THE THACKERVILLE PLOY

They’re at it again. It’s that time of year: time for the judges to push J.B. Mauney to the top of the charts. Give him a 90 every time he rides. If he gets bucked off, the party line is that the bull wasn’t enough of a challenge; he rides the rankest ones. Does anyone see how that doesn’t make sense?? If anyone else gets bucked off, he got bucked off, period: “shoulda rode that one,” “was no match for the bull,” “the bull got the better of him,” etc. Not with J.B, no sir: the bull wasn’t good enough for him, that’s why he didn’t ride him. What a load of crap.

The judges’ strategy couldn’t be any plainer than this: the onscreen graphic comparing the fall stretch of 2013 to this year’s. It just confirms their plan, which they’re executing smoothly. Keep the scores for most of the Brazilian riders in the low 80s range, except for the guys who aren’t a threat, and throw exaggerated scores at J.B. As long as he makes the whistle, he’s guaranteed a big score.

The win slipped by him this time (god forbid we should say Eduardo Aparecido beat him), but the judges handed him a nice fat consolation prize: a round win worth lots of points. Just like last year’s Finals: when he couldn’t win, they voted his trip the high scoring ride of the event.

Making sense? What am I talking about?! Heresy! There’s a storyline to act out; never mind rational, fair scoring.

So here’s the story of Thackerville, which was handled by the Booth Boys as if it were already in J.B.’s pocket from the get-go. I counted 25 mentions of him—and I’m sure I missed a few when I went to the bathroom or the kitchen. The João Ricardo Vieira count was more like a half dozen.

WHAT’S TO LIKE:
• The opening segment, visually identifying riders and bulls.
• Stoner Sober is back; haven’t seen him in a long time. Last person to score on this bull was Emilio Resende, in Oklahoma City, back in Jan. 2013, for 88. I think I heard that the bull has 26(?) straight buckoffs. Loved the unbelievable photo of the bull literally leapfrogging 9 feet high over a flattened rider; SS was practically standing straight up; front legs tucked under. He absolutely knew exactly what he was doing. Love his squiggly kick in the air as he’s coming down. Don’t think Renato Nunes appreciated it, though.
• Shaft is 1 for 19, according to the Booth Boys, though according to ProBullStats, he’s 1 for 15. Nice run for the bull!
• Kaique Pacheco comes into this event having won Brazil’s biggest event at Barretos.
• J.W. and LeeAnn Hart are Springsteen fans; they’ve named their bulls Born in the USA and another Bruce song. Guess they’re some of the people who didn’t understand what the lyrics are saying.
• Finally someone gives a Brazilian rider credit for being able to ride bulls in either direction. McBride mentioned Eduardo Aparecido. (#6 in the world last year, which I’m pretty sure a lot of people have forgotten). Eduardo proved it by scoring 85.25 on Deja Voodoo.
• Cool-looking bulls: Intensified Clyde and Earl Sports. Both ends are dark, and they’re light in the middle.
• This is the schizophrenia usually associated with Ty Murray: after all the Brazilian-bashing that goes on, Craig says, “Go go go Fabiano!” as Vieira rides Legal Tender for 86.25. (The judges don’t hate him.) McBride actually said they’re “always talking about J.B. this, and João that, but this guy is putting himself in the conversation.” Thank you.
• Cody Lambert pulled another one of his funny (sometimes) matchups: J.W. (Harris) was given a J.W. (Hart) bull, Snap Back. The bull was aptly named; he pulled Harris down and snapped him forward and off.

I’M JUST ASKIN’
• Why does Justin McBride always have a pencil in his hand? It’s not like he knows how to use it.
• According to Craig, Robson “Spiderman” Aragao was singing the U.S. national anthem louder than anyone else; Hummer said how cool that is. Then he gives us the party line about how the Brazilians love their adopted country and the PBR because it’s given them a chance they wouldn’t have had. So if the PBR appreciates how adaptable the Brazilians have been, why are the judges shafting a lot of them a lot of the time in favor of J.B.?
• Why wasn’t Neil Holmes offered a re-ride? Open Season badly hipped himself, changing the direction of the ride– remember that rule? Holmes, who already had stitches in his riding hand, came down under the bull, got stepped on, horned, and bashed. The bullfighters weren’t in position. I can’t believe he walked away from that mess. I’d like to know what the damage was.
• Brady Sims was offered 77.50 or a re-ride because Crystal Pistol had no spin, and nobody criticized him for turning it down. Now, why is that?
• How come only Brazilian riders “have trouble with bulls that go away from their hands”? I never hear them say that about Americans. Example: Vieira took on Superstition, who “usually likes to go to the right, and we all know that’s the direction he has trouble with,” says SFB McBride. Vieira rode the bull. The judges offered him 65.25 or a re-ride because of the bull’s performance. (He turned it down.)

