Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Just When We Thought It Was Safe

Before I dive off into my current musings, I want to congratulate Robson Palermo on a masterful win in New York last weekend. He looked beautiful on the backs of those bulls. I hope he finally manages to stay healthy and has the season he so deserves.

And now, friends and neighbors, on to the main subject of this post. Please fasten your seat belts and prepare to be overrun by a thundering herd of Mauney’s Minions, because I am daring to do something that instantly sets them off: I am going to criticize J.B. Mauney! Yes, I am going to go right ahead and state for the record that his decision to abandon his helmet is about the dumbest move we’ve seen this young man make in his career.

When Ty Murray recounted his conversation with J.B. about this decision, I realized that there is at least one difference between me and Mrs. J.B. Mauney (besides probably 30 years and 30 pounds). If I were Mrs. J.B. Mauney, I would have already filed for divorce, because I would not stay married to a man in a dangerous profession who refused to take reasonable precautions to protect himself and thus his family.

I have to admit, I was pretty stunned by this development, probably because it came to light AFTER J.B. had told Leah on air that he had realized he is halfway through his bull riding career and thus needs to maximize his riding percentages and his earnings. I don’t quite see the line of logic between that idea and throwing away the helmet, which he has been wearing since he started riding bulls as a child. The only explanation I can come up with is an adolescent fit of rebellion. Is J.B. really so foolish as to think “nobody can tell me what to do” is a good approach to being a businessman, let alone a husband and father?

Come to think of it, his picking Rock and Roll, who had not been ridden up until then and who was STILL not ridden after the short-go was over, is parallel to this way of thinking. I really don’t get it. J.B. had first pick in the draft, so why didn’t he choose a good bull he could be reasonably assured he could ride? Oh, I forgot—“I’m going for the rank ones every single time.” Spoken like a true businessman, and furthermore, a businessman whose instrument for making a living is his body. Good call, J.B.

Overall, my reaction to this is disgust. We have endured years of J.B. Mauney acting like a spoiled brat, throwing his bull rope and punching out trash cans when he didn’t ride. We have put up with endless bullshit explanations by his fans that he is just so “passionate” that he “gets all worked up” and that we are obliged to excuse his behavior because he is a brilliant bull rider. If we did excuse it, we mostly did so because he was still a kid and we weren’t surprised when he acted like one from time to time.

And just when we thought maybe J.B. was maturing, we come face to face, yet again, with J.B. the 12-year-old. Research into the development of the brain has determined that people don’t really develop decent judgment skills until they are about 25. I guess I have to conclude that J.B. is a late bloomer. I also have to hope that he has a pile of health and life insurance stashed away somewhere, because riding without a helmet is not a good way to ensure a long and healthy career in this sport.


Anonymous said...

Kody Lostroh did the same thing. It is all about rules or lack of. If they (the PBR) wants this to become a legitimate sport then quit changing the rules each and every year. Would the NFL say ok, your choice, you may or may not have to wear a helmet? NO! MLB you may or may not have to wear a batting helmet...your choice, etc. I think not. NASCAR not making their drivers to wear protective gear? Get professional, PBR. Provide health insurance for the riders, and to protect your investment, require all riders to wear helmets. People with brain injuries are nothing to laugh off...this is serious health business! If the riders are not smart enough to make the right decision, make it for them. Otherwise, the PBR looks like a bunch of dumb hicks.

shannon said...

Can't say I disagree, Anonymous.

What I don't get is how, after all of these years, his body let him get comfortable with it. I've been wearing seat belts since the day I was born and now, I can barely back out of the driveway without one on--it just feels wrong almost to the point of being uncomfortable.

Shawk said...

I don't think the helmet has had anything to do with JB never clinching the title, and he must know it. I think, like many sports guys, they get into magical thinking where if they have on their lucky socks and use their favorite bull rope, they will ride. And if they don't, maybe it's because of the helmet, because the lucky socks surely can't fail. Tricking your mind into being positive isn't necessarily a bad thing, but doing something that furthers the risk of damage to your mind is not bright.

Jean said...

heh heh heh amen.

Jean said...

heh heh heh, amen. I was over the JB tantrums years ago. Thought all along that instead of excusing his behavior the PBR should have insisted he take anger management. I'm really sorry that along with the nasty temper he feels the need to further his bad boy, bad role model reputation by not wearing a helmet. If he doesn't give a darned about himself or his family I guess I can't expect him to think about the kids out there wanting to grow up and "be a real cowboy jest lak JayBee".. sigh.

Were William and I the only people last week that thought the race was only between JB and Kody? That's all we heard over and over and over. We didn't even know Robson had a shot until he won.

William has now walked out on this weekend's offering, but I"m still here in front of the TV. I still haven't been able to see a score. They flash past so fast and are so small I don't have time to figure them out. Not liking the "roving announcer" thing either, but it's less annoying to me than Hummer and a lot less annoying than not ever knowing the score.

Jean said...

oh, and just so's you know, I'm deeply irritated that the Brazilians don't wear helmets (most of them) either. I think it needs to be mandatory like the vest, let them squall for a season and get over it.

Auntie Marlene said...

Have to agree, it was a dumb decision on J.B.'s part. Perhaps he thinks he is less macho if he wears a helmet and the Brazilians do not. In any case, I think it is an immature choice for J.B.

Stockyard Queen said...

Welcome, Auntie Marlene. I don't know if you saw J.B. talking to JDub about the helmet controversy last weekend and stating that "my wife is behind me 100%!" I can think of several responses to that silliness, but I will resist the impulse to be snarky--this one time.

However, a TV special about bull riding titled "Dangerous Game" aired a couple of weeks ago, featuring the usual suspects--Ty, Shorty, Jeff Robinson, Luke Snyder, and Hummer--and both Ty and Luke stated that they thought the helmet issue would "take care of itself" as kids who had grown up riding with helmets gradually take over the sport. Wrong!

J.B.'s ditching his helmet just proves that wearing one needs to be mandatory, RIGHT NOW. Otherwise, once a rider gets out from under his mama's wing, he can do just what J.B. has done, and nothing can stop him.

I really don't understand the PBR's gutlessness on this issue. Do we really have to see somebody killed or paralyzed in the arena before we get some action?

Shawk said...

The PBR made vests mandatory, so I don't see why they can't announce that after the end of the current season, now helmets will also be required. That would give guys the chance to spend time on practice bulls and get used to wearing it.

Anonymous said...

Omg! Its bull riding, he doesnt have to wear one, thats what makes this sport different then others. Yall are abuncha no rodeoing dipshits who know nothing about the sport! Just spectators. Has nothing to do with being macho. If you are that concerned about getting hurt then it aint a sport for you

Stockyard Queen said...

Anonymous, trolls and name-callers are not welcome here. If you can't express your opinion in a mature and respectful fashion, we can't be bothered with it. You are banned from posting on this site forthwith. Good-bye.