Big Al's View Of The World
COWBOY SPORTS NEWS MAGAZINE JANUARY 2014
Congratulations to this years newest crop of World Champions. Once again you made us go purchase a new package of Lee Press On Nails before weeks end and even though we had the entire seat we only used the edge as they say. To say this years NFR was packed with anticipation, drama and everything in between would be selling it short.
The good thing about watching the NFR at home is Tivo. You can fast forward thru the commercials and you can rewind the great runs and watch them over and over. And all of this can be done the next morning before school allowing the viewer to get a full nights sleep. Unlike his counterparts that don't have Tivo and are forced to stay up each night until way past ol' Big Al's bedtime. The downside to watching it at home is the excitement and the electricity that is in that building each night. If you've ever been there and seen it in person it is to say the least "electric." If you haven't, well you might only have one more year to go see it . . .
Yes, I guess I'm going to be dragged into this NFR scuttlebutt.
My son loves two things: roping and hunting. After just about 3 months of continuous rodeos each weekend we finally had an "off" weekend. We headed out west to do some hunting. Did I mention it was the last weekend of the NFR. How do you go from watching it each night to being in the middle of nowhere with no phone or tv reception for the last two days of the biggest thing in rodeo. Actually it wasn't that bad. No phone, no tv, no nothing. Just me and the kid and the sunshine. Something we hadn't seen in weeks around here made us want to move to West Texas or at least maybe think we should have brought our horses and calves along for the trip.
To cut to the chase, I was without news until I got back into range on Sunday. I drove the 7 hours home so there was no Facebook for me on the way home. I had nothing until I turned on my computer this morning and boy was I missing something. My wife had already made us watch Cody Ohl's 9th round calf. Words can't describe the run. Ty Murry still said it best when he said you get a reride in the rough stock but a no time in the timed events if your animal is no good. It's not fair but it is the rule. I felt bad for him because he was on a mission that very few could have pulled off. Anytime you can go to the NFR and tie 5 calves in 6 seconds there is no doubt about your ability or goal. At the same time Shane Hanchey roped his roping and at the end of the week he left town the champion. A great NFR is what it was.
Facebook is a place where people can speak their mind without ever having to show their face or think before they hit send. And for this reason it is full of mis-information. To think that rodeo is not a multi-million dollar business is just stupid thinking on your part. Rodeo has come a long way and rodeo will go much farther in the future. There was resentment when they left OK City 30 years ago. People said they would never go to Las Vegas. It was too far, too expensive and what are you going to do during the day? It kinda sounds like the same thing I'm reading on FB this morning. Yes, LVE has made what sounds like a threat to start their own thing. Go ahead, but I'm pretty sure just like Houston has done they will need to know who the top
50 cowboys in the world are and there is only one place to find that info - the PRCA World Standings. The only way to get into Houston and Colorado Springs and possibly Vegas will be to finish in the top whatever of the PRCA the previous year. Google "Past World Champions" and see what comes up. The PRCA has been and will continue to be the association that all others look to for guidance and influence.
There have been mentions of a shoot off like the PBR for rodeo. The PBR had a specific business model that got them an entirely different and new fan base that shot them upward. Bull riding is an extreme sport no doubt, but I don't know that the rest of the rodeo events can draw the same new fans that the PBR pulled in. Rodeo is not just something you watch on tv. Rodeo is something you live and you grew up doing and if not it is something you always wanted to do as a kid.
If the PRCA chooses to leave town and LVE does their own deal it will only make it better for the cowboy. More choices usually means more chances for money. I just hope they can keep it classy and not try to schedule on top of the cowboys biggest chance to shine in the spotlight.
Change is inevitable. Without change there is no growth. Growth can come in many ways as can change and very seldom do you have one without the other.
There is nothing in stone, nothing in writing and the fat lady has not sung. Until the PRCA announces the new location or the fact that they are staying in Las Vegas I will wait for the fat lady to hit that high note. Being a multi million dollar business means you do things like business people do. You negotiate and you counter offer. This is far from over.
The cowboys do deserve more money. I personally think each cowboy should get a check just for showing up that is his to keep regardless of how much he wins at the NFR. Not an advance, but a check that is yours to keep and cash. You went all year and you spent all of grandma's money to get there, you deserve something. The cowboys and committees also need to understand everyone has to make something from the deal. Yes the committees and towns make money from the cowboys competing, but the cowboys make money from the sponsors and committees. EVERYONE MUST MAKE SOMETHING or the circle is broken. If one link of the food chain is broken then it stops and everyone starves.
Holding my spot on
the food chain,
p.s. Yes I know Highway Cowboys deserves an entire article all to itself but there has been way to much drama in rodeo the past week to start on that. More on that next month.
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