The Athens Review
Jerry Jones is in awe of his Cowboys who can run down a scrambling quarterback.
He also admires cowboys who conquer a rampaging rodeo bull that weighs five times more than the NFL’s biggest, nastiest defensive lineman.
Jones, who owns the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, enthusiastically has hosted a thriving Professional Bull Riders tour stop at Cowboys Stadium over the past four years.
He was at JerryWorld on March 2 to watch the PBR’s Dickies Iron Cowboys IV, which drew about 30,000 fans who watched the world’s top cowboys take on the toughest bulls around.
“We are so proud of our stadium, and to get the best in competition was our goal,” Jones said. “That’s what I dreamed of when we were building it. The most exciting, most competitive, and frankly, probably the riskiest of all of rodeo is bull riding, and we are proud to have it here.”
Jones said attending rodeos was a part of his youth.
“I just admire the athletes,” Jones said. “I don’t know of any sport that requires the toughness or the will that riding bulls does. These guys play hurt so to speak. They ride when they are compromised, but they’re great competitors.”
Jones said bull riding is comparable to football because both sports require toughness.
“You can make a comparison because of how physical it is,” Jones said. “It takes serious agility. In football, you have to have the will and desire to get back up when you get knocked down. And we all know that bull riders get back up and go again.”
Jones and PBR officials created the Iron Cowboy, which features an uncharacteristic format of determining the champion. Unlike the majority of PBR shows that determine the winner by an aggregate score from three or four rides throughout a two- or three-day weekend, the Arlington-based tour stop is a bracket-style tournament competition featuring 24 riders. The top finishers usually face four or five eradicator bulls in one night.
During the final round of the 2013 edition, Austin Meier, a former PBR World Finals qualifier, mounted Bushwacker, the PBR’s 2011 World Champion Bull. L.J. Jenkins, a former PBR World Finals average winner, faced Asteroid, the PBR’s top bovine in 2012.
Meier clinched the title after staying on Bushwacker for 2.67 seconds, a half second longer than Jenkins was aboard Asteroid. Meier, who had finished second in the Iron Cowboy competition the past two years, earned $50,000.
During the Iron Cowboy IV, the cowboy with the highest score moved onto the next round. If one cowboy received a score and his challenger was bucked off, the cowboy who made a qualified ride advanced. If both cowboys were bucked off, the cowboy who stayed on the longest, won the round.
And that was the case when Meier and Jenkins faced each other during the final round, in which they took on former world champion bulls who made quick work of them. But again, Meier stayed on longer than Jenkins and clinched the $50,000 title.
Though the event was a test of stamina, Meier, who is from Kinta, Okla., said winning was very rewarding.
“As much as my body does not like this event, my pocket sure does,” he said. “Winning here takes a lot more stamina and you have to keep your composure. You try your hardest on every bull you get on, but at the same time, you have to be able to manage your wind, how you breathe, and how you act in between every ride.”
Brazile tops timed event championship
Ten-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world all-around champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur earned $25,000 after finishing third at the Timed Event Championship on March 3 at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie, Okla. Former National Finals Rodeo qualifier Daniel Green pocketed $52,000 after clinching the title.
Throughout the event, cowboys competed in steer roping, tie-down roping, team roping heading and heeling and tie-down roping. The results were determined by aggregate times.
Houston Livestock rodeo update
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo began Feb. 25 and runs through March 17. For more information, visit www.rodeo-houston.com.
Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has written a rodeo column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram over the past quarter century. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.