Steven Peebles had a Joe Theismann moment, and it happened on the biggest stage of his chosen sport, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Theismann was sacked by Lawrence Taylor during a 1985 Monday Night Football game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants and suffered gruesomely broken leg. It was – and still is – one of those moments that makes me cringe. I can’t watch it when it plays on the great move “Blindside.” I avert my eyes.
The injury ended Theismann’s career.
Peebles’ was similar. He broke his right leg and tore ligaments in his right ankle after his fifth-round ride. I knew right away that the NFR was over for Peebles, 23, of Redmond, Ore. I just wasn’t sure he would ever be able to ride bucking horses again.
Peebles proved me wrong quickly upon his return to ProRodeo, winning the title at the first event in which he competed in Pocatello, Idaho. On Labor Day, he put the finishing touches to another great win, riding Flying Diamond Rodeo’s Lucky for 89 points to win the bareback riding title in Ellensburg, Wash.
The $6,143 he earned for the feat will move Peebles up the world standings.
– But he’s just one of the amazing storylines coming out of Ellensburg. Sixteen-time world champion Trevor Brazile won the steer roping title, while his wife, Shada, won a share of the barrel racing crown. Brazile, who is the No. 1 header and the third-ranked steer roper, will qualify for the finals in both those categories, but it’s doubtful he’ll qualify for the NFR in tie-down roping. If he fails to qualify, it will mark the first time since 1999 that he hasn’t roped calves in Las Vegas – he is 35th in the tie-down roping standings.
– World champion bulldogger Jason Miller won the steer wrestling title and pocketed $7,781 in the process. He should move up the standings, which is great; he was 17th heading into the weekend and needed to move into the top 15 if he expects to make the NFR for a fifth time.