No Surprises in Tulsa

TULSA            8-15-15

So I watched the last day of PBR’s Tulsa event, and when I heard these gems from The Bummer, I knew who was going to win, no matter which bull he rode or how he rode. I might as well have turned off the TV five minutes into the broadcast.

  • “J – B – Mauney just seems to want it more!”—Craig yelping about his superhero, and in the process, insulting the World #1.
  • “Is he on his way to a 2nd gold buckle” And I suppose Joâo Ricardo Vieira is not?
  • “Can do no wrong,” because apparently he’s a saint.
  • Craig asks Shorty about the Tulsa crowd, then immediately switches the topic to JB.
  • “His time in Tulsa could become an instant classic.” (There’s no such thing. It’s either instant or it’s a classic. You can’t tell if something’s a classic until it’s stood the test of time, you fool.)
  • Re Joâo Ricardo Vieira: “He’s starting to hear not only footsteps but The Mauney Freight Train charging up behind him.”
  • “It seems that JB Mauney has a heightened sense of…” I don’t remember if he said ambition or drama or what, but that was the gist—basically a variation of “when the lights shine the brightest…bla bla bla.
  • Aaaand of course, the “Great Out of the Gate” ride was JB’s 92 on Percolator in Biloxi.
  • “In 2013 fan favorite JB Mauney made history by staging one of the biggest comebacks in sports…” This guy is delirious. PBR has been staring at their navels for so long, they think bull riding is the entire history of sports.
  • “Viera can’t help but think he’s feeling the pressure from JB.” Hummer can’t help but think about anything else but JB—he sees the entire world through the lens of his hero. Not to mention that it’s utterly obnoxious to presume to know what Vieira is thinking or feeling.
  • “JB Mauney in 5th” (Never mind mentioning #1, 2, 3, 4.)
  • “JB Mauney after the summer break seems to put on the cape and becomes Superman.” (Oh my god, could it be any clearer that Craig wants to see him in his underwear?)
  • …”and then it will all be up to JB Mauney”
  • “…the meat of the lineup—including 2013 World Champion JB Mauney.” Never mind including 3-time—some say 4-time—World Champion Silvano Alves in the house. (And about the choice of the word “meat”…)
  • Back from commercial: “Last week J B Mauney won…yadda yadda yadda”
  • “Remember, JB Mauney has been a fast mover, and has held the hot hand since we came back from the summer break.” How could we forget, with you yapping about it every second? And I’m sure a certain person would love to hold that hot hand.
  • “He’s got the win in the books, but now everyone wants to see fireworks.”
  • “The Champion has already been decided, but JB wants more than the Tulsa win, he wants a second gold buckle.” (Usually it’s called “the winner,” but not if it’s JB.)
  • “The BOK Center salutes one of the greatest we’ve ever seen in this sport!” (accompanied by copious amounts of saliva)
  • “JB Mauney seems to find more ways to impress than we can even think of.” Oh, I don’t know; I’m sure that between the judges and the scriptwriters, they can come up with a few more tricks.
  • “No one seems to be more invincible…”
  • “But it’s not enough to supplant JB Mauney.”
  • “Our Super 8 Ride of the Day has to be the winning ride.”
  • “…heading towards what looks like a 2nd gold buckle.” Again, insulting the #1 guy

Add to that:

  • The Athlete Profile, as if we don’t get enough of him, is JB. Never mind the #1 guy.
  • The voiceover on return from a commercial: “A dangerous JB Mauney returned to the scene last week…”

Could it be any clearer who’s the PBR’s favorite and that they will do anything to make him #1 in peoples’ minds—not to mention on the leaderboard? Is there any other sport in which commentators and judges blatantly favor one athlete over everyone else?

For those of you who were able to detect that there actually were other riders in the event, here’s some of what happened:

Austin Meier has announced his retirement, so of course, what PBR shows are the brutal injuries he’s suffered, including the time he was groaning in pain in the chute. God forbid they show him coming in at #2 in the Finals. Austin looked a lot happier and healthier in his interview with Leah Garcia.

Ben Jones did not outhustle American Hustler (jeez, I’ve caught the Hummerblather disease), but at least he doesn’t have a broken bone in his foot, which would make it impossible to ride. Even a broken leg is preferable, according to J.W. Hart: “Just about everybody’s rode with a broke leg, a broke ankle.” (For those who care: ridden and broken)

Renato Nunes won the Tulsa event last year. Did they make a big fuss over him this year? Not on Sunday; I don’t know about Friday and Saturday, but even money says No. Unfortunately, on Shotgun Ride, it looked like he just gave up when the bull turned right.

Silvano Alves rode Corpus Red for—gee, big shocker! 84.50 points. I’m having flashbacks to 2013. We can expect a highly engineered couple of months.

Gage Gay, with a 21.43% riding percentage, has been having enough highs and lows to give anyone whiplash. This time Sambo bucked him off, and as Gage was leaving the dirt, the bull suddenly charged after him, sending him scrambling up the fence.

