8 Seconds does not seem like a long time, but for people in the rodeo business it can be a long time.
"I may look like I am going fast but i my mid it is really slow," professional bull fighter Clay Heger said. "It is the equivalent of standing on a street corner in high traffic and waiting for a wreck to happen then instead of running away, you are jumping in."
Heger is one of three men on the arena floor during the nightly bull riding competition.
The bulls the bullfighters are facing off with are nearly 2 tons. that is a lot of weight they must convince to move on out of the arena once they buck their rider off.
"It is a wild animal that is unpredictable," professional bullfighter Jake King said. " There is no game planning. There is training but only so much training."
Heger and King have one job and that is to keep the cowboys safe. The job of entertaining the crowd goes to the funny man that will take a front row seat in his barrel.
"It is not very safe," Cliff "Hollywood" Harris said. "It is wood with metal inside and you can get knocked around. The bull can get his hoofs in there or his horns."
Hollywood has come face to face with many bulls and some on the biggest stage. Now he sits in the barrel and teaches the young guns how to fight the bulls.
"In the past 20 years to even thirty years, guys have gone from fighting bulls and being funny to just fighting bulls."
The young guys will gladly take any teaching.
"You can never stop sharpening your tools," King said. "If you don't become humble then you will get humbled. I don't know what it is but those bulls can sense it and they will pull the rug out from under you."
Hollywood and his crew will be at the Nacogdoches Pro Rodeo one more night on Saturday. The gates open at 6:30 and festivities start at 7:00.
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