NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco rode a bull for 1.5 seconds during intermission of a professional bull riding event on Saturday at the Gwinnett Arena.
The 10-year NFL veteran and six-time Pro Bowler, didn’t make it through one buck by Deja Blu, a 1,500-pound bull. He was nearly stomped by the Bulls’ back legs while scrambling to get out of the way.
“I was mad that I couldn’t ride it out of the chute,” said Ochocinco, who received a $10,000 appearance fee.
Ochocinco, who has been working out in Atlanta and running the track at the Marist School, started tweeting about riding a bull on twitter.com recently. Professional Bull Riders president Sean Gleason issued him a challenge.
Ochocinco practiced riding a bull on Friday and Saturday with Ty Murray, a nine-time world champion and Professional Bull Riding co-founder.
“A comparison would be a guy coming to you and saying I only want to ski one run, but I want to go to the top of the French Alps and do a double diamond,” Murray said.
Ochocinco was clearly nervous before his ride. He rose up off the bull twice before giving Murray the thumbs up signal to open the chute.
“I knew I was in over my head,” Ochocinco said.
Murray gave Ochocinco a crash course on bull riding.
“Mainly, what I was trying to do was show him chute protection and chute safety,” Murray said. “We practiced several crash scenarios today. He’s a phenomenal athlete. He was very easy to teach because he is so athletic.”
After getting thrown, Ochocinco rolled to his left like he getting away from an NFL linebacker.
“I’m sure the NFL is pissed, but I don’t follow their rules anyway,” Ochocinco said.
The PBR folks were delighted with the extra attention.
“It’s been unbelievable,” Gleason said. “At the end of the day, we’ve been in major newspapers for the last five days. It’s just been phenomenal, the national exposure for a sport that really needs it. We need more people to know what we do.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog