Big Al's View Of The World
COWBOY SPORTS NEWS MAGAZINE MARCH 2017
Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “the best thing for the inside of a person is the outside of a horse.” If you don’t think that is true then take two of them to the Super Bowl and see how a bunch of non-Texans react to them.
We were hired to bring horses to the NFL Commissioners Private Tailgate Party in Houston last month. Like they say, “if you have a Super Bowl in Texas, you’ve got to have a horse.” And in this case a couple big longhorn steers as well.
I would say a very large majority of the people were from the East Coast since they were most all wearing New England Patriots shirts and caps. I guess aside from the occasional horse pulling a carriage in the park they don’t get to see them very often. Everyone wanted to pet them and everyone asked what the names were. As luck would have it we took the two with the best names, Cat Daddy and Hercules. OMG! They just couldn’t get enough of the horses. They took selfies, they did Face-time with their kids and they had us put Falcon and Patriot caps on the horses' heads for pictures. Not to mention the horses were a paint and buckskin. This only made them more desirable to the city dudes.
We did this same party the last time Houston had the Super Bowl but we only took longhorn steers. I would say the horses were a much larger hit than the steers. You could see them walk by the window and instantly start walking way out for a closer look.
We as rodeo people are part of a much larger Western way of life that so many people long for. A cowboy is the one thing everyone in the world recognizes (other than maybe a Sumo wrestler) the instant they see them. You don’t realize how much people long for our way of life until you are in a position like this.
I tell my son all of the time to be understanding of people that we would call wanna be cowboys. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a cowboy. There are lots of people that would pay for the chance to do what we get tired of doing day in and day out. Not everyone has the chance to grow up in this environment like we do.
We talk all the time about the need for new blood in the spectator pool. These wanna be’s are the spectator pool for many events. I have seen too many rodeo people treat these people as not being worthy of their time. Remember you are an ambassador of the western way of life and for sure rodeo. I have heard that people will not remember you for what you did but for the way you made them feel. When you push that city kid away you are etching in his mind for life the way you want him to remember cowboys. How are we going to expand our spectator pool or expand our sport if you keep pushing the future spectators away.
Rodeo is different in that the fans can usually walk right up to a cowboy at a rodeo. This is great for the sport but only if you meet that fan with enthusiasm and give them the feeling they are appreciated.
I know many a cowboy that I wouldn’t want a fan to get within hearing, smelling or throwing distance of. Other sports have these same participants and everyone knows who they are. You know the diva ball players and the spoiled race car drivers that don’t have time for fans. Let’s try to put an end to the diva rodeo boys.
Did you just get bucked off? Did you just miss your calf? Did you just knock over a barrel? Who cares!!!! That kid that wants to pet your horse just loves cowboys and horses. Like I said last month, “get over it” and let this kid pet your horse. Dale Brisby said it best, “On To The Next One!”
That should be your life’s motto. I’ve heard it for years that there will be another next weekend. Suck it up and sign that autograph.
On to the next one,
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