S/O to those who STILL believe in Loyalty.

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“There is something wrong with your character if opportunity controls your loyalty.”

Loyalty is fleeting now days. Personally, I think society has directly influenced that mentality. We see athletes jumping from team to team and celebrities switching lovers each day at Cannes.

So honestly, what is sacred now days? Instead of questioning one’s motives, we continue to reward deceit and completely forget about those individuals that have stood for something. People have a short memory and I’m all for supporting individuals that do something to help their well-being, but I don’t appreciate glorifying deceit or bad mouthing something that has done a lot of good because you think you deserve more.

Since when did being shady and selfish, become normal?

A recent poll was taken and it asked individuals what the leading cause of their divorce was. I bet you are thinking that infidelity was the number one cause, right? Nope, it didn’t even make the top ten. In order, the most reoccurring causes for divorce were:

  1. Getting in for the wrong reasons (marrying for money)
  2. Lack of individual identity (Not being allowed to be yourself)
  3. Becoming lost in the roles (Differences in beliefs)
  4. Not having a shared vision of success (‘Everything changed when we got married’)
  5. The intimacy disappears.
  6. Unmet expectations.
  7. Finances.
  8. Being out of touch with each other.
  9. Different priorities and interests.
  10. Inability to resolve conflicts.

Wait…What? You’re telling me that with all the opportunities to cheat through social media, technology and apps, that cheating did not make it on the list? According to Buss & Shackelford, it is expected that roughly 30-60% of all married individuals will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage. So, possibly 30-60% of married individuals that get cheated on, stay with their spouse after they cheat, making betrayal accepted, but lacking flare in the bedroom is grounds to leave your partner. Out of those top 10 reasons, did you notice that all those causes of divorce above are self-benefitting.

If someone can get away with cheating and still reap the same benefits of loyalty, why would someone be loyal to that person? Morally, it is wrong, but if someone cheats in the first place, have they not already neglected the basis of a clear moral compass? Morals are already out the window at that point.

The same goes for business. My dad always says, “Some things are not for sale.” Which leads me to ask, what about you as a working individual will you not compromise to get ahead? I was reading the other day and on success.com, an author, Jim Rohn, stated that, “Success as a leader is built on the foundation of character.” He gave 6 essential traits of a good character, as follows:

Integrity

Honesty

Loyalty

Self-Sacrifice.

Accountability

Self-Control.

Wow. Look at the differences in having character and having a successful marriage. If we applied those above traits into marriages today, what would the divorce rate be? I guarantee it would drop tremendously. Loyalty has lost its place in the workplace and relationships. Is it because it is easier to just walk away and society accepts the ‘At least you tried’ mentality? Entitlement has caused the diminish of loyalty in society.

As if lack of loyalty in relationships and the workplace is not enough, let’s add loyalty to our country into the mix. Our national pride is at an all-time low because people cannot put their own feelings aside and think about the bigger picture. Cheering for Donald Trump’s failure is cheering for your own failure. In our participation trophy society, I know people cannot handle failing. Flashback to after the election when students couldn’t go to school, celebrities were crying on their social media videos and protestors were defecating on Donald Trump signs. We’re their consequences? No, they got attention on major news networks. Out of the thousands of inspiring and positive stories, the news gave attention to people that were not being loyal to their institution, their fans or their country.

The part that made me laugh the most is that they were so caught up in the opposition, that they failed to allow those who were LOYAL to Trump any attention, because they we’re not as loud. Did you know, all these things have happened since November 8th:

  1. Protestors in black masks shut down college campuses.
  2. Protestors destroy buildings such as Starbucks and banks.
  3. Kathy Griffin poses with a bloody replica of the President’s decapitated head.
  4. A popular publication published an article calling for the execution of Donald Trump.
  5. A man shot at several Republican congressmen.
  6. 35 Trump supporters have been attacked or killed by protestors since July 2016.
  7. Johnny Depp calls for the killing of President Trump.
  8. A rapper has threatened to gang rape First Lady Melania Trump.
  9. A comedian made fun of the way First Lady Melania Trump spoke.
  10. An SNL writer said that 10-year-old Barron Trump looked like a future school shooter.

You want to know the best part of all of this? They destroyed a Starbucks and the owner of Starbucks was a Hillary Clinton supporter and donated to her own campaign. They got so caught up in the ‘fight,’ that they neglected loyalty to their own.

All because Donald Trump won the Presidency. One can say that his tweets are bizarre and he overuses the words ‘Great’ and ‘So good,’ but it is hard to deny that he is in fact, loyal to the United States of America. Otherwise, why would a billionaire leave his company to lead a country that has caused his family pain and anguish over the past few months? For everyone that is going to bring up “locker room talk,” “Not releasing his tax returns,” “Russia,” or “The wall,” his loyal supporters can argue: Monica Lewinsky, theft, Benghazi and she too, once supported, “the wall.” Trust me, I’ve heard both sides. But, have you listened to both opinions, or just formed your own?

That isn’t the point though, people have become so accustom to deceit and unfaithfulness, that they fail to recognize it when it is right in front of them whether it be in a person or political figure.

Loyalty is not a part-time job. It’s supporting those who have stood by you. It is standing by your country and leaving politics out of national pride. It is staying loyal to your partner, even when infidelity presents itself. It is being a decent human being.

If we take our ego out of the picture, are we really entitled to loyalty from those we don’t not return the favor to? Let’s stop persecuting each other for being loyal to our beliefs and instead start celebrating that we have differences. You cannot change one’s mind, but you can accept it.

We have to start holding each other accountable and realize that there are consequences to our actions. The world is a big place and we are not the only person that matters. Be different, don’t accept laziness when it comes to loyalty, from others or yourself.

Although it is hard, we cannot only be loyal when it benefits us. There are millions of people in the world and it takes one person to stand by their beliefs and cause a movement. I challenge you to show loyalty to those things that matter, your beliefs and principles should be at the top of the list because if you sell yourself out, you have nothing left.

