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Monday, May 6th, 2013

Why "rerun" should be a four letter word

With 2 steers, 3 horses, 2 ropers, a flagger, uneven terrain, 3 different views, different levels of horsemanship, different styles of roping, different temperament of steers, horses, and ropers – there are going to be differences of opinions on the run.  It’s called “subjective judgment.” 

Here’s the deal.  I want each team to have a fair opportunity to compete, bottom line.  I also want the competition to be fair.  With team roping, some amount of horsemanship comes into play – the ability to react to a live animal (the steer) is a necessary part of the event.  I want my flagger to dictate a rerun, not the team who complains.  

Because what usually happens is that the team wants a rerun and the flagger doesn’t think they deserve one.  It’s his job to say, “Sorry, but I can’t.”  Inevitably, what then happens is the team wants to know why, or they tell him the steer was taken out of the roping, or they might even call the flagger a sorry S.O.B.  Things then really escalate.  Now the flagger is put in a position where he’s trying explain why no rerun was given . . . “You roped him around the eyes; the steer’s been run all day; your horse can’t run, etc…” 

Now pay attention, here’s where it gets interesting.  The roper who was already mad is now really mad, because he knows he didn’t rope the steer around the eyes; he thinks his $20,000 horse is the fastest in the country; there’s no way he could have mishandled the steer; he’s been taking roping lessons from Tyler Magnus… and so on and so on.

After all this discourse, nothing changed – except this:  the roper is madder than ever and is going to leave mad.  That makes me mad.  I want ropers to come to enjoy fair competition, but you simply have to realize that the flagger – or Ty Yost – has to make decisions constantly, and the results can be viewed from different-colored lenses depending on how you are watching.  “Rerun” actually should be a four-letter word, because it causes about the same amount of emotion.