Thursday, January 11, 2007
Professional Bull Riding
Okay, I've been known to frequent the Rodeo Bar, but then again, who hasn't been there. But I've never been to a real rodeo. I know right?! What girl owns not one but two cowboy hats and has not yet been? That was until this weekend.
I got tickets on Craigslist for the Professional Bull Riders competition at Madison Square Garden. Little did I know that I'd become sooo obsessed. Initially I just wanted an excuse to wear my hat and boots. I bought tickets for Sunday's show but found out that one of my first favorite country singers, Clay Walker, was performing during the intermission of Saturday night's show. So of course I needed to get tickets for that as well. I went with my buddy Destiny Saturday and to my relief they were not checking tickets at each level so we got out at the first level and sat in a row right next to the chutes. Awesome view. We saw all the bulls as they awaited their turn to throw the riders to the ground. We were surrounded by a group of Brazillians there to cheer on the Brazillian World Champion rider Adriano Moraes. Last year this dude made $1.36 million riding bulls! Afterwards we headed to Yogi's my favorite country bar in NY. Dest and I had a great time (as always) and lots of hot cowboys were hitting on me. But I looked hot so who can blame them.
A couple girls were so drunk they were dancing on the bar. I of course took pictures of said event to preserve its posterity.
The next day I returned with Sho D and we sat in what I thought were the same seats as the night before but turned out to be one section closer to the action. Little did we know, but we were sitting in the rider's family and VIP block of seats. After an hour or so Sho says "Dude, do you see who that is?!" So I look to see who the dude is who sat in the seat beside us. It was none other than country music LEGEND George Strait!!!
George was so cool, he was just sitting there minding his own business. George being a very traditional old school country artist in New York City, he totally went undetected. Undetected by everyone other than us that is. I had to sneak pitures of him so I'd believe myself when I shared the stories with my friends later that night. Sho and I were having cows in the row directly behind him. I stepped out of our row to get a better look at him and as I did he got up out of his seat, nodded a hello to me, and all I could mumble was a quiet howdy. I totally lost my nerve to ask for a picture. I'm sooo bummed out.
After he left Sho struck up conversation with this bull rider who was on the disabled list that was sitting in front of us. He confirmed it really was George Strait and he filled us in about life on the Pro Bull Riding tour. The rider's name was Jim but I forgot his last name. Jim was an awesome awesome dude. Hopefully he'll be back on the bulls soon!
Anyway, bull riding is awesome. These riders are true athletes and the bulls are as well. But the ultimate bravery was shown by the rodeo clowns. These are the dudes that distract the bulls when the bull really just wants to step on the rider he just bucked off. They thrown their hats at him, hit the bull on the nose, anything to piss it off and draw attention from the rider. These are crazy crazy dudes. But so brave. My hats off to you. Pro Bull Riding was one of the most awesome experiences I've had in a long time. I encourage everyone to check it out. And for those naysayers who claim how cruel this is to the animals, they need to see how respected the bulls are in this sport. The bull is King!