Big Al's View Of The World
COWBOY SPORTS NEWS MAGAZINE August 2016
There is still another month left in the summer of 2016 and I’m already looking forward to it being over. I forgot how hot Texas was in the summer. Our little mild winter and perfectly wet spring was suddenly thrown into the middle of a full blown heat wave and we have yet to even see triple digit temperatures. Going through Austin the other day my truck said it was 100 degrees but only for a few minutes then it went back down to 99.
It has been an interesting summer to say the least. From the high school finals in Abilene to the state FFA rodeo in Mesquite and all of the rodeos in between I’m looking for a weekend off. Even our vacation was really not a vacation. We went to the Frio River from Monday to Friday only to have my dad bring us the horse and trailer to San Antonio so we could make the 4th of July rodeos. To say our trailer was dirty by the time we got back was being nice. A week’s worth of dirty river clothes and a long weekend of rodeo clothes made the cow poop on our boots smell pleasant.
A trend I’ve seen this summer at a few rodeos is guiding parking for contestants. Some have been good and some have been ok but they have all beat the free for all that accompanies some rodeos. How is it the guy with the biggest rig is always the last to pull up the rodeo and guess where he parks - yep, right in the middle of the road to where just about no one can get out until he leaves. It sure is nice knowing you can pull out when you want to at one of these guided parking places.
We’ve been to little places with lots of people and we’ve been to big places with hardly any people but one thing I have noticed is that the committees are getting better with accommodating the contestants. We’ve paid $20 each to get in at a rodeo and we’ve actually been able to get in with a companion pass at some. I don’t mind paying because I know what it takes to put on an event of any size and the number one thing it takes is money. Now I’ll admit that the $20 gate fee kind of had my blood pressure up a little bit for a few minutes but it is a small price to pay to come to a rodeo with good stock and good added money and a chance to win more than your fees and gate charge back.
With all of the things committees are doing these days to make it better for the contestants it still amazes me when I see contestants being asses at a rodeo. Yes, I said asses because there is not another word that accurately describes what they are while they are doing what they are doing.
Yes, I know it’s 95 degrees and the gate guy wants you to walk 75 feet over to the other gate to get a “free” contestant wrist band. I mean dang dude they are adding $10,000 at this rodeo. He is not charging you for the wristband, he just wants to be sure you aren’t some little local guy trying to sneak in the back gate. The crowd is large and there are people everywhere, is it too much to ask that you have a contestant wristband to get in?
And going back to the guided parking - do you really have to blow past the gate guy and head right up to the front and park the wrong direction than everyone else? I bet if you would have stopped and said your friend was up there he might have found somewhere for you.
I know Dale Brisby has a video out about the gate guy and I know they have been the butt of many jokes and many more black eyes over the years but they really are just doing their job. I’ve been madder than a one legged man at a butt kicking contest a few times myself when these people at the gates won’t let me do something or go somewhere I want to go, but just remember they are just doing their job and you never know when that person might actually be the person that got the $10,000 in added money for the rodeo. Do you think he or she is going to be all fired up to go ask their boss for that money again after you give them your two cent cussing? Probably not.
You’ve got to keep in mind that sometimes the people on the gates are the real people behind the scenes. The big boss is off somewhere either busting his butt getting things ready or he is out back boozing it up with the crew while the little people do all of the work. Usually it’s the first one and he trusts his “little people” a lot to put them on the gate. If they come back and tell him about some butt head cowboy then he might just remember how much work it was to put all of this together and decide to take his vacation next year at the Frio River instead of busting his butt and pouring sweat at a rodeo all weekend.
Don’t be the reason we lose something. It’s usually not the masses that cost us our rights, it’s usually what some one person did or a few people did that causes everyone to lose what they had.
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