It was a long and lively 10+ days for Las Vegas, and as much as we love it, it feels good to get back into the routine of normal life. For the ladies, we can finally take a break from putting on full faces of makeup every day and wearing uncomfortable shoes (my ankles are still swollen BTW), and the men can hopefully start spending frugally again.
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my trip being on bed rest with a respiratory infection, and there’s several lessons I learned while in Sin City this year. For one, carry hand sanitizer and don’t ever touch your mouth. Don’t fill empty water bottles with champagne, treat your body and your spirit well, and watch more Bullfighters Only.
I purchased a couple of GA tickets to the Semifinals and Championship Rounds of BFO, and showed up to the Tropicana Las Vegas around 1:40 pm. There was live music and they were handing out free Otterbox phone cases outside of the tent. Inside we noticed a backdrop for photo taking, the BFO merch booth, and a mini bar. One wall was lined with a silent auction of paintings done by the talented and creative Jean Francois, “The Extreme Artist”. We found a place to stand along the side as the show started. Toby Inman, Tanner Zarnetski, and Kris Furr competed in the first round, Furr coming out with an 84.5 to make it to the short round. Cody Emerson, Weston Rutkowski, and Noah Krepps made for an exciting second round, Rutkowski winning it with an 85.5. Jimmy Essary, Zach Call, and Justin Josey went head to head in the long round, Call pulling out an 84 to win.
“I don’t remember the bulls being so hooky last year”, I said in-between gasps, a few curse words, and covering my hand with my mouth. It was a heck of show, you guys. There were lights, and sounds, games, and video. The crowd was interacted, entertained and interested. The production was phenomenal (round of applause for everyone involved in the making).
With Furr, Rutkowski, and Call down to the Championship round, things were about to heat up even more. Rutkowski put on a fabulous performance, winning the whole ordeal with a 90.5 (even with 15 staples in his head from the Roughy Cup), making him a 2x BFO World Champion.
Afterwards, we were informed to head over to the “Hooey Jam” at Robert Irvine’s Public House inside the Tropicana for a meal and the Corb Lund concert. We munched on Poutine and sipped on some Cabernet Sauvignon while chatting with a few of the contestants. It was a relaxing way finish the evening after such a nail-biting event.
Bottom line: It was a pleasure. The BFO event is a growing crowd favorite. It’s tough, tumultuous, and western- the kind of event that will keep you on your toes the entire time. If I have any tips for next year, I’d say to purchase tickets ahead of time to avoid the long box office line, and arrive at least a half an hour early to get a good seat. Snag some freebies and a cold beverage outside of the tent before heading inside. Purchase your merch before the show begins, and stick around until the end because the contestants sign autographs.
Congratulations to all of the participants and the hard work they put in to make the event memorable. I’m giving the 2017 BFO Championship 4.5/5 stars due to lack of seating in the venue.