How prone to injury are you in your chosen athletic pursuit? A runner might sprain an ankle. A football player might get a concussion. Those old enough to remember Greg Louganis know that even platform divers are not exempt. What if, in your sport, there was a certain chance at every meet that a 1,500-pound bull would stomp his hoof on the base of your spine from above?
Professional bull riders may ride 200 times a year, and even the best average an injury every ten to twenty rides. Most of the time, it’s a ‘minor’ injury like a few broken ribs or a torn ligament. But the worst has happened. And we all have to admit it, like when we watch hockey for the fights, the element of danger adds to the excitement of being a spectator, even if you’re rooting for the bull and his right to a peaceful pasture.
That’s not the only reason to go to the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Velocity Tour at the Cross Insurance Arena (1 Civic Center Sq) on Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23. You’ll want to get your tickets (ranging from $15 to $125) at http://www.crossarenaportland.com/events/pbr_real_time_velocity_tour_23, because you’ll also get to see the physical courage, the razor-sharp reflexes, the kind of technique and finesse that come from lifelong training, and the sheer athleticism of the riders. And they need every ounce. Riding-circuit bulls are specifically bred and conditioned to throw riders off their backs. And breeders are working with bovine bloodlines that have been around for ages. Especially in the last ten years, bulls have grown bigger, stronger, and meaner than ever before.
We certainly don’t wish any mishaps on the PBR riders or the bulls. But if you want to vicariously put yourself on the back of the bucking beast and hold your breath thinking “Hold on, hold on!” on behalf of your favorite rodeo athlete, the chance doesn’t come very often for a Mainer. Avail yourself of it. Take the bull by the horns.