P. O. Box 575  • Sealy, Texas •  979-877-4822  •  alan@cowboysportsnews.com

Big Al's View Of The World


   I’ve told you before how I get phone calls each month with people telling me what I should write about in my article. Sometimes I just say, “ok, sounds like a story” as I’m letting it go in one ear and out the other. Sometimes people have a legitimate gripe about something or a really good idea and sometimes there is no way I could ever write about it without becoming a part of the witness protection plan.

Many times more than one person will call with the same idea or complaint. Such was the case this past month.
I’m not really sure how to express this in a subtle way so I’m just going to throw it out there. “You parents have got to lighten up a little bit!” I’m pretty sure you won’t be seeing me at many youth rodeos for the few months, it’s too dang hot for those anyway, but for real people, get a grip.

I’m a parent. I’ve been to youth events with parents at them. I know I’m not an angel myself sometimes. The pot can’t call the kettle black with soot on his hands but some of these people are completely out of hand.
When I was in college I produced some youth rodeos and jackpots. At my first youth rodeo that I did a well respected older gentleman came up to me and told me what a great job I had done. I told him thanks but there were a few people with some gripes. He told me not to worry about it because those same people griped at every event they went to and people just kind of let it go in one ear and out the other after so long.

I took his advise to heart that night and his words have stuck with me for the past 30 years in just about everything I’ve ever done. It’s not just rodeo, it’s life. You could be the best painter in 10 counties and you are going to have that one person that you will never please. After many years of doing your job you learn to weed these people out before you have to deal with them. You learn to pick up on certain things when they call you that alerts you to their status as a “chronic griper.”

Unlike in the book the Scarlet Letter, these people are not required to wear a large bright G on their shirt or a big X that lets you know not to mess with them. You just have to learn the hard way. You have to take butt chewings from people that don’t know anymore than you do about what they are talking about. You have to say lots of “yes ma’ams an yes sirs” before you get your wings as they say. This knowledge comes with years of not just being yelled at but at sitting on the sidelines and watching and listening to the way people act. You would be surprised at what you can learn with your mouth shut and eyes open.

My son has finished his first year of college rodeo this past month. I have pushed every calf he has ever ran at a rodeo or roping for as long as I can remember but for the past year I have had to sit in the stands and watch. If you know me, you know that I don’t sit in the stands very well. I might sit on the fence pretty good but I don’t like bleachers. My wife knows the hard way as she has had to sit by herself for many years now in the bleachers watching our son compete. The good thing about these college rodeos is that the parents have no involvement in the rodeo. They all sit in the stands and watch. They can’t go cuss the judge or jump the contractor or yell at the secretary. All they can do is pay up their kid and watch. Boy are these rodeos pleasant. Did I mention that the kids can get fines? Even better. Now you don’t have to listen to the little hot shots run their mouth anymore. It is just about as basic a rodeo as you can get. You pay up, you shut up and you compete. If you don’t like it you don’t come back. Nuff said.
I’m not a big fan of the fine deal, but man it sure smooths out some rough patches in a rodeo.

I am by no means saying we all need to be the sheep that are led to the slaughter but neither do we need to be the helicopter parents that every time something doesn’t go our kids way we throw a fit and start looking for someone to complain to about nothing.

Another thing that is not acceptable and is something I have had numerous calls about is drinking to a point that you are causing a problem during an event. I’m not saying you can’t have a styrofoam cup with a little something in it and I’m not saying you can’t go to your trailer after the rodeo and cook steaks and sit around drinking with friends. I am saying that you can’t get drunk and then come up to a person in charge and expect them to take you seriously while you are chewing on their butt. The majority of people helping with youth events are just plain ol’ everyday people that are basically doing it for free if not really for free. They are trying their best and they deserve for you to give them the benefit of the doubt without getting an attitude.

Big Al

Not my real name

May 2017 Cowboy Sports News Magazine

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The Cowboy Sports News was started in August of 1990.  From humble beginnings with a 16 page paper thrown together in a week to over 80 pages and an average press run of 15,000 papers on a monthly basis, we have come "a long ways". We are mainly distributed in Texas and the surrounding states, but with this website our readership extends worldwide. We are the only rodeo magazine with a "free" page by page full on-line edition for the entire world to see at the touch of a button.

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