In a world where everyone is pushing inclusiveness, it’s time we stop showing acceptance to things that hurt people. Our country is not the movie Mean Girls; you can be loyal to yourself, your family, your brand, your sponsors, employers and country, and still get a seat at the table.

Don’t sell out.

If we show each other respect, work hard, stand behind each other and support our own, that is when America will be great again.

I’m cheering for you,

AB

DISCLAIMER: If you get upset by this, you didn’t read it all. These are the things that I believe, you don’t have to agree. Stay loyal, no one is trying to change you.

Picking Sunflowers

 

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Have you ever stopped to pray and genuinely asked God, what your purpose is? I do this everyday and it seems that everyday God tells me to be patient because my day is coming. For me, this is a daunting task. I’m ADD and extremely impatient. I like to be achieving and progressing towards a purpose. I’ve struggled to find my purpose and today I realized that God is dealing with millions of people, not just me.

This is my sunflower picking phase.  

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My dad was 29 years old when he became a sales manager at car dealership. Not too short after that, the dealership closed its doors because of the war. In a matter of a week my dad was unemployed and he was expecting his first child, me. My dad was at a loss because he went from being in control and finding his place in this world to lying flat on his back with no clue what he was supposed to do. So, he started working for a local rancher doctoring calves. Unfortunately, working only a few days a week was not enough, so my dad had to ask if he had anything else for him to do. The old man told my dad with hesitation that he needed help clearing the stock cattle pens because the sunflowers had grown so tall, it was prohibiting the trucks from getting in to take the cattle. My dad told me that the sunflowers were so tall that they extended far over his head, but day after day he removed sunflowers in the blistering sun. He recalls that one day he was picking sunflowers when an old customer drove by and honked in a truck that my dad had sold him. Anyone in this position would feel inferior or become angry at the circumstances, but he did the complete opposite…He worked, endlessly and put aside his pride. He never got angry with God or the situation he had put him in, he just keep waiting for his moment.

One day, on a whim, my dad called a local horse trailer company and asked if they had any positions in sales and guaranteed the man that if he had the opportunity he would be their best salesman or he would die trying. The man called back that day and asked if my dad could come in for an interview. My dad hurried home and took off his dirty clothes from working the ranch and changed into clothes that were fit for an interview. That day, my mom took my dad to the interview in the only car they owned at the time and my dad walked out employed. After success there, my dad ended up leaving the company and opening up his own dealership. Four years later, at a business conference for trailer dealers, my dad realized they could not keep up with his sales and the market was not evolving. He wanted to be the change. On a payphone in an airport, he called my mom and told her he was starting Bloomer Trailers

….and the rest is history.

The moral of the story is that we all go through our sunflower picking phase in life and although it is discouraging, the low points are the defining moments in many champions’ lives. We often do not know what our purpose is, but if we want it bad enough, we will do whatever it takes to succeed.

Right now, I’m picking sunflowers. I know that I love what I do, I love making people happy and I want to be a good role model to younger girls. Just like the sunflowers, we can often get in over our head in life. Instead of picking sunflowers, I’m writing. I have started writing my own book and I hope to get it published. It is about how to be a good girl when society is telling you that being bad is what sells. I’ve realized that I’ll do whatever it takes to fulfill my purpose.

Sometimes we have to start over and sometimes life knocks us back to the bottom of the ladder, but we must rise. We have to continue to chase our dreams no matter what happens, let your faith be bigger than your fear. No matter what, never believe you are too talented to learn or too big to work.

Irony: When my dad called Sooner Trailers, he asked the owner if he remembered him, “Randy Bloomer,” the young man that had sold him a vehicle.

Keep working, you never know when your bosses might become your competition. In the end, God will lead us in the right direction; it’s up to us to decide what we are going to do with his calling.

Work everyday like it is your next big break. I’m cheering for you,

Alexis Bloomer

P.S. Thanks daddy for picking sunflowers and embodying the true American success story.

The World Owes Us Nothing

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“Successful people have gratitude, unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.”

I’m assuming several of you watched the halftime show during the Super Bowl, when Beyoncé performed in the standard uniform for a Black Panther member.

As someone that used to be a Beyoncé fan, I was disappointed that someone with so much influence would use it to promote dividing our country more. In case you haven’t noticed, our country is more divided than it has been in decades. Why? Because our generation believes that the world owes them something while contributing nothing to society. We are entitled, greedy and weak. News flash, the world does not owe you ANYTHING. Like Beyoncé, our generation believes they can do whatever they want without facing the consequences. I’ve noticed how we now expect everything to be handed to us. We are lazy!

I’m tired of the lazy youth generation and I’m tired of the older generations believing that we will not offer anything to the future of the country. Politicians are telling us that they will give us free college education and that because we are women, we’re entitled to use that card anytime someone looks down on us. That is so pathetic. Lets start working more, so that we deserve the good things that happen to us, rather than thinking everything will just be handed to us. As someone that worked her butt off to get into Sam Houston State University and graduate in four years, paying for my own college tuition and working all throughout college, I’m disappointed that they want to allow people to attend college for free, when several of my peers and I, did whatever it took to ensure we received a quality education. Nothing in life is free, that is a lesson that most of us cannot seem to grasp. Also, I want to point out that today’s national debt is $19, 031, 767,267,000 and by paying for everyone to have free college, we would far exceed that already drastic number. I wish certain people would stop thinking that they all deserve free college because they graced the world with their presence. I promise that if we work extremely hard, we could pay for our own education and feel good about our accomplishment.

