WNFR Journal: Round 8


Science fans know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Was it Newton or Fred Whitfield who said that? The Whitfield-Cody Ohl rivalry may go down as the best in ProRodeo history. It's more than the fact they have combined to win the last eight tie-down world championships, it is how they have won them. Shades of Ali-Frazier. These guys seem to enjoy the quest more than the conquest itself. Standing toe-to-toe, the post run swagger, and all the hype only seem to fuel the fire.

I don't know who will finally prevail on Sunday afternoon, but I do know we are all winners just getting enjoy these two at play.

If the Wrangler NFR had ended last night Teddy Johnson, Glen O'Neill, and Janae Ward would have won world titles. That is like saying I had the lead with 100 miles left in the Indy 500. These last two rounds are far from secure. One mistake by any of them and their fate will change. They can see the finish line, they have the edge, but getting there will require two pressure packed performances. Is it a lock? No! Would they trade places with the competition? No!

Will Lowe has wrapped up his first world championship. Lowe has a chance to turn in the most dominating performance every by a bareback rider. He won all three Pace Picante Finales, the gold buckle is a lock, he should set a new single season money record and he has a chance to win the aggregate. Makes you wonder what he will do for an encore in 2004.

It would take a pretty good effort to derail Terry Don West's bid for a second world championship. Injuries have knocked the wheels out from under the competition allowing West to float through eight rounds and protect his lead. I say "float" because that is the way he rides. He just seems to be able to glide back where he is suppose to be on the bull. We talked a couple of weeks before the Wrangler NFR and I asked him to pick a favorite bull headed to Las Vegas. He picked Sammy Andrew's bull Slim. He gets his chance tonight.

The Wrangler NFR is like a Las Vegas vacation for Speed and Rich. Tune in Sunday to watch rodeo history as they clinch their seventh straight world title. They are roughly $50,000 ahead of the competition and dead even with Jake & Clay on a historic level.

The barrel racing over first eight rounds has been sloppy. In fact, there have been so many cans on the ground, the floor of the Thomas & Mack Center has been incorporated into the "adopt a highway" program. Kelly Kaminski needs to make the jump to light speed over these final two rounds. Rival Janae Ward is on the verge of going from 14th to first.