Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sometimes, a Girl Just Has to Eat Some Crow

Anybody who has stopped by this blog knows that nobody here is shy about voicing an opinion, though one of the truly gratifying aspects of this community is that everybody seems determined to be polite. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that—I really don’t want to spend my time refereeing dog fights and tossing flamers overboard. So since I feel like I’m in the company of friends here, it’s time for me to stand up and say, Ladies and gentlemen, I was wrong, and I admit it!

Maybe it wasn’t so much that I was wrong about anything factual, or even that I was all that wrong about my attitude. You all know how I feel about J.B. Mauney. I haven’t been reticent about telling the world that I think he needs to quit throwing equipment and kicking gates and acting like he’s 12 instead of 21 when things don’t go his way. A lot of people have had it a lot worse than J.B. Mauney, have endured a lot more and done it with grace, if not with a smile, and it wouldn’t hurt him to think a little about his place in the great chain of human suffering and cool his jets.

And if there’s one thing I’m sick of hearing, it’s that J.B. is a perfectionist and “he’s just upset with himself, that’s why he has to blow off some steam.” Here’s a newsflash for you: Perfectionism is not a virtue, it’s a self-serving neurosis. If you’re a perfectionist, you get to feel superior to everybody because obviously you’re so much better than they are, what with your excellent skills and your can-do attitude and your detemination not to let anybody work harder than you do, but you still get to flagellate yourself when you fall short of your own impossible standards. And you will, because you’re human. What could possibly be better? There’s no way to win, which is the point of perfectionism. Nobody wins, ever. Especially those of us who have to suffer the aftermath.

My vocation is one of the least forgiving imaginable—if you let a spelling mistake get into print, you are likely to hear about it literally for years—so a long time ago, I decided that the best course of action if you fuck up is to fess up, and do your best to fix it. One of the dividends to this approach is that it almost always stops your critics in their tracks—it’s like they can’t believe someone will actually step forward and say, “I made a mistake, and I’ll take care of it.” If they are ungracious enough to keep harping on the subject, the next thing I say is, “What do you want me to do, jump out the window?” That usually shuts them up, right smart. People who think they're always right have no sense of proportion, generally. It's one of the qualities that makes them so endearing.

All this has been a very roundabout (and most likely, not very interesting) way of getting to the point of this post, which is that my feelings about J.B.’s post-ride antics had begun to rub off on my appreciation for his undeniable talent. I actually was starting to wince whenever he climbed into the chute, because I dreaded the possibility that I’d have to watch him slamming his fist into the gate or throwing his bull rope at some innocent bystander. But I have adjusted my attitude somewhat, enough, at least, to proclaim my opinion that J.B. Mauney had the best ride of the PBR World Finals.

No, not on Troubadour, who looked like he had been hanging out at the craps tables all night long before he finally staggered out of the chute a week ago Friday. Not on Ricky Bobby, Boogie Board, Cat Man Do, or Fist Full of Dollars, rank as most of them were. In round four, on Crosswired. I can’t remember when last I saw a bull kick so hard and jump so high, and get stronger and wilder with every jump. He looked like Reindeer Dippin in his prime, like he was going to hit the rafters the next time he went airborne. And I can’t remember ever thinking, before last Friday night, that a rider awarded more than 90 points didn’t get his due. 93.75? Why not 95 or 96? Oh, I forgot—the bull “never went into a spin.” I’m sick to death of hearing that, too.

I guess I should say, in my own defense, that I have never doubted that J.B. could ride the rankest of the rank; I just have a problem with his acting out. But in the spirit of the sport, I have to tip my hat to him this time, and to that 1,500 pound red bull from D&H Cattle Company. Last Thursday night, you both made your mammas proud.


shannon said...

"Oh, I forgot—the bull “never went into a spin.” I’m sick to death of hearing that, too."

Amen! I, too, was really surprised that his score was only a 93.75 and it looks like we aren't the only ones, based on what I've read on other boards. As one poster put it: "I think in order to accomplish a spin, it requires that a certain amount of time is spent with the feet touching the ground!" I don't recall seeing any ride like that in the past 2 seasons I've watched.

JB put in such a tremendous effort that I was almost a little sad for him that he didn't come away with the event win. I'm very happy for Robson, of course, but I was seeing so much fire from JB that after his first few performances I was very worried for Guilherme!

I know he's probably not pleased with his performance because he didn't win it, but I think he should be. It was impressive.

Stockyard Queen said...

What board was that comment made on, Shannon? I'd like to check it out.

Jean said...

We've adjusted our attitude about JB as well. We used to absolutely hate to even see him in the background when someone else was being interviewed. Now we look forward to seeing him get bucked off so we can take quick bets on what he's going to hit, kick or fling his rope at and if he's going to compound his foolishness by using his riding hand.

Loved Crosswired, but his out would have been much more enjoyable had he dumped JB in the dirt. There are a lot of people who are good at what they do and who have much better attitudes than my abusive, tantrum prone, ex-husband thank-you-very-much. Be glad I'm not a PBR judge. I'd have docked the wee brat 10 points for his cruddy 'tude.

Jaye said...

I have to admit. This was a surpising post. Although surely he's not the favorite PBR rider amongst us, he seems to have redeemed himself in a small way. Let's keep it up, J.B.! As you know, me being from Mooresville, has endeared me to J.B. somewhat although I certainly don't talk about it when I know it will be offensive to someone. However, I am hoping as he matures, he will control his emotions inside the arena (Cameras in the locker rooms shouldn't be allowed. Many riders go ballistic in there with good reason. It's a private area, for God's Sake!). Actually although I do find him confident, I don't automatically label him arrogant.

Lastly, and I've been reluctant to bring this up before for a couple of reasons, but my daddy knows his family and has for a while now. My dad's a down-to-earth kind of guy, and although they don't eat Sunday dinner together, my dad will get together on occasion to fish with J.B.'s dad. He seems to like his company.

And lastly, I cannot possibly say enough about my young man, Crosswired. That bull is spectacular and looks a little like Reindeer did before he lost his marbles. Can't wait to see what the future holds for this great bull. And big congratulations to DH Page for raising such a rank fellow.

Stockyard Queen said...

Jaye, I think it's so cute the way you call him "my daddy." You can always tell a southern girl! I do the exact same thing.