Editor's Note: We found out about 10-Time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Daniel Green's return to full-time competition with Cody Cowden. Below is the conversation.
SWR: I just got word that after four years of rodeo retirement you've decided to come back to full-time competition. Why?
Green: No work out here [Oakdale, Calif.] in construction. I tried to hook up with everybody I could in construction and there's just no work out here right now. I thought, well, I've got no work out here in July for 30 days. I can go rodeo for 30 days and see what happens. If it goes good, I'll keep going, if it doesn't, I'll come home and then really have to figure out what to do.
SWR: That's an interesting commentary on our economy and the sport that rodeo is a better option to make a living than a family construction business.
Green: I have yet to make a living rodeoing, I've got it to do, but the possibility looks better. So that's what it says about the economy. I've got a chance to make more money rodeoing than staying at home-even with fuel prices. I just have to compare the chance to win something over the Fourth of July and Cheyenne and Salinas to sitting home and doing nothing. I can use my God-given talent and the thing that I've worked at more than anything else in my life and try to go win some money.
SWR: You've always said the reason you gave up full-time rodeo was to spend more time with your family. Will they be able to go with you?
Green: My family won't go with me. They used to never go with me in July, anyway. I would usually pick them up after Salinas and then they'd go with me. My daughter, she's on the traveling softball team, this weekend I entered around in the rodeos so I could go watch her in her tournament. I'm going to miss a lot of the tournament, but I'm trying to be there the best I can. I really want to watch them grow up as much as I can and be part of it.
SWR: How hard was this decision to make? Is it a permanent career change?
Green: I've got no long-term rodeo plans right now. I'm just looking around and work's been real slow, haven't had any work and the only money I've earned has been at the rodeos out here.
My wife works a little bit part time in the hospital as needed and as available. It's slow. My dad's construction company hasn't had much going for a while now. Lately all the rodeos have been out here [in California] so I was busy rodeoing and it wasn't near as big a deal. Now the rodeos have slowed down, but there's still not much going on. There are a ton of people in construction that aren't doing anything right now. One big contractor who lives here in Oakdale said he hasn't gotten a new home contract in two years. We got some new home contracts last year, but we've already got those houses built. Everybody quit building and the housing market quit selling. When that goes down, a ton of people go out of work: cement contractors, plumbers, electricians, framers, roofers, tile guys, sheetrock guys. There are a ton of people that it takes to build houses and they're all out of work right now.
Honestly, I haven't been sitting here craving taking off from my family. But I've always known and I've always said that if I have to go back I could. I feel like I'm still real able to go rope and win. I don't want to make it sound like I'm forced into this and I have a bad attitude about it, because I don't' have a bad attitude about it. I've got to do what has to be done. When you sit down in my situation and the opportunities I have: stay home or go to rodeos, going to rodeos looks better right now. I've committed to Cody [Cowden] through Cheyenne and we'll reevaluate everything after that and see if I'm able to keep going or if it's better for me and my family to go home. That's what I told Cody and he's fine with that.
It's what I'm most qualified to do and my wife [Shawnda] understands. She knows I'll try to be around as much as I can, but I'll have to do what I'll have to do. Like I said, this is a 30-day commitment that I've made.