Jim Shoulders, World’s Best Cowboy
Jim Shoulders won 16 world championship titles in bull and bareback riding. For those that don’t follow National Finals Rodeo (NFR) events and don’t recognize what that means, it would be in the league of Babe Ruth in baseball, Michael Jordan in basketball, or Tiger Woods in golf (minus the chicks). After retiring from bull riding, Jim Shoulders produced rodeos and provided livestock for rodeos. He promoted Wrangler Jeans to the point that no real cowboy would be caught dead in those other denim jeans. Same with Justin Boots.
Jim had a Brahma Bull named Bufford T. Lite. They traveled around the country promoting Miller Lite Beer. You may remember some of those zany commercials back in the 80’s. I have a good laugh every time I think of the commercial he did with New York Yankees manager Billy Martin. Enjoy the video of the ad below—it’s still available on YouTube.
I had watched Jim Shoulders compete but had never had the privilege of meeting him until July 1982. We both were working a convention at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. There I saw his greatest feat, which I’ll tell you about next time.