May 19, 2015


 One of my favorite shows over the years was Seinfeld. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It is a show about nothing.
 I’ve a couple friends that remind me of the Seinfeld show. They often argue and fight about nothing.
 To protect the innocent, I won’t give you their names. I’ll just call them Shannon and Jim.
 Now Shannon and Jim will make an occasional friendly wager. It may be on a ball game or the weight of a cow. It may be on a game of pinochle or the price of pie at the restaurant. They may partner on a certain class of livestock, or they may be in competition on that calf. You never know.
 The story I’m going to relate is on one of their wagers.
 They were watching the National Finals Rodeo with a group of friends. A live broadcast. At least they call it live. But to make room for the advertisements and such, there is a 10-minute delay.
 Jim realized that he could look at the results of an event just before the “live” event started. So he offered Shannon a golden opportunity. He would pick one rider per event and Shannon could have the other 14 contestants! Shannon realized that the chances of Jim winning were at best one in 15. Odds much better than buying pull tabs or planting wheat.
 Well, Jim got lucky. He won the bareback riding. Couldn’t happen again. But it did. He won the calf roping, barrel racing, bronc riding,  team roping and steer wrestling. The man was on a roll like you wouldn’t believe.
 Finally, it was time to ride bulls. Jim was ahead a couple hundred dollars. But, being a gentleman, he told Shannon he would give him a break. He would take a rookie bull rider that had bucked off eight in a row. Shannon grabbed that bait like a giant northern feeding along the shore in the spring. He insisted that since he was so far behind, they go double or nothing on the last event. It would be $400 or nothing!
 One of the top bull riders in the world came out and quickly put up a fantastic score of 91! One of the highest scores in NFR history. Shannon jumped and screamed and was ecstatic. He did a touchdown dance that would have made a Super Bowl receiver jealous.
 Finally, it was the poor rookie’s turn. He had drawn a bull that was impossible to ride. Shannon upped the ante another $50. Reluctantly, Jim agreed.
 The chute gate opened and the bull exploded out of there! The crowd was on their feet screaming. Shannon was cheering for the bull. Jim was cheering for the cowboy. It was classic. The whistle blew as the cowboy came off. The crowd looked at the judges. Thumbs up! And the crowd screamed as they announced the new leader. 92½ points! The rookie had won! And Shannon was devastated.
 Some months later, in a rare moment of mercy, Jim admitted that he had been peeking at the computer and had prior knowledge of the winner. His compassion clearly overwhelmed everyone when he gave Shannon half his money back. A true friend and sportsman.