Des Moines 15-15 Bucking Battle

You already know his favorite subject. The broadcast intro started with the standard “I’m so macho” voice touting “the return of fan favorite J! B! Mauney!” A few minutes later, Justin McBride talks about J.B. being “one of the greatest ever,” “only guy to ride Asteroid and Bushwacker,” riding “countless other bigtime bulls that other guys were scared of.” Craig calls Mauney, “Our LeBron James, our Michael Jordan.”

All that kinda guff inevitably jinxes a guy. Air Time made J.B. his 10th consecutive buckoff. I never get tired of seeing that first spectacular jump out of the gate. Granted, J.B.’s riding with his left knee braced because of his injury. (Hummer of course talks about J.B.’s injuries like they’re different from anyone else’s. Uh, dear, Matt Triplett is also sporting a knee brace.) Murphy’s Law: J.B. landed on his left knee. He hopped out of the arena.

This is some real PBR b.s.: Yo Yo launched Cody Nance pretty far, and Nance was offered a re-ride. Why? Nobody bothered to tell us viewers. Cody turned down the re-ride. So what’s the low score he keeps? Big mystery while judges confer. After Shane Proctor’s out, Craig announces that the score is 75.75. The website says 76.50. Well, guess what? “The score has been adjusted.” Nobody bothered to explain why. The PBR judges do pretty much whatever they want. “Cody Nance has escaped with a score, and maybe the win,” prophesied Hummer.

Nobody ragged on Cody for turning down a re-ride, either—no commentator, bullfighter, or livestock director had anything snotty to say. “Sometimes you just gotta take what God gives you,” was Cody’s reason for passing on the re-ride. (He also mentioned he was struggling with his self-confidence.)

Nance was the only one to ride his bull, so he won the event with the lousy score. YoYo’s was the worst of all the bull scores. It’s a world gone mad.

BITCHIN’ (as in, complaining)
I don’t know what the hell was wrong with all the other guys. Cowboys were sailing all over the arena. How could not one of them “convert,” to use Hummer’s stupid word instead of the much simpler and more accurate “ride”? The bulls sure did their job: Mississippi Hippy, Air Time, and Boot Jack were the stars of the show (45, 45.25, and 45.25 respectively). Not far behind were Spotted Demon, 44.75; Little Joe, 44.50; Who Dey, 44.25; Semper Fi, 44.25; and Diesel, 44.25.

Guilherme Marchi in particular made me despair. At #5 in the world, with 547 rides and 3 Bucking Battles under his belt, he really oughtta know better than to hold onto the gate so long. Pistol Pete, who’s unridden this season, was bumptious in the chute, and “the book on the bull,” as Ty Murray used to say, was that Pete was gonna swirl to the left. The bull backed out, started to head right—ye olde Marchi wheelhouse—and somehow Guilherme quickly was bucked off onto his feet, right back into the chute. Jeez, Guilherme!

I felt the same way about Valdiron de Oliveira’s almost-completed trip. He’s got a 53.33% riding percentage, looked like he was set to take Brown Sugar (whose official nickname is now “cute little bull”) to 8,  and then at 6.53—AAGGHH! I think the bull made Valdiron dizzy. He had to be half-carried out.

I’m not imagining it: Mike Lee delivers the loudest buckoffs and dismounts of any rider. This time we had the bonus of him being miked, so the usual PLOP off Mississippi Hippy’s back had extra oomph. For extra credit: what’s hilariously wrong with this sentence: “We move on to our next pairing, which includes 2004 World Champion Mike Lee”?

Kasey Hayes substituted for Ben Jones, and he kinda might’ve regretted it. Shorty gave his team the heads-up that Panda Trax “is a little bit mean.” Well, Panda didn’t do it on purpose, but his entire front end crashed down on top of Hayes and knocked him out. It was astounding that Kasey eventually came to and could stand up. Wobbly, but up. I don’t think he could even see where he was being taken by Sports Medicine. He stayed in the game the next day, which resulted in fractures of three lumbar vertebrae, and a 6-week vacation. The other stupid thing is, why on earth doesn’t Sports Medicine have a portable x-ray machine? It’s fairly good odds that at least one rider per day is going to need pictures taken; someone with cracked bones really doesn’t need to be rattling around in an ambulance for a trip to the hospital x-ray machine.

The ad for the upcoming Champions Challenge announces that participating in the event are J.B. Mauney, Guilherme Marchi, “and a host of others.” The visuals show 3-time World Champ Silvano Alves, 2004 World Champ Mike Lee, and other minor guys like that. Whoever produced this commercial needs to send it back to the Rewrite Department.


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3 Responses to Des Moines 15-15 Bucking Battle

  1. Tired of being fan says:

    It was not fun to spend $102 plus seat fees for an event in Des Moines to see so few rides. So many out (big names) that it is quite expensive to see many Touring Pro riders I have never heard of. I may spend my money in a different arena next year and just watch it on the computer. PBR needs to address why there are so many injuries with these super bulls!


  2. S. says:

    I feel like a grade school kid, but I just want to tell them that if they keep using J.B. Mauney’s name so much, they’re going to wear it out. It’s not that he’s not talented, but the PBR’s slavish devotion to all things Mauney is just embarrassing.

    I actually found it kind of hilarious that they redid the whole point structure to supposedly make guys take re-rides, and the event had two guys get bonus points based on low scores and not taking the re-rides. Of course, the two aren’t Brazilian, so they are making “smart business decisions.”

    The wear and tear is obvious at this point, and I don’t think the constant 15/15 bucking battles are helping. The PBR needs to get a grip on the fact that the bull breeding programs are producing an overall higher level quality of bull, and it doesn’t matter how much money or points they flash, the cowboys are getting hammered. Meanwhile, the fans are getting restless because it seems like a parade of injuries and buck-offs are all we’re going to get. It’s easy for the commentators, who faced more uneven pens in their day, to say the cowboys aren’t trying/lack confidence/lack focus or aren’t tough enough or whatever, but it doesn’t change the unsustainable trend of better and better bulls combined with making the guys get on more and more of them. I’m kind of scared of LCS at this point. It’s more than time for the break.


  3. closeobserver says:

    And then what we all expected to happen, JB won the event!! PBR didn’t waste anytime!! His scores were over-inflated, as usual!!


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