So for those of you who’ve never experienced this spectacle, here’s how it goes. A dude gets on top of a ridiculously large animal, weighing about a ton. There’s no saddle, there just a “bull rope” that the dude hangs on to, and the “flank strap,” which, according to the ever-accurate Wikipedia:
The flank strap is a rope made out of cotton which is tied around the bull’s flank. Contrary to popular belief, the flank strap is not tied around the bull’s testicles. This rope is to encourage the bull to use its hind legs more in a bucking motion, as this is a true test of a riders skill in maintaining the ride. If it is applied improperly a rider may request to ride again, as the bull will not buck well if the flank strap is too tight.
The goal is for the dude to stay on the bull for 8 full seconds, while having as much bucking action as possible. The scoring is 100 points per ride — 50 for the rider, 50 for the bull. Even harder than staying on the bull seems to be getting away from the bull after you are off so you don’t get trampled, kicked or gored. Also in the ring to help the rider out are some other fearless idiots, including some rodeo clowns and one of the calmest horses you’ll ever see.
Bottom line is that it was a fun evening, but a crazy sport. The last rider of the night, Pistol Robinson got stepped on, and, per the PBR Twitter: “Pistol Robinson fractured right femur & left leg. At Bellevue Hosp, where he will undergo surgery. Out 6-9 months.” That shit is no joke.
Oh, and I did manage to score a Pabst Blue Ribbon baseball cap that was thrown into the crowd, but unfortunately I don’t think I can wear it because people would thing I was some hipster jackass. Oh well.
Here’s a little clip I shot last night. Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys…