Tuesday, January 13, 2009

At the Professional Bull Riders 2009 Invitational

I made a joke the other day about possibly attending The Professional Bull Riders 2009 Invitational this past weekend at Madison Square Garden. As Allen Barra noted in his preview of the event at the Voice, "Not your usual Manhattan entertainment, but — if the photos on the Madison Square Garden website (msg.com) are an indication — lots of fun."

And it was. For the most part. Mrs. Grieve and I made the trip to the Garden for the Sunday afternoon finale. I was hoping for a slice of old-fashioned county fair fun, but was surprised how slick and MTV-like it all was. Lots of loud music. (But hey -- ZZ Top sounds best at this volume!) Pyrotechnics. And the oh-groan, Morning Zoo-like comedy stylings from the rodeo clown/MC with the wireless mic walking around the Garden floor. And lots of cowboy guys riding 2,000-pound bulls. There were plenty of ohhhs and ahhhs when the rider would get chucked from the bull and trampled underfoot. (See the first video below for a sampling.) Not sure what else to say about any of it. Stayed for maybe 30 minutes. That was plenty. Oh, and this was the first time that I've ever been to the Garden where people sitting in Section 43 wearing Dickies had a chance to win prizes.


BaHa said...

Animal cruelty: Always a fun day out. Can't wait for your report on dog fighting.

Anonymous said...

Yeah: Quite disappointing you'd participate in this animal cruelty.

It's also disappointing this city would play host to such a spectacle. Send 'em to Des Moines.

Anonymous said...

meh, send the knee-jerk elitists to des moines instead.

i have absolutely no problem with going to the rodeo. unless i have to wear dickies.

BaHa said...

Elitist? No. I grew up with horses (in Brooklyn) and I know animal cruelty when I see it.

Jill said...

AWESOME. I love going to rodeos and do so every chance I get (which has only been 3 times). Somehow I missed this even though my idiot husband knew it was coming and didn't say a word. We did, however, see some of the losing contestants out drinking on Sunday night.

Your photos came out really good, mine are always too dark and everything is blurry with all the bucking and kicking and falling and throwing and impending death and doom.

What's a dickie?

BaHa said...

A dickie is an asshat who enjoys animal cruelty.

Jill said...

Sorry but I just don't see bull riding as particularly cruel. Do you see how abused the humans are by the bulls? I am certain more people get hurt than bulls.

Maybe you are confusing it with bull fighting where they poke the bull with a sharp stick until it dies a slow death? That is certainly cruel. Bull riding just doesn't strike me as something to get upset about. Is it that they transport the bulls in the back of a truck that is cruel? Is it that people shouldn't get on the backs of bulls because it is stupid, and stupid people can be cruel. Do you protest horseback riding too? Horse jumping maybe worse because sometimes they miss and fall and break a leg and then they kill the horse? What about alligator wrestling, is that ok? Dog sledding? What about fishing? Catch and release fishing, maybe a little less cruel? What about renting a pony for a birthday party? Would that be ok? Can we go to the aquarium and watch them feed the sea lions? Can we swim with the sea lions in the ocean if we promise not to touch them? Even if the baby sea lions nip our legs? Ok I'll stop.

I don't read fashion magazines so I've never seen anybody wearing an asshat who enjoys animal cruelty. Do you wear it up your ass? Perhaps you should take it out, I think it is making you cranky.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, moral relativism, Jill.

It makes all of us feel better, no?

If you're truly interested in why rodeos are cruel, here's a fact sheet (with sources documented at the bottom):


As for your main arugment -- that it's the people who're taking the risk, not the animals, I think this sentence provides a stark counterpoint:

"Although rodeo cowboys voluntarily risk injury by participating in events, the animals they use have no such choice."

Maybe I'll dig some spurs into your abdomen to see how you like it.

sbmonroe said...

It would behoove (pun intended) you to take the time to do a bit of research before mouthing off on something you know nothing about. Sorry you didn't enjoy the bull riding event. True, it's not for everyone. It is not a rodeo. A rodeo consists of several different activities such as calf roping, bronco riding, and barrel racing as well as bull riding. The event you attended was a bull riding event. These bulls are treated like the prize athletes that they are. They are bred and trained to buck and there is absolutely no cruelty here. The bull riders have more grace and sportsmanship in their little pinkies than any other professional athlete. You will see them at the sidelines cheering each other on, even though they are competing against each other. You went to the event with a closed mind and obviously your writings are more about just hearing yourself talk and attempting to show how "sophisticated" you are, that this sport is beneath you. You were really only showing your ignorance. These athletes show a better example with their strong work ethic and good sportsmanship above the love of money that most other sports focus on. They don't get paid if they don't ride. They ride (and risk serious injury) because the love to. You are way too cool to enjoy something out of your little comfort zone. Oh, and I am not a redneck nor do I wear dickies. I'm a New Yorker, too.

Anonymous said...

I just read this little ditty. Ignorant and uninformed! I am a rabid animal lover, and I do not see any cruelty in bull riding. The best bulls go for $150,000 a piece, so why would they be abused? Spurring doesn't make the bull buck, the flank rope and a guy on their back does. And no, it's not wrapped around the bull's genitals.

I'm not a redneck, do not wear Dickies, and do not drive a pick up truck. I do, however, know a snobby elitist when I read their words.

Bull riders are awesome athletes, and the bulls are well-taken care of and bred for their bucking ability. Many of the bulls appear to like what they're doing; they know the game...come out of the chute bucking like crazy, get the guy off his back, and maybe get a chance to gore him or stomp him. It's no more than 8 seconds, then the bull gets to go back to the pen and do nothing but lounge around til the next weekend.

If anything, it's cowboy cruelty! But those cowboys are the best in the business, and I look forward to seeing the PBR on the weekends. They have true grit. You have a computer and a pissy attitude. 'Nuff said!

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