- First tweet about the Nashville event: a photo of J.B.
- “Speaking of winning, J.B. Mauney has been doing a lot of that lately.”—Craig Hummer
- “J.B. Mauney, nobody’s been hotter right now.” – Justin McBride
- “Nobody’s hotter than J. B. Mauney right now.” – Chad Berger
- “It seems to be the theme that not only is everybody harping on but also emphasizing.” –Hummer. I laughed out loud. Does he even know what “harping on” means?
- Showing a videoclip of a previous ride: J.B., who is 10 for 12, on Percolator. “He also has rode the bull before. You couldn’t have blew him out of there with a cannon.”—Cody Lambert. Forget Where’s Waldo; how many Krazy Kowboy verbs can you spot?
- “He’s got a little bit of ego.” – McBride re J.B.
- “J.B. Mauney just seems to want it more!”—Hummer, who seems to want it more.
- “A dangerous J.B. Mauney has returned to the scene, and he’s red hot.”—Voiceover.
- “There’s a real possibility we could see J.B. Mauney leapfrog João Ricardo Vieira this weekend.”—Craig, rubbing his magic lamp.
- “Let’s show you how J.B. Mauney got here.”—Craig. As if we don’t know.
- “He doesn’t quite make the whistle on this one, but…” Even when J.B. gets bucked off, one of his Fan Boys, this time Ty Murray, makes it sound like an exceptional ride.
- We also were treated to the usual unfavorable comparison, this time by Justin McBride, between João Ricardo Vieira and J.B. According to Cody Lambert, “J.B. don’t care, he can ride bulls in any direction”—which he didn’t. More: “He has a mental block” about riding bulls away from his hand. Cody conveniently ignored the ride João made last week away from his hand.
- “But now he goes up against a rival that’s a little bit different.”—Craig, blowing more hot air about his hero J.B., and in the process insulting Douglas Duncan, who at some previous event didn’t score on the bull J.B.’s about to face. “Listen to the music!” Hummer exclaims rapturously as J.B. wraps. Apparently Elvis is in the building.
- B.’s even in one of the commercials: he’s the first face we see in the Mule Pro-Fx ad.
REALLY PISSING ME OFF
- “Who will walk away as the #1 ranked rider in the world?” babbles The Bummer, completely misleading the CBS national audience with his overheated blathering about J.B.—as if a Mauney win and the 2015 World Championship are in the bag. Newsflash, child: this isn’t Las Vegas, it’s Nashville. It doesn’t determine the #1 rider.
- Get this: Fabiano Vieira still can’t use his free arm properly, reinjured it a week ago, and had to sit out a round. He said he’s 100% now, and had perfect positioning on Rusty, for 87 points. And what does Ty Murray say? “When J.B. Mauney’s in the groove, that’s what it looks like.” Could we please have one fucking sentence without J.B. in it??
- “I call him [Aparecido] Fast Eddie because Brazilians traditionally take more time in the chutes.”—Cody Lambert, confirming that all Brazilians are the same, all Americans are fast in the chute and should be scored higher than Brazilians, and Brazilians should be put on the clock as much as possible. Three times, in this event. Craig, on the other hand, prefers to call him “Sly Eddie.” No explanation given. It’s probably just as well.
- Kaique Pacheco took on Loco Freak, a Jerome Davis bull. “He lets his rider do his talking,” babbles Hummer. Who knows what the hell he meant, but what a ride! Hummer again: “Loco Freak got a little freaky on the dirt, but it’s the Brazilian who will have the final say.” I’m starting to think that half the time he says “the Brazilian” because he can’t remember a guy’s name. 80.25 was a cheap score. The bull was a smartass; kept fast-faking in each direction. Ty nailed it: “That bull changed direction nine times, but he was going in only one direction.”
AND THEN IT HAPPENED…
Cash Ya Out came down on his side right out of the gate, squash-landing on J.B.’s left knee, the one with a previously torn ACL, and the injured ankle. J.B. went hobbling down the corridor to Sports Medicine. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him walk normal in his whole career,” said Ty. He’s not far off. The left ankle put J.B. out of competition. Craig, talking about bulls: “The other thing they can’t read is Hollywood scripts, and that’s what J.B. was writing for himself.” Dude, they can’t read, period, and it’s not J.B. that’s writing the script.
Quick as a wink, J.B.’s back on crutches, left leg in a cast. Craig was probably in tears. J.B. already missed 6 events because of his left knee.
AS FOR THE REST OF THE EVENT…
In Round 1, the top 4 in the world made rides.
- “Let’s do our part to try to shift the attention to some of the other guys for a minute,” says Hummer, the main offender when it comes to obsessive focus. A minute is all he could handle.
- “Any time there’s more money, you have to try harder,” says one of the top 5. What kinda attitude is that to carry into combat? If there’s less money at stake, you slack off?
- Silvano Alves got slammed against the fence. He’s definitely not back to his riding standard. Aaron Roy had a bad buckoff into the chute, right against his hip.
- Nathan Schaper right now has a 42.19% riding percentage, and apparently can ride in either direction. Father Shadow had an awkward out, and Nathan didn’t look great, either, but 83.50 counts. And besides, who doesn’t like to see that Schaper smile?
- Leah Garcia’s a true pro: she fell, racing to the other side of the arena to interview Nathan, and was smooth even with messy hair. The interview was the goal. Can you imagine Erin Coscarelli in that situation? “Back to you, Craig.”
- Hummer characterized J.W. Harris as “cool as a big block of ice.” J.W. and Stuntin’ Like My Daddy should’ve been a great combo, but J.W. got bucked off quickly, and boy, was he mad. I was a little mad at him myself. The bull scored 44, and J.W. didn’t get squat. Craig reveals the shocking secret of bull riding: “This is a sport where we always say, 50% is the bull underneath you.” Master of the Obvious.
