Big Al's View Of The World
COWBOY SPORTS NEWS MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2014
On the mornings that my wife does not bring me Whataburger in bed I go into town to my little "window on the world." I've got my own table by the window, at least when some rude out of towner doesn't sit in it. I can sit there and watch everyone as they head to work or take the kids to school. Each day I see someone I know and each day I see people I've never seen. The country is not going to be the country much longer. The city is heading this way fast.
Each day there is a large table in the center of the room that a bunch of retired men sit at and have their coffee and conversation. Some of these are locals and some of them are city guys retired to the country. The topic varies each day from everything from doctor visits to politics. The other morning I was sitting there as they started talking about politics and humans. Most mornings I'll just sit there and look out the window at the passing traffic and think about what all my day holds for me. This particular day I listened.
Politics they said is full of lots of people that want to do good. It is also full of people that are only looking out for themselves and their buddies. Sometimes their buddies are really not their buddies but they are the kind of people that need to be associated with someone so they make these people their buddies. Are you still with me? Basically you've got three groups: the good guys, the bad guys and the yes men to the bad guys that ride the fence and make no real contributions to society.
The table of retired men said that human nature leads everyone different directions. There are a lot of good people that just can't hold their ground and they give into the bad guys because they want to be on the winning side and many times the bad guy is on the winning side.
Now I know you're saying, "Big Al' - how in the heck does this have anything to do with rodeo?" Earlier this year the PRCA held a vote on to have equal money in the team roping. I don't think anyone but producers and committeemen will argue that this is a good idea. To make the matter worse, I really think there were alot of those people on board as well. The proposal would faze in the rule over the next few years so that there would not be a major hit the first year to any rodeo. A rodeo could do it the first year if they wanted to but they didn't have to. We all know the story: team ropers pay the same fees, same diesel, same costs but yet they only get half the added money at most rodeos.
This rule was voted down because of the guys riding the fence. The guys that answer yes to the bad guys. The good guys once again had the answer but not the votes. I won't go into detail about who the bad guys were, who the good guys were or even who the fence riders were. I will say this - the PRCA says that 67 percent of their membership list team roping as an event. The PRCA was formed because of the way the producers were treating the contestants. The contestants formed their own association. How is it 80 something years later the producers are back in charge of everything so much that one of the committee directors is also a producer. No doubt which one of the three types of people he falls into.
All of this over money. They said it would cost many rodeos to become amateur or they would have to cut some jobs to make up the difference. Those are pretty good "yes men" answers. If a rodeo adds $10,000 to each event already that is $70,000. Adding another $10,000 is not a big move. Better yet, the way the rule read they would only have to add $3,000 more the first year. If you already have $70,000 in added money and you can't find another $3,000 you've got bigger problems than a bunch of yes men running your rodeo.
I'm not hating on producers or committees. Most of my best advertisers are these people. This is a matter of wrong vs. right and having the balls to stand up for what is right. This is also not just a PRCA problem. You see the same thing in the amateur associations, youth associations and everyday life.
You might not like my opinion but I'm pretty sure you'll know it! Good, bad and fence riding. Life is too short to sit on the fence. Make your vote count.
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