Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm the Pot, and I'm Calling the Kettle Black

Gentle Readers, last week was pure hell here at the Stockyard, for reasons professional and private that I won’t burden you with. Suffice it to say I was so mired in the mess that I paid scant attention to the permutations of the big Kody Lostroh versus J.B. Mauney challenge, finally held on Friday night at the Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque. I did notice, just for a second, that suddenly it was being billed as “East Versus West,” instead of “Number One Versus Number Two,” and of course I knew that this change in midstream came about because our hero Guilherme Marchi outrode Mr. Mauney AND Mr. Lostroh in Tacoma. Suddenly, Mauney wasn’t Number Two anymore. Quelle quandary!

I really didn’t have time to follow all the discussions, so I am grateful to the splendid Jaye of the Tarheel State for telling me that apparently after Marchi nudged Mauney out of second position, some fans helpfully pointed out that the “Number One Versus Number Two” appellation wasn’t accurate anymore. Soon enough, somebody changed the name of the challenge to match the circumstances. I don’t have a problem with that, really—I happen to think that the ability to adjust to changing situations is one mark of professionalism, and, indeed, of good sense. Now that you know that about me, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I thought young Cody Ford was out of his mind when he explained his determination to ride with a concussion and a stiff neck by saying, “I’ve never turned a bull out in my life. I was going to get on no matter what.” There’s brave, and then there’s stupid, and I’m sure you can guess which label I’d apply to Mr. Ford.

But I also imagine that a lot of fans thought Marchi should be given the chance to ride against Lostroh, and if I’d been running the show, that’s exactly what would have happened. Still, I suppose somebody somewhere must have felt that the tide couldn’t be turned and the show must go on, as billed.

The remarkable aspect about this whole drama, however, is that after all that hype and hoopla and hurrahing, the challenge was barely covered—at all. At intermission on Saturday, Versus aired clips of Lostroh and Mauney falling off their respective bulls the night before, and nobody, not one soul, said a single word about the results, or speculated on who “won,” or indeed said anything at all about it beyond, “This is what happened.” Furthermore, I couldn't find one word posted on the PBR website about it. Given that the PBR website is genuinely confusing and difficult to navigate, maybe I'm just not looking in the right place. It wouldn't be the first time that's happened to me. But considering that the run-up was all over the home page, reasonable people might expect to find some report of the outcome there, as well.

Now, I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten up on Monday morning, full of vim and vigor and vitality, and sworn with God as my witness that I would post on “Turn Him Out!” five times in the coming five days, and made a list of possible subjects to scrutinize, and started off on the straight and narrow, only to be sidetracked right out of the chute and, metaphorically speaking, pitched face down on the arena floor by a host of other obligations, my own self. I’m embarrassed to confess that I know all about follow-through and the lack thereof. Fortunately, I’ve finally come to my senses and learned not to announce that I plan to write the grand treatise on bull riding over the course a week, because some damned thing always comes up to derail me.

But I still can’t understand why the PBR didn’t do a better job of handling this controversy. The difference between them and me is obvious—I work for a living, I work for myself for a living, and if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Nobody is going to go hungry if I don’t post on the blog five times a week. The folks at the PBR have an obligation to fans and riders to finish what they start. Their handling of the challenge suggests that they are slinking off and trying to pretend that nothing happened here. Here’s a bulletin from the Stockyard Queen: That ain’t the Cowboy Way.


Shawk said...

Buried in the final results story on the PBR website, I found the following:
"In the East vs. West rider match-up held during Friday night’s performance, J.B. Mauney (Mooresville, N.C.) took on top bucking bull, Voodoo Child of Robinson/Beutler/Broken N-N/Hyland/McNeely/Fletcher/Jennings while Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.) got on 2007 World Champion bull, Chicken on a Chain (Robinson/Tedesco/Larry the Cable Guy/Broken N-N) per a fan vote held on Both riders failed to make the eight-second whistle; therefore, neither took home the $20,000 bonus check."

Since I apparently blinked or was doing dishes or getting a glass of water when they showed the much-ballyhoo-ed contest that sank into oblivion, I guess it's nice they listed it somewhere. I guess.

I imagine that if either or both of them had stayed on, it would have gotten more play, but I think there was much more time spent on advertising it than show it.

Jaye said...

I heard where Voodoo Child scored a 45 and Chicken on a Chain was 44.5 on their challenge outs. This wasn't displayed Saturday night either. I think the PBR was trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug, but in so doing, it was glaringly obvious that they wanted to forget the whole thing.