I'm a bit of a history buff. Not exactly the kind that watches the History Channel incessantly or devours books on World War II. I'm the type that really enjoys hearing stories, reading an occasional book on someone who helped shape our history and especially looking at old photographs. I'm especially interested in cowboy, ranching and rodeo history.
It's through looking at some old rodeo photos that really got me thinking and wanting to write a quick blog.
Us that are in the rodeo and the bull riding industry have a lot of great opportunities. There is a lot of money available, cool places to visit, fame, attention, etc.
There is also a lot to get consumed in that isn't as glamorous. Feed bills, doctor bills and just the physical effort that it takes year round to be a part of every side of the sport. It's easy to get caught up in both the positive and negative, and I am as guilty as anyone of both. But those old black and white pictures have reminded me of something very important that we often times forget.
Awhile back I was visiting with a friend, Hayden Shaw, who is also a stock contractor, and he said something that really stuck with me.
He said, "Our job is entertainment," along with other things along those lines.
That brings me to those pictures.
The rodeo athletes of old weren't competing the same way we are; they were entertainers. It was all about entertaining the fans. And in this day in age, that is still just as true, although we often times forget it.
The PBR is wonderful about always making you - the fans - feel like you are a part of our family and that we couldn't do it without you. That is incredibly true, and I need to acknowledge that more.
Like I said, I get consumed in all the other stuff that makes this industry what it is for me. Getting to go to events, getting on TV, being popular. But I forget to remember that my job is to provide bulls, for the bull riders, who are there for YOUR entertainment. I'm supposed to bring the ones they can ride, and the ones that buck them off because that is what bull riding entertainment is. Yes, the riders, and myself too, have the added bonus of getting to make a living doing this, but without the support of your ticket sales week in and week out there would be no career.
From the little tiny kids to the people who were fans when Jim Sharp and Ty Murray were young guns, I've met some amazing people who are TRUE fans. And it's a blessing, and I hope you know that!
I'm not great at communicating directly on Facebook or Twitter, but I hope you realize that our face-to-face encounters, along with the messages you send, mean the world to me.
Thank you for enabling all of us in the bull riding industry to do what we really love to do and for filling up the seats.
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