I went to Spain once. I was 7. My dad worked for United Airlines, so the flights cost a family of six about $124. That's like $143 in today's dollars. Just putting that in there for comparison's sake. Also, they want like 800 words out of me and I'm trying to fill up space. But sure, let's compare. Spain has its running of the bulls. You've all seen it on YouTube. It looks ridiculous. Why would anyone want to risk their life just to say they ran away from bulls?
Why, indeed I did so. I guess I did it because my name is on the title of our little show. If I'd worn a blue blazer and just reported on the event, I wouldn't have lived up to the spirit of "Wider World of Sports." Not that I participated in every sport we've covered. I mean, I sure as hell wasn't getting in the ring with those Muay Thai cats in Thailand. I'm not that stupid.
But what the hell. I figured I could outfox some stupid bulls. And, worst case, if they got too close, I could always jump up on the fence. And I did that. Pretty much every time the bulls ran.
That's right. This season it was decided we would cover unusual U.S.-based events. The free trips to Switzerland … all done with. Sad face emoticon.
But in Virginia, we did have a grand time. First, we ate a fine meal, served by nice people in Richmond. The place is called Croaker's Spot. You should go there even if you aren't driving farther south to Dinwiddie. That's where the first American running with the bulls took place in August. Rob Dickens from Boston decided to stage The Great Bull Run. He probably did this to make money. He plans to take the bulls on the road and have other people give him money for the privilege of possibly being trampled by bulls.
The way we did it in Dinwiddie was to stand on some compacted dirt on part of a drag strip. There were hundreds of us. All dressed in white and red, just as they do in Spain, where as you know, airfare costs $143. Then somebody opens a gate and a bunch of bulls run at us. Then we run like hell and try not to get killed. Pretty fun Saturday, right?
The first run was lame. Six bulls were released, and they looked like they'd freebased Zoloft. They stood around looking stupid and didn't really scare anyone. They pretty much walked the length of the course. Some of the folks in red and white rode on their backs, I think.
The next batch of bulls were a little more aggressive and actually ran up the course, chased by cowboys on horseback. It was weird. I jumped on the fence.
That's when Matt Doyle, my producer, told me I needed to get more involved.
So I did. On Runs 2, 3 and 4, I actually ran alongside the bulls before jumping up on the fence. I didn't care about the show enough to run the whole way. I didn't. You can't make me care that much. I was so proud of the fact I'd run with the bulls at all I announced to Matt and my crew, "I really ran with the bulls, guys." They looked pissed. Not at me. Their displeasure was over the fact they hadn't taken one useful picture of me running with the bulls. We needed to go again. Swear words.
So I hung in there on Run 5. I let other people in red and white run by me, away from the bulls, while I held my ground. I turned and ran at the exact moment I was scared for my life. I ran at least 40 feet. I jumped on the fence. Did you bastards get the shot this time? My boys had done their job. They'd gathered shots of me running alongside bulls. Boy, am I stupid. I did it again and again. All seven runs.
The seventh run was not safe. On that one, the man running the event decided it was time to add a greater element of danger -- 24 bulls were released at once. They ran crazy and angry, just like those stupid bulls in Spain do. I ran about 4 feet and got the hell off the course. I did this after seeing people being knocked over, a young girl in the fetal position, bulls jumping over her. I'll never do this again. I'll never go to Spain for $143. I don't even have six people in my family.