Bob Tallman could tell you everything there is know about rodeo, if he had the time.
The 60-year-old rodeo announcer has been stashing information about rodeo contestants since he first started in the business 30 years ago. Many of the champions he talked about then are retired; now, he’s seen the current champions grow up.
So when Tallman walks into the announcer’s booth at the Cloverdale Rodeo, he knows that saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer took home $433,333 with an 89-point ride at an invitational rodeo this February — the biggest payout of his career. He also knows that Scheer will be competing against Clay Elliott, a 24-year-old rider who Scheer beat in March at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The two will be meeting again in July at the Calgary Stampede.
It’s more than the public needs to know during an eight second ride, but it’s one of the things that makes the fast talking announcer so good at his job.
“There’s no way in the world that I can deliver in four or five shows all the information that I have available, that you build throughout the years,” Tallman said over the phone. He was on the road, leaving his home in Texas to announce 12 different rodeos before heading up to the Cloverdale Rodeo on the May long weekend.
The first time Tallman came to Cloverdale was sometime in the 1980s — he can’t remember exactly when. But his history in Cloverdale and the rodeos he’s announced since then add to his wealth of knowledge.
“This is all information that you continue to add to your database to be able to use when I get to Cloverdale,” Tallman said. “It’s past history of the Cloverdale competition … to tell that audience where (the competitors) have come from, why they’re here and where they’re going.”
To tell it all in a way that people will appreciate is no easy task, Tallman admitted.
“You’ve got to constantly, constantly have it in your heart and your mind to deliver exciting information, entertaining information … so that when it’s over, they feel like they’ve just watched a great movie,” he said.
“I’m a story-teller … and I’m very much a rodeo fan. Have been, am and will be for a long time,” he continued. “I’m a fan of the sport; I’m a fan of the challenge. I’m a fan of the rough toughness. I’m a fan of the danger.” Then he paused.
“And I love Cloverdale.”