Speaking of education, our generation seems to believe that because we are male, female, black, or white, we should be treated better than those who are different from us. Growing up, my parents taught us to look past someone’s skin color and value the person’s character. I was reminded of this the other day when I watched the movie, Woodlawn. The story is of a black high school student that excelled on the football field in racist Alabama; however, the coolest part of this was that he was a better person off the field. He took all the hate that surrounded him and turned toward God, who brought opposing people together with the common goal of giving God the glory. I often wish that society could follow this example and drop the double standards. Drop the racism towards any race. You might be black and I might be white, but guess what? We are all human and were all Americans, so we’re not that different after all. The world owes me nothing and likewise for you.

If anything, we owe the world our effort. We don’t grow up believing we are better because our sex or skin color, we are taught that. Society is evolving, why are we moving back in time and why are we pulling the race card or the sex card? We might not like a lot of things that are happening around us but we have the chance to make it better, we can make a difference.

Let’s stop burning down buildings, rioting, judging and showing disrespect to our military and law enforcement. Let’s instead beat the system by coming together, when the world is telling us that we should stay a part. Each of us were created to bring something new to the world that has never been experienced, what is your legacy going to be? After all, we’re all trying so hard to stand out that we are starting to blend in.

I don’t care who you are, what you are, what color you are or why you were treated badly…I care about what you’re going to do to change it? We’ve proved that killing people is not the answer and does not bring about change, I think we should try positivity for once. I think people should stop saying they hate cops but demanding cops protect them. I think we should come together and bring about change. I’m not talking about some political agenda; I’m talking about being the change we wish to see in the world.

Spread love and stop promoting so much hate. Who cares if you are in two different organizations, if you have won several awards or if you’re a celebrity? The sad truth is, the world goes on with or without you. My final question is, are you going to hold the world back or make it stronger?

Be proactive, be unstoppable and be the person that you needed when you were younger. BE YOU!

Break Records,
A. Bloomer

Love Always Perseveres

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” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

(1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

I grew up watching the romantic movies and dreamed about finding someone like Noah who would stand out in the rain and scream that I’m the one or Prince Charming that would search the entire kingdom with a glass slipper…. then I realized that’s all crap. It’s the Hallmark version of love and that is not real love at all. Luckily, by the time I reached my teens I started to notice another love story that I wanted to emulate, one that was real and I got to witness everyday, my parents. Suddenly, things I found cheesy like my dad and mom teasing each other or holding hands, became something I wanted to find. My parents taught me that love is choosing to be someone’s rock, their go-to and their most loyal confidant. I realized, I didn’t want a Noah; I wanted a best friend that I loved, a partner in crime if you will.

After several failed attempts in relationships, I started to think that love like my parents didn’t exist in today’s time. The guys I was seeing didn’t open doors, take you on dates, call you beautiful or even take time to call you at all. I felt that I was looking for an intelligent, driven, passionate and loyal guy, that wasn’t out there. I spent so much time trying to shape guys into what I wanted, that I failed to find someone that was already perfect for me…then I met my boyfriend. Over a year ago, I found the guy that was my best friend that opened doors and would later take me on dates and call me beautiful like it was my name. He came packaged, as a stubborn, intelligent and challenging guy that made me think of the world in colors that I didn’t even know existed. I became that cheesy girl that suddenly wanted someone by my side as we each built our own empires. He made me want to be a better person.

I realize that everyone says that, but he was the first guy that ever told me that I could do anything I wanted to and he would cheer me on through thick and thin. In the past I was so focused on trying to make time for both my career and boyfriend, then suddenly Sage made it possible to be great at both. We balance each other out and push each other to be the best possible version of ourselves, we are a team.

Neither of us have dated very much and when we first started dating it was a learning experience for both of us, but we decided to make this relationship our own and not copy the standard of what society says is “relationship goals.” As I stated earlier, growing up watching my parents, who have been married for 35 years, I saw how they took this idea of love and cultivated into something that far surpasses anyone’s expectations of the simple yet complicated notion of love. I knew that I wanted to do the same. So suddenly, I went from wanting to be chased and stupid bickering to a real adult relationship.

In the past, I have been cheated on, lied to and hurt to the point that I started viewing relationships as a burden. If you are in a relationship like that, I promise you the most liberating feeling in the world is being in a healthy relationship where you feel free. Don’t get me wrong, neither of us are perfect by any means and we had to learn to look past each others imperfections and open ourselves to the idea of new possibilities. My idea of romance went from being chased after in the rain, to being pulled into the rain when it’s freezing outside or chasing each other around the house and annoying his roommate. I realized that love is not complicated, it is celebrating each others victories, simple “good luck,” texts, staring at your significant other and being proud of them, holding hands in the car, watching the Game Show Network together, singing off-tune Taylor Swift songs and genuinely enjoying life together. Relationships are meant to be fun!

I also realized that women that are unimpressed will require luxuries, but women that are happy would sleep on a board for their man. I watched my mom never ask for anything except respect from my dad and now I imitate that in my own relationship. Instead of diamonds, I would rather travel the world and spoil each other with effort.

I’ve matured a lot in the past four years and today I’m completely happy because I know that I have a best friend that started off as a mock interview 4 years ago and became someone that I admire and look up to everyday. It is incredible how caring about the right person can foster you into the person you’ve always dreamed of becoming. I hope everyone finds someone like this and doesn’t settle. I waited two years and talked to my boyfriend for over a year as best friends before we decided to try out the whole dating thing. Now, with so many exciting things happening in my life, I’m glad that I have him cheering me on, instead of holding me back.

Happy Valentine’s Week.

Love big,

A. Bloomer

Beware of Happiness Haters

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“Successful people link up, they don’t squash each other”

Have you ever noticed that the better you are doing, the more adversity you face? Last week, one of my events included going to Dallas Market to meet with a company that I’m proud to represent, Union of Angels. While there, Cynthia Bapst, the designer and owner, made a comment that stood out to me. She said “I don’t care if I’m at the top or at the bottom, I’ve been in both positions and I’ve always been the person that is happy to see others doing well.” In this day and age, that is difficult to find. Like Cindy, I’ve always been this person as well. I’ve been put in several positions to see my friends succeed or achieve a new accolade and I’ve watched as those around them begin making excuses to grow distant from them. Although discouraging, I’ve always promised myself that I would never become that person. I would never become a happiness hater.

