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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rodeo Report: And Alan Jackson...

Several things you should know up front:
  1. I had never set foot inside the AT&T Center prior to this event
  2. We go to the rodeo grounds every year, but (see #1 above) have never gone to the actual rodeo or concert event
  3. My wife and I are battling what is at minimum a severe cold and quite possibly the flu
So with my wife's purse full of Kleenex and cough drops and me sporting my spiffy new camera case complete with a back-up set of batteries for both my camera and video camera and a spare 8gb SD card, we were set to hit the AT&T Center for our first Rodeo and the Alan Jackson concert that would follow. The first thing that happened was upon entering the AT&T Center, the lady checking our bags let the Kleenex and cough drops through but told me I would have to check my video camera at the Guest Services booth. Turns out, they don't want people video taping the concerts. Not a problem really. I suspected this would be the case, and was just glad I didn't have to walk back to the truck only to give thieves a reason to break into it. My real intention with the video camera was to film some of the rodeo grounds (and the people walking around) but if we got a few seconds of bull riding or Alan Jackson, I'm sure my wife would have been happy with it. Anyway, I won't give you a blow by blow description of things, but I do need to make a few comments about the AT&T Center. For the love of God, is it necessary to build such a steep incline directly to the top of the building. As luck would have it, I purchased the "Best Available" from Ticket Master, and that ended up being $15.00 seats within puking distance of the outer wall, and if one was tall enough, the ceiling of the place.Of course, later, my wife would point down (really, really far down) to the people who paid $200 per seat to sit around the edge of the stage and call me a cheap skate for not shelling out more than $15 bucks. I blame Ticket Master and maybe a little of the fact that I waited until there were like, two seats left.

When we first got to our seats, things seemed a little tight. First, in an effort to spread out, there was a guy sitting in one of our seats so he and his date would not have to sit cheek to cheek (if you catch my drift). We settled in and actually, the seats were not so totally uncomfortable that I was in pain. In fact, unless you are simply jumbo sized, they weren't that bad. I felt really bad for a lady seated near us who was pushing Oprah density, and her ass actually made a suction cup sound when she attempted to stand up for the presentation of the colors. I am happy to report that I made no such noise. I did realize after a while though that my legs are simply too long to be be forced into the leg room provided. But again, I did not expect to be sitting there from 1PM until close to 5PM.If you have never been to the SA Rodeo, the opening ceremony was one of those must see things that I was happy to witness. Lots of horses, flags, some prayin' and amen'n and some guy sang an awesome National Anthem. Oh, laser shows and fireworks too.After that, they jumped right into the rodeo. Even from the top of the nosebleed section, the action is pretty exciting. I had no idea what to expect aside from the standard bucking of broncos, flying cowboys and the occasional clown being chased by a bull. They have a fully loaded computer at the ready with sound effects, applicable musical cuts and of course, the famous rodeo announcers who have a running commentary throughout the show. Honestly, the whole thing is like listening to a morning radio show with occasional comments from the clown and, oh by the way, a bunch of cows and steer and horses and such. And I'm not complaining at all. It was all very entertaining.So my wife and I got up to go out into the lobby and purchase some t-shirts, some vittles and a $6.75 beer. The the accommodations at the AT&T center seem pretty nice to me. Lots to purchase, places to sit and of course, video screens everywhere so you can keep track of what is going on inside the arena.We made it back inside in time to what the real competition - the Mutton Busters. Sorry, it all happened too fast to get any worthwhile pictures, but it was certainly a fun event. In case you didn't know, they have little 4 and 5 year olds wearing near football uniforms and they strap them to a real live sheep. Then they let the sheep go. Most of the time, the kid falls off within a split second or two, but the little girl who won the event simply hung on and was not about to let go. They had to pry her off the poor little animal. She won a big ass belt buckle for her trouble. The little girl, not the sheep.When everything was said and done, the rodeo was over and immediately, they pulled a stage into the arena. In less than half an hour, they had things ready to go and out came Alan Jackson.My wife screamed, sang, hooted, and occasionally danced, though somewhat restrained considering the long tumble that might occur if one was not careful. I thought the show was fine; this was no rock concert with drum sets spinning upside down or perhaps the fiddle player jumping into a mosh pit. Mr. Jackson simply came out, stood on a stage that spun like a turntable for 45 minutes and sang his songs. It sounded good and the important thing is, my wife loved it.His last song of the performance was "Where I come from" with somewhat of a San Antonio twist. Up on the Jumbo-tron, they had footage from all around San Antonio and a lot of familiar video taken at the BBQ Cook-off we attended last weekend. I just assume they do this for every concert venue they play, but never the less, it was a good finale.After the concert, it was our plan to hit the rodeo grounds and do some shopping and find some greasy, fried food to eat for dinner. But one thing I had not planned on was really feeling like crap combined with an unbearable amount of people. When we normally go to the rodeo grounds, we do it on a weekday afternoon. This was a Saturday and the place was so packed that I was getting claustrophobic and feverish. I quickly suggested that we simply exit and come back later during the week to see the grounds. You don't have to wait for that though, you can see my report from last year, here.

And of course, we left hungry and that is how we ended up at Bennigan's on a Saturday night.

You can see much more on the Flickr page...

UPDATE: Where I Come From, San Antonio Style...


Anonymous said...

Dave says :) I thought the show was fine ..

Eva says:) What the heck???? He was Awesome , handsome, sexy and an all around great family man. He is never in the Star for cheatin ,stealin, or drugs. I find that very rare in any performer.That is what makes him in demand with 2 shows not just one :) I would have easily paid 200.00 for the ultimate experience.... I was in Awe either way. Thanks for the early valentines ...

Alyssa at SACVB said...

The Mutton Buster competition is hilarious! I love watching all the cute kids try to hold on for dear life to those sheep. It sounds like you had a great first time at the rodeo competition, got any plans to go back soon? They have a really great concert line-up this year, hope you at least enjoy the grounds during the week when it's not so packed!


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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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