Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rodeo Star Indicted on Road Rage Charges

The life of a former rodeo star is not one to be envied. While your counterparts who retire from football or baseball have a lucrative future in broadcasting or coaching awaiting them, such opportunities do not abound for athletes who conquered a bucking bull or roped a calf. I imagine this life circumstance can lead to a great deal of frustration. Is it possible that rodeo superstar Sid Steiner let these emotions get the best of him?

Mr. Steiner, who is known to many as “Sid Rock”, has been indicted by a Travis County grand jury on a felony charge of aggravated assault. He is accused of pointing a gun at a fellow motorist after a minor traffic accident near his Austin home. If convicted of the charge, Steiner faces anywhere from two to twenty years in prison. Sid Rock’s defense attorney, Alan Williams, asserts that his client is innocent and will be acquitted at trial.

Road rage, a term that was coined in the late 1980s, has become a common component of our driving experience. How often do you drive any distance without seeing someone blow a horn repeatedly, shout obscenities out a window, cut off another driver or throw scalding coffee into a nearby convertible (OK … maybe only I’ve seen this one)? It is unusual for road rage to reach the level at which weapons are used, but many drivers fear that the increase in aggressive driving will only lead to more incidents of violence. Couple crowded highways with ever-rising gas prices, and there are a lot of people with short fuses behind the wheels of cars.

Sid Steiner is well-known in the rodeo world, both for his own success, and also for the huge contributions made to the sport by his father and grandfather. He already has a bad boy image from his time on the rodeo circuit. Will he add to this persona with a stint in prison? That remains to be seen.

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