Eight seconds isn’t just a 1994 Great American Film Biography. It’s the Fourth of July.
The St. Paul Rodeo, the only arena that has decorative shrubbery — keep Oregon green, y’all. (If Oregonians said such a thing.)
We took the Florida boy out of Italy and peer-pressured him into a hat. Seems legit.
After the first event, he turned and said, “Do you think I can have dual citizenship with Oregon and Florida?” It’s that good. It makes all other spectator sports seem wildly dull. Baseball? Compared to this?
And yes, it’s not without its…particularities. They announce at the beginning, “We aren’t politically correct ‘round here,” and after clown jokes about women drivers, Brokeback Mountain, and the president, that’s an accurate assessment. And then there are the animals. The answer to that is this: operate on what you know. I don’t eat them because I know how they’re treated in that line of work. I watch them for the very same reason.
A $50,000 bull, bred for the appropriate behavior who works eight seconds a week — sometimes — handled by people who know and care about animals better than a lot of people do their pets, or KIDS for that matter, is fine by me.
And after 10 events, including the tiniest kid staying on to score a 91, pumping his fists in the air in jubilation, a girl from Oregon winning the barrel race, and a new experience for a kid from the suburbs* — fireworks over the arena.
It’s a Happy 4th.
*Photos by Ryan.