We're mad as hell, and we've through keeping our mouths shut about it. All of us here at THO! got discouraged by the blatantly unfair changes to the scoring system last year, so discouraged that we barely had the energy to follow our favorite bulls and boys at all, let alone muster up the energy to write about any of it.
And maybe, just maybe, we suffered from a little of that obnoxious idea that, as Hillary Clinton aptly observed last week, "It's just that when women talk, some people think we're shouting."
Maybe we were naive enough to think that having made our points, we could anticipate that the Powers That Be at the PBR might actually think about the situation and back off their cold-blooded plan to elevate J.B. Mauney to world champ no matter who or what got in the way.
We were wrong--on both counts.
And we are through not talking about it. If you want to think we're shouting, be our guest.
Just don't bother to admonish us to be ladylike. We are through with that shit.
So the season dragged on to its dreary, predictable end. J.B. won (or, "won")--the day before the event was over. He didn't even bother to ride on the last day. How, exactly, does that square with the narrative about him being game and having a big heart and riding hurt and always picking the rankest bull every time?
Oh, that's right--that narrative is bullshit, pure and simple. The PBR can try to say that whatever J.B. does is correct and the best decision ever, whereas if another rider makes the exact same decision, he is wrong, wrong, wrong, but that doesn't mean that we have to believe it.
And while we're on the subject of bullshit narratives, let's just go ahead and talk about the fact that J.B.'s apparent fairy-tale marriage, the one that tamed him and turned him into a "mature" husband and father, is either on the rocks or is already over. If you've been around here at all, you know that I'm reluctant to discuss this kind of crap because I think it has no place in professional sports, but let's face it--the PBR keeps shoving this stuff in our faces, so now we are going to go right ahead and rub theirs in it. If the PBR previously couldn't get enough of spending time on the airwaves and on their website on their favorite Prodigal Son and his magical marriage, they can't expect no one to notice their sudden awkward silence.
We don't know the details and we could not care less about them, but we can tell you one thing--we are offended to the core that J. B. Mauney accepted his trophy and check with a blond woman on his arm who very clearly is not Lexie Mauney. Very, very tacky, J.B. Talk about rubbing somebody's nose in it--we really thought you had more class than that. And your consort should be thoroughly ashamed of herself for stepping into that spotlight with you. We're sure there was no shortage of women willing to stoop to that level, but the one who won the prize also has the chance to withstand the scrutiny of those of us women who are, let's face it, much, much too wise to make a stupid mistake like that one. And that the PBR allowed this sorry spectacle to play out on the big stage of the world finals and the "triumphant" crowning of their predetermined winner is really quite amazing.
Maybe they thought we all wouldn't notice (which seems to be business as usual: assume the viewers/readers believe everything they are told rather than what they are actually seeing), but they were sure as hell wrong. They've already ret-conned the last few years to put J.B. up among the greats and put Silvano Alves in the rear-view mirror--get your J.B. Mauney championship shirt now! You want a Silvano shirt from any of the years he won? Yeah, right.
Depressingly, it's fairly certain that the new point system, having achieved its goal (an amazing feat considering the usual incompetence of the PBR), we can assume there will be no changes to it. The PBR will not rest until they can crown J.B. the first something, be it four time champ or first time back-to-back-to-back champ. All the other riders in the organization be damned. Honesty and even having the veneer of a legitimate organization be damned. And that's a damned shame.
Do we have the heart to watch the charade next year? We shall see. If so, it will only be because nobody has gotten through to the bulls that they're supposed to produce both figurative and literal bullshit.