By definition a hater is:

(Noun)

A person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing.

+A negative or critical person.

I don’t know about you, but I never want to be classified as that person. I’ve learned that by not hating on someone else for being successful and happy, you rid yourself of any concern and focus on bettering yourself. The best thing you can do is use others success as motivation.

I have nothing to complain about, life has been good to me and with hard work I have been able to achieve everything I have wanted. With that territory comes a lot of rejection from people that I considered friends. When you reach a certain level at any age, you’ll realize that people start to question you as a person, without considering the several things you have done for them in the past. Suddenly, all the times you helped them financially, motivated them during their low points and congratulated them during their high points becomes completely irrelevant and you’re stuck…Often stuck trying to make them feel better and compensate for their loss of confidence. DON’T DO THAT! A good friend would never try to make you feel sorry for them because you’re doing well. A good friend will celebrate you as a person and never make you question your achievements. A good friend will use your success story as motivation to create his or her own success story. Most importantly, a good person that wants more out of life will recognize your hard work and dedication and want to surround himself or herself with other goal driven individuals, like you.

In today’s society, people are afraid to be powerful and successful. Maybe it is because they don’t want the pressure of being different or the responsibility of being a winner, but being different is what makes you successful and a winner. Several CEO’s and influential individuals have several associates but very few friends. Why? Selfish people cannot handle not being the most important person in the group! Let me let you in on a little secret, in some group…somewhere, you will be the most important person in that group. Every person has a place where they belong, but don’t sacrifice relationships and friendships because you’re on different level of the success totem pole. Each step on the ladder of success is another step towards your end goal, don’t let the happiness haters on the steps below you dictate your future.

Work hard because the end goal is worth it and once you find other people that belong in your tribe, that celebrate who you are and likewise, your happiness will reflect in theirs. If you see someone that has the great relationship or great job, share his or her happiness…all it does is motivate you, promote good karma and makes you less selfish in the long run. The world needs more of that. The world needs more people with a fiery passion that illuminate happiness within their life and others. If we focus more on promoting happiness and success, it will encourage more people to work towards having both of those things.

NEVER be afraid to celebrate your accomplishments, you worked for them. NEVER apologize for being a goal digger, always reach for more. NEVER make someone feel selfish because they achieved something, your breakthrough is coming. Stay positive and be someone worth looking up to, the world needs more of that and less happiness haters.

Dream On,

A. Bloomer

Kindness Matters

 

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“You may be pretty and you may be talented…but no will remember that if you’re mean”

Isn’t it ironic that all the smart, sassy and kind girls are the ones that have fairy tales written about them? Think about it…Cinderella had two evil stepsisters that treated her poorly and the prince still chose her or take Belle who befriended a beast and saw him for the beauty that was on the inside rather than shunning him like all of society had before her…Point is, kindness is not weakness. Rudeness is a weak person’s imitation of strength and I would much rather be the girl that has the story written about her, than the girl that hurts others to make herself feel better. I’m not saying that all you will find is love; you’ll find success through kindness too.

Let me take you back to high school; I was the Cheer Captain, Homecoming Queen, Miss SHS, Class Favorite and wait for it…completely friendless. Don’t get me wrong; I had friends, but none that I still talk to this day. My freshman year, I was bullied to the point that I started to think I was the problem. I was teased, mocked, threatened through the internet, had a girl try to cut my hair, stab me with a needle in sewing class and much more. Then, a senior football player gave me the best piece of advice, “You aren’t the problem, society is.” Do you want to know the best part? Most of the girls that picked on me in high school are the same girls asking me to write them a letter of recommendation, help them land an internship or give them advice on how to be successful. How is that for irony? However, I don’t use that against them, instead I give them the best advice: “Be good to people, because you never know when you will need that person later on.”I have several girls ask me all the time, how I became successful at a young age and it is honestly because I take the time to make people feel important along with my work ethic. Kindness… it is the most valuable currency you have, your ability to spread kindness in an unkind world. Several of you are probably thinking, “I’ve been kind, but I don’t know why people are still hateful?” Honey, mean people suck. Plain and simple.

Basically, mean people are mean because they have been hurt or are insecure. Bam, mystery solved.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been the girl that wants to be a hero, not a victim. People that are mean are essentially playing victim, some of them do it their whole life. DON’T PLAY VICTIM, you’re a Victor. When you are mean to someone because you have been hurt, you are mass-producing the very issue that destroyed you. Don’t pass on the trait! Instead, laugh. This doesn’t mean you’re a wimp or not standing up for yourself, this means you’re simply not giving the jerk any more of your time. You can’t argue with ignorance and you can’t educate it. In essence, it’s all about how you want to be perceived, what do you want your legacy to be? Don’t let your legacy be a bitter saga, instead be the girl that becomes a Queen and builds an empire with the same bricks that were thrown at her.

Many of you see me through my Instagram posts, tweets or what I post on some other form of social media and everything I post is authentic. I’m extremely happy, but how could I not be? It would be easy to be discouraged by the girls that give me dirty looks in public or who sit near me and whisper about me. Honestly, that is just their own insecurity and has nothing to do with me. One thing I have learned is that being pretty doesn’t necessarily make you pretty. Someone very close to me always tells me that my heart is what made him fall in love with me and I find that to be the biggest compliment one could receive.

So as you are out in public and someone that probably is not making the best choices or representing themselves in the best possible way gives you a dirty look, smile at him or her…they needs some sunshine in their angry life. You are beautiful, talented and blessed with something that God chose to give only you, that alone makes you worth being kind to.

XOXO

A. Bloomer

Why RODEO is one of the most Marketable Sports, but still not Mainstream.

