A night at the rodeo

Last night Alli and I joined a group of Harvard Kennedy School students celebrating Cindy‘s birthday.  Cindy has a thing for the south (of the US) culture: cowboys, horse-riding, country music, etc.

So it was not surprising that Cindy knew the rodeo was coming to the Boston area, and that she chose that as her birthday celebration theme.  20+ people promptly filed into cars and drove off to Worcester, for the PBR US Air Force Invitational rodeo.
Most of us, including me, had never been to a rodeo before.  I like to check out every kind of sporting event at least once.
Overall, the event was fun.  The bulls are impressive.  They’re big, muscular, strong, just like you would expect.  I didn’t see anything like Bodacious, but a couple of strong-looking puppies, for sure.  Then again, I don’t know a bull from a cow at first glance, so I have no clue and I wouldn’t recognize a Bodacious-level bull if it stared at me from a few feet away.
The cowboys are younger than I thought, many in the 18-20 year old range.
The event seemed to drag on a bit, with a lot of time between riders.  It’s like a lot of short TV timeouts during a game.  I wish they’d go in a more rapid-fire style.  It also hurts that you don’t know how far along you are.  Obviously there are no periods, quarters, or halves, but since the number of remaining riders is known, they should display it somewhere.
The scoring system is also a mystery.  I get the “you have to stay on 8 full seconds to qualify for a score” piece.  No problem there.  But after that, you get a score of 0-100, apparently, although the criteria are never explained.  And scores were all tightly clustered between 83 and 87.25.  That’s right, 87.25, not 88, which seems very accurate granularity in this scale.
I had a good time and it was a fun experience.  I’m glad I went.  I’m not sure if I’d be in a rush to go again, but as a one-time curiosity-quencher, it hit the spot.
Happy birthday Cindy!  Thanks for organizing 😉