The reason I support this event despite my slight distaste for some of the things it represents is this – The livestock show provides millions of dollars in college scholarship money for kids who have proven themselves responsible (and in financial need) by caring for and raising everything from chickens to cows – with every imaginable farm animal in between. Despite the pomp and circumstance associated with the event, it really is all about those kids. An event that actually rewards hard work and sacrifice. Go figure…
But enough about them. Let me tell you about my experience yesterday. I begin by telling you that we did not attend the carnival (with lots of very cool rides), the exhibition hall (with all the award winning livestock and cool educational stuff), or the shopping (with everything imaginable available for purchase – not just tacky, rhinestone encrusted clothing that most drag queens wouldn’t be caught dead in).
The doors to Reliant Stadium opened at 3:15 PM. Since we arrived early to beat the traffic (obviously, I was not driving), Ron found a bathroom while perused the gift shop; not to actually buy any of that tacky crap, but to take pictures with my camera phone. I’m always thinking of you, my dear reader. You’re welcome. Three guesses as to what this is:
(Hint – it is NOT the love child of Frosty the Snowman and The Berenstein Bears). Give up? It’s a sheep. Wha-huh? Apparently some sheep don’t have ears. That’s just weird. ($8.11)(?!) Okay, here’s another one:
Oh, sure…he’s cleaned up his act a bit. But I never turned my back on him!
On every day other than the closing day, you will see a bunch of rodeo stuff – calf roping, bareback riding, etc. But on the last day, there is only two events: the calf scramble:(This is awesome, btw. Kids running around attempting to tackle a bunch of calves, roping them, and then dragging them into a big square in the middle of the arena.) They might be baby cows, but they’re pretty doggone strong!
There is one thing that all these young men have in common: THEY ARE NUTS! But there are also some other similarities. To be a professional bull rider, your name is very important. Having a name that begins with “C” or the letter “J” is pretty important: Colin, Cody, Clayton, Cooper, Clayton, Cody, Chad, Colby, Cory, Jarrod, Jesse, Jake, Jason, Jay. or J.W. If you are not so fortunate, you should employ the use of your middle name: Danny Ted McDowell, Bobby Loren Welsh, Seth Thomas Glause, Michael Ray Moore or Tyler L. Johnston. If you have a child that you feel is destined to ride bulls, you should choose a name like B. J., Bandy, Stormy, Spud, Tate(r) and, of course Howdy Cloud. Would you buy life insurance from a guy named Howdy Cloud? Me thinks not. There were also some other guys named Steve, Fred, Douglas, Shawn and Wesley, but the bulls threw them off way before the 8 second buzzer. Favorite bull names: Funky Colemedina, Dirty White Bull, Snortin’ Horton, Hot Diggity Damn and The Geetus (love that!). The winner? B.J. Schumacher. But all those dudes were tough! Favorite line from the announcers? “Roping that bull was harder than getting Rosie O’Donnell to leave ‘The View'”.