- At the end of Fabiano Vieira’s Round 4 ride on Hot & Juicy, the arena clock showed 8, and—shocker!—the replay clock did, too! But the judges still reviewed his ride twice before scoring him that good ol’ Silvano standby: 84.50. Comic moment: Vieira’s straw hat took such a beating, it looked like a 5-year-old made it at arts & crafts camp.
- For a second or two, Robson Aragao was riding Smooth Operator backwards. Cool.
- In Round 8, Fabiano Vieira rode Strong Heart for more than 8 seconds, and 85.50. Landing on the bull’s head was an impressive getoff. But in the final round, the terrible entrance on Sasquatch (who’s 2 for 17) screwed him.
SMACKING MY HEAD
- McBride put his foot in his mouth (again), predicting that one of the top guys will win this event, and then probably the title, but you never know if there’s a dark horse… And then later, Whoops, there it is: “We’ve got us a little dark horse up here: Eduardo Aparecido.”
- “Percolator is no match for J.W. Harris,” proclaims Craig I-grew-up-without-a-dictionary Hummer. He thinks this means the bull kicked J.W.’s ass. Somebody ‘splain it to him; I’m tired.
WTF—‘SPLAIN IT TO ME, SOMEBODY!
- Comanche stumbled down, so a lot of people thought Shane Proctor should’ve had a re-ride—but the replay showed a touch between the bull’s horns at 7.99. Shane declined the re-ride. How was he offered a re-ride in the first place? We’re always told a rider has to make 8 to be offered the re-ride, unless he was fouled.
- Sure looked like Cody Nance’s spur was hooked before he came out of the gate on Semper Fi. The clock stopped for a touch; the ride reviewed. They decided there was no touch, but was his hand still in the rope? Did he ride for 7.98 or 8? Here’s where the difference between the two clocks is unacceptable. They scored him 87.75 for a ride that was nearly a DQ!
- Somebody please tell Cody Lambert the bull’s name is Per-ko-lay-ter, not Per-cue-later! It’s driving me crazy!
- Chad Berger has every right to sing the praises of his bull Smooth Operator. Those were some impressive video clips of that fast whip while the bull’s spinning at 100mph.
- And then there was that to-die-for clip of Air Time doing his wild thing…
- Who Dey looked fast even in slow motion. If Robson Aragao had been wearing a rider cam, I’d have been dizzy enough to throw up.
- OMG! Stop the presses! The “Great out of the Gate” moment spotlighted an entity other than J.B. Mauney: I’m A Gangster Too. I didn’t know bulls were eligible, but a lot of them deserve it.
- Even better: the Athlete Profile was of the top bulls. The bovines are getting some play!
- Why all these switched deliveries? Why was Fire Rock’s changed to a right hand delivery? Does it have anything to do with João Ricardo Vieira being left-handed? “He’s rode him before,” Justin managed to get in while Ty was harping on that thing Vieira’s got to fix. That thing the #1 guy in the world’s not doing right. Yeah.
- Matt Triplett was directing Say I Won’t Playboy’s positioning in the chute, and nobody was telling him to get out. He asked to rewrap and the judges allowed it. Even Ty proclaimed, “Triplett needs to hurry in there.” But was Matt put on the clock? Nooo…
- Craig said putting people on the clock was a new addition in the past few years. I wonder why.
- This is why you don’t interview “home state favorite” Cody Nance if you can help it: he starts spouting about The Lord right off the bat. That is not a sports interview, dude. Save it for Cowboy Church. There’s a time and a place.
- Pound the Alarm, who’s 8 for 20, went speeding around and around under Eduardo Aparecido, whom Ty called “Perfect. You just can’t make a ride better than that.” Tell that to the judges: they gave him an 89.50—just couldn’t stretch to a 90 because…
- Nice to have a little bit about Kaique included in the voiceover “coming right up” thing.
DEPARTMENT OF HUGE ERRORS
Matt Triplett faced Air Time in Round 6. Craig said the bull beat Renato. I thought Nunes was the only one to ride him. I was right: Renato scored 92.50 on Air Time in March 2014, in Phoenix; Air Time was 45.50. This time the bull scored 45.25.
I don’t know what Ty’s problem is, but his comments on Robson Aragao are just as inexcusable as the shit he spewed about Silvano when Alves was about to be World Champion again, despite the judges’ pro-Mauney maneuvering. Murray owes Spiderman an apology for calling him “the guy with least amount of experience and least amount of talent.” He said that talentwise, Robson’s in over his head, but is putting in the work. Condescending prat. Aragao was one of the Final 4, with Stetson Lawrence, Kaique Pacheco, and Fabiano Vieira.
GUFFAW WITH ME
Hummer trying to be a sportscaster, filling time while Triplett farts around in the chute: “Let’s see whether he goes on the offense or the defense side of the equation.” Are we talking football or math? Well, this clears it up: “That was a very offensive ride by Triplett.” Don’t know why Craig was so put out; the ride merited an 86.75.
Percolator, who was 13/35, bolted down the arena, running, jumping, kicking, and forgetting to spin. Maybe he just didn’t know what to do with a guy he thought should’ve been bucked off much earlier. The bull’s score was a miserable 37.50, but Pacheco won the day. A pack of Brazilians flooded the field, hoisted him up on their shoulders, and carried and bounced him toward the Shark Cage. He looked ecstatic. Imagine being 20 and having a flock of World Champions parading you across an arena? Big shock was McBride hugging him. Well, after one look at Kaique’s cherubic face, how could he not?
Fabiano: 750 points, Pacheco: 550, for the win. That’s how the screwy new points system works. Kaique is now #3 in the world, Fabiano is #5.