This past Saturday night, as the effects of a joyous New Years Eve were slowly dissipating, a majority of the Bohs and O’s crew attended the Professional Bull Riders Baltimore Invitational at the 1st Mariner Arena. Clad in our jeans and flannel shirts, we braved the frigid winter weather and headed to the Arena to see today’s finest bull riders take part in the 1st event of the 2010 season. I’d never been to one of these events before and was very impressed with the entire production.
The event was being shown live on Versus so that led to numerous commercial breaks in between each round, but they had a rodeo clown emcee who did a nice job keeping everyone entertained as we waited for the next potential sternum gorging from Code Blue, Big Tex, or Voodoo Child. During each round there were almost no breaks in the action. They have a complex setup at one end of the arena with 6 loading docks connected to the fenced in areas where the bulls are kept. When one rider was either bucked or completed 8 seconds there was always another rider ready to go.
One thing that surprised me, and everyone in our group, was the number of Brazilian’s competing. Three of last years top 5 riders were from Brazil and there were numerous others who rode throughout the night. Although none of the cowboys were from Maryland there were several local Bulls who we obviously were hoping would celebrate their victories by ramming their horns into the defeated cowboys against the fence; hereby displaying Maryland’s dominance to all of the out-of-towners in attendance. Alas, there was no bloodshed, but some of the cowboys (the pathetic ones) were prepared with what most closely resembled box lacrosse helmets. This really took away from the feel of the rodeo, men riding bulls without cowboy hats. I’m no expert on the subject, but what kind of professional bull rider can respect himself wearing a helmet instead of a cowboy hat during competition. If you want to wear one in practice when no one is around be my guest, but when you’re trying to represent yourself and the professional bull riders tour it doesn’t help your image to be wearing a big, dorky helmet instead of a cowboy hat. Step up to the plate helmet wearers; you’re supposed to resemble this when you get up on that bucking bronco.
All in all it was a great evening at the rodeo and I can’t wait until the 2011 Baltimore Invitational. It’ll be tough to wait another whole year, but luckily Monster Jam will be at the Arena at the end of February to keep us entertained. You can be sure Bohs and O’s won’t miss that event either.