Archive for December, 2010

postheadericon I resolve …

Whether it is weight loss or an attitude change, most people have something they want to make as their New Year’s resolution.

What’s yours?

I resolve to get back on the path of eating healthier and exercising more. I’d lost 25 pounds through 2010, but I’ve gained some back, and I can tell I’m not doing as well.

But also I resolve to help increase exposure to our sport of rodeo, even more than I have in the past. That’s why this website was developed, but is just one avenue we can use. If we spread the word, explain our passions, it can become viral: You can’t help but catch on and see what all the fuss is about.

If you think of storylines, pass them along so they can be checked out and, hopefully, produced.

Let’s kick of 2011 with a bang.

Happy New Year.

postheadericon He’s taken a Tuff stance

If it’s happened in bull riding, Tuff Hedeman’s probably seen it.

Tuff Hedeman

Tuff Hedeman

He’s won three bull riding world championships in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and one in the Professional Bull Riders, where he once served as the organization’s president. Now he’s president of Championship Bull Riding, another stand-alone bull riding association.

The CBR is following the lines Hedeman had when he and 19 other bull riders ventured off on their own and created the PBR two decades ago. The idea, he said, is to create more opportunities for cowboys competing in the most popular fan event in rodeo. Both the PBR and CBR have done that.

And while both organizations have similar roots, they go about business in very different ways. It’s why there were six CBR regulars at this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and one regular from the PBR’s premier tour, the Built Ford Tough Series.

In visiting with Hedeman on Thursday, he was very proud of how well the CBR bull riders did in Las Vegas to open December. J.W. Harris, Wesley Silcox, Ardie Maier, Steve Woolsey, Clayton Williams and Cody Whitney combined to take nearly $385,000 from the NFR.

Contestants who compete in the PRCA and CBR seem to enjoy the freedom they have. Hedeman points to caring for the CBR cowboys like he wanted to be treated when he was competing.

Let’s hope that philosophy works wonders and becomes contageous in society.

postheadericon Must-watch television

Jeff Medders has been the television voice of rodeo for two decades. His sound is familiar and strong, a great correlation for the sport and its stars.

Jeff Medders

Jeff Medders

Now as the man in charge of Geronimo Productions, Medders’ schedule gets a little more intense in 2011. You see, in addition to producing every Championship Bull Riding TV broadcast — as Geronimo has done for the last three years — Medders and his crew will put together the shows for the Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls Tour, 10 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Wrangler Million Dollar Tour events for In Country Television and four big PRCA events for GAC — the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, the Justin Boots Playoffs (Puyallup, Wash.), the Justin Boots Championship (Omaha, Neb.) and the All-American ProRodeo Finals presented by Pendleton Whisky (Waco, Texas).

Working big rodeos is nothing new to Medders, who has served as the play-by-play man for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for most of the last 20 years.

“Most of what I’ve done had to do with hosting,” said Medders, who lives in Tulsa, Okla., with his wife and four children. “I wanted to build a production company, and I’d done a lot of things in the Western industry, from the AQHA to the PRCA to bull riding. I wanted to get a production company rolling, and I just wanted to do cowboy sports.”

While Geronimo is a competitor to longtime NFR TV producer Winnercomm, also a Tulsa-based company, Medders has returned to work ProRodeo’s championship because of his professionalism and understanding of rodeo. It’s why he’s a major player for the CBR, and Medders said the relationship with the stand-alone bull riding organization has been important to Geronimo’s success.

“The CBR is a great product, and it’s so much fun to work on,” Medders said. “Just doing this show has made my career.”

That says a lot, especially considering what he has done for rodeo.

postheadericon It’s time to go

I visited today with a longtime friend and cowboy who has never been to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

It’s time my friend goes. He’d like to take his wife and another couple to the final two performances, and I think that’s a great time to experience ProRodeo’s season finale. It’s when champions will be crowned and when tens of thousands of fans will inundate Las Vegas to share their cowboy lifestyle with the world.

It’s something anyone who cares about rodeo and the Western lifestyle should experience, and I suggested he and his crew try to make that trip next year. He’d like tickets to the ninth and 10th go-rounds, so anyone who has a four for the 2011 championship, send me a note. He’ll be glad you did.

postheadericon Merry Christmas

As the clock nears midnight on Christmas Eve, we can find many things for which to be thankful.

And like the children with wide eyes and wild dreams, we can hope Santa brings us our favorite goodies while we reflect on the real reason for the season with our close friends and family.

If you could get whatever you wanted this Christmas, what would it be?

postheadericon PRCA Trade Show

I’d like to talk to the folks at the PRCA who are in charge of the annual convention and trade show, because I’d like to know how this year’s attendance compares to other years.

There seemed to be good numbers during some of the talking points at the convention, but the numbers inside the trade show looked to be way down.

Both are important to PRCA committees and contract personnel, who tend to meet in Vegas and come to agreements for the next year. It’s where announcers, clowns, bullfighters, etc., show off their wares and where committee folks shop to try to make their annual events better.

But what do you think? Were the numbers down this year? What can be done to make it better?

postheadericon Worthy viewpoint

During the PRCA Awards Banquet, I was honored to visit with Rick Thompson. During the 10 rounds at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, I was pleased to learn more about Derek Barton. The men of Talk Rodeo earned their honor.

postheadericon From one extreme to another

No matter how he tried to paint a good picture in Las Vegas, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo had not been kind to Ardie Maier of Timber Lake, S.D.

Outside those that were injured, Maier was having the worst ProRodeo championship. He’d earned a spot among the top 15 in the PRCA’s bull riding world standings, which is an incredible feat. But through the first nine rounds inside the Thomas & Mack Center, Maier had ridden just one bull and hadn’t yet secured a paycheck.

That all changed in eight seconds when he rode the Beutler & Son Rodeo bull Scent Loc for 91.5 points to win the 10th go-round at the 2010 NFR. It was worth $17,512, but it was worth so much more. And while there’s some sourness lingering from a rough first nine days in Las Vegas, the taste left in his mouth is much better with that final eight-second ride.

postheadericon A.J. Franzen – 1984-2010

I didn’t know A.J. Franzen, but plenty of my friends did.

Franzen, of Carpenter, Wyo., died Dec. 18, in a car wreck near his home. He was 26.

He was too young and leaves behind a young family – his son, Jace, and wife, Barbara, who is expecting a second child in May. I feel for those who knew him, to those who love him. To them, this is a tragedy.

I pray for them, and I’m sorry.

postheadericon Some storytelling

The nice thing about friends is they like to tell stories.

Jerry Norton is a world champion bullfighter, one of the last guys to be crowned in the Wrangler Freestyle Bullfights finale during the National Finals Rodeo. He’s also been one of the featured bullfighters at the annual Dodge City (Kan.) Round-Up Rodeo, and every year since the late 1990s, he has worked with another world champ, Lance Brittan of Windsor, Colo.

Jerry has a few stories to tell about his fellow bullfighter, one of which involves a stolen sheep from Dave Arnold’s herd and a protective dog.

More details coming, but I want to get confirmation from one of the parties first. Stay tuned.

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