Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bringing Down the House ~ Oct 27, 2013

Today's event is at 1pm so we use the morning to get organized. We always over pack (scouts at heart) but we are prepared for anything. It will make checking out a little easier if we only have to make one trip to the car tomorrow so we schlep the hanging clothes bag (never touched), shoe bag (too hot for boots or slippers), laundry, spare books and snack bags down to the rig. After a leisurely breakfast and a little play time in the casino, we head out to the taxi stand for the short drive to the Thomas and Mack Center.

 
This is the final day of the event and it's going down to the wire. You couldn't have written a better script for 17,000 PBR fans. There are 35 riders in the first round with hopes of finishing in the money. The top 15 move into the final round. If you win the event there's a $250,000 paycheck, if you win the world championship there's a $1,000,000 paycheck. And trust me if you've ever watched bull riding you know that every cent is EARNED.

The riders start from last to first so the top two ride last in every round. Silvano Alves rides Cowtown Slinger for 88.25 points. J.B.'s bull is Harlem Shake, but he's acting up so much in the chute there is concern for the safety of both rider and bull. The judges make the call and J.B. will ride Ford Hammer Down. He's at the chutes on the other end of the arena, so action stops for a bit while he walks down and gets reset. Think about how hard it would be to stay focused after all this hullaballoo. Evidently no problem for J.B. his ride earns 91 points, here's a link:
 
 
In the final go round Silvano rides Big Tex Rocks. The bull didn't perform well so he is again give an opportunity for a re-ride. Much to everyone's surprise he takes the re-ride option on Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey. He scores in the high 80's but the point is mute.

J.B. has won on points with one more bull to ride. He draws Wipeout and scores 93 points. The cheering is deafening. J.B has twice finished 2nd and twice finished 3rd so he is on top of the world. Paycheck for the day $1,250,000

J.B. Mauney won four rounds at the 2013 World Finals including this 93 point effort on Wipeout in the final go.
Final Ride ~ J.B. Mauney and Wipeout
Photo credit Andy Watson

“There’s no better feeling. You dream of something all your life and to eventually get it ..... feels like you’ve done conquered the world.”
 
Silvano Alves, the Brazilian who has won the last two PBR World Championships is a total class act and a great ambassador for the sport. As soon as J.B.'s bull is out of the arena, he's out to congratulate him.
 

It's a gorgeous afternoon so we decide to walk over to the MGM grand for lunch. It's 2 miles (sure looks closer), but we've mastered the buck and weave to stay in the shade most of the way. The Vegas monorail starts at the MGM Grand and ends at our hotel so it's a great way to get back home and see yet another perspective of the city.

This a been an experience of a life time, a total rush. There's much to be said for living in the moment, for closing the door on real life for a couple of days and just doing what pleases you.