He has been to every Portland event of the Professional Bull Riders since they began in 1997. Around the previous nearly 30 years, he has attended dozens of PBR events all around the country, including the World Finals in Las Vegas and Texas. And now, on May 12-21, during the World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, the Professional Bull Riders will bestow upon Dean Woods a great distinction.
At the PBR 30th anniversary party, he will be honored as one of the top 100 fans in PBR history. This is a great recognition for the 83-year-old Baker City native and former heavy equipment operator. To hear him tell it, “I’ve really liked it,” you should check out a PBR event. It was enjoyable; nonetheless, I sorely missed my wife. It has been two years since Julia Woods’ death.
“She went to all of them that I went to. I asked her one time, ‘I’m going to quite a few events, do you want to back off and not go to so many?’ She said, ‘Let’s go to more.’” He is taking off on his own to see Fort Worth. For him, being named one of the top 100 fans means a lot.
He says he’s “never found anyone who has gone to as many as I have” among Oregonians in the past 30 years, and those handful are the only ones who have attended every World Finals. It’s been 30 years, and I don’t remember missing any championship games since then.
Past locations for the World Finals include Las Vegas, Dallas, and Fort Worth, Texas. In one season, Woods attended 23 PBR competitions. “We both had to retire before we got going full time, around 2000,” he said. “We both had good retirements; like we say, we’re spending our kids’ inheritance.”
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Woods has no history of rodeo due to his upbringing in Eastern Oregon. But the friendships he’s made among rodeo participants, such as bull riders, are among his favorite aspects of the sport. “All of these bull riders are just as friendly as can be,” he said. “We got to know all of them, we call them our grandkids. We love them all. I go down to the fence (of competition area), have an autograph session, and talk to the bull riders. As the old saying goes, “I’m really excited to go.”
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