Everything turned up roses tonight. We’ll take a quick run through the events.
Winners. First time in 11 years. It feels so good. As a converted Wolverine fan around the age of 10 or 12, I was just learning about the Michigan teams in 1998. When it comes to basketball, that was about the last time Michigan really meant something to college basketball. Today, things changed. Michigan not only made the tournament this year, but they started it off by upsetting 7 seed Clemson.
I missed the game, for reasons soon to be discussed, but I was obsessively checking in with ESPN mobile for score updates. When the clock finally struck ZERO and the game was over, I got quite a few crazy looks from people around me. I couldn’t keep that kind of excitement in me. Michigan had won. The ships are burned. The boys are leaving nothing on the court. It’s win or die for the rest of the tournament.
Headed on Down to the Rodeo
Rodeo season is still in full swing in these parts. We’re getting down to the semifinals for most rodeo events now. Last 4-8 guys in each category were competing for the final showdowns next week.
I had made one of the early rounds last week with the girlfriend, but I had missed out on the actual rodeo events. Instead we did the ag thing, looking at animals, touring the shops, winning orange monkeys for playing ski ball… normal non-rodeo rodeo events.
This time it was all about the rodeo and the post-event concert. My sister and I got to Reliant about 20 minutes early and hit up the BBQ and roasted corn aisle of the food tent. Delicious stuff there. From here we went into Reliant Stadium, home to the Texans and the Houston Rodeo. We only missed on event, individual calf roping.
The events went pretty well outside of team roping and bull riding. In both events there weren’t enough competitors qualify on the leaderboard, so the placing for the semi-finals was left to money making. The competitor who has earned the most money over the “Super Series” gets the benefit of the doubt to advance. That seems like a pretty crappy rule to me. If he gets a 0 for a score, but that’s good enough to tie for 4th, they should have some sort of a ride/rope off. Match up the cowboys in a ring of fire to rope each other. Last one standing advances. That’d spice it up right.
We did have a pair of minor injuries, both during steer wrestling. For those of you unacquainted with steer wrestling, two horsemen race after a calf released between the two. One guy stays on his horse trying to slow the calf while the other slides off his horse, grabs the calf by the horn, and has to flip the cow off its feet as quickly as possible. Well, two guys had minor arm injuries for their effort. One was stabbed by the horn on the bicep leaving a good bruise. The other slid right off the calf and hyper extended his elbow. Both cowboys were alright, but neither managed to take down the calf.
The other event that took a mighty spill was the chuck wagon race. In this event you have 3 wagons being pulled by 4 horses a piece. As they go around corners, the wagons slide, but hardly ever flip over. The wagons in this accident didn’t flip over, but the two horses closest to the wagon did get tangled up and fall to the ground. The horse to the inside of the turn (on the left) was on the ground for a while, but a team of vets and cowboys were on the spot extremely quick and had the horse calmed within a minute of it being on the ground. After a 4 or 5 minute delay, the horse was back on its feet and confirmed to be in good condition.
It was good for the horse, as I’d hate to think it was going to be headed to the hypothetical glue factory. The worst part might have been the announcing during the break. The rodeo itself is broadcast live on pay per view, and the announcers for that are also broadcast over the loudspeakers to the stadium. To hear them kill 5 minutes was painful. We got to hear about how infrequent these kind of spills happen, and how vets and pediatricians are the same because neither can talk to thier patients. It was pretty horrible.
For those of you who don’t me, I’m a big fan of Texas Music. It’s something of a mix of country, rock, rockabilly, zydeco, pop, blues, tejano, and whatever it is that anyone likes. It takes a little bit of everything and adds a Texas twang to it. Particularly, its about the songwriting. One of the modern legends in Texas Music is Pat Green.
I’ve been a huge Pat Green fan since I discovered his music in 2002. By then he had been in the business of entertaining Texans for quite some time. His Three Days album was the first country album I ever bought. For the longest time, the only thing I associated with country music was Billy Ray Cyrus. My mother dearest took me to a Billy Ray Cyrus performance at the rodeo when I was 6. I, to this day, still have trouble wearing plaid shirts or cut off sleeves. I sure as hell can’t picture myself in boots or with long hair.
Pat Green is what got me listening to country music and actually liking it. He sings songs that speak to me. He sings songs about Texas. The state pride goes a long way in these parts. I’m a sucker for it, no doubt about it.
Today was my first time to see Pat Green live. Everyone I know had already done it, including my sisters who hate country (my youngest sister is actually starting to even like Pat Green, too). I’ve always been stuck in Michigan or Chicago during the “Spring Break Stampede” at the rodeo. Michigan has spring break at least 2 weeks earlier than most Texas schools, and I was working through spring break last year. Even in high school, Pat Green tickets were worth way too much money for me to even contemplate going. His ticket was always the number 2 seller right behind either George Strait (legendary) and Hannah Montana or the pop sensation of the time. It just never worked out.
Today I’m proud to confirm that everything ever said about Pat Green’s showmanship is true. The guy is all about playing to the crowd. Unlike the Trace Atkins concert I saw with my girlfriend, Pat was out on the edge of the stage, he was adding in that extra little line to bring in the fans. Pat was out their shaking his butt at the crowd just to keep them riled up. He had the right joke at every right moment. He played a good mix of new and old songs. It was perfect….almost.
The one thing I still wish the rodeo did better was get fans closer to the stage. Having the set up in the middle of a football field, a good 30-40 yards from the closest fan is a little bit of a let down. Pat by far was the best at closing this gap, but it was still noticable. I hope I may one day catch him at Greune (pronounced: green) Hall or Billy Bob’s Texas someday. The dancehall shows are supposively a whole different monster in terms of awesome concerts. Perhaps one day.
As for now, I’ve got to hit the shower. Preview from IPFW before 3pm is the goal, but I’ve got lunch with the padre tomorrow, so I’ll be rushing it.