When eight-time World Champion and ProRodeo Hall of Famer Joe Beaver didn’t show up for work to commentate on the Round 6 telecast of the $14.1 million Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge on the Cowboy Channel, the rodeo community started buzzing.
There were speculations from flu to a firing that started a borderline frenzy from people who so look forward to their nightly Joe B fix. Where was he?
Beaver, who won his first gold tie-down roping buckle as a rookie here at the Thomas & Mack the year the NFR moved to Vegas in 1985, was actually across town roping in the #12.5 at the Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale at the South Point. Beaver headed for fellow Texan Danny Zuniga, and they placed 28th in the #12.5 roping to split $9,400.
“I skipped the rodeo, because I had a chance to win $100,000 over there, and I decided to give 10% of what we won to Reid Oftedahl (the Minnesota bull rider who suffered serious head and neck injuries in Round 2 here at his first NFR, and will miss the rest of the rodeo),” Joe B said. “I didn’t win the big money, but I’m rounding up the $9,400 we won to $10,000, and am going to give Reid $1,000 of it.”
Joe B’s buddy and fellow living legend Trevor Brazile filled in at the mic for the evening, and also helped fill the 10-plus minutes when the Thomas & Mack Arena lost power due to someone hitting a power pole out back.
“You didn’t tell me what would happen if I plugged my phone in,” Trevor cracked. “The only problem with The House That Joe Built is that it was wired in the ’80s.”