. During his interview with Leah Garcia, he couldn’t not cry. “It’s been a dream…it’s been a hard ride, but I never gave up ‘til the end…I’m gonna miss this. I’m pretty happy with the way it worked out…” He was too emotional to stand there any more. Real men do cry.
AND BYE-BYE TO THE MAN FROM THE “SHOW ME” STATE
I honestly thought Luke Snyder was going to ride Stanley Fatmax; I really didn’t want a buckoff to be his last result. Said Luke: “It’s been a good ride. I grew up in front of everybody watching, and it was a heck of a time. I tried my guts out on the last one, so I’m happy, too.” He’s just so Pollyanna!
RATCHETING UP THE DRAMA
Amazing what camerawork can convey. The camera crawled into Silvano’s eyeball—we could see each eyelash—as he wrapped on Cowtown Slinger. Camera cuts to JB, with CH blabbling on (that’s my new word: blabbing + babbling) about Alves counting on JB to fail. (Hummer is the only one who thinks this is Silvano’s attitude.) JB pulled his hat down over his face: clever move, so they’d focus back on Silvano and nobody could see him being nervous when Alves scored 88.25. Excellent bull performance, BTW. Silvano’s end zone move was to kick his helmet like a soccer ball—PFF. Back to JB at the chute, hat covering his eyes. Body Language 101: if you’re not worried, you don’t hide your eyes.
The “Reflections” videoclip of various Finals rides, especially the clip of Chris Shivers sitting in the locker room with his hat covering his face, as the announcer says, “Chris Shivers has just won a million dollars, and he doesn’t know it.”
The woman in the audience carrying a “We love you Luke” sign bordered in twinkling lights.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: João Ricardo Vieira. Well-deserved, too. Nobody bothered to announce that, or to mention the rest of the Top 5: new kid on the block Claudio Chrisostomo, Cody Nance (he of the sticky spurs), and Guilherme Marchi, who should’ve been the PBR Calendar Boy.
JB’s post-game interview: “I just got lucky this time, I guess.” Leah asked if he’d say how nervous he was: “Every ride before I got on him, I couldn’t have spit if I wanted to.” PFF: in the middle of his comment, the buzzer goes off. Do we need any further confirmation that the JB clock exists?
Silvano’s grace: he congratulated JB, smiled to the camera, and gave us the two-finger wiggle gesture that JB used to make.
HUMMERBLATHER—HIS CUP OVERFLOWETH, AND THEN SOME. (CLEANUP IN AISLE TWO!)
“Jan 9, 27 years ago, a bull rider was born.” I’m sure a star appeared in the East, too.
“JB Mauney is two rides away from turning all the ‘what ifs’ to ‘remember whens.’ The world championship is his for the taking. Silvano Alves is feeling the championship slipping between his fingers, but if he can…he can hold onto the world crown.”
“JB Mauney is trying to make sure we don’t forget about him.” That would be impossible, considering how his lap dog reminds us every five seconds. Clearly it doesn’t matter what words surround the mantra “JB Mauney,” as long as those words are in the sentence.
Back from commercial: “The Las Vegas strip has never seen excitement like this!” Apparently Craig hadn’t heard about Paul McCartney performing at the iHeart Radio Music Festival. And then there was the time in 1964 when Paul’s old band played there. What were they called again?
“I look into his eyes, and that’s how you know…” I really thought Craig was about to burst into a chorus of “Some Enchanted Evening,” but he was explaining how he knows JB’s going to win the event. Me, I looked into the judges’ eyes and I knew.
Back from commercial: “JB Mauney walking down the hall…” What’s next? “JB Mauney blows his nose”?
The riders come down the stairs. “And here he comes live, JB Mauney… to win his first gold buckle ever…” Hummer spewing his foregone conclusion—which wasn’t a shock to people who’ve paid attention to what the judges have been dishing out all season.
“The crowd has just heard JB Mauney introduced. They hope the red, white, and blue is draped around our world champion at the end of the day. It’ll be the first time in three years that an American has won the world championship.” And THAT is exactly the kind of obnoxious, jingoistic, prejudicial CRAP that needs deconstructing:
1) How do you know everyone in the crowd hopes the same thing as you do? Maybe some of them just want to see great bull riding, no matter who’s doing it. Maybe some of them aren’t prejudiced.
