Shake Yer Face!!!!!!!!!

by Jake Hershey on October 14, 2012

Rodeo stock contractors are a funny part of the population.  Like the rest of us, they come in all shapes and sizes, with differing backgrounds, as well as opinions on things like style and personal hygiene.  Some of them are heavy set and walk around in dress pants and a sport coat with a neckerchief.  Others are skinny as a rail with faded blue jeans, dusty felt hats and a face that’s shaved only when they feel like it.  Of course, the level of professionalism in stock contractors often corresponds to the level of professionalism in the rodeos they contract.  The guys supplying stock to the NFR are usually a little more presentable than the guys putting on the local jackpot.  This isn’t a rule and it’s not to put down stock contractors of any sort.  Truth be told, I fared better in my career on the local jackpot stock than the NFR stuff anyhow.  And although the style, body type and personalities of stock contractors is as varied as the color of a blue heeler/catahoula/cur dog/border collie cross, they all have one thing in common.  They don’t like to wait.  Especially when it’s rodeo time.  They have good reason…with 100 contestants in a performance, if each one took 30 extra seconds to be ready that’s…uhhhh…a lot of seconds, which adds up to a lot of minutes and a crowd doesn’t like to sit too long or get home at midnight from a night out watching their hometown rodeo.  And a dissatisfied crowd equals low ticket sales next year.  Low ticket sales means less money to put the rodeo on.  Less money means less to pay the stock contractor.  Less to pay the stock contractor means poor stock.  Poor stock means less contestants.  You get the point, it’s a vicious cycle and stock contractors don’t like to wait.

I have never competed at the timed event end of the arena at an actual rodeo, but I have been at the other end hundreds if not thousands of times.  And unless you’re a world champion (sometimes even if you are) as soon as you get in the chute and sit down on the wild bucking animal you’ve paid money to try and ride the stock contractor starts telling you to hurry up.  This can be done in various ways, depending on various situations.  But it all culminates in this-the bareback rider has his hand wedged in and is scooting up on his riggin or the bronc rider has both of his stirrups and is about to pick up the bronc rein or the bull rider had his hand tied in and is scooting up on it, when the stock contractor yells, “Shake yer face!”  or “Shake yer face, son, he ain’t gonna get any better than that!” or “Shake yer face!  No one cares if you can ride’m in here!”.  You get my point.

The funny thing about rodeo is with the exception of barrel racing, nothing happens until the contestant makes the decision to shake their face.  In every other event, the cowboy has to shake his face.  This signals whoever is controlling the latch to “release the beast”, whether it’s bucking stock or timed event cattle.  In rodeo, no matter how good you are, nothing happens until you shake your face.  They don’t give gold buckles for sitting in the chute or timed event box.  They give’m for what happens after you shake your face.

Being a Christian is the same way.  You can be the best or the worst person that ever lived and either way, there’s only one way your soul will go to heaven.  You’ve got to make the choice to shake yer face.  You’ve got to make the choice to believe that Jesus Christ is real, that he lived on the earth and that he died and was raised from the dead for the forgiveness of your sins.

You can have all the ability in the world to scratch the hide of the best bucking horses in the world…but unless you shake your face and do it that doesn’t matter.  You can live what you consider to be a “good life”….but unless you shake yer face for Jesus it won’t matter when your life on earth is over.

In rodeo, a lot more goes into being a champion than just shaking your face….but you can’t win if you don’t do it.  In our life both here on earth and for eternity, a lot more goes into being a champion and the kind of person God had in mind when he created us….but you don’t have a chance if you won’t shake yer face for Jesus.  God has given you all the ability you need to be a champion in the arena of life.  But it ain’t gonna happen until you choose to follow Jesus Christ.

If you’re still sitting in the chute, what are you waiting on?

Shake yer face.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9

*For all you heelers out there who may be confused.….shaking your face is that thing your partner does with his head right before the steer leaves the chute.



Jake Hershey 10/14/12

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  • That’s real good, bud! I remember the stock contractor for the Tri-state high school rodeo area used to say “nobodys going to cheer for you in here! get out!” Glad I shook my face for Christ, just workin’ on stayin’ in the middle more often!

  • Jake

    Lol Cory. Me too.

  • Micheal McEvoy

    And once you’ve made that commitment, be ready for the world to give you a hard ride. It’s worse than the rankest rough stock, but the end results are worth the abuse the world dishes out to those who can ride that narrow path.

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