*The opinions expressed by the author in this piece are strictly his own and do not reflect the viewpoints of the Roundup as a whole. The rest of the members of surebud don't have the guts to take a stand like this. The author is a hero. Enjoy.
It's rodeo time Houston! Get fired up. Join a committee. Google a Cavenders location. Squint and try to watch a concert. Take part in a corporately sponsored BBQ cook-off. Go crazy.
Yes, I am being sarcastic. Yes, I do hate the Houston Rodeo. At this juncture, I'd like to point out that I don't hate the livestock show portion of the event. It's for the kids! The rodeo, not so much. Perhaps I should also point out that I'm not anti-bull riding or steer wrestling, or that one game where the cowboys play fake poker while a wild animal runs around them. I'm certainly not against mutton-bustin'. Mutton bustin' should take football's place in the spring. (Take that UFL!)
But I'm back peddling here. I am against the other parts of the Rodeo. Nay, I hate them. Here's why.
For two weeks Houston gets all rodeo crazy. It's a giant game of dress-up where an urban city attempts to re-brand itself as the redneck capital of the world. Houston isn't even the redneck capital of Harris County. Speaking of dress up, if you are wearing your "cowboy" outfits for two weeks as you enjoy your season pass to Reliant, you are wearing a costume.
Think of Comic-Con or Trekkie Conventions, full of Klingons, Flash Gordon, and the cast of Lost. That's what you're doing. Go as an Ewok; it makes as much sense as wearing a bedazzled cowboy hat, buying boots, a skull somewhere on your person and searching desperately for turquoise accessories. I am consistently amazed at the various uses of bandanas and scarfs. Admit it, you have a pair of rodeo wranglers, starched, in dry cleaning wrap, and waiting for late February. You probably have a nickname for them, and after their two-week run, you banish them to the back of your closet for another year.
But wait, what about the concerts? How can you hate the concerts? Easy, because they are held in a giant football stadium with a stage at midfield, and you're a minimum of a quarter mile away from said stage watching on the jumbotron. But hey, what about that rodeo line-up uh? I have one word for you. Pitbull. The Godfather of Jack Wagon himself is headlining.
If he's not the Godfather, then Kenny Chesney is. It's like they're having a death race to douchey. Kenny built a sizeable lead by marrying Renee Zellweger for 10 minutes, but then Pitbull signed on with Dr. Pepper, now it's anybody's ballgame.
As for the rest of the lineup, check out Styx. STYX! Are they going to do Kilroy? That's the only possible purpose for having them here. Also if Dennis DeYoung ain't there, it ain't Styx. Austin Mahone and Demi Lovato are playing; I suspect so that the Disney crowd can screech for two solid hours. Has anyone seen Jake Owen, Luke Bryan, and Brantley Gilbert in the same room? Me neither.
People raved about Enrique Iglesias and the show he put on last year. Unless you were a roadie, jumped the fence and ran onto the field or have incredible vision you didn't see that show. You watch half the show and then watched the back of the rotating stage for the other half. There may be worse venues for a concert, but I can't think of them. Perhaps a prison rec yard or anything in Kabul.
Now some of you have joined a committee. It probably involves standing around in costume, driving drunks around in a golf cart. I don't know why you've done it; perhaps you get some perks I'm not aware of from those rodeo bumper stickers. Free Chick-Fil-A biscuits? If so, then I take back everything I've said and yes, I would like to direct people to a funnel cake. I don't think the perks are that dreamy, however. Perhaps volunteering at the Rodeo is more fraternal, joining with your fellow man for two weeks to make this city and this event more incredible. I like your spunk. Why don't we channel that away from directing people to turkey legs and towards things that might be more worthwhile? There are 12,000 miles of state highway in this city that've been tagged by gang bangers grab a brush and go to town. Take a golf cart. We can even print up some badges for you.
Lastly, and this is petty I know, but the BBQ cook-off. Really? I went a few years ago. We had tickets from Sprint to their tent. Yes, I'm a kind of a big deal, I know. Their "BBQ team" had the event catered. Wait...what? The Nextel tent was similarly situated. HP nailed their sauce though the brisket was a bit tough. Wait, never mind, some other guy cooked it for them. I did find my way into a beautiful assortment of corporate koozies and complimentary pens.
I left wondering where the cook-off was? You know the guys who sat up for 48 hours basting a slab of meat, nurturing it like a child. Where were those guys? Are they cooking in a different lot? Away from the energy companies, cell phone tents, and engineering firms.
Fear not, far be it from me to close one chute and not open some other thingy that cows go in. Other things in this city are great and well worth your time. Greek Fest. It has everything the Rodeo doesn't. Greek dancers, humus, meats on a stick, white guys with no Greek heritage screaming "Hopa!" for the duration of the evening. Or what about the art cars or lights in the Heights. The International Festivals are mostly great, though partly a beating. And most of these don't require a costume or Kenny Chesney.