If I recall correctly, someone from the Roman Empire said that to please the people "Give them Bread and Circus."  The PBR's take on this is to give them beer and a circus among the bull-riding.

Went to the Friday night opening of the PBR Unleash the Beast event at the First Interstate Arena.  Here's a few observations I jotted down during the event:

Amid waving spotlights, fireworks and the initials PBR in flames on the arena dirt, the bull riders were introduced to the crowd like rock stars.

A nice touch was the prayer for the safety of the riders and the audience, followed by the National Anthem.  Wish I had seen the 8-year-old singing on Sunday; that must have been a joy for the folks then.

The three bullfighters in the ring to protect the thrown rider were members of the U.S. Border Patrol.  The crowd gave them much appreciation.

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Rodeo Bull and Rider
Credit: Debora Dzenkiw, Getty Stock, TSM Media Center

The first two riders stayed on their bulls for the full 8 seconds, delighting the folks.  But then the bulls made a comeback, throwing the next three in under 4 seconds.  Of the 40 riders for the night, eight persevered for the full time on the bulls.

Like football, injuries are likely.  One rider landed on the right shoulder, luckily not dislocated.  Another got a leg hung up in the strap, and the thrashing bull yanked on that leg in the air; he was carried out on a stretcher.  Still another was nearing stomped on by the rear legs of his bull.

Because it takes quite a bit of time to prepare a rider on a bull, something has to occupy the crowd's time waiting.  That's where the rodeo clown comes in.  This skinny guy in red with a white cowboy hat danced about the arena to pop tunes in his very first performance.  He balanced on the seating railings.  With all the gyrations, no wonder he is so trim.  I suggest he work on comedy schticks next.

A Light-Hearted Final Warning to Audience Members

Like other sporting events, cameras scan the audience for interesting folks.  If you come to the PBR, don't be surprised if you're suddenly on the JumboTron.  Be ready to dance something goofy.

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