By: Justin Felisko
March 12, 2017
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney still remains a fiery competitor despite 12 years of success on the PBR’s prestigious Built Ford Tough Series.
He also really hates being embarrassed in the arena when he nods his head and doesn’t get a favorable end result.
Therefore, Jared Allen’s Air Time better watch himself the next time Mauney and him find each other in a dark alley way, or better yet a bull riding arena.
“His day is coming,” Mauney replied as he tried to comprehend his fourth defeat to the white-spotted bull of Matt Scharping and Jared Allen.
Air Time ripped Mauney over the front end with two strong jumps out of the bucking chute, disposing of the Mooresville, North Carolina, cowboy in a brief 2.17 seconds.
It was the duo’s first meeting since Mauney was awarded a re-ride during the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals after Mauney, who was still in contention for the World Championship at the time, selected Air Time with the first pick of the Round 5 draft.
In North Little Rock, Mauney had no chance against Air Time once the bucking chute gate whipped open.
“I made a mistake and let him raise me up right out of there,” Mauney admitted. “I raised up and he is too strong to be getting lifted up on. When he hit the ground, he whooped me straight into my hand right past his head.
“I hit like a pile of shit.”
Mauney has lasted an average of 3.47 seconds in four attempts against Air Time.
Air Time has 27 consecutive Built Ford Tough Series buckoffs and 28 overall.
Saturday night was the first time Air Time bucked out of a right-handed delivery, which Mauney said he liked better despite his fastest buckoff against the soon-to-be, 8-year-old.
Scharping is embracing the Mauney-Air Time rivalry.
“I hope he keeps picking him,” Scharping said. “He will ride him. I thought tonight was the night he would ride him because this was the first time out of the right. That bull left so hard. He kicked up over the top of the chutes.
“With this bull of the year race, maybe we should just have a challenge of the champions.”
Speaking out of frustration with his bull being marked only 43.25 points, Scharping was referencing the epic series between Lane Frost and Red Rock in 1987.
“I thought the bull really bucked,” Scharping said. “He got out clean and did everything I wanted him to do. I think the judges should get on him. I asked J.B., ‘Everyone thinks he lost a step.’ He said, ‘They need to get on the bull.’
“The bull is fine. He was going to go to the left there, but he had J.B. rocked over. What is he going to do? The bull is to smart. He is not going to buck underneath the guy to get him in place.”
CBS Sports Network commentator and stock contractor J.W. Hart said during the telecast, which airs Sunday night at 5 p.m. ET, that the quick buckoff was a hindrance to Air Time.
“They could just well-marked him a 45 because you only saw one jump and he was bucking hard,” Hart explained. “You don’t know if he is going to spin, though. The judges are going to mark him for what they get to see of him. At this point, he is still going straight.
He came out clean and he got away from the chutes, but J.B. didn’t ride him long enough to see if he was going to come around and get into the spin.”
Once again, the unknown that is Air Time was out in full force inside Verizon Arena and questions will remain.
Air Time is 3-0 this season and is averaging 43.67 points per out.
“If he is going to buck guys off that quickly, honestly the judges won’t like him,” Scharping said. “His power is there. The bull flat out bucks. If he is a bull that always fell out and did the same thing over and over again, we wouldn’t be talking. Then he isn’t a rank bull.
“He is a rank bull.”
Scharping said he plans on keeping Air Time on the right side for the time being.
Air Time is next tentatively scheduled to compete in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona.
And, who knows, maybe Mauney will go about looking for revenge at the AK-Chin Invitational.
“I don’t like getting beat,” Mauney concluded. “No matter what it is. Whether I didn’t try really good. I always said I will figure him out eventually. I did Bushwacker, so I guess it is time for him.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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