“150 pounds of cowboy, 2000 pounds of hulking, stock-bucking bull.” And with that, the bucking shoot bursts open and out cracks the bull like a bolt of greased lightning, the lean cowboy clinging to its back by one rosin-gloved hand.
Bull-riding–Some couple dozen cowboys from South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado gathered at the Custer County Fairgrounds this evening to give their best at riding 2000 pounds of sheer strength for a mere eight seconds. Sound easy? Not so much. Sarah and I joined a crowd of cowboy-hat-wearing, freedom-loving, patriotic Americans for an evening of a dangerous sport, the most dangerous eight seconds in rodeo, and an amazing thing to watch. Those are some crazy cowboys. The excitement, the patriotism, the love of country, the community, the upholding of manliness in an increasingly emasculated society, the daring of the bull riders, the sportsmanship, the bravery of the bull fighters, the physical strength of the bulls. If you want some clean, country fun, go to a rodeo.
And in spite of increasing pressure against Christians, a rodeo announcer will still offer an unapologetic prayer to our Heavenly Father. I’m sure there were some there who didn’t appreciate that, but no one walked out.
Nothing has ever interested me about sports–The normal sports, that is. Baseball, basketball, football…golf. I understand that it takes skill, physical strength, stamina, precision, etc., to participate in those sports and to do it professionally. But at the end of the day, who cares if the ball went through the basket? What good does it do the players that the ball made it to the end zone? Why does it matter that the athlete made a home run? Does it change anything?
But then there’s rodeo. I also understand that some may have the same opinion of saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, and bull riding, but there is an innate practicality about those events for the cowboys participating. Those events are a display of skills that those individuals use on a day to day basis (except maybe not during haying). That cowboy who can sit the bronc or wrestle that steer–no, the cowboy who will sit the bronc or wrestle the steer. In case you were wondering, natural self-preservation doesn’t lead a man to hurtle himself from a running horse onto the head of a rangy steer. Or sit himself down on the back of a bull bred to buck, for that matter. But the man who does? He’s a tough man, a tough man to beat. Maybe crazy, but tough as nails.
“There’s nothin’ more American than riding bulls in South Dakota,” the arena announcer claimed. “Nothin’ more fun on dirt.”