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Kats Goes Cowboy: A celebration of great names as the NFR bucks to a close

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Roper Tuf Cooper throws up his hands after tying his calf during the first go round of the National Finals Rodeo on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, at the Thomas & Mack.

2010 NFR: Day 9

The 2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center on Dec. 10, 2010. Launch slideshow »

If you’ve got a name that prompts a double take -- or leads to the question, “Say that again?” -- you’ve got a good name. Trust me on that.

The rodeo world is filled with distinctive names, like former steer wrestling champ Ote Berry and bull-riding legend Tuff Hedeman. Charlie Throckmorton is a well-known Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association announcer. Steer wrestler Trell Etbaur is the PRCA’s reigning Rookie of the Year.

Jealously, I’ve come across several fantastic names at this year’s National Finals Rodeo, which is to conclude its 10-session run tonight at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Here are the Top 11, judged as an event unto itself:

11. Broc Cresta, Santa Rosa, Calif., team roping (heeler).

10. Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb., saddle bronc.

9. Dusty LaValley, Bezanson, Alberta, Canada, bareback.

8. Shawn Hogg, Odessa, Texas, bull riding.

7. Caleb Twisselman, Santa Margarita, Calif., team roping (heeler).

6. Dusty Tuckness, Meeteese, Wyo., bullfighter.

5. Turtle Powell, Stephenville, Texas, team roping (header).

4. Chassity Cisco, Miss Rodeo Oklahoma.

3. Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, tie-down roping.

2. Jerome Schneerberger, Ponca City, Okla,., tie-down roping.

1. Gizmo McCracken, Wheaton, Mo., rodeo clown.

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

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