By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff
The History Channel is bringing back what it calls the first extreme sport: jousting. And PRCA World Champion Steer Wrestler and form
er Henderson County resident Rope Myers is right in the middle of the action.
Myers is one of 16 competitors on The History Channel’s Full Metal Jousting, a television series currently airing Sunday nights at 9.
“But this is no Renaissance fair as the toughest riders in the nation face off in a bone-crushing competition for big money,” reads the description on the series website. “It’s as intense as it was 500 years ago, but with a twist: Traditional armor is replaced by modern suits of steel, while action is captured by high-speed cameras.”
The hits are big, delivered with wooden lances while wearing 80 pounds of armor and riding a horse 20 mph.The last man standing wins $100,000.
Unfortunately, I could not get an interview with Myers. That’s not really surprising, because although the show was filmed last fall the hype didn’t really start until episodes began airing in February. Now I’m told Myers is being inundated with interview requests.
However, there are a wealth of quotes already out there, including this from Myers’ introduction video on the website: “My strategy is pretty straight forward; I’m going to ride fast, ride hard and hit hard.”
Myers also believes his time in the saddle is an advantage in the competition.
“I’ve ridden horses of every kind, every style ever since I was really little. Literally before I could walk,” he said. “My dad considered a good horse a good babysitter, because if he could put me on a good horse he knew I was safe, whereas if I was on the ground I could get stepped on or get in the way.”
Not every jouster gets to face off in competition each week. Myers, who was the No. 1 pick for the black team, obliterated the red team’s David Prewitt in his preliminary joust, which was aired Week 5 (but can still be seen on the show’s website).
“When you step in there the first time there is a certain amount of adrenaline, just realizing that this is as raw and as pure as it gets,” said Myers.
“When I broke (the lance) on the last pass, the first thing on my mind was my kids. I wanted to finish strong for my kids and my family,” he added.
Myers wasn’t only thinking of his family, he was also thinking of God. He wrote the following in his blog (www.ropemyers.com and click the blog link):
“As many of you may now already know, I recently took part in the reality show Full Metal Jousting. I am sure this has provoked all kinds of questions. Like … What is he thinking? Is he wearing makeup in that picture? Did it hurt? Did you win? and many others. Some of the questions I can answer ( yes that is makeup,) others I can’t (no I can’t tell you if I won it), but I thought it might be fun to give a running commentary here of what the Father showed me while I was on the show.”
That insight includes, “You see true encouragement is best given shoulder to shoulder, not face to face … And that is one of the best things about Jesus – He was in the boat with them when they were freaking out, saying “fear not.” He didn’t give them that bit of advice from the shoreline.”
So however things turn out with Full Metal Jousting, you can rest assured that Myers won’t be sitting on the shoreline in the future.