2) Read my lips: This is bull riding, not a flag-waving contest. The winner gets a gold buckle. This is not the Olympics; the U.S. is not competing against Brazil.
3) “Our” world champion? You mean, an American, because a rider from any other country (especially Brazil) wouldn’t be “our” world champion, the real world champion?
4) It’s just plain shitty to talk as if Alves is invisible. An announcer is supposed to be neutral and cover the action.
5) It was the first time in 3 years an American won the championship because the judges have been working on that outcome all season. I’d rather see JB win it on his own, thank you very much.
And guess what? When the judges and management engineer the results, it puts bull riding on a par with fake wrestling.
“It’s JB Mauney’s world; we’re all just on it with him.” God, could the man be any more of an ass-kissing fool??
Valdiron de Oliveira rode Cheerio like the Valdiron of old (Craig: “much like JB Mauney”), but not much like JB Mauney, he was given only 83.25.
OH NO HE DITN’–
Hilarious: Craig trying to sound cool, calling Mississippi Hippy a “big mammajamma.” Worse: “Matt Triplett is going to remember this trip to the Finals.”
“…and JB hopes they see yet another slice of greatness.” What, like, pound cake?
“He’s still perfect!” I swear, if JB wins the title, Hummer is going to pee his pants.
Cut to shot of Silvano in the locker room, watching JB’s ride, on the monitor. “Silvano can only watch and wonder what he could’ve done during the year to make a difference…” Well, let’s see: besides that red herring of turning down re-rides, he’d have had to change his name and his nationality, and convince the judges to let his scores rise above 84 once in a while.
“… ready to step onto the world stage… JB Mauney is 8 seconds away.” The world stage?? I think you’re confusing him with Pope Francis, moron.
“Ten months ago in New York City, we could not have scripted it any better.” Who do you think you’re fooling, buddy boy? 10 months ago they did script it!
“…the Bad Boy Mower Lead Dog…with what has become the greatest comeback in sports.” Uh, some people might say that actually was the Boston Red Sox in 2004, or Oracle Team USA winning the America’s Cup. I also don’t recall JB leaving bull riding, then deciding to come back. Craig needs to get out more.
“He’s hoping this bull can pull a rabbit out of the hat…” I’d pay to see that.
THE HOME STRETCH
Alves is up on unridden Big Tex “Rocks,” and of course Craig Yammerin’ Hummer must mention JB, who was on camera trying not to look nervous. (I actually got the jitters at this point.) Silvano made the ride, and was scored 81.25 by those SOB judges! Why?? Because a Brazilian rode an unridden bull, so that must mean the bull didn’t have a good trip?? He was forced to take a re-ride—on Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey (sure; tire him out in the Championship Round—the bull’s got an 85.29% buckoff rate). In your face, boys! He got an 89, and you know the judges begrudged him that. (Forget a 90.) Hummer: “I just was going to say JB Mauney is our 2013 World Champion!” Of course you were; you’ve been saying it for months. His wife must be sick of hearing him moan about Mauney in his sleep.
We’re supposed to believe that the 70 Silvano kept when he turned down a re-ride earlier in the event lost him the championship? Some of us have longer memories. For those who don’t: Does the number 83 ring a bell? 83.50? 84? 84.50? It should: that’s what the judges stuck Alves with so many times this season, while they did their best to keep JB’s scores in the high 80s and over 90. I don’t have the time or energy to review the year and analyze scores, dings, wonky clocks, bad calls, etc., but I’d be very interested to see what the rankings would’ve been if everything was fair.
And so, even before his last ride (on Wipeout, who has a 78.57% buckoff rate), for a ridiculously inflated score of 93, JB Mauney becomes the World Champ, and wins the event, too. Gosh, what a surprise!
Then Hummer lost whatever smidgen he had left of his tiny friggin’ mind. This is the coronation speech, verbatim: “There’s your exclamation point!” “The ride heard round the world!” (You mean the bull riding world, you ass.) “Mauney’s historic comeback is complete… changing the course of history…!” Yeah, you know; like Alexander the Great, or Marie Curie, or Nelson Mandela.
Usually when a dog gets all heated up like that, people turn the hose on him.