AARRGGH!
• Round 2: Nathan Schaper on Blonde Bomber, who delivers an average score of 87.1. He should’ve ridden him, it looked like he was doing it, and then—aarrggh!
• Ben Jones came off Gnarly Head at 7.66. On Ben’s way to the dirt, the bull nailed the back of his head. Gnarly, alright. Ben was holding the back of his neck in pain. Off to Sports Medicine he went. Aarrggh!
• Robson Palermo was looking good on Gentleman Jim, then aarrggh! He made it to 7.68.

P.F.F.
Round 2: Stormy Wing took on Back in Black. Hummer of course babbles the automatic “swings for the fences” delusion. Stormy definitely took wing! P.F.F. watching him run in mid-air like a cartoon character as the bull shipped him up and out. We’re gonna have to take up a collection to buy him a new hat; he pulverized his out of aggravation.

HOW FUCKED UP IS THIS?!
A black bull was named Sambo. How shameful is that?! More disgusting racist hatred from ignorant morons. Can you imagine the sickening conversation that went on before someone chose this name? Curtis Mendell is the stock contractor.

KRAZY KOWBOY VOCABULARY
• “That was as well of a controlled bull ride as you’re ever gonna see,” said McBride about Shane Proctor’s 86.75 on the bull whose name I won’t mention again because it’s so sickening.
• “Another notch in his pistol,” says Justin, making no sense, about their cape-wearing hero J.B. Mauney. Belt, McBride. You mean belt.

THE OTHER AWARDS
I think the PBR should give out buckles for a few more categories:
• Guy Who Has The Most 7+ Rides. Now that L.J. Jenkins has retired, the crown must be passed on to someone else.
• Loudest Buckoffs. That would be Mike Lee, last year’s Thackerville winner, who packs an amazing wallop when he hits the dirt.
• Most Broken Stuff. Ben Jones is your permanent winner.

BAD NEWS
• Ryan Dirteater had a murderous getoff from Palm Springs. He ended up with a bloody nose, sitting on the ground, stunned, and had to ask someone to push the challenge button for him. He got a concussion, and had to pull out of the Championship Round.
• Margy Time (14 straight buckoffs) made a powerful entrance. Neil Holmes’s face made a loud pop on the bull’s head. A helmet would’ve been a good idea. I don’t see how he didn’t break some bones.
• Jeremiah caused a bad hang-up for Shane Proctor, who couldn’t keep his feet on the ground. Can’t imagine what this swinging around did to his shoulders after that surgery last year. He was in bad shape as he was being helped out.
• Fabiano Vieira, who’s 11 for 12, bobbled all over Red Rover’s back and got his face smacked on the bull’s skull. My ongoing message to Fabiano: Why aren’t you wearing a helmet??

I’M JUST SAYIN’…
• Silvano Alves, who is 1 for 8, needed a tad more than his 82.50 on The Price Is Right to be in the top 15. Here’s where that “ding!” technique keeps him from moving up. The judges know their “tad”s.
• I think there’s a betting pool to see who can say J.B. the most times. So far, Craig is making a pile.
• Danutso was bucking backwards! He got rid of João Ricardo Vieira, and Craig couldn’t have been more overjoyed that the world standings shifted. That’s the difference between a real pro announcer and this clown. A real pro wouldn’t be declaring his love for one athlete over another, and be beside himself because his favorite moved up to #1.
• In spite of not being in the top 15, Alves and Pacheco were given a chance to ride because two riders were out of the Championship Round. They decided against it. It’s a mystery.

