Big Al's View Of The World
COWBOY SPORTS NEWS MAGAZINE JANUARY 2017
They say what you don’t know won’t hurt you. Well, I know just enough about what goes on behind the scenes at the NFR to know it’s a really bad deal for the contestants involved. Granted the payouts are tremendous and a person can win life changing amounts of money in 10 days. You can come from 15th place to 1st place in the standings basically going from a zero to a hero in the rodeo world. The money is good, the rodeo is great and Vegas rolls out the red carpet for the cowboys which doesn’t happen very much throughout the year.
The problems start with the cowboys getting fined every time they turn a corner. I’ll quote that bastion of free thinking, Joe Beaver. Last year at one of his nightly rodeo after-shows he was talking to a contestant on stage and he said, and I quote, “They will fine you for farting and not claiming"it. Knowing Joe B and how he expresses things I know he wasn’t serious but it was the point he was trying to make about the fines at the NFR.
Since RFD TV has stepped into the rodeo world a person can watch nothing but rodeo for 10 days straight in December each night on the couch. They have the buckle ceremony, the Flint Rasmussen show and the Steve Kenyon show on each afternoon.
I really like the contestant interviews from all of the shows. They show a side of the contestants that you don’t always see and you learn all kinds of things you might not have known. During the Friday show Flint Rasmussen was interviewing Joe Frost. He was asking Joe about his fines for the week. Joe said he had $4,000 in fines already. Now remember he still had two nights of rodeo left to accumulate more.
Flint started talking about how he thought the production of the NFR was taking precedent over the competition part of the show. There is not a single contestant there that wants to sit in the box for a single second longer than he has to. Anyone that rodeos knows the longer you sit there the worse it is going to get. I wonder if they fine the contractors when their horse doesn’t fire in the bareback or saddle bronc. Do they fine the contractor when his bull won’t leave the arena. We know they fine the contestant when the steer or calf will not stand straight. One year they even fined the calf ropers when they broke in the calves in that week before the rodeo started. No spectators, no hurry, no rush, no pressure but still fines, fines and more fines.
Yesterday a Dallas Cowboy running back actually made a touchdown and ran and jumped into a Salvation Army big giant kettle. Everyone was speculating on how much the fine was going to be. Turned out they didn’t fine him and the Salvation Army raised more money that day than any other.
Who gets the money from the fines at the NFR? Does it go to the PRCA. Does Las Vegas Events get it. Does Shown Davis get it as part of his bonus. Does it go to some deserving charity. I’m not that naive! It’s kind of like Christmas. Everyone forgets the “reason for the season.” It’s not to spend so much it takes you all of the next year to pay it off. Jesus and Peace on Earth are the reasons for the season, not gifts. You can’t have the show without the competition. Sometimes when you are so big you don’t see the little things. I thought the ERA Finals went pretty good and I bet there weren’t a whole lot of cowboys fined at that deal! Common sense is what we need right now in rodeo and I don’t see a whole lot of that going on.
And then you have that whole Trent Walls drama! I’m not going to go into details and I’m not taking sides. All I’m going to say is maybe things might have happened a little too fast. Sometimes a big breath can go a long way in making a bad situation better.
Remember when President Obama had that policeman and the professor sit down for a beer and talk things out during the first few years of his presidency. I’m thinking Carl and Trent could have found a nice quiet little bar off the casino floor and had a beer and talked things out. Calmer heads would have prevailed.
A little common sense, a big ol’ deep breath and a Coor’s would have made everyone’s finals better.
I don’t like beer,
Can I have a Dr Pepper,
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