The other night, I went with my friend to the movies, when the trailer for The Longest Ride came on. I heard as girls around me started to gasp at the cowboys good looks and proceed to say, “I need me a cowboy.” My best friend even asked me, “That’s what you’re working with? Oh, count me in.” I just started to laugh and think, how is it possible that a sport that contains so many attractive and unique individuals, not more mainstream? This caused to me to think back on my experience in New York, where my roommates asked me if my Justin Boots, were real. Seriously? There are fake cowboy boots? I would often tell my roommates stories about some of my friends in the industry and they were amazed that rodeo is a sport. They even went as far to say that the only rodeo that they have ever seen, was on Friday Night Lights. As rodeo fans, we laugh at this comment. Yet, as a journalist, this comment worries me. So, for a moment, I encourage you to read this blog from a business perspective.

COMMON STEREOTYPES OF THE RODEO ATHLETE:

When you mention rodeo to a non-rodeo fan, you might hear the words: “Uneducated, redneck, not athletic,” the list goes on and on. I’m sorry, but I have to laugh at how simple minded some people are. Rodeo athletes are uneducated? If I was to pull up a list of interviews with professional football players, compared to a rodeo athlete, you would be speechless. Several rodeo athletes attended college and competed in both college rodeo and professional rodeo, at the same time. Some of them became millionaires off an eight second ride, before even graduating college. As far as saying that the rodeo athlete is not athletic, several of these athletes work out with the same workout routine as professional athletes in other industries. Take Tyson Durfey for example, he trains with former Dallas Cowboy, Jay Novacek. It takes athletic ability to be able to compete in every rodeo event and you can tell when you look at them, that they are not lazy. Rodeo athletes practice and compete just like every other athlete, so why are we not treated as a professional sport?

How can the cowboys become more mainstream?

Tuf Cooper has 42.1 thousand followers on Twitter.

Fallon Taylor has 58.4 thousand followers on Instagram.

Yet, we do not see a verified blue check mark by ANY rodeo athletes name. Most professional athletes have a verified check mark by their name, even if they only have five thousand followers. I believe that most change needs to come from an association, however, their are some things that athletes can do to help spread awareness of our sport. To get verified, make sure your about me on any social media outlet says: OFFICIAL twitter/Instagram/Facebook of: (insert name) and that you have a link to your website. Being professional athletes, you should all be verified by this point. Social media is the necessary evil and it is going to continue to flourish for generations to come. When you are traveling to rodeos, take time to tweet back fans or post in general. I know you are busy, but it takes two seconds to tweet where you are going to be competing at. Trust me, people want to know. However, I know that the change is not going to come from the athletes alone, in fact, they are doing their jobs…So from a business perspective, the company they compete in should be promoting all athletes to the point that someone has to take notice.

Change comes from Within

Rodeo athletes spend several months out of the year traveling to rodeos, hoping to get a paycheck, so that they can pay for  their diesel or plane tickets. In essence, the athletes do not make enough money. Winning the National Finals Rodeo, should be a life changing experience. When you win the SuperBowl, World Series or NBA Finals, you pick up new sponsors, your salary increases and your life changes. When you win the National Finals Rodeo, you go home and get $1000 fines in the mail. Do you see where I am going with this? From someone on the outside looking in, you almost want to believe that the association is not looking out for the cowboy, but rather their own bank account. I know, you are probably shuddering at that comment, but I was just saying what everyone else is already thinking. Our cowboys and cowgirls should never have to worry about whether or not they will have money to make it to the next rodeo, they are PROFESSIONAL athletes. I’m sure Kevin Durant doesn’t worry if he will have enough money to fill up his tank because he lost to Miami. Not only is the pay less than acceptable, but the entire marketing aspect of our industry professionals is lacking. Take all the girls gasping at The Longest Ride, they would gasp even more if they saw the guys that were actually competing in rodeo. In case you are wondering what I am talking about:

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Holy beautiful, right? These are real rodeo athletes that can easily be marketed on looks alone, not to mention they are all talented. Rodeo has some of the most attractive athletes, and no one cares to use that to help promote the sport. I was looking online at the ESPN Body Issue and this one picture featured:

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No, I am not saying sell rodeo on looks alone, but at least the athletes are giving you something to work with. Also, the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB all do an excellent job updating fans about the scores of games or updates on players injuries. When you look at certain websites, it might take you three days to update you about who won. This is unacceptable. If I can tweet every single ride/run of the National Finals Rodeo as the rodeo is taking place, someone should be able to tweet out what Sage Kimzey did at Fort Worth, instantaneously. It is not up to the athletes to go tweet after they get done, a social media team should be able to convey what is happening, as it is taking place. I don’t care if it is a random cowboy that has not made the NFR, we still want to know what he did in the performance. I commend Wrangler Network because they did this in Vegas at the National Finals Rodeo and did not leave anyone out. What this all boils down to, is people and companies should want to be involved with our sport. Notice that Coca Cola or AT&T are not involved with any rodeo athlete? These are major brands that believe in the same qualities of our sport, but are not involved. As a Mass Communications major, I notice every detail. This year, professional team roper, Shay Carroll wore an Under Armour shirt underneath his button down every single night. That means, when they showed him on the big screen for 14k fans and when they showed him on TV for thousands of viewers, they noticed the Under Armour on his shirt and he is not even sponsored by them. Rodeo athletes travel around the world competing in front of millions of fans and they all wear patches representing the brands that they are loyal to. I can’t remember the last time I saw Derek Jeter wear a Nike patch on his uniform before he retired. Better yet, what sport can you watch besides football and hockey, where you might see a son and father compete against each other? Rodeo holds the core values that America was built upon, we are a huge part of American history- lets build on that.

What does Rodeo have to work with?

