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Buckin’ The Trend: I’m Gonna Need a Hacksaw Helmet

Follies

By Vince Grzegorek

Browsing through one of the free weeklies in Cleveland the other day, I saw this little tidbit from News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd: “About one-fifth of professional rodeo bull riders have given up their cowboy hats and now wear modified hockey helmets with face masks because of the prevalence of serious injuries. Said one diehard, though, ‘I don’t wear a cowboy hat because I’m a bull rider. I wear a cowboy hat because I’m a cowboy.'”

Not having watched enough (read: any) bull-riding competitions lately, I wasn’t aware of the trend, but I wasn’t surprised. If I was going to get on a bull, I would wear a helmet, a vest, shoulder pads, a mouthguard, and, just to be safe, probably full-body protective suit. If less is better with mechanical bulls, the exact opposite is true with real ones. Bad things can and do happen (even to the rodeo clowns). After all, the question isn’t whether you’re going to be thrown from the bull — it’s just how long it’s going to take.

So now, as Shepherd reported, some riders are starting to wear hockey- or lacrosse-style helmets. According to Professional Bull Riders, 12 of the top 45 PRB riders wear helmets: J.B. Mauney, Mike Lee, Austin Meier, Sean Willingham, Wiley Peterson, Travis Briscoe, Shane Proctor, Cord McCoy, Mark Lopes, Corey Navarre, Cody Whitney, and Dusty LaBeth.

But let’s face it: The helmets look dorky. So is there a way for the fashion-conscious rider to employ some safety precautions? Absolutely. In an ingenious combination of style and function, two riders in the PBR actually wear both a Stetson and headgear equipped with a faceguard: Kasey Hayes and Ednei Caminhas. The effect is pretty cool-looking, and when the hat comes off you sort of get a Hannibal Lecter effect.

Reasons for riders sticking with the hat instead of the helmet vary. Some say the helmets are uncomfortable and that they restrict their vision during the competition (apparently this isn’t that uncomfortable for them). Others stick with the hat out of tradition. Those who opt for the helmet have a couple of options, including the Bullisitic and Bull Tough gear.

For quasi-understandable reasons, cowboy culture is slow to embrace change. The protective vest, which is almost universally worn today and credited with the prevention of countless injuries, was first introduced about 14 years ago by Cody Lambert and was initially met with the same resistance that helmets are currently getting. Now, it is generally accepted as part of the uniform. The number of riders using a helmet has increased, but it’s got a long way to go. (Almost all rodeos, however, require that children under 18 wear helmets, which I think we can all agree is a good idea.)

My only hope is that a new trend will develop toward the personalization of the helmets, much like goalie masks, for those who choose to display the American flag, or Lil Jon (only because I doubt that both Brooks and Dunn would comfortably fit).

“She Sang, She Danced, I Think She Twirled a Rope” Bonus Material: Actually, there is a lot of personalization already when it comes to bull-riding uniforms. Chaps have intricate designs, and even come in purple.

Belt buckles aren’t the most comfortable things to wear while trying to ride a bull, so riders thread a piece of nylon through their belt loops instead.

We can add bull-riding to the list of professional sports to feature advertising logos or patches on the uniforms.

Finally, in some celebrity rodeo news (what other kind is there?), Kiefer Sutherland was a two-time national team roping champ back in the late 1990s. No word on if he wore a helmet or a hat, but I’m sure no hacksaws were allowed for humane reasons.

(Bonus points to the first person to post the origin of the reference to the quote for the last subtitle. Hint: It has to do with the lead photo.)

 

53 comments to Buckin’ The Trend: I’m Gonna Need a Hacksaw Helmet

  • brett | February 21, 2007 at 8:44 am |

    On sportsnight, josh charles’ character talks about seeing Trump’s wife in will rogers’ follies. he says: she sang, she danced, I think she twirled a rope.

    there’s a documentary on bull riding that’s pretty rough to watch as well.

  • ashuman | February 21, 2007 at 8:50 am |

    PBR: The only sport I know other than baseball where some participants throw in a lip while performing.

    I know that Walt Garrison (Running back for the Dallas Cowboys in the 70s) was a professional bull rider in the off-season.

    Anyone know of any other two-sport athletes in this sense?

  • MaddMatt | February 21, 2007 at 8:51 am |

    Article on SI.com about the new polyester (sp?) hats versus wool hats this year in baseball here

  • baude | February 21, 2007 at 8:58 am |

    Is there a uniwatch email address that we can use to contact vince.

  • Phil | February 21, 2007 at 9:20 am |

    href=”http:/http://stuffandstuff.wordpress.com/files/2006/08/rodeo3.jpg/”>
    Fake stirrups are for clowns.

  • Phil | February 21, 2007 at 9:22 am |

    Sorry, tried to link “bad things can” picture above. I won’t try to link again.

  • Michael Churchill | February 21, 2007 at 9:25 am |
  • Michael Churchill | February 21, 2007 at 9:27 am |

    Jeez, even the interns forget to close their tags now?

  • LunchBox | February 21, 2007 at 9:34 am |

    [quote comment=”57317″]On sportsnight, josh charles’ character talks about seeing Trump’s wife in will rogers’ follies. he says: she sang, she danced, I think she twirled a rope.
    [/quote]

    Sports Night was a kickass show.

  • Jason | February 21, 2007 at 9:36 am |

    Great post today, Paul. Loved the pics. All I kept thinknig of as I scrolled through them was Homer Simpson laughing at a drunk driving video, saying, “That’s funny because I don’t know them.” Good stuff.

  • Joseph | February 21, 2007 at 9:36 am |

    Mad Matt beat ne to it, but I to was surprised you didin’t pick up on the big news of the day being the shift from wool to a blend for all authentic MLB in-game caps. Last year when you wrote about Kenny Rogers wearing an altered batting paractice cap, I completely agreed with where the gambler was coming from. I wore the BP caps for the same reason–every wool cap I ever had shrunk in the rain. The BP caps breathed more and stood up to the elements. Traditionalists and those who watch Seinfeld may disagree, but this is a great move not only for the athletes, but thse of us who like to sport their team’s authentic cap.

  • David | February 21, 2007 at 9:41 am |

    Now that Vince is a pretty regular part of things here, shouldn’t Paul update the FAQ?

    Just saying…

  • Mike | February 21, 2007 at 9:42 am |

    Has anybody seen the new hats available for purchase anywhere? I’ve seen the BP hats on mlb.com, but not the regular hats.

  • Steve | February 21, 2007 at 9:42 am |

    They just had the rodeo at MSG back in January 2007, which is very rare, but it was during the NFL playoffs, so I had to forgo the $200 free tickets that I could’ve had for that event. Maybe next time!

  • David | February 21, 2007 at 9:42 am |

    [quote comment=”57330″]Great post today, Paul. Loved the pics. All I kept thinknig of as I scrolled through them was Homer Simpson laughing at a drunk driving video, saying, “That’s funny because I don’t know them.” Good stuff.[/quote]

    Vince today. Not Paul. Got to give credit where it is due.

  • Broker75 | February 21, 2007 at 9:47 am |

    [quote comment=”57319″]Article on SI.com about the new polyester (sp?) hats versus wool hats this year in baseball here…[/quote]
    [quote comment=”57319″]Article on SI.com about the new polyester (sp?) hats versus wool hats this year in baseball here…[/quote]
    What? no more wool? Is this new, or is it just old news that I haven’t heard about..are they in stores now? cause I’d like to try one on, and probably buy a few. Also, what does this new polyester compare to in regards to regular clothing?, I’m trying to find some of my polyester clothing to see how it would feel. I wonder how much these new ball caps would be going for $$..anybody know?

