Thursday, May 29, 2008

Killing Time

I’ve managed to limp through a little better than half of the wasteland between the Ford Best in Texas Shootout and the Git-R-Done Invitational the weekend of June 6, but it has been painful. Last night, Barn Cat tried to persuade me to watch the bull riding portion of the Houston Rodeo, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve tried watching the PRCA and going to local rodeos and both efforts have been dismal failures. Though I have some frustrations with the sport, the PBR just has that je ne sais quoi that keeps me coming back for more.

Now, I have had mild flirtations with television shows before—several years ago, I watched 23 hours of the “24 Hours of ‘JAG’ Marathon” over Memorial Day weekend, and the only reason I didn’t see the final hour was because I had to go pick Barn Cat up at the airport. (To be truthful, several episodes that ran in the middle of the night weren’t my favorites, so I did manage to get some sleep, though sometimes only for a couple of hours at a stretch.) This past weekend, I got sucked into watching an all-Logan marathon of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” but I don’t think that’s going to make a true believer out of me. Chris Noth is interesting as Logan, but he just doesn’t have that “Sex and the City” vibe in “Criminal Intent,” and if there’s one thing I’m in desperate need of at the moment, it’s idiotic fantasy. That generally does not include hatchet murders and sex crimes.

But none of it was a decent substitute for the PBR. As night fell, and Chris Noth appeared on the tube for the 14th time in 14 hours, my spirits began to flag. Of course, misery loves company, so I have since conducted an in-depth survey (I invested nearly a half hour in it) of other fans and concluded that some aren’t faring much better than I am. Practically all my correspondents are moping and sighing and wishing they could Tivo past this delay and on to some live PBR action.

And here’s the kicker: After a feast of bull riding practically every weekend from the end of December 2007 through the first weekend in May, it is going to be off-and-on famine from here till the finals. After Orlando, it will be another three-week stretch before the Dallas event, and then another FOUR FULL WEEKS before the event in Tulsa July 18-20. Then we’ll have three weekends of bullriding in a row, and then another FOUR FULL WEEKS before the Jack Daniels Invitational in Nashville. Then we’ll skip yet another week, and finish with a sprint from the middle of September through Vegas in early November.

All I’ve got to say is, there may be a lot of Jack Daniels consumed in the domiciles of many fans between now and the second week of September, when we finally get this train back on track. I can’t recall that last year I missed the PBR so much during breaks, but my sad-sack state this year has led me to consider the grim possibility that I might be addicted to watching bull riding. No, wait, I admit it—I KNOW I’m addicted. The question is, what am I going to do about it?

The obvious action would be to quit, cold turkey, but I’m not quite ready for that. I had a fancy (thank God, it passed quickly) of trundling down to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous or maybe Narcotics Anonymous, but then I couldn’t quite figure out how I was going to explain myself to those folks, all of whom are wrestling with much more serious demons than this. I guess I could paraphrase Mr. Brooks’ announcement in the eponymous film: “Hello, I’m the Stockyard Queen, and I’m an addict.” In his case, he conveniently left out the fact that he was addicted to killing people—maybe I could gloss over the fact that I’m hooked on watching bulls jump eight feet off the ground and body slam cowboys to the arena floor.

No, the fact of the matter is, I’m just going to suffer, mumbling Amy Winehouse’s line under my breath: “They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, ‘No, no, no.’” Obviously it would be impossible for riders or bulls to compete for 33 straight weekends--both crews need time to heal up and recharge--but I am offering up a plea to the Powers That Be at PBR Central: How about next year, you split the schedule into three or four segments, with regular three- or four-week breaks between each segment, so we fans can pace ourselves without having to resort to vats of hard liquor or support groups or psychiatry to get through the fallow times? This schedule is making me feel real sympathy for my poor cousin, whom my parents railroaded into teaching me how to drive a car with a clutch when I was 16. It’s a wonder he survived with his spine intact. Now it’s my turn to get nauseous, and believe me, I’m not alone.

1 comment:

shannon said...

It's awful, isn't it? I mean, I have other shows that I truly enjoy, but they are over and the others that I'm interested in don't even start for at least another week. Not to mention the fact that none of them air during the weekends. We could catch up on some movies, but the typical male/female conversation always arises:

"Wanna rent a movie?"
"Sure. What do you want to see?"
"Some chick flick."
"Yeah. I want either a stupid comedy or a sci-fi film."
"Oh. Ok, never mind."

Then we go back to one of us mindlessly channel surfing while the other goes to mindlessly clicking on various websites.

I think the PBR should make more specials like "Total Bull" to air during the long breaks.