Did you know that several professional athletes, also compete in rodeo? Did you know that some of the heirs of Disney are involved in rodeo? Did you know that several actors are also team ropers? Basically, every boy wants to grow up to be a cowboy. Our sport is intertwined in my everyday life when I see my sorority sisters wearing cowboy boots or baseball players wearing Cinch. I often use the analogy that Trevor Brazile has more titles to his name than Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James combined, yet has never won or been nominated for an ESPY Award. I think that often, instead of wanting to expand our sport to reach more diverse crowds, we often believe that we are doing enough just by showing up to compete or promoting the sport to the same crowd that has always been fans. We already have the most loyal fans in the industry, but we need to start appealing to the man sitting in his brown stone in New York that happens to stumble upon the ninth round of the NFR. The point I am trying to make, is we need to attract new fans to our sport.

So many athletes are breaking records and no one outside of the industry is able to hear about their accomplishments. From a business stand point, we should be one of the richest and most powerful industries in sports. The only way that is going to happen is if we start pushing these cowboys to be interviewed by Oprah, ring the bell on Wall Street or present an award at the Grammy’s. Rodeo is a huge selling point simply on the fact that it takes the toughest men and women to compete in it, they might break 5 bones at a time, but you better believe that they will make it back in time for Cowboy Christmas.

I love this sport and the people involved with the industry, however, I hate to see that we have not progressed much in the past twenty years. People often ask me, why rodeo? I was raised in this sport and the athletes are my family, I want to see rodeo advance to the next level. I want to break the stereotypes and see a World Champion go home with a million plus in his pocket after competing for ten rounds. I want to see Caleb Bennett, JR Vezain and Chandler Bownds doing commercials for Bed Head hair products, along with other rodeo athletes endorsing major brands. Rodeo is just like every other sport, we just have to decide if we are ready to see the athletes become millionaires.

As fans, we are so blessed to have to opportunity to get a retweet from Shane Hanchey or Marty Yates. Not to mention, we are able to meet our idols, no other sport has the access and opportunities that we do. The only difference is, our sport is not making the money to become mainstream. It was once said, “Money and success does not change people, it merely amplifies what was already there.” Lets help our sport by taking every opportunity to talk about it to someone that has only seen rodeo on Friday Night Lights. I can sit here and talk about getting the cowboys/cowgirls more money all night long, but it is going to have to come from within. Ideas like the American and the new ERA association are providing more opportunities for our athletes, which is what they deserve after all they invest in our sport.

This will be a several part blog, but that is just my opinion of what needs to change asap. You don’t have to agree with it, but I do ask that you respect it. Everything I said is facts and I know that not one person is to blame because this is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed and hopefully changed in the future.

Sincerely,

A. Bloomer

American Sniper Critics.

Wow, some people just don’t get it. This morning, I was watching Fox News and I just so happened to catch the conversation about the story of sniper, Chris Kyle, also known as the American Sniper. The anchors on Outnumbered were flabbergasted that actor, Seth Rogen and director, Michael Moore, would have the audacity to openly bash Chris Kyle on their social media.

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First off, you cannot expect class from ignorant people. Chris Kyle, is an American hero who single handily protected Americans by getting rid of terrorists that were threatening our freedom. Keep in mind, this is the same freedom that Rogen and Moore are using when they practice free speech to bash Chris Kyle. As you can see from above, Michael Moore calls Chris Kyle a “coward?” (Give me a minute so I can stop laughing) To me, this is so ironic because Michael Moore has made a career out of making fun of people that he knows cannot fight back and to me, that is the definition of a coward and a bully. Real cool, make fun of a guy that died trying to help somebody else on his own time. I guarantee he would not have been near as tough if Kyle was standing in front of him, or better yet if he were walking through a village of terrorists. As for Rogen, he has made a career out of being the guy that people like to make fun of, so why should we regard his opinion as valuable? His debuts have included knocking someone up, being the next door neighbor that falls into peer pressure because he wants to be cool and being the guy who smoked weed and dated a high schooler…Is all essence, he has played the “loser” in all his films, the type guy we really don’t want our children to look up to.

If you ask me, somebody is jealous. American Sniper brought in $90 million on its opening weekend and Rogen’s “The Interview,” was only shown in limited theaters. Moore has been out of the spotlight as well, so it is so typical that two Hollywood jokes would come forward now, knowing that it would generate some press for themselves, at the expense of a man who is not only not alive, but also is regarded as an American hero. Neither Moore nor Rogen have contributed anything to society as a whole.

To me, its crazy that they do not get that this movie was not made to look all “Hollywood,” it was made to tell a story of an American hero, by following the storyline of his autobiography. If they had any respect for those who serve, they would have kept their own personal opinions out of it, in particular if it was negative. Rogen and Moore can keep blasting their opinions into the social media world, but in my opinion, they need to shut up until they make a movie that is worthy of respect. It is sad that someone in their position would use their voice to belittle any solider. Especially, when some of their fans, probably serve in the military.

So all in all, thank you to the men and women in the military that are giving obnoxious men the opportunity to complain about issues, only to bring more attention to the movie. Celebrities often say, “Any press is good press,” and in this case, I really hope that two obtuse opinions will bring Americans together to celebrate the life of an American hero. Lastly, Moore also stated that snipers will “shoot you in the back,” and as a bystander, I kind of think that Moore is shooting America in the back by talking down about our snipers.

All the opinions in this are mine and you don’t have to agree with them, but I do ask that you respect them. I will not argue with you about the movie or their career success, they lost my respect when they turned on a solider.

Just remember, you can’t argue with ignorance and you cannot educate it.

Sincerely,

A. Bloomer

No Faith in America

Recently, a heated debate has taken over Washington on the issue of the saying, “In God We Trust,” being placed in the Washington state’s Pierce County Council chambers. Atheists came forward and expressed their concern for the issue saying that it “divides our country,” and is “biased.” Well as an American and a Christian, I decided to express my opinion on the issue (As if anyone cares). I’m not someone who pushes my beliefs down ones throat, I simply choose to worship and pray, however, I don’t condemn those who don’t believe. We all have rights guaranteed to us and its none of my business what you do in your personal life. I am going to discuss this simply on facts, not my personal connection to the issue.