  • PDXclark | February 21, 2007 at 9:50 am |

    After all, the question isn’t whether you’re going to be thrown from the bull — it’s just how long it’s going to take.
    Actually, the dirt in rodeo arenas is very loose, and relatively “soft”- the helmet/face mask combo, was brought around as a result of cowboys getting smashed in the face by bulls’ skulls. The bull Bodacious was famous for this- see Tuff Hedemen’s wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia....
    After the accident, he started wearing the mask, and as one of the premier riders of the day (also featured, pre-mask in the movie “8 Seconds”) did alot to forward the acceptablity of wearing them in the tough-guy world of bull riding.

  • Vince Grzegorek | February 21, 2007 at 9:50 am |

    Kudos to Brett for being the first to post the Sports Night answer. Friggin’ loved that show.

    Anyway, if anyone would like to email me you can reach me at uniwatchintern@gmail.com

    –Vince

  • Anthony Verna | February 21, 2007 at 9:50 am |

    Which weekly in Cleveland was the article? Would it be the paper where I feelanced/interned back in 1999, the Free Times? (I wish those articles I wrote were archived on the web somewhere.)

  • Teebz | February 21, 2007 at 9:54 am |

    [quote comment=”57318″]PBR: The only sport I know other than baseball where some participants throw in a lip while performing.

    I know that Walt Garrison (Running back for the Dallas Cowboys in the 70s) was a professional bull rider in the off-season.

    Anyone know of any other two-sport athletes in this sense?[/quote]

    It’s not quite PBR, but CFL players Adam Braidwood and Mike Maurer of the Edmonton Eskimos have competed in mixed martial arts (MMA) matches. I believe both won their respective last fights.

    Here’s the story.

  • ToasterPoodle | February 21, 2007 at 9:56 am |

    Vince said
    “Bad things can and do happen (even to the rodeo clowns). After all, the question isn’t whether you’re going to be thrown from the bull — it’s just how long it’s going to take.”

    I think that rather than clowns they call them
    ‘bullfighters’ now.
    Those guys (clowns or bullfighters, whatever you want to call them) are some of the most heroic people in sports. They literally risk life and limb to make sure the riders are kept safe.

  • Art Mah | February 21, 2007 at 9:58 am |

    [quote comment=”57340″][quote comment=”57318″]PBR: The only sport I know other than baseball where some participants throw in a lip while performing.

    I know that Walt Garrison (Running back for the Dallas Cowboys in the 70s) was a professional bull rider in the off-season.

    Anyone know of any other two-sport athletes in this sense?[/quote]

    It’s not quite PBR, but CFL players Adam Braidwood and Mike Maurer of the Edmonton Eskimos have competed in mixed martial arts (MMA) matches. I believe both won their respective last fights.

    Here’s the story.[/quote]

    Which was great until Maurer got KO’d in his last fight – he had already decided to hang them up, but it put his football career in jeopardy.

  • Mark in Cincy | February 21, 2007 at 10:00 am |

    I haven’t seen this posted yet, and I know it is Cincy-centric, but the Enquirer has a Crunching the Numbers feature, looking at the most significant numbers in Cincy uni history. It is a nice little time waster for your day at work.

  • =bg= | February 21, 2007 at 10:03 am |

    Rodeo? I am sure this is connected to sports, unis and logos. I just have to find the connection.

  • Kenny | February 21, 2007 at 10:07 am |

    Speaking of the new MLB hats, when the MLB Shop was doing their buy two get one free deal, I ordered the throwback Brewers hat, but it was on back order. I still haven’t received it and I wonder if it is going to be one of the new style of hats and that’s what is taking so long for me to get it

  • Kenny | February 21, 2007 at 10:16 am |
  • Mike | February 21, 2007 at 10:22 am |

    [quote comment=”57345″]Rodeo? I am sure this is connected to sports, unis and logos. I just have to find the connection.[/quote]

    =bg= (if that is your real name),
    How is it NOT related? Vince is writing about the helmets/hats (UNI) of professional bull riding (at least as much of a SPORT as NASCAR), and even talks about about the advertisements (LOGOs) they wear on their vests (UNI, again). Seems pretty clear to me!

