By: Justin Felisko
February 06, 2016
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – It was 2:30 in the morning last Saturday when J.B Mauney woke up and tried to make his way to the bathroom in his hotel room at the Ayres Hotel in Anaheim, California.
Mauney felt sick to his stomach, lightheaded and couldn’t see straight by the time he stumbled his way into the bathroom.
He quickly began to realize the next 24 hours were going to be rough.
Instead, 24 hours turned into 48 hours and two missed opportunities to nod his head at the Anaheim Invitational.
“Friday night after the bull riding we went to eat and I couldn’t eat,” Mauney said. “I had a drink and I was sipping it and I told Samantha (Mauney’s girlfriend) we need to go. About 2:30 in the morning Saturday I started getting sick and it didn’t stop.”
Mauney returned to competition on Friday in Sacramento with an 86.5-point ride on Hash Tag after missing Rounds 2 and 3 of the Anaheim Invitational last weekend with food poisoning.
He is sitting in second-place heading into the final night of competition at Sleep Train Arena. Mauney has ridden eight of 14 bulls this season and has yet to buck off two consecutive bulls.
At first Mauney thought it was just a simple stomach bug in Anaheim. He had ridden through illnesses in the past before, but as the morning progressed, and his condition worsened, he began to realize his chances of attempting to nod his head were getting gloom.
Mauney eventually found enough strength in the middle of the day to make a trip to Urgent Care where he received a bag of fluids and some medicine.
He had a 102-degree fever and it was only going up as the day went on. His body would feel on fire, but he couldn’t find enough blankets or comforters in his hotel room to help him actually feel warm on the inside.
“It didn’t do nothing,” Mauney said. “I could take a drink of water and I would throw up. It was coming from both ends. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t do nothing. I was hoping the fluids would help me feel good enough to go to the bull riding, but as soon as I got back I knew we better to tell them I ain’t making it.
“I couldn’t make it more than 10 minutes. That is why we even waited to later in the day on Saturday before I even went to Urgent Care.”
So what was the culprit of the food poisoning?
Well, Mauney believes it all started with some chicken wings he had in San Diego on Thursday when in town for an autograph signing.
“In San Diego, we had ordered chicken wings and I fell asleep before they got there,” Mauney said. “The next morning I got up to go to a signing and when we came back it was right around lunch time and I saw them wings still sitting there. I grabbed one of them and ate it. That is the only thing I could think of.”
It was a rare occurrence to have Mauney scratched from the draw because of an illness. Regardless, he is still the No. 8 bull rider in the world standings and trails world leader Paulo Lima by only 700 points.
“Usually feeling bad don’t bother me and I would still go to the bull riding,” said Mauney, who had to reschedule his return flight home to Monday night. “I was so weak I could barely walk to the bathroom. It hit me and it didn’t stop until probably about Monday morning.
“Then Tuesday I was fine.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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