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Real bull vs. mechanical bull? No comparison

  • Bears defensive lineman Corey Wootton rides a mechanical bull at Union Station in Chicago in 2011.
Bears defensive lineman Corey Wootton rides a mechanical bull at Union… (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune )
January 10, 2013|By Matt Lindner | For RedEye

Just because you set the record for longest ride on the mechanical bull at your local country-western bar doesn't mean you're qualified for a spot on the Professional Bull Riders' Tour.

"Absolutely not," Luke Snyder said.

The 30-year-old native of Raymore, Mo., should know. He's been riding professionally for 13 years and is the 10th-ranked rider on tour.

Any similarities between a real bull and a mechanical one end with the fact that both are heavy and both move.

"Anytime you deal with a live animal, there's nothing that comes even close to the moves they make," he said. "A bucking machine just goes up and down and spins. It's really nothing compared to an animal trying to run over you after you get off of it."

Snyder says he never goes into bars and tries to use his real-life bull riding skills to win a bet on the mechanical bull largely because the imitations are almost as taxing as the real ones.

"The way they jar you and everything, it hurts," he said. "I'm already sore enough from riding actual bulls to want to go to a bar and get on a mechanical bulls."

Matt Lindner is a RedEye special contributor.

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