  • Rene | February 21, 2007 at 10:23 am |

    COME ON!!!! bull-riding gets love but soccer gets crapped on!!! only in this country!

  • Broker75 | February 21, 2007 at 10:28 am |

    The new ball caps are going for $32.00, up from $29.00 from the original wools, a couple of buck$ won’t stop me from getting my team hat, along with my other favorites.

  • Steve | February 21, 2007 at 10:30 am |

    Anyone heard about this?

    Too funny….

    http://kutv.com/tops...

    Any pics?

  • jake | February 21, 2007 at 10:32 am |

    Just ran across this story. Apparently Colts backup QB Jim Sorgi tried out for the role of the new Maytag repair man yesterday. Interesting in itself, but not nearly as interesting as the jersey he is wearing here. Notice the lack of the NFL logo at the base of the collar as well as the 3 stripes around the cuff of the sleeve under the numbers! I’ve never seen this “Colts” jersey before, I would say perhaps a practice jersey, but wouldn’t all of his practice jerseys be red?

  • Broker75 | February 21, 2007 at 10:35 am |

    [quote comment=”57353″]Just ran across this story. Apparently Colts backup QB Jim Sorgi tried out for the role of the new Maytag repair man yesterday. Interesting in itself, but not nearly as interesting as the jersey he is wearing here. Notice the lack of the NFL logo at the base of the collar as well as the 3 stripes around the cuff of the sleeve under the numbers! I’ve never seen this “Colts” jersey before, I would say perhaps a practice jersey, but wouldn’t all of his practice jerseys be red?[/quote]
    What’s next, Sorgi wearing that outfit in a porno?

  • Jacob | February 21, 2007 at 10:41 am |

    A sport is pretty much anything where people compete, some type of scoring is involved, and it requires some skill. Driving 200 mph is hard. So is riding a bull. I’d like to see Albert Pujols try to last eight seconds on one of those things.

  • JDUB | February 21, 2007 at 10:53 am |

    [quote comment=”57353″]Just ran across this story. Apparently Colts backup QB Jim Sorgi tried out for the role of the new Maytag repair man yesterday. Interesting in itself, but not nearly as interesting as the jersey he is wearing here. Notice the lack of the NFL logo at the base of the collar as well as the 3 stripes around the cuff of the sleeve under the numbers! I’ve never seen this “Colts” jersey before, I would say perhaps a practice jersey, but wouldn’t all of his practice jerseys be red?[/quote]

    I believe that is the Throwback that the Colts wore on Thanksgiving a couple years ago.

  • Thorold Blair | February 21, 2007 at 10:56 am |

    [quote comment=”57346″]Speaking of the new MLB hats, when the MLB Shop was doing their buy two get one free deal, I ordered the throwback Brewers hat, but it was on back order. I still haven’t received it and I wonder if it is going to be one of the new style of hats and that’s what is taking so long for me to get it[/quote]

    I ordered the same one, got it yesterday and it’s a wool 5950.

  • JDUB | February 21, 2007 at 10:58 am |

    Here’s actually a picture of the game used jersey from that day. Turns out to be 04 apparently.

  • Robert | February 21, 2007 at 11:01 am |

    [quote comment=”57351″]The new ball caps are going for $32.00, up from $29.00 from the original wools, a couple of buck$ won’t stop me from getting my team hat, along with my other favorites.[/quote]

    $32 bucks? That is insane. I will just have to watch for a sale, because there is no way that I am paying that kind of cash for a cap.

  • PAULtergeist | February 21, 2007 at 11:02 am |

    [quote comment=”57356″]A sport is pretty much anything where people compete, some type of scoring is involved, and it requires some skill. Driving 200 mph is hard. So is riding a bull. I’d like to see Albert Pujols try to last eight seconds on one of those things.[/quote]

    Thanks Jacob…Some readers will diagree for no other reason except “because they are dumb hicks.”

