This was a big sports weekend, highlighted by the NFL playoffs and Roger Clemens’s interview on “60 Minutes.”
But on Friday night, my 19-year-old son and I checked out a totally different spectator sport– the Professional Bull Riding competition at Madison Square Garden. Hemingway may have run with the bulls in Pamplona, but there’s nothing more dangerous than riding ON THEM for the eight-second time that’s required to even rate a judge’s score.
The bulls are considered athletes and you can root for them to buck the riders just as easily as you can cheer the cowboys to hang on. The bulls have names like “Bad Medicine” and “Dirty Harry.” A personal favorite of mine was “Shock the Monkey.” Clemens may deny he’s taken steroids, but those bulls are pumped up with something that would make the average man’s head explode.
The bulls’ testicles are yanked to get them really riled up before they get sprung from the chute. So of course, the animal activists were out in force in front of the Garden, holding signs and vociferously urging people not to go in. By doing this, they unintentionally provided the evening’s funniest moment.
Walking in front of us were couple of guys who were wearing nerdy cowboy hats, the straw, narrow-brimmed variety that I used to buys my kids at dude ranches when they were little. They looked especially comical on grown men, and I laughed out loud when I saw them.
But the animal activists evidently couldn’t tell the difference between genuine cowboys and goofballs in kiddie hats. They kept yelling, “Loser cowboys, go home!”
One of the guys turned and shouted back, “Go home? I live a block away!”