Bucking for American Values
It certainly seems like the world is going crazy as of late. I hear it from Americans everywhere I travel. But then, I have an opportunity to see real Americans, the heartland American, and I am revitalized in spirit. I am a fan of Professional Bull Riding. Some years ago, my husband and I became a stock contractor for bucking bulls, and raise them to compete and to become PBR bucking bulls with the best riders in the world on their backs. Each year, the World Finals happen in Las Vegas, and I am here for the Finals as I write.
I was born and raised in California. I raised my children in California. We did all the usual sports, baseball, soccer, football, and gymnastics and so on. I watched parents push their kids and have fights at the games, and much was fun, and some was not. If you have children in these sports, you know what I am talking about. Many of these sports are glorified babysitting programs for busy working parents. Everyone gets a trophy. I do believe that all sports are a good thing, but we have lost much of the family mentoring and participation and have sort of “wussified” our kids and failed to teach them the best lessons that sports can offer in favor of being politically correct and not hurting anyone’s feelings.
Then we get to watch the professional players, as in the NFL, the players paid millions because we all pay to watch, take a knee and disrespect all of us who pay them along with our flag, and our country. Now even our high school and younger kids are taking a knee. I am quite sure they don’t even know what they are doing it for.
In direct contrast, is Professional Bullriding, and National Finals Rodeo. Here, the participants and fans alike pray before each event. Here the participants and fans, to every person, stand for the National Anthem. They stand with hand over heart out of respect for those who went before us to give us the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. This sport understands what it means to be an American, and that includes bull riders from Brazil, Canada, Australia, and Mexico.
Bull riding is a sport that these men start when they are children. They are most often nurtured by their fathers, or mentors, that teach them the value of hard work, and tenacity, and teamwork, and strength, and persistence.
I doubt you can find a more dangerous sport. I know that bucking bull riders continue to ride with separated shoulders, dislocated body parts, groin pulls, broken ribs, strains and pains and bruises and contusions, the likes of which any other sport does not experience. But they never whine for a moment. These young men have guts and grit. These young men would never take a knee. In fact, every professional bull rider in PBR has signed an oath to stand for every National Anthem, regardless of which country they are in. The patriotism flowing through those riders, and all of the spectators is heartwarming, and reminds me that there are millions of real Americans, the silent Americans, who love this country and respect their flag and their military and their God.
This is a family affair. It is a beautiful thing to watch the young bull riders, the 7-12 year olds, compete, and to watch their dads in the chutes with words of encouragement and advice. The kids are out feeding and watering the livestock right alongside their parents. They are learning responsibility, not entitlement. They say yes sir and yes ma’am. They are learning respect. They are learning to respect the animals, not abuse them for pleasure.
They are not out here playing video games, but learning life’s lessons. They are not here on their cellphones, and computers, they are out here interacting with people and animals and learning to become the men and women of the future.
Parents are involved with these kids, not using electronics to keep their kids from bothering them. It is so refreshing to know that these type of people, families, kids, are still a huge silent part of this country and it gives me hope.
There is no NFL player who holds a candle to the professional bull rider. These riders don’t make the big money, and they don’t have the big sponsors, and they literally risk their lives every time they climb on the back of a 1600 lb bucking bull.
One man, against one bull, human athlete against bull athlete, with the most patriotic participants and spectators in the world. There is no fighting in the stands, there is a respect for the cattle, the riders, and each other seen nowhere else in the sports world. The bull riders walk among the fans as one of them, they are not pretentious and aloof and above everyone, they are one of them. To charge a fan for an autograph would be insulting to them. They engage with the fans in every way, every day.
The days I spend here and at all bull riding events make me feel that in some places the world is as it should be. Here families work together and play together, and share responsibilities, teach responsibility and respect and to never give up. Here, there is a clear winner and not everyone gets a trophy, but everyone applauds the ones who do get a trophy as there is no denying who has earned it. Here I see the future leaders of America, and kids who are respectful, and not afraid of hard work and responsibility, and not afraid to pray, and who respect law enforcement and military, and their parents. Here I see a love for our flag and our country that I see nowhere else in such a condensed form. I also see from the fans, the dislike for what is being done in our country and to our country, our values, our constitution, and our rights. I see the dislike of sanctuary cities and the culture war and the stupid laws being enacted and the assaults on our rights and freedoms, and the total frustration with the lack of ethics and the horrible job performance from our elected officials. I see real Americans, hard working, tax paying, family loving, flag loving Americans.
That is why I will be part of this sport forever. There are no whiners, no rich, entitled prima donnas; just real men, the way it should be, patriotic, God fearing Americans. If you want to experience a fast paced, thrilling sport, try going to a PBR event when it comes to your area, and you will see what I am talking about, and my guess is, you’ll be a fan for life.