HERE’S HOW MUCH THE PBR LOVES J.B. AND NOT THE OTHER RIDERS:
• “And speaking of outstanding, J.B. Mauney…” Justin leads into how they’d like J.B. to ride Long John.
• Then we were shown a couple of adoring tweets about J.B. They’re never gonna show one that questions the impartiality of the judges.
• At the top of Round 2, the conversation turns to J.B.
• “What does J.B. do to impress the judges?” asks Craig. That, my friend, is the million dollar question. Basically, all he has to do is show up at the event.
• “Nobody has been better than J.B. for the last few years,” says Justin, who clearly hasn’t been paying attention for the last few years. He then proceeds to explain what happens when J.B. lifts his arm over his head. It’s simple: the judges give him more points.
• After Ryan Dirteater’s attempt on Palm Springs, Craig thinks Ryan “took a page out of J.B.’s book, throwing his arm back.” Because god forbid anyone should think that any other rider also throws his arm back regardless of what J.B. does, because of course the world revolves around J.B.
• “J.B. Mauney and João Ricardo Vieira in a slugfest,” is how The Bummer characterizes what’s happening, talking about how Vieira “could slip to #2 or even #3” because of J.B. What he really means because of the J.B. fans in the judging hats.
• “J.B. Mauney still to come. He’s one ride away from possibly overtaking and moving into the #1 position.”—The Bummer. As if J.B. couldn’t possibly get bucked off. Of course, we all know that if he stays on a bull, he’s automatically getting a high score to help him to the #1 spot.
• “Matt Triplett is becoming almost like a carbon copy of J.B. Mauney.”—Craig, who’s wearing J.B.-colored glasses and insulting Matt in the process, by not giving him his due.
• “We’ll find out if with another ride J.B. Mauney can move into that #1 spot…” – Craig. As if there’s any real suspense. We all know what the judges are going to do.
• “Coming up, the fan favorite from North Carolina.”
• “J.B. Mauney just seems to want it more!”
• “One of the best we’ve ever seen in the sport!”
• More praise. Saying J.B. was the only guy who rode Bushwacker. That’s Craig’s fantasy, and he’s sticking to it—never mind reality. Once again: Markus Mariluch and Thiago Paguioto have ridden Bushwacker. J.B. had bad timing for the nod, just as Beef Cake leaped up in the chute. Shorty said he didn’t think J.B. nodded. Love is blind. J.B. challenged the call, but the nod was clear as day on the replay. He got bucked off, dudes; get over it. It happens to all riders. Oh, but I forgot: he’s Superman. “J.B. Mauney is gonna compose himself and get ready for another…” says Craig as we see J.B. being pissed off back behind the pen.
• And then we had to hear Hummer talk about J.B. again, “lurking.” He avoided saying that Mauney got bucked off in Round 2.
• We also heard how “Jeremiah took care of Shane Proctor, J.B. Mauney’s brother-in-law.” In case we forgot who J.B. Mauney is, we’re back to that obnoxious identification meant to tell us who Shane Proctor is. Any excuse to say His name.
• “Meanwhile, J.B. Mauney’s got some redemption on his mind…”
• Of course J.B. is “swinging for the fences” by picking Long John for the final round. McBride predicts a 90+ score. What a genius. “He’s one place behind João Ricardo Vieira; already has 100 points…”
• Frantic Craig: “J.B. Mauney does it again! The fans wanted it, Mauney wanted it…and it goes to the hands of the judges.” Well, we know where that’s going: 92.25.
• More babbling about J.B. “But Mauney—he is a giantkiller.” Craig is bent on making this guy immortal.
• Back from commercial – more babbling about J.B.
• While Eduardo Aparecido was wrapping on No Regrets in the Championship Round, Hummer blathered on about J.B. Aparecido made several miraculous recoveries, for an excellent 87.75 ride.
• Craig for some unknown reason had to mention J.B. again while Fabiano Vieira was having a hard time with Red Rover.
• More crap from Craig about slaying dragons.

And finally:

Eduardo Aparecido wins Thackerville. “But just as big a story is the fact that J.B. Mauney is going to be our new world’s #1.”—Hummer, practically drooling. God forbid he should give the winner more than a split second in the spotlight when his man crush is around.
So of course they interviewed J.B. instead of Eduardo, and frankly, J.B. needs a new script. I’m sick of hearing the same thing over and over.
Any newcomer to the sport would’ve thought J.B. won the event. Nicely done, judges. You handed Mauney another two rounds to get him to the top of the leaderboard.

As Craig put it, “There has been a Teutonic shift in the plates.” ROTFL!

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15 Responses to THE THACKERVILLE PLOY

  1. Sewellgal says:

    During the first few years of watching the PBR, I was in denial about their favoritism of JB Mauney. I didn’t want to believe it was true. Now it is so blatant that I can barely watch the broadcasts. Last Friday night I watched a portion of the competition on CarbonTV in an attempt to get a break from some of the constant JB references by Hummer et al on TV. But the ads in each commercial break featured . . . . you guessed it . . . . JB Mauney! I have nothing against JB. He’s a talented rider and seems like a nice person. It’s the PBR’s manipulation of the scoring (what sport has a new and supposedly “improved” scoring system cooked up each year?) and their determination to ensure a JB Mauney win that drives me crazy. How stupid do they think the fans are???? I don’t know of any other professional sport that is run in such a biased an inconsistent manner. I guess it all must come down to advertising $$$.

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    • PBR doesn’t really care what fans think. They have decided that JB is a “fan favorite,” and they’ll reinforce that any way they can. Their usual line is that he’s the one the media want to talk to, he’s the one they get the most requests for– well, how is the media going to know about any other riders if he’s the only one the PBR promotes?? If they spent half that amount of effort promoting Guilherme Marchi, they’d be flooded with offers for him to do commercials, or even bits in movies.

