Load of Bull

A wild and crazy ride


Cowboys are known for understatement. Take the Professional Bull Riders' "common injuries" page, for example. It notes: "Virtually every bull rider will suffer from groin injury at least some point in his career." You don't say? The usual similes for describing bull riding--tornadoes, jackhammers, etc. --just don't quite capture the extreme jeopardy in which the sport seems to place its practitioners' gonads. To the uninitiated, it looks like it'd feel about the same as getting kicked in the nuts by Andre the Giant wearing ski boots--if he could kick you about 500 times in eight seconds. Thus, for those of us with external testes at least, bull riding holds an awful fascination, like fast-forwarding an America's Funniest Home Videos highlight reel. In the old days of rodeo, it was a two-way street: The bull's sack was often cinched tight with a strap, which understandably soured its mood, making for a more violent ride. These days, the 2,000-pound animals are bred for irascibility, eliminating the need for scrotal discomfiture...on the bull's part. The rider is a different story. The only way to describe the chutzpah it takes to straddle one of those monsters is to invoke once again the family jewels, because those guys must have balls of steel. Catch the cojones (and the fireworks and live music!) at the Professional Bull Riders Dallas Invitational, which takes place at 6:50 p.m. Saturday at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory St. Tickets start at $15 from Ticketmaster by calling 214-373-8000. --Rick Kennedy



Talk about overeager. Last week, while strolling through Academy Sports & Outdoors, we kinda sorta bought 50 headbands. Crazy, maybe, but understand we got excited when we heard about the return of the Dallas Hoop It Up Three-on-Three Basketball Tournament this weekend. The annual tourney, which had taken place for years in Dallas' West End, had grown aggressive over time with more hard fouls creeping into the games, and, because of that, we'd heard rumblings about a cancellation for this year. Instead, the games have moved to Ameriquest Field, 1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington, on Saturday and Sunday, and that means we can still show off our new headbands. All we need to do is practice that whole basketball thing. Register your team for $150 at 1-888-997-7529. --Sam Machkovech

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