I have a cousin first removed from Colorado who is a professional bull rider on the PBR circuit. He is 20, being close to the age of my oldest son and having the same first name of James. Both boys were named in part for my father who died around the time they were born. They also shared my last name, with my cousin having it as his middle name, until my son changed his last name on his 21st birthday. Let's call my oldest son Jim, and leave him out of the rest of this post. (Left: Jimmy riding a bull at a high school meet.)
Jimmy placed third nationally as a bull rider in high school. My understanding of bull riding is that it is the longest eight seconds in sport. You have to ride a rip-snorting bull tearing around a ring for that long, bareback, holding on with one hand to a rope cinched around the bull's middle, keeping the free hand up so it doesn't touch the bull. If you haven't been bucked off in eight seconds, then you have to dismount this frenzied 2,000 pound bucking and spinning behemoth and get away from him before he gores or tramples you. Rodeo clowns help out by darting past the bull to distract him when you let go and go flying. (Right: Jimmy aboard another bull at a high school meet.)
You get stylistic points and the bull is also rated, the more frenetic he is the better. You get zero points for any ride under 8.0 seconds.
Jimmy has earned $12,842.20 in two seasons on the professional circuit. Over the years he has broken his leg, elbow and nose and separated his shoulder while riding bulls. I heard that he was coming to Fairfax later this month to a PBR event at the Patriot Center (GMU).
You may know that my three sons have been estranged from me ever since the courts sanctioned and assessed costs of almost $50,000 against their Mother for inserting them as minors into the middle of our bitter divorce litigation (some persons view actions such as hers to be a form of child abuse called PAS). Anyway, weeks ago I wrote to my two adult sons under 21 and invited them to go with me to watch Jimmy perform his eight seconds.