“In God We Trust,” first appeared on the two cents coin in 1864, during the Civil War. The saying was created because of the increase in religious sentiment in the United States during the war that divided as a country. (Procon.org) During the Civil War, out of the hundreds of sites I looked at, it said that even the non believers turned to faith during the war, because it was the only gleam of hope they had. By 1956, the saying became a national motto for our country and a year later, it was placed on every piece of United States paper currency. Now, I’m sure that you are saying that is outdated and that our First Amendment gives us, the citizens, the right to worship whoever or whatever we please. In literal terms, this saying being placed in chambers, is not saying that Buddhists, Muslims or even non-believers are not welcome here, it is merely placed there as a national tradition. Our Presidents all have different beliefs, different values and different religions however, they all said, “So help me God,” at the end of their Oath to become the United States President. Every man or woman who has become a U.S. citizen has ended their Oath in, “So help me God,” every solider ends their Oath to be in the United States military with, “So help me God.” So are you honestly telling me that the Oath of the President, the Oath of Citizenship, the Oath of the Military, the Star Spangled Banner, all U.S. currency, the Magna Carta, the First Charter of Jamestown and the Mayflower Compact, should all be changed because they mentioned God? Also, lets take a look at every President’s Inaugural Addresses, since the beginning of the U.S. presidency and God is mentioned ninety-four times. Add on top of that Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address where he said the word, “God,” six different times. President Reagan in his first Inaugural address said, God, five different times. Flash even to modern-day, where President Obama said the word “God,” five different times. Those are three very different President’s who all featured God in their speeches. If they can come together and put aside their differences, for the sake of America, why can’t you?

Basically, our country was founded on the basis of believing in something. Whether it be religion, the hope of a new start, believing that our government will protect us or even believing that our children will grow up in a safe country. To remove “In God We Trust,” will remove over 200 years of blood, sweat and tears that America has faced together, with courage and loyalty to the United States of America. Our country has faced many devastating periods, but they were created by man, not God. God didn’t start the wars, men did. God didn’t create slavery, men did. God didn’t create the Great Depression, men did. So if anything, blame man for destroying America. God placed us on this earth, but we are responsible for our actions. To say that God needs to be removed from our country, is narrow-minded and in reality, non-American. The next time you attend a sporting event, say the Pledge of Allegiance or even go to court, notice that God is present in the U.S.A. and if you don’t see that, then you don’t appreciate the foundation that our forefathers created. America grants people the right to believe in whatever religion they want to or even none at all, if you don’t like God appearing everywhere, ignore it. It is selfish to change tradition strictly on the basis of your personal opinion. We don’t practice religion in schools or the workplace, only in government documents and government establishments. The separation of church and state does not apply because it does not appear anywhere in our Constitution or any other founding legislation. The framers of our constitution were a diverse group of men and they created a country that many come to, for many different reasons. Basically, if the government is not imposing the belief of God on you, they are not infringing on your right to worship what you please. No laws have been broken and if a few individuals want to complain about the presence of God, they should not have the say over the entire country. The people who have complained about it make up less than 2% of our entire population. I’m not saying their opinions don’t matter, I’m just saying this is a part of the creation of America, you don’t have to believe in it, but you should believe in our country and stick behind its principles. I’m not calling our those who don’t believe in God, I’m just stating my personal feedback on this issue.

God Bless America and may His presence be long-lasting in our great nation.

Sincerely,

A. Bloomer

P.S. No, I do not want to argue the topic with you and I don’t need your opinion. This is my blog and my opinions, your approval is not needed. Thank you.

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P.S.S. All a lot of people want to do, is get that money, no matter what it says on it.

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Lets Not Blame Guns or Mental Illness anymore!

Since 2007, 6 out of the 12 deadliest shootings have taken place in schools. In 1980, school shootings rose and have continued to rise. Unfortunately, in todays day and age, one mass shooting, usually has three or more follow. Since the Sandy Hook shooting, there have been 74 mass school shootings. It has become so common that they news cycles cannot keep up and only are able to broadcast about some of them. For the past five weeks, I have done extensive research of our current school safety issues. With the increasing media attention towards the issues of school shootings, it made me wonder, what current protocol is in place to protect the helpless students, that ultimately are the future of our country? Well, prepare to be amazed…Their is NO national protocol in place for school safety plans in case of an attack. The worst part is, we constantly blame guns and mental health, when we need to look at the bigger picture. These mass shootings are not happening in malls or other public places, they are happening at places that are supposed to provide safety to our children. I’ve learned so much about this topic and I am very passionate about the issue, so I wanted to share with you, what I discovered about mass shootings. I conducted a survey on my social media sites and the number of response I received was overwhelming. I had twenty-three different states represented from my survey (survey takers were asked to give their location of educational boarding). The results are as followed:

1. Does your school perform safety drills, other than fire drills?

69% said no       31% said yes.

2. Have you experienced bullying at your school?

90% said yes      10% said no.

3. Have you been threatened on school property?

52% said yes       48% said no

4. Has a student brought a weapon to your school?

52% said yes        48% said no?

5. Do you know your school safety plans?

52% said no         48% said yes

6. If you’re school provided a safety tip-line where you could call in anonymously, would you take advantage of it, if needed?

83% said yes          17% said no

You might be thinking that these numbers are not bad, but the fact that ANY child could be put in danger, is disappointing. The most disturbing factor to all this, is that our country continues to push this issue aside and our government has not provided any funds towards school safety. Instead, after the recent Santa Barbara shootings, the House of Representatives approved an additional $19.5 million to help states add more mental health records to background check systems.

Speaking Up Helps, right?

