Big Al's View Of The World
COWBOY SPORTS NEWS MAGAZINE MAY 2013
As I'm sitting here putting this months paper together a song comes on the radio called "Thank A Farmer." It must be new because as much as I listen to the radio I would have heard it before. Anyway, it got me to thinking about this past SuperBowl ad for Dodge Trucks. I drive Dodge trucks and also being from the country the commercial made me feel a little proud. Short of patting myself on the back, the commercial did make you proud to be from the country, proud to have animals in your life and proud to call yourself a cowboy.
The commercial caught some flack from the latino voices that stated they left out the latino from the ad and that it didn't truthfully show what a farmer/rancher was.
This all has me thinking now about what is a real cowboy? I rope calves, head, heel and trip steers. I also won the steer riding at the intramural rodeo in college one time. I've won money in every one of those events if you count the $68 I won in the steer riding that night.
Now even with those qualifications on my resume, I'm not going to walk up and start talking "shop" with Phil Lyne or Robert Blandford about being a real cowboy.
I've had the big West Texas ranch with hundreds of head of cows earlier in my life. I learned quick it was not meant for a young man just broke enough to not owe money on the cows, but too broke to buy a nice trailer with new tires that didn't pop everytime he hauled calves back from the ranch.
My best friend and I cleaned out my father-in-laws pasture one day. We had cows tied to the windmill, trees, corner posts and just about anything strong enough to hold a rope. I roped and loaded heifers in a 2,000 acre pasture one day with just me and my dad. The next morning I felt no need to call the 6666's and ask for an application.
I know some pretty good ropers that probably couldn't pen the steers up the return alley by themselves and I know some pretty good cowboys that couldn't back a horse into the corner of the box most less run one down the pen and steer stop something. What makes a real cowboy? Is a real cowboy someone that can rope a steer or a cow regardless of where they are or what they are riding. When I was younger I heard tell of a guy from Huntsville that worked for my employer earlier in his life that rode colts full time while working cows. They said it didn't matter how many rides the colt had on him, if he needed to rope something he spurred him off in the right direction and got close enough to put a loop on it. He was rumored to have caught a deer one time.
They said catching it wasn't the hard part. Getting the rope off proved to be his downfall.
Does all of this make you a good cowboy? I know some pretty good hands that wouldn't know a sick roping calf if he didn't have all four legs in the air and a buzzard pecking on him. I've also sat and watched who I thought were good hands buy stuff in the sale barn that even made the "traders" chuckle under their breath.
I read one time in a Trevor Brazile article that one day when it's "all said and done" so to speak, he justs want to be known as "a good cowboy." On Sam Houston's grave stone in Huntsville, Texas Andrew Jackson is quoted as saying, "The World Will Take Care Of Houston's Fame." I'm pretty sure the same can be said for Trevor one day.
Is there more to being a cowboy than just a rope and a horse? A real cowboy lives his life with the motto, "if you can't tell your mama about it, you probably shouldn't be doing it."
He opens doors for people, not just the ladies and even though he is shy he still says "hello or howdy or whatever it is he uses to salute someone." A real cowboy does a right when he sees a wrong. He stands up for what is right and owns it when he does wrong. He helps the little guy because he remembers when he was the "little guy."
Elsewhere in this paper there is a story about Justin Maass giving his winnings from the Bryan, Texas prorodeo to the people of West, Texas. Justin I guess you can say is a real cowboy. Enough said!
Just trying to be one,
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