Slaphot does his best to stay atop the mechanical beast. (Photo by Travis Riddick)
Slaphot does his best to stay atop the mechanical beast. (Photo by Travis Riddick)

The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) tossed down the gauntlet and challenged D.C.-area mascots to a competition to determine which was toughest among them.

So, which of our local team mascots made the grade between G-Wiz (Washington Wizards), Slapshot (Washington Capitals), Screech (Washington Nationals) and The Patriot (George Mason) in the head-to-head, first-of-its-kind mechanical bull riding challenge? Washington Capital’s Mascot, Slapshot!

PBR held the challenge Thursday at Capital One Arena in downtown D.C., where under the watchful eye and instruction of legendary professional bull rider Sean Willingham, the competing mascots advanced through a multi-round competition, which included scoring for technique, ride time, and freestyle.

In addition to competing for bragging rights of the best bull-riding mascot in the D.C. area, $1,000 was up for grabs for the competing mascots charity of their choice, with additional $500 donations made to the desired charities for the remaining mascots.

For Willingham, whose career spans more than two decades, the fun of the mechanical bull bears no real resemblance to the bucking thousand-pounders he’s ridden.

“It’s an amazing feeling to compete riding a live animal that you know can potentially hurt you, or worse,” Willingham told The Informer. “Aside from exercising muscle memory, I cannot really psyche myself up for [it]. In fact, it’s something I try not to think about until I am on the bull and just concentrating on the ride itself. Those eight seconds can feel like a really long time!”

Judged by Willingham and PBR commentator Matt West, the event helped kick off PBR’s Unleash the Beast Invitational this weekend at Fairfax EagleBank Arena.

Join PBR for the official mechanical bull challenge prior to the Unleash the Beast’s Fairfax Invitational on Sept. 21-22.

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Dr. Shantella Y. Sherman

Dr. Shantella Sherman is a historian and journalist who serves as the Informer's Special Editions Editor. Dr. Sherman is the author of In Search of Purity: Eugenics & Racial Uplift Among New Negroes...

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