Sometimes, it pays to be old.
I ain’t sayin’ ‘ol Buck lives in one of those retirement bunkhouses huntin’ for an old lady with money, but folks in these parts don’t mind when I use a ladder to get on my steed, ol’ Punky.
At my age, some parts don’t work like they used to but the part you’re thinking about works just fine.
Having been around here since Hoover Dam gettin’ built, old age has set in like a comfortable pair of boots. Did you know more folks lived in Boulder City than Las Vegas during the height of construction at that darn dam in the mid-1930s?
It’s those knees Father Time keeps kickin’. They don’t like to bend.
That’s one reason I’ll hop those free shuttle buses from an official NFR hotel on the Strip or downtown to get to tonight’s opening performance at the Thomas & Mack Center; don’t have to walk too far and remember where I parked.
Did I say the shuttles offer free to-and-from service?
Dang it. See, that’s one problem with being old; can’t remember the easy stuff.
But for us old whippersnappers, fleeting memory can have advantages.
Like watching TV. Those "Gunsmoke" reruns are like first runs for ol’ Buck cause I never remember how they ended.
And thanks to bad memory, I can be excited about the drama over who will win the all-around world championship when the chutes open at 7 tonight for the first bareback ride of the $6 million rodeo.
I checked who’s leading the battle for the most prestigious gold buckle in rodeo. I scribbled down some notes because this here story needs to help the nearly 18,000 who will pile into the T&M each of the next 10 nights.
Guess what? It’s that boy from Decatur, Texas.
Looks like Trevor Brazile will win his ninth and fourth straight all-around title.
And it could happen within the next few days.
The kid — he’s only 35 — already has won $259,042 this year and is the only NFR contestant qualified for two events; he’s ranked third in tie-down roping and 12th in team roping with heeler Patrick Smith.
Bull rider Shane Proctor is the closest to Brazile in all-around but trails him by $140,019. Unless Brazile is kidnapped by my alien buddies out in Area 51, Proctor’s got as much a chance of winning the all-around as he does posing naked in a magazine.
Bad comparison ’cause Shane was shown in his birthday suit a couple years ago in an issue of ESPN The Magazine.
The most a bull rider has won in the NFR was the $158,738 when three-time reigning champ J.W. Harris pulled down that much last year.
So let’s just engrave that all-around gold buckle with the name of, uhh, who was that again?
Oh yeah, that youngun’ Trevor Brazile.
Tickets? Heck, yeah, there are tickets
The only complaint I hear about the NFR is that it’s sold out and you can’t buy tickets.
Well, that’s half true.
The past 24 NFRs have sold out and so will this year’s. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get tickets for nearly every performance and for just a few bits over face value.
Las Vegas Events has expanded its popular Official Ticket Exchange program to include the Internet at NFRexperience.com, and the old reliable Exchange booth is open each day at the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The lucky folks holding season tickets put the ones they won’t use for sale for as little as $49.
And the popular "Mad Dash 30" is a fun way to get in the T&M and Cox Pavilion next door for a concert in the Cowboy Corral.
For $49, you can get a ticket that gets you in to find an unused seat in the upper level. You’ve got 30 minutes into the show to find a seat or you can get a full refund. Or you can stay inside and watch the live television feed of the rodeo.
Just don’t buy tickets from those scoundrel scalpers outside the T&M.
Feeding scalpers — like rats — is illegal in Nevada if the selling price is above face value.
And us cowboys don’t break laws.
We wouldn’t want to disappoint Marshal Dillon.
Share your NFR thoughts with Vegas Buck by sending him a telegram or a message at email@example.com by using that newfangled email.