The Sports View
The National Finals Rodeo has just wrapped up, and I'm pleased to announce that Utah has two world champions; Lan LaJevnesse (Morgan) in bareback riding and Blue Stone (Ogden) in bull riding. That brings me to the age long question," why do guys ride bulls?"
Well, I'm no genius and I don't pretend to know the exact answer to this question, but I will sure give my best explanation to the subject.
Almost everyone that attempts to answer this question blames stupidity and craziness for driving these rodeo stars to strapping themselves down to a two ton bull. I'm sure that some of this may be true, but the main factor cowboys risk their lives for this event is the thrill and excitement that accompanies the job.
There are thousands of people that make the news stories about thrill seeking. You know the ones I'm talking about, the bungee jumper who lunged from a 100 story building, or the couple that said their wedding vows while jumping from an airplane. What is so different between these thrill seekers and those who ride bulls? Not much.
The adrenaline rush that thrill seekers get from performing dangerous stunts is the same rush that bull riders receive when riding a raging bull. The object of the unknown is what drives these cowboys to ride.
Any time that a cowboy straps on to a bull, the outcome is unknown. The bull has a mind of its own and can create a dangerous situation for all those in the rodeo arena. The only goal the bull has is to buck of its rider as quickly as possible, and if the bull can revenge that athlete by throwing a horn in the cowboys chest, you better believe that animal will take that opportunity.
There are thousands of stories about injuries cowboys have sustained. Everything from broken bones, internal injuries, paralysis, to even death at the hands of a raging bull. Now with risks like that, why would anyone want to ride bulls?
The best explanation I've ever heard about this phenomenon comes from a country song written and performed by former professional rodeo cowboy Chris LeDoux.
In his song "Hooked on an Eight Second Ride," LeDoux sings about the thrill of riding.
"He's hooked on a feeling, addicted to a natural high. He don't know what he's feeling, all he knows is he's got to ride. He's addicted to danger, through the passion of rawhide. To pain and fear he's no stranger, but it's life, to be satisfied. Hooked on an eight second ride."
These words sum up the passion that rodeo cowboys have for riding bulls. Yes, there is probably some craziness involved when deciding to ride bulls, but the pure passion for the sport is what keeps the riders coming back.
Whether you're a rodeo fan or not, you have to give these guys credit, they are true athletes who love the sport they participate in, even though it is not a main stream sporting event. These guys love their job.