Thursday, August 4, 2011

Of Character and Cowboy Boots

This is probably the busiest time of year for us, what with haying, irrigating, gardening and canning. Nevertheless, we took a few days off to get together with family to visit and attend the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo finals. CFD attracts the best rodeo athletes in the world—men and women, horses and bulls—not to mention some of the hottest country music stars and thousands of tourists from all over the world.
 If you’ve never been to a rodeo, especially this one, you might think it the most redneck of sports. But, dirt and manure not withstanding, I believe it to be one of the classiest. Consider the following:
·         Before the rodeo begins, the announcer prays aloud for our troops, our nation, and the safety of the contestants. People aren’t required to participate but don’t sue anyone who does.
·         The bronc and bull riding events are scored by judges. If a rider doesn’t like the score he gets, you’ll never see him screaming in the face of the officials like you often see at other professional sporting events.
·         After a Christian football player scores a touchdown, he might take a knee or point heavenwards to thank God, but a Christian bronc or bull rider does so whether he scored big or bit the dust and got no score.
·         Instead of cheerleaders, rodeo has clowns. The “barrel man” is the funny clown; the “bullfighters” courageously and acrobatically risk their lives saving the riders from the ornery, ton-plus bulls. Oh, and the clowns are fully clothed.
·         Rodeo cowboys and cowgirls don’t have contracts, agents, or unions—and most make less in a year than most pro ball players make in a day.
·         At the rodeo and home on the ranch, the animals are fed and cared for before the people sit down to eat.
The Virginian would have liked this sport.

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