      The real issue is that JB is the best American rider, and the other best riders are all Brazilian. The prejudice in this country is ENORMOUS. Can you imagine if baseball announcers were determined to promote one player over all others, because he’s a white American? They’d be hauled on the carpet by the Baseball Commission in no time. The PBR gets away with changing the rules, prejudiced scoring, favoritism, and every lowdown trick, because there’s no authority overseeing the whole sport. And the PBR is not the whole sport. It just has the most air time.

      Here’s how bad their favoritism is: when I started paying attention to the PBR, they talked so much about JB, I assumed he was the World Champion. I was utterly surprised to find out that Adriano Moraes was!

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  2. closeobserver says:

    My family & I always look forward to attending the PBR Finals every year, but this year we opt out! We already know who’s going to win, PBR made sure of that! Every event are just predictable now! They always give JB a high score in the 1st round in case he bucks off in the 2nd just so he can make it into the Championship round. The top 5 in the 1st round is pretty much a guarantee spot for the Championship round. I’m sick of watching the events on TV but I only watch it to see the Brazilians riders ride, they are my FAVORITES!

    Like

    • Yep, you’ve seen the same pattern. The judges set up J.B. with a high score in Round 1, and try not to let anyone catch up. He gets into the Championship Round if he just makes another ride, because we know it’s going to be another high score.

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      • closeobserver says:

        Exactly!! I’m glad someone else see’s that pattern as well, among all the other things that PBR is setting up JB to win the Gold Buckle.

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      • Thousands of us– probably millions, if these events are televised in Brazil–see the pattern, and it’s so frustrating to be helpless. The only thing that makes a difference to the PBR is their bottom line. The problem is, a boycott won’t happen, because too many of us love watching bull riding and don’t want to cut off our noses to spite our faces. They don’t get that they’re losing customers– I’ve heard from a lot of people who aren’t going to go to the Finals, for example, because it costs too much and the results this year might be predictable.

        Like

    • My sentiments exactly, I can’t even watch anymore and I loved it at one time.

      Like

  3. Tired of being fan says:

    I am so not interested this year. The PBR has ruined it for the “real” fan. Someone who loves the sport. There should be no “storyline”. This is not a soap opera. They (the PBR) have “fixed” the end result (JB winning); The only thing that will cause this truck to go off the road would be JB getting hurt and no longer being able to compete. I doubt if I will go to any more PBR events and spend my money. My spouse asked me today who was winning the Springfield event. I had to look because I just don’t care.

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    • Yeah that “storyline” crap really sticks in my craw. A sport is exciting partly because you don’t know who’s going to do what. The PBR has spoiled it. It’s possible Vieira or Pacheco will catch JB, but with the unfair scoring, I’m not sure. I’ll watch tonight, and I hope I won’t have to scream at my TV.

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  4. I had to quit watching, sorry I don’t understand how you do. Never have I watched anything so sickening. I watched the first one and couldn’t finish it. You are certainly right about Triplet also.
    Don’t they read this column, I am sure somebody has mentioned it but it hasn’t made one bit of difference to them.
    I hope you keep up your column because I don’t want to throw something though my tv it was that bad.
    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth B.

    Like

    • I yell at the TV a lot, and when I see this crap happening in person, I yell, too–like when the PBR made JB tie with Fabiano Vieira, who really won the NYC event.
      Yes, people at the PBR have read my blog; I’ve been contacted by the former president, ex-PR guy, Keith Ryan Cartwright, and Leah Garcia, all of whom were not happy with things I’ve said. I’ve also heard from a former rider, an ex-gateman, a substitute judge, a few young riders (not just from the PBR) and a couple of riders’ mothers who agree with me. I’m followed by riders and their families on Twitter, too. So people do know about it, especially judging from the 28,000 hits it had last year. I haven’t heard a negative comment from any rider, so if they read the blog, I know where they stand.

      Thanks– I will definitely keep it up, because so many people are so pissed off with what the PBR is doing.

      If the PBR likes an idea, or takes a correction from me, it puts it into action and either pretends they were doing this all along, or pretends it was listening to “the fans” and that’s why they decided to do whatever it is. You’ll never hear them admit they were wrong about anything; they just make a change, and that’s it.

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  5. licorice whip says:

    If I may ask, why do you keep torturing yourself? I can’t watch it on a weekly basis anymore. No self-respecting sport would ever spend so much time and energy favoring one athlete over others. It’s not worth my time. So why do you do it? Why watch?

    Like

    • Because I’m hooked on bull riding, and PBR events are broadcast more often than PRCA or CBR events. I’ve skipped a lot of watching this year, because I don’t want to torture myself with Carbon TV live streaming. If there were any other way to see the PBR riders, believe me, I’d take it.

      Like

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