  • PAULtergeist | February 21, 2007 at 11:04 am |

    [quote comment=”57357″][quote comment=”57353″]Just ran across this story. Apparently Colts backup QB Jim Sorgi tried out for the role of the new Maytag repair man yesterday. Interesting in itself, but not nearly as interesting as the jersey he is wearing here. Notice the lack of the NFL logo at the base of the collar as well as the 3 stripes around the cuff of the sleeve under the numbers! I’ve never seen this “Colts” jersey before, I would say perhaps a practice jersey, but wouldn’t all of his practice jerseys be red?[/quote]

    I believe that is the Throwback that the Colts wore on Thanksgiving a couple years ago.[/quote]

    Seems to me to be a knockoff jersey that Sorgi had to wear to eliminate getting the NFL licensing permission…you have all seen the knock-off jerseys in action before right?

  • JDUB | February 21, 2007 at 11:04 am |

    Sorry, I don’t post much.

    Here’s the link

  • Robert | February 21, 2007 at 11:04 am |

    [quote comment=”57353″]Just ran across this story. Apparently Colts backup QB Jim Sorgi tried out for the role of the new Maytag repair man yesterday. Interesting in itself, but not nearly as interesting as the jersey he is wearing here. Notice the lack of the NFL logo at the base of the collar as well as the 3 stripes around the cuff of the sleeve under the numbers! I’ve never seen this “Colts” jersey before, I would say perhaps a practice jersey, but wouldn’t all of his practice jerseys be red?[/quote]

    Maytag probably did not pay the licensing fee that would permit it to use an official Colts jersey. As a result, Sorgi would have to wear a similar, but unofficial, jersey.

  • jake | February 21, 2007 at 11:08 am |

    [quote comment=”57366″][quote comment=”57353″]Just ran across this story. Apparently Colts backup QB Jim Sorgi tried out for the role of the new Maytag repair man yesterday. Interesting in itself, but not nearly as interesting as the jersey he is wearing here. Notice the lack of the NFL logo at the base of the collar as well as the 3 stripes around the cuff of the sleeve under the numbers! I’ve never seen this “Colts” jersey before, I would say perhaps a practice jersey, but wouldn’t all of his practice jerseys be red?[/quote]

    Maytag probably did not pay the licensing fee that would permit it to use an official Colts jersey. As a result, Sorgi would have to wear a similar, but unofficial, jersey.[/quote]

    Actually it looks like JDUB is right, it is probably the Thanksgiving throwback rather than an unofficial jersey. In action here and here.

  • jake | February 21, 2007 at 11:11 am |

    [quote comment=”57354″][quote comment=”57353″]Just ran across this story. Apparently Colts backup QB Jim Sorgi tried out for the role of the new Maytag repair man yesterday. Interesting in itself, but not nearly as interesting as the jersey he is wearing here. Notice the lack of the NFL logo at the base of the collar as well as the 3 stripes around the cuff of the sleeve under the numbers! I’ve never seen this “Colts” jersey before, I would say perhaps a practice jersey, but wouldn’t all of his practice jerseys be red?[/quote]
    What’s next, Sorgi wearing that outfit in a porno?[/quote]

    Sadly that hat is better than any sideline hat that he will be wearing every game next season.

  • Broker75 | February 21, 2007 at 11:14 am |

    [quote comment=”57367″][quote comment=”57366″][quote comment=”57353″]Just ran across this story. Apparently Colts backup QB Jim Sorgi tried out for the role of the new Maytag repair man yesterday. Interesting in itself, but not nearly as interesting as the jersey he is wearing here. Notice the lack of the NFL logo at the base of the collar as well as the 3 stripes around the cuff of the sleeve under the numbers! I’ve never seen this “Colts” jersey before, I would say perhaps a practice jersey, but wouldn’t all of his practice jerseys be red?[/quote]

    Maytag probably did not pay the licensing fee that would permit it to use an official Colts jersey. As a result, Sorgi would have to wear a similar, but unofficial, jersey.[/quote]

    Actually it looks like JDUB is right, it is probably the Thanksgiving throwback rather than an unofficial jersey. In action here and here.[/quote]
    I disagree, Maytag is not a sponsor of the NFL is the reason why the NFL shield was stripped off.