When Rubens Barbosa came to Colorado, he’d been off the BFTS for 2 years. Welcome back, Brasiliero: he got put on the clock. He made his ride on Thunder Head look easy, which is why he was scored just 83.50.

Aarrgghh! Robson Palermo said that after Round 1 he had butterflies in his stomach. He still has pain in his shoulder—well, who wouldn’t, with steel pieces in there. He made a clunky ride, but the clock said 8 when he touched the bull, and a tie goes to the rider. Then the ride was reviewed, and a different clock showed a different time (7.98), which meant no score.

Look, it’s one of two things: either one of the clocks is fucked up and judges can use that to the advantage of whoever they want, or there’s a human thumb on a stopwatch, which is completely unacceptable, and also a way to fudge the time. Clearly they don’t want the clocks in sync. If both clocks were synchronized, and there was no room for human error (or sluggishness), I wonder which riders would’ve made more scores, and which riders would’ve won certain events. There’s always something slimy going on with the PBR.

STICKY!

Robson Aragao, who rode Lane’s Magic Train for 87.50 in the Championship Round, does indeed have some moves, not just on the bull. The reason JDub doesn’t like them is probably because he doesn’t know how to move his hips like Spiderman. Judging from that little display, Aragao would be a lot of fun on the dance floor.

Ryan Dirteater’s riding percentage is 33.33%, and this is one example why: he hung onto Bad Moon Rising even sideways, and wouldn’t let go until he scored: 73.75, but better a score than none.

THE BULLS: BIFF, BAM, POW!

Slinger, Jr. sure did sling Stormy; Wing must’ve been 12 feet in the air, which is what you’d expect from someone with that name.

Emilio Resende tried every possible maneuver to stay on Legacy, a bull with a lot of tricks, with no luck.

Ripslinger launched Brady Sims after just a few turns.

Crazy Horse shoveled Reese Cates in the midsection and threw him up in the air after Cates scored 87.50. JDub’s quote about Reese: “It’s money or mud with him, damage or dust, the chicken or the feathers.”

Raven Flyer forced Fabiano Viera to dismount by grabbing onto the chute, for which Fabiano received a Silvano score of 83.

Semper Fi pulled Luis Blanco down and bounced him off his back. JW compared the bull to his dad, Little Yellow Jacket, and said the bull’s move reminded him of how Little Yellow Jacket bucked off Chris Shivers.

Air Time delivered an enormous roll as he left the chute, dumping Luis Blanco and nearly coming down himself. Score: 44.50. Reminder: only Renato Nunes has ever ridden him.

A rider’s average score on Shaft is 89.8. Again, this is one of the monsters that only Renato has tamed.

Boot Jack launched Michael Lane pretty high, scoring 44.75.

Long John has what JW calls dropkick. I call it deep moves. He also said Silvano made a great ride in the earlier round, but was given 84.50. You know how bad the situation is when a PBR stalwart says Alves was underscored. Bull score: 45.50

YOU DON’T SAY!

Apparently 20-year-old rookie Kaique Pacheco, Blue Def Velocity Tour leader, is even quieter than Silvano Alves. How is that even possible, unless he uses sign language?

GOTTA LOVE THIS GUY

JW Harris says he never learned how to tuck and roll after a dismount, and doesn’t want to; he said he’s so mad coming off the bull…“He’s got too much cowboy in him to let go,” JDub explained. That’s why Harris gets slammed when he gets off his bulls, in this case, Hy Test in Round 2.

YOU GO, BOY!

Mike Lee has been on a buckoff streak, bringing his riding percentage down to 29.09% As he was getting ready on Little Z (Pick of the Pen), he yelled something and pointed at a guy nearby. After he scored 86.25, he told Leah the guy must’ve been drinking; he had to tell him to be quiet, because he couldn’t focus. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen before. The bull proved to be a merry-go-round with Lee stuck on top. While Mike chugged through his victory lap, the bull came around from the other direction, and if it weren’t for Frank Newsom, there would’ve been a head-on collision.

IN YOUR FACE!

In spite of all the grousing the Booth Boys do about Joâo Ricardo Vieira not being able to ride bulls away from his hand, he did. Both JW and I thought he might get a re-ride, because Ranger was sluggish and unimaginative. Instead, the result was 80.25 and no re-ride option.

BUMMER

Fabiano Vieira was out of the final round because he aggravated his shoulder injury. Aarrgghh! After watching him painfully riding with his free arm held to his body, then gradually improving and making rides, to being almost normal, then kaflooey– I can’t stand it.

Robson Palermo’s shoulders have been reassembled with metal. On one hard landing, he bent the screw in his right arm. “That’s just a whole new meaning for bull riders to say they have a screw loose,” was JW’s crack, almost in real English. Meanwhile, the chute bully was telling Robson he has to go—on the clock, down to 10 seconds. Robson hung on through a tight spin, then was flipped up and out the back door by Vegas Outlaw.

