SEAY, GIBSON, FENSTERMAKER HAVE ONE LAST OPPORTUNITY BEFORE HEADING TO LAS VEGAS FOR THE AFB WORLD FINALS
BY KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
In his rookie season, Sage Seay has learned more from failure than he has from winning.
It’s the same concept as a scholar reading about what they already know and expecting to learn something new. Like scholars, athletes—in this case American freestyle bullfighters—have to stretch themselves. Instead of playing football, as he has his entire life, Seay is transitioning to freestyle bullfighting.
And, along the way, there’s been a learning curve.
The Louisiana native said he’s learned more in the four consecutive bullfights when he “got (his) ass hooked” then all the clean fights he’s had—namely a pair of Shorty Gorham’s American Freestyle Bullfighting wins that have him ranked third in the AFB world standings.
“I’m a believer that you have to fail and fall down sometimes in order to really figure out where you want to get to,” Seay said.
The hooking he’s taken, and the resulting injuries, have led him back to the basics: slow the fight down, stay in control and remember that rounds win rounds.
“I don’t look at it as failure,” said Seay, who relishes every opportunity to get in front of bulls, “I look at it as learning points.”
His next opportunity will come Friday night in Nampa, Idaho.
The AFB regular season will be capped off with one last event held in conjunction with the final elite televised PBR event of the 2019 season.
Seay will be competing along with Ryker Fenstermaker and reigning AFB World Champion Cade Gibson. Seay and Gibson are both in ranