Not that anyone expects Idaho to be a football factory like Texas or Pennsylvania. When I took a job at KLIX radio in 2014, a guy at a trade magazine asked me about some differences between where I now live and some of the cities where I worked east of the Mississippi. I said I never saw a rodeo team back east.
We’ve put stars like Jake Plummer, Jerry Kramer, and Harmon Killebrew into the NFL and Major League Baseball. But I’m not sure those all-American games are nearly as important for many young athletes as being on the back of a horse. A website named CASINOS.com says Idaho is in the bottom ten of states per capita that produce professional athletes. The site uses the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL as starting points. There’s no mention of rodeo.
Former NHL tough guy Bill Flett was a star of both hockey and rodeo. His career in the latter lasted longer than his time on the ice.
California probably produces as many soccer stars as baseball stars. If you don’t count soccer, then the number gets skewed. Same with rodeos in places like Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Or in the Midwest. One of my former broadcast coworkers was from South Dakota. She introduced me to her brother. That was almost 30 years ago. He was a major rodeo star. He also looked like he could have handled himself on a football field or baseball diamond.
This argument needs some cultural perspective. Kids here grow up with different dreams.