Who Was Actually THe Better Oilman, JR Or Bobby?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Billy Wall, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    The reason I ask is it’s perceived that JR is the better oilman. He was the one who was raised to be the president of Ewing Oil and was taught directly by Jock. I was reminded that while Bobby was out finding himself, JR was in the fields and in the office. With that being said, Bobby beat JR on numerous occasions without the underhanded deals.

    Bobby got Ewing Oil the refinery. Something JR could never do. The fight for Ewing Oil went to Bobby. Getting the Ewing Oil name back after JR lost it. Again, Bobby. Those are probably the biggest wins for Bobby over JR.

    Sue Ellen told John Ross in the new Dallas that “JR lost to Bobby more than he should have because he underestimated him.” Was it simply that JR underestimated him or was Bobby just a better overall oilman?
     
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  2. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle'

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    Without a doubt, Bobby. JR was way too reckless. Most of Ewing Oils failures were the result of JR's dealings. Bobby had the benefit of being something like fifteen years younger than JR and learned from JR's mistakes and failed tactics. Bobby had his shortcomings but overall he was better IMO.
     
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  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    They complimented each other. Each could do things the other couldn't. Even one of the things that won Bobby the contest for Ewing Oil was being able to use contract JR wrote to be able to sell a 5 or 6 million dollar field (Wellington) for 5 times market price - 25 to 30 million dollars - take that profit and give it to JR and JR wins the contest. I remember when Bobby's lawyer found out Bobby could do that, Bobby was amazed. He said "JR, you sure know how to write a contract'!

    Bobby could get people to like him and do business such as selling him the refinery and being the brother who was offered the Canadian deal. JR was more brilliant but Bobby usually had better judgement. They needed each other but never realized just how much.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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  4. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    Sounds like you’re giving JR credit for Bobby winning the contest. Lol And Bobby didn’t get a refinery just because he was a nice guy. Heck, Jock was more respected than both and he couldn’t even get a refinery.
     
  5. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Jock wasn't in the business of refining oil. He was in the business of finding oil, getting it out of the ground and selling it. Saying Jock couldn't get a refinery is about as useful as saying Clayton had to buy oil from people because he couldn't discover any oil on his own.

    Jock needed people in Clayton's profession and vice versa. Their businesses are inter-related. My point about JR and Bobby is similar in that they complemented each other because the abilities and accomplishments of one were different. Yes, Bobby bought a refinery but did he buy it all with money he earned by himself? No. Bobby had the money to buy the refinery because of the accomplishments of JR and of Jock before him. They're tied together. It was a combined effort that resulted in Ewing Oil acquiring a refinery.

    So how do you say who is a better oilman? Some would say Jock was the most impressive because he founded Ewing Oil.. He started it from nothing. JR then took it from a company worth hundreds of millions to a company worth over a billion dollars. Then Bobby added to that.. But Bobby quit because he didn't have the stomach to stay in the oil business permanently. It was after Wendell offered money to Bobby that Bobby needed because he'd gotten into a deal with the cartel he didn't have the money to pay for. JR asked Bobby why he quit when he had full control of Ewing Oil. Bobby replied that he had almost done something he would have regretted (almost taking Wendell's offer). He couldn't take the pressure of running Ewing Oil any longer.

    JR and Bobby each had distinct strengths and weaknesses which made them much better off together than apart. Jock knew that. Jock wrote that he didn't care which one of them won the contest. The real purpose of the contest was to teach them they were far better off together than apart. Sadly, the two of them never quite learned that lesson. Each one needed the other.
     
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  6. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    Bobby said, “I got us a refinery, just like YOU always wanted.” JR then tells Sue Ellen, “Bobby got a refinery. Something I could never do.” It was such a big deal that JR says, “He’s going to cut out Bobby if he has to destroy Ewing Oil to do it.”

    They might have been better together, but Bobby didn’t need JR to be successful. He did everything JR did without dirty dealing.
     
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  7. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    Sorry but I think JR is. He may have been ruthless but I don't think Bobby ever really cared about oil that much- he loved the land more.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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  8. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I think the original question should be put into the right context: Who was actually the better oilman in "Dallas" universe? or Who...if they had lived in the real world? Because in the latter case, you don´t have to be a "good" oilman (or whatever) to be successful. Look at the example of a certain POTUS...He became a millionaire but his tactics might be "debatable" for many. But in "Dallas" universe, he´d probably be looked at a bit like J.R. or even Jeremy Wendell.

    [​IMG]

    Besides, though we blame the latter seasons for making a loser and a buffoon of J.R., since he lost the Ewing Oil battle, his victories were not frequent: he had previously lost money when he "blocked" Clayton´s oil (and Miss Ellie saved them from bankrupt), and after the fight, he "financed" the 340 Gulf venture for Cliff, they had to give the Aprilskunk 100 million, and eventually lost the company due to the B.D. Calhoun affaire.

    So Larry Hagman has been right all this time: J.R. did lose lots of Ewing millions through the show´s course. Is that being a good oilman? I´d say J.R. was as impulsive and revenge-obsessed as Cliff, the difference is that he was more experienced and had the family to back him when things went wrong. If only Rebecca had lived a little longer and Cliff had achieved something big on his own...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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  9. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    J.R. is mostly better, especially in terms of day-to-day profit, and having cash and liquid assets most of the time. But I would say that I think Bobby is better for longer term investments and is more trustworthy. Bobby's long term gamble on the Canadian oil won him the Battle for Ewing Oil contest, but he was losing heavily if that was taken out of the equation.
     
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  10. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the contest didn't do much if anything to prove who was better because of the way Bobby won it. If the Canadian fields come in just a day or two later then JR's profit for the year is almost double Bobby's profit. He was gambling. That's why Bobby was a gambler in Conundrum.

    Also they were both doing some things that were bad long term but just happened to look good on paper short term. Who the better oilman is would have to take into account who makes the consistently better gains in growth for the company over the long term - not over just one year.

    JR comes up with things Bobby would never think of; he's brilliant in the way that he wrote the contract for the Wellington Fields - to be able to sell them to the cartel for 5 times market value if he wants them uncapped and they don't. JR made a killing on the farm land he bought that Cliff's pipeline had to run through. JR was able to get Wendell to give him all the Ewing assets he bought after the government seized a third of it. Everything except the Ewing building. Still that's probably around 500 or 550 million dollars worth of assets Wendell gave JR in exchange for that farm land! JR understands the art of the deal and thinks of things like getting Casey Denault to buy for him back when people wouldn't deal with JR. They dealt with JR anyway without knowing it.

    Bobby is less likely to cause a legal problem for he company though so I'd have to choose him if I were choosing one to run my company even though JR is likely to make more money. JR makes a ton of money but the risk would be too high for my taste. Ideally they work together since they each have abilities the other doesn't and those abilities complement each other very well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  11. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat Addict

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    In reality Bobby didn’t have the stomach, at least long term, and if JR also didn’t have to fight his own family he’d have been even more successful. Yes it’s important to form friendships and alliances in business, and Bobby was better at such. But in the cut throat business of oil exploration, you gotta have guts of steel. Bobby never did.
     
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