11 June 2008

Rodeo thoughts

As part of my internship with the Post-Register, I'm covering the Idaho State High School Rodeo Finals this week. To be honest, I'd never even been to a rodeo before yesterday.

Unfortunately, like most outdoor sporting events so far this summer, it was freezing. Cold wind, overcast sky, everyone wearing heavy coats and many had gloves.

Good ridin' and ropin' weather, I suppose. :)

Anyway, watching the high school students get out there and try to tie up a goat in under five seconds or rope a calf in under 10, I realized how small the window is in rodeo.

A kid can spend weeks and months practicing and working on an event, and then he or she has one, maybe two shots, at getting it right in front of a couple thousand people against other kids who have worked as hard as they have.

Talk about stress. I doubt I could rope the hind legs of a calf in a hundred tries (much like my attempts at slacklining), and here these teenagers are getting it done in one shot. But at the same time, there were plenty of competitors who didn't get it done, and I can't imagine it was for lack of effort or preparation.

It's like if the NBA Finals consisted of Kobe Bryant shooting a single free throw... into a moving hoop. And then Ray Allen gets a single free throw attempt into the moving hoop. Whoever gets the ball into the hoop first, wins the whole deal.

Small window, indeed.

Anyway, fun times. I'm heading down again either Thursday or Friday to do an interview or two.


Becky said...

Sweet. Did they have any barrel racing?

Brandon said...

Yes, but that was part of the morning performance and I showed up in the evening. Maybe I can catch it tomorrow.

Becky said...

I have a co-worker who barrel races. In fact she ditched us for dinner one time to go compete in a rodeo.

Matty Gibb said...

B, you've lived in Idaho almost 3 years now and this is your first rodeo? What do you do on the weekends?

Brandon said...

Ooh, an Idaho jab. To be honest, I'd expected those to begin a long time ago. :)

Matty Gibb said...

I think rodeo is the most classic American sport. It's kind of like some track and field events in that it was born out of every-day contests. You can imagine the javelin starting out as a competition among bored soldiers to see who could throw his spear the farthest. Rodeo is the same way: who can ride the craziest horse, or rope a calf the fastest? Classic American West sport. What could be better? Maybe tackling a deer, but I don't know what else.

Mandi said...

I like how you labeled this post "NBA"; purely out of habit, I'm guessing.

Amy said...

Aren't rodeos so fascinating? I covered the I-Rodeo for the Scroll a couple years ago and it was very interesting indeed.