An old teammate and friend of mine asked me an interesting question once during one of our high school volleyball practices. She turned to me after our usual warm up laps and said between puffs of air, “Nicole, if you could have anyone commentate your life, who would it be?”
I just stared at her in disbelief. Often I didn’t know how to let my mind wander creatively like that and I always admired her ability to do so. I rarely gave power to a thought of such nature and I certainly never dreamed of discussing such silly issues when it was time to practice. But I laughed it off, told her that I had no idea, and then listened to her present her case for her choice commentator, which I can no longer remember, while we warmed up our arms for practice.
Years later, much more fun-loving and open-minded than I was in high school, I was watching ‘The Longest Ride’. I can honestly say that I’m not a huge Nicholas Sparks fan, you can tar and feather me later, but I did enjoy this movie. But then again, how could I not enjoy a movie with the ruggedly attractive spawn of THE Clint Eastwood as the lead role. I’m only human after all. Throughout the movie I found that my favorite scenes were the rodeo scenes. It was more about the rodeo for me than the love story. Having been raised by two Wyoming kids, I’ve been known to catch a rodeo here and there, one every summer to be exact. The bull-riding scenes in this movie were almost as captivating to me as the real thing and it only took me .09732 of a second to discover why. The announcer’s voice.
One word out of his mouth took me right back to my summers in the Grand Stands of the Cody Stampede Rodeo and gave me an answer to a question I ignored about 10 years earlier.
Something about the announcer at every rodeo I’ve been to, and the one in this movie, can make every other sound disappear. Their voices are so strong and commanding yet are able to maintain an undertone of reverence and encouragement. They have an authentic southern cadence that reflects God-fearing and patriotic values. And their projection is as pure as a pristine mountain stream and smoother than a Bo Duke slide.
But it isn’t just the rich, buttery smooth tone that I love so much. It’s also their ability to make the worst situations sound okay. If a cowboy gets bucked off, lands on his face in the dirt, and gets charged out of arena by a raging bull the announcer will still rally the crowd to give a round of applause; despite the fact that the cowboy had just disappointed an ignorant and expecting crowd by not being able to hold on for a measly eight seconds. “He’s not going home with any money tonight folks, we better give him a warm Wyoming round of applause! Show him our love and support! That 8 seconds is tough to do! You’ll get him next time cowboy!!”
So to answer a question I avoided so long ago, I would most definitely have a rodeo announcer commentate my life. I wouldn’t mind one bit having a handsome cowboy with a strong, silky voice follow me around every day to urge bystanders to support me with prayer, understanding, and rounds of applause. “She’s had rough go of it this evenin folks, let’s all lower our hats, bow our heads and ask the good Lord to look after her!” Or, “She’s on fiiirrre tonight, let’s all give her a good ol’ country shoutout, yeeeehhhaaaww!”
If you could choose anyone, who would you have commentate your life?