Negative ghost rider, unfortunately, at the Columbine massacre there were numerous warnings. In fact, one of Dylan and Eric’s friends, Brooks Brown, went forward with his mom and told the police department that the two shooters had placed a list of people they wanted to kill online. The police did not look into it and although the school was warned, nothing changed. Not to mention the other 4 people who came forward and complained about their disturbing behavior. These two even wrote gruesome poems and stories for school assignments, but that’s normal right? Despite their criminal past of stealing, everyone thought they were completely normal boys, that were just shy. Switching gears to Seung-Hui Cho, the mass shooter at Virginia Tech who stalked women and set fire to a dorm. Adam Lanza, was taken out of school because he often had violent outbursts, in 5th grade, he wrote a book called “The Big Book of Granny,” that focused on a grandma that plays ‘hide and die,’ with little school kids. Charles Carl Roberts, the man who was made famous after going into an Amish school-house and killing young girls, actually admitted to raping two relatives at the age of 12. Then last but not least, Elliot Rodger, the Santa Barbara shooter made YouTube videos. Part of you wants to think, wow, they were screaming out for help and all of them had signs, why did no one try to stop them? Well, people did. Most of these cases, minus Charles, have had family or schoolmates come forward and tell someone. The problem is, no one listens. The moment that someone comes forward and expresses fear for another persons mental state, that’s when we need to act.

Blame it all on their Mental State?

It is true that mental illness plays a huge role in this issue, statistics say that 38 of the 61 mass shooters in the past three decades, have “displayed signs of mental health problems prior to killing.” Well surely, if someone told a school official or expressed concern to an adult, this could be prevented, right? With most adolescent mass shooters, they are more likely to tell someone or post it on social media. I found on Rochester Hills-Patch that 81% of school shooting cases, at least one person knew in advance and 93% noted disturbing behaviors before they committed the act.

What has happened as a result of School Shootings?

Sadly, a lot of schools that have some school safety equipment are often the ones that are attacked. At Columbine, they had two armed school security officers and they also had school surveillance cameras. Sandy Hook had a system that you had to be buzzed in by the school receptionist. We are trying to make some changes, but they are not enough…Can you really put a price on a child’s life? I don’t think any rational human being would say that they wouldn’t do anything to protect their child or just children in general. Children are helpless and we can’t expect to tell a bunch of 6 year olds that if a bad man comes into the school, you need to run in a zig zag pattern or go hide in a bathroom stall…Really? That is almost as pathetic as the fact that this is actually happening. This is an epidemic and our generation is the ones behind it. Scary, isn’t it? Since Sandy Hook shooting, 540 bills have been introduced across the nation in regards to school safety and only 106 have passed.

So, why isn’t the Government providing Safety Features?

Well, that’s the million dollar question. We know that the guys on Capitol Hill have a lot going on…But I do feel it would be easier to address the central problem of all school shootings, schools. I researched how much our government spends on funding schools and I found that the amount of money we receive for schools is relatively low. Most of the money goes to making sure the schools are functioning. We do not have a separate fund for school safety equipment. Just put this in perspective for you, here are some numbers:

  • Metal Detectors: $1,795
  • Bullet Proof Doors: $1,499 each
  • The societal cost of one school shooting cost: $5 million

Instead, our government spent:

  • $350,000 to help figure out why golfers, who imagine the hole is bigger, have better accuracy.
  • The U.S. government spent $505,000 to promote hair and beauty products for cats and dogs.
  • The U.S. government spent 27 million dollars teaching Moroccans how to design and make pottery.
  • The Obama Administration plans to spent millions on helping students from Indonesia get their master degrees.
  • Last year, the Federal Government, spent $96,000 buying iPads for kindergartener’s in Maine.
  • The federal government also spent $2.6 million dollars to teach Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly.
  • Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunch program, Smart Snacks, is estimated to cost $3.2 billion.

Shame, shame. Dont worry though, supposedly our government is creating a way to make schools safer. Their main focus is gun control, but they do mention hiring security guards and trying to implement locked doors. Unfortunately, there will only be 2,000 more security guards placed into schools…I don’t know how this is going to help the other  97,000 public schools, not including the private schools. Obama has also mentioned every school having a crisis management program, which is dumb because it should have been in place after the FIRST MAJOR MASS SHOOTING on school property. Now, 15 years after Columbine, were just increasing the number of casualties. In recent years, we have lost all of the school emergency planning grants, the funding for schools resource officers and security equipment. After Newtown, we did not see any quick new programs develop. Not to mention current federal spending cuts, means a 5% cut in funding this school year for all schools that receive federal funds.

Lets get it together, America!

So after all this, I’m sure you are wondering, ‘what is your conclusion?’ ‘Why do I care?’ ‘It will never happen to me, I’m from a small town, where nothing ever happens.’ Well guess what, most of these school shootings take place in small towns where you know everybody. We all need to be worried about this issue, it affects everyone that 1) Has children 2)Plans to have children 3)Know any children…Need I say more? So last but not least, get it together, America! Stop making these murderers into heroes and making it seem like they will receive fame from taking someones life. We spend so much time talking about how sexy a felon is, or about a cheerleader from Texas Tech that hunts. We spent days harping on her hunting animals in Africa, but we can’t talk about how our children are being turned into the hunted, in a place that should be a worry free zone. Basically, we need to shine light on the issue of our school safety. We have harped on gun control and mental health and nothing is coming of it. We can fix this and I hope this puts this issue into perspective more. We can’t take away a mans second amendment and we can’t judge every person that suffers from mental illness, but we can attack the issue, by using it as the solution. If we require our children to attend school, then we have to require our country to provide them with a safe place to receive a quality education.

Lets get together and break some records and scare the pants off these sick individuals that commit this sickening crime.

God Bless America and God Bless the Red, White and Blue!

Alexis

*Statistics come from the ed.gov website and numerous websites regarding school shootings.