  • Zack | February 21, 2007 at 11:20 am |

    Another pic of Doug Mirabelli in reebok http://www.boston.co...

  • Steve | February 21, 2007 at 11:28 am |

    [quote comment=”57371″]Another pic of Doug Mirabelli in reebok http://www.boston.co...

    That was posted in yesterday’s comments.

  • Jeff E. | February 21, 2007 at 11:37 am |

    [quote comment=”57367″][quote comment=”57366″][quote comment=”57353″]Just ran across this story. Apparently Colts backup QB Jim Sorgi tried out for the role of the new Maytag repair man yesterday. Interesting in itself, but not nearly as interesting as the jersey he is wearing here. Notice the lack of the NFL logo at the base of the collar as well as the 3 stripes around the cuff of the sleeve under the numbers! I’ve never seen this “Colts” jersey before, I would say perhaps a practice jersey, but wouldn’t all of his practice jerseys be red?[/quote]

    Maytag probably did not pay the licensing fee that would permit it to use an official Colts jersey. As a result, Sorgi would have to wear a similar, but unofficial, jersey.[/quote]

    Actually it looks like JDUB is right, it is probably the Thanksgiving throwback rather than an unofficial jersey. In action here and here.[/quote]

    As a Colts fan, I acutally like those jerseys much better than the current ones, especially since the shoulder stripes have been truncated to accomadate the stitching of the jersey panels.

  • jake | February 21, 2007 at 11:39 am |

    [quote comment=”57370″][quote comment=”57367″][quote comment=”57366″][quote comment=”57353″]Just ran across this story. Apparently Colts backup QB Jim Sorgi tried out for the role of the new Maytag repair man yesterday. Interesting in itself, but not nearly as interesting as the jersey he is wearing here. Notice the lack of the NFL logo at the base of the collar as well as the 3 stripes around the cuff of the sleeve under the numbers! I’ve never seen this “Colts” jersey before, I would say perhaps a practice jersey, but wouldn’t all of his practice jerseys be red?[/quote]

    Maytag probably did not pay the licensing fee that would permit it to use an official Colts jersey. As a result, Sorgi would have to wear a similar, but unofficial, jersey.[/quote]

    Actually it looks like JDUB is right, it is probably the Thanksgiving throwback rather than an unofficial jersey. In action here and here.[/quote]
    I disagree, Maytag is not a sponsor of the NFL is the reason why the NFL shield was stripped off.[/quote]

    Well, the sheild isn’t visable in the photo of Manning nor the picture of the Sorgi jersey alone. Is it ever on throwbacks? You must consider that this wasn’t a planned photoshoot so there was no reason to strip the jersey of the sheild.

  • Brian from Short Island | February 21, 2007 at 11:41 am |

    Here are my uni-based Champions Leauge picks for today…
    Barça (red/blue) over Liverpool (either yellow or white/green)
    Porto (blue/white) draws Chelsea (black/white pinstripes)
    Valencia (white, black/orange accents) draws Inter (nerazzurri)
    Roma (crimson/orange) over Lyon (white, one blue/red stripe) (I don’t like either shirt, however)

  • KU Student | February 21, 2007 at 11:44 am |

    I found a site where the new hats are only $24. It says they are on order, but I would think they would be in soon. Hats

  • Broker75 | February 21, 2007 at 11:45 am |

    This pullover Bonds is sporting is probably the best looking piece of garment MLB apparel has to offer, (and I can never seem to find it ANYWHERE).

  • Eric | February 27, 2007 at 11:40 am |

    the pullover bonds is wearing is in mlb.com’s shop. i found it with no problem.

  • Andy | February 27, 2007 at 3:17 pm |

    Re “Good Idea” picture: That looks like fun for the sheep. If only there was a rope around his genitals- now there’s a good time. The only thing fun about bullriding was watching the cowboys get smacked around and trampled on.