Harlem Shake nets bull rider $1.25M
LAS VEGAS (AP)
During the 2012-13 NBA season, LeBron James and the Miami Heat were swept up in the "Harlem Shake" craze, their locker room spoof generating millions of Web views and inspiring more spoofs.
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On Sunday, Harlem Shake made J.B. Mauney a millionaire, and that's no spoof — and no bull.
Mauney won his first Professional Bull Riders championship Sunday, earning $1 million for the season points title and another $250,000 for topping the six-round PBR World Finals.
The Mooresville, N.C., rider wrapped up the season title by winning the fifth round with a 91-point ride on, yes, Harlem Shake. He finished the season with earnings of $1,810,711.
Mauney was the lone rider to have six successful rides, the last a winning 93 on Wipeout in the championship round. He is the only finals competitor to ride all six bulls twice, a feat he first accomplished in 2009 when he won the finals aggregate title.
Two-time defending world champion Silvano Alves of Brazil finished second in the world title race, 977.75 points behind Mauney. Alves also was second in the event aggregate.
Mauney, 538.5 points behind Alves entering the finals, won the final four rounds. He pointed to an unprecedented break from May 12 to Aug. 16 for his success.
"Before I got married (in May 2012) I didn't listen to nobody," Mauney said. "They always tried to tell me to take breaks and I always felt that you've got to be tough to ride bulls, so I felt I could (ride) with pain.
"The best thing I ever did was take that break. It got my mind right. I went home, didn't even think about bull riding, forgot about it and came back with a brand new attitude and my body felt great. This is the best I've ever felt in my whole career and it showed up in my riding. Everything was going great."
Mauney is the third non-Brazilian to win the world title in the last eight years.
"All them guys that are riding tonight are here because they are the best bull riders in the world," Mauney said. "It doesn't matter where you're from. All the Brazilians have won it the past few years. They were just better at their job than the rest of us. I take my hat off to every one of them, especially Silvano. He tries his guts out every single time. There's no back up in him."
Bushwacker won the World Champion Bull Award for the second time in three years. Mauney rode him in Tulsa, Okla., this season to end a streak of 42 consecutive buckoffs that started in 2009.
Joao Ricardo Vieira, a Brazilian who finished third in the world championship race, claimed the PBR Rookie of the Year Award.