It sounds pretty easy when Josh Faircloth says it.
"Show up and stay on your bull for eight seconds," said the 22-year-old professional bull rider. "That's all it takes."
But for anyone who's seen a show like the Professional Bull Riders Johnstown Invitational, set for 7:30 p.m. March 23 and 24 at the Cambria County War Memorial, it's not hard to tell that it's a little more complicated than that.
An unidentified PBR contestant tries to last eight seconds.
Originally from Randleman, N.C., Faircloth said he grew up around bull riding, and has been seriously training in the sport for eight years.
"It takes a lot of training - getting on a lot of bulls and figuring it out," he said. "Some of it comes easier than others. A lot of times, it's just hard work."
The local audience will see the fruits of Faircloth's hard work, along with that of about 40 other riders as part of the PBR's Touring Pro Division. About 80 riders total will appear between Friday and Saturday.
If you go
What: Professional Bull Riders Johnstown Invitational
When: 7:30 p.m. March 23 and 24
Where: Cambria County War Memorial, 326 Napoleon St., Johnstown
Details: Tickets can be purchased at the box office, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com
Dan Baus, promoter for this regional show, said each rider is looking to score the most amount of points toward a trip to the 2012 PBR World Finals in Las Vegas. Points are awarded depending on how long the rider holds on and how hard a bull is they've been randomly chosen to ride.
The tougher the bull, the higher the potential score.
"Each of these bulls in the bull riding community, the characteristics and meanness, are well known," Baus said. "It's like a scouting report for a football player or baseball player."
Faircloth has dreams of becoming a world-champion rider, and said he goes out in each competition to "show up and win every time."
While remaining focused on the competition, Faircloth said he tries not to think about the danger associated with the sport that he loves.
"Sometimes you might have a good bull, sometimes you might not," he said. "You know the danger is there, but you try not to worry about it."
On the other hand, for Robbie Hodges, who tours with the PBR shows as a barrel man, handling that danger is something he thinks about nightly. As a barrel man, Hodges acts as a target for the bull after a rider, or fighter, is thrown or dismounts. He took up this position upon retiring from riding himself in 1999, after one ride that dislocated his shoulder, and the dozens of bumps and bruises that came before that.
"I was a rider for 16 years. I retired with some kids, but I wanted to stay rodeo-ing," he said. "So I took this side of it, and 12 years later, I have a great career."
The other half of Hodges' job as barrel man is providing the entertainment. He acts as an emcee for the invitational, and performs what he calls "walk-and-talk comedy" by commenting on what's happening in the dirt or in the stands.
Though he may crack a joke at a rider's expense if they fall funny, Hodges said he really respects the "tough job" that all riders do.
"The difference between us and the three big sports [is] we take care of our own travels, everything," he said. "We're freelance, and paid on our performance. We don't sign big contracts, we just do each rodeo. ... Those guys do an unbelievable thing. I have all the respect in the world for them."
Hodges was present for last year's Johnstown invitational, and said there was a "great crowd" that was very enthusiastic.
"We're pretty excited about coming back to Johnstown," he said.
For anyone who's never been to a bull riding event, Hodges said it's sort of like watching a car race. He added that all involved are very open to answering questions from the crowd.
"When people see it live and get to feel the thunder of these bulls, that's really what sells it for us," he said. "That's what does it."
Faircloth said a bull riding event is pretty action-packed for the audience, adding that people usually enjoy seeing wrecks.
"You've got a 150-pound guy getting on a 1,500 to 2,000-pound bull," he said. "There's going to be a lot of close calls. It's just exciting to watch stuff like that. You never know what's going to happen."
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.