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October 30, 2014

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Kats Goes Cowboy: It’s a numbers (and question) game with outgoing Miss Rodeo America

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Miss Rodeo America McKenzie Haley exits the stage during the Montana Silversmiths Go-Round Buckle Presentations at the South Point Tuesday, December 7, 2010.

Miss Rodeo America 2010 Kelli Jackson is a numbers person.

Some of the numbers she’s tabulated during her reign, which ends in 22 days if you are reading this on Friday and you count that day and Dec. 31:

South Point Go-Round Buckle Presentation

Bareback winner Wes Stevenson waits backstage to be called out to receive his prizes during the Montana Silversmiths Go-Round Buckle Presentations at the South Point Tuesday, December 7, 2010. Launch slideshow »

2,776: Pounds of luggage she has checked during her flights while making appearances on behalf of the organization.

73,000: Number of miles she has flown.

106: Number of flights she has taken during her reign.

She also said the question she is most often asked is, “What are you?”

“It’s not, ‘Who are you,’ but, ‘What are you?’ ” Jackson said while making an appearance this week at the Go-Round Buckle Presentation at South Point Showroom, the nightly event honoring each night’s go-round winners. “The next is, ‘Do you ride bulls?’ ”

Jackson has never ridden a bull. Next, we played a game I call “Ask a Pageant Question,” which I’ve played a couple of times with former Miss Nevada America and Miss Nevada USA Julianna Erdesz. The beauty queen gets 30 seconds to answer my own pageant-type question. These questions are formulated on the fly, and gosh if it isn’t a little suspenseful.

My question: “Do you think that an agnostic or atheist woman will ever win Miss Rodeo America, and why or why not?”

Miss Rodeo America’s answer: “I do think that there is an opportunity for either an agnostic or atheist woman to win Miss Rodeo America because religion does not play a role in the selection of Miss Rodeo America. Rather, she’s judged on personality, appearance, horsemanship ability and speech. That’s what matters.”

Not bad. Under 30 seconds, too.

“I tried to cut it short,” she said. “We don’t have a time limit, but you don’t want to ramble.”

A few more numbers I’ve culled during the week of covering the NFR:

$250: The amount of the fine if you are late to one NFR production meeting.

$500: The amount of the fine if you are late to two NFR production meetings.

$1,000: The amount of the fine if you are late to one NFR production meeting. That would be the last fine, then you’re canned. Or, maybe, to use rodeo parlance, barreled.

6: How many weeks of action bareback rider Ryan Gray expects to miss because of an injury he suffered in last Friday’s second go-round. That injury? A lacerated liver.

100,000 The total number of bus trips, total, in and out of the Thomas & Mack Center, for the duration of the rodeo.

30 million: The number of households reached by ESPN Classic, this year’s NFR cable channel.

60 million: The number of households reached by Great American Country, the network the NFR will pay to carry the event in 2011 and 2012.

Zero: These number of households reached by GAC in Las Vegas on Cox Communications (where it is not offered on the extended cable package).

4: Number of cowboy hats I spotted Friday night across the entire casino floor at Aria, which is one of the NFR’s sponsorship hotels.

5: Number of days it took to effectively break in a new pair of Justin cowboy boots for the NFR.

$25,000: The value of the Montana Silversmiths belt buckle awarded to the winner of the all-around NFR title.

20: Percentage of cowboys who earn a profit, after expenses, on the pro rodeo circuit.

35: The number of athletes seen by Justin medical center chief Rick Taylor before each night’s action.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.

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