Little kids are like moms and dogs. Win or lose, they love their cowboys just the same. As luck and the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo contestant ticket lottery would have it, we get to sit near the Begay, Proctor and Medlin families here this week. The teams of Derrick Begay and Brady Minor, and Coleman Proctor and Logan Medlin have run hot and cold. To see the love they walk up to after the team roping night after night—whether it was money or mud in that Thomas & Mack Center Arena—is straight-up heartwarming. It also serves as a great reminder that rodeo is what they do, and not who these guys are.
Derrick and Brady were paired by fate when their partners—Cory Petska and Riley Minor—barely missed the cut. They placed in Round 1 on opening night, then won the second round in 3.9. Their NFR scorecard has since seen a leg and three no-times before their 4.4-second split for sixth in Round 9 last night.
Coleman’s reminded me a little bit of World Champion Header Bobby Hurley here this week, with his astounding ability to ride out of the arena with a smile on his face, even when he misses. Proctor and Medlin opened with a no-time in Round 1, and have had four of those in nine rounds. They’ve also taken two victory laps for their 3.8-second run in Round 5, and last night’s 3.5, which split the win with Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp.
How does he do it?
“In the words of Ray Wiley Hubbard, I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations,” Coleman said.