I’M JUST SAYIN’

Eduardo Aparecido was completely in charge of Shoot Out the Lights; 84.75 was too low for that ride.

Cody Lambert speaketh the gospel truth: “J.B. Mauney got lucky to ride Bushwacker.”  Said JW Hart, “That’s strong words, coming from a guy who’s ridden a whole lotta rank bulls.” Can I get an Amen!?

Here’s the cockeyed way the PBR sees American riders, compared to Brazilian riders: talking about JB’s matchup with Gentleman Jim, JW Hart says, “The challenge isn’t big enough for him.” So that’s why JB was scored 86, not winning the round. If the challenge wasn’t big enough for Alves, they’d be saying he picked an easy bull, and he’d get an 84.

With this new points system, all the judges have to do is score JB higher right off the bat, and he’s guaranteed a round win, which racks him up those round points and pushes him up the ladder.

JW Hart said Smooth Operator’s the toughest bull in the draft, the one the guys are scared of the most, that’s why he was the last one left (lucky Emilio). This contradicts all their b.s. about how JB picks the toughest bulls, because he chose DaNutso instead—you know, a bull he knew he could ride. But when a Brazilian rider picks a bull he knows he can ride, all the talk is about how he didn’t “step up.”

“There are no easy bulls in this championship round,” declared JW, then said that Magic Train’s style doesn’t fit Robson Aragao. Yeah, the bull had a weird style, but it did fit Robson. Or rather, Aragao can handle tough bulls. That’s why he scored 87.50 The judges reviewed the ride for a touch, though. Sez genius Hummer, “Oddly enough in Round 2, Aragao had to go through the same thing.” Oddly enough? It’s simple: the judges don’t want him at the top of the leaderboard.

I don’t know what possessed Reese Cates to pick Mississippi Hippy in the Championship Round. As Craig put it, “Reese Cates just tried to ride a skyscraper.” Frank the Tank got smacked down, too.

I didn’t see Eduardo Aparecido touch Brown Sugar at 6.93; I saw it at 8. The ride was reviewed. Funny thing; only Brazilian riders were put on the clock, and only Brazilians had their rides reviewed.

After Shane Proctor got bucked off by Who Dey in the Championship Round, JB won the round without even having to ride, which of course Hummer couldn’t help crowing about. Gee, it was such a surprise that the judges didn’t score anyone over the 91.25 they gave JB in Round 1. And we’re supposed to think that every 90-point ride Mauney makes IS a 90-point ride.

The final (and very telling) word, from JDub: “Hollywood can’t script this better.” Yeah, the PBR sure is giving the Writers Guild a run for their money.

And now, Rosinette predicts Nashville:

My fellow bull riding fans, allow me to save you a few hours of your life this weekend. I can tell you, with almost certainty, what’s in store at the PBR Nashville event.

This is how it will all play out:

Leading up to the Nashville event, we will see fluff stories centered around J.B. Mauney with no apparent purpose other than to push the tired storyline on us yet again.

Exhibit A:  Mauney’s Free-Arm Movement A Major Benefit

They will try to brainwash us into thinking JB won the World Championship last year instead of acknowledging Silvano’s historic third World Championship title. Oh wait, that already happened last week. If you watched carbon TV coverage of the Tulsa event, you saw the rehash of the year JB “won” the world title.  They are trying very hard to make viewers forget about Silvano’s win last year and make you think that JB is the current champion.  Um, no.

This weekend, they’ll run endless promos with JB as the focus, the storyline being that he is the king of everything; a superhero who is “smart” when he doesn’t pick the toughest bull in the pen. At the same time, others (ahem, foreign-born riders) will be severely criticized and scrutinized if they don’t pick the rankest bull.

Craig Hummer, bless his little heart, will lose his shit on Twitter and on-air about how JB is going to “slay another dragon.” He will hashtag to the high heavens every possible complimentary thing he can muster in 140 characters. He will have no shame and make a complete fool of himself by putting his obsession on display for all to see.  Exhibits B & C:

(Is anyone else wondering if he’s getting paid to be the hype man for JB? I’m serious; is he on JB’s payroll or something?)

Despite being a commentator who should be held responsible for maintaining a professional, objective posture while conducting his job, Hummer will proudly show his bias and subjectivity and, because he cannot seem to tone it down, he will tell us what we already know: that the PBR has every intention of orchestrating a World Championship for JB this year via 90+ scores, change in the points system, and  slap/chute/clock rules that don’t seem to apply to him.

Finally, the PBR will drum up some drama and fake competition between JB and Silvano to push their storyline, with the goal of making us think that 1) Silvano is done and 2) JB is a god.

Exhibit D:  They’ve purposely put Silvano and JB on the same side of the bracket for Nashville’s Music City Knockout so they can pit them “head-to-head.”

It’s the same old song and dance, so save yourself the headache.  You’re welcome.

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About Bull Riding Marketing

Creative services, marketing and public relations professional from entertainment industry background. Published in magazines and newspapers worldwide. I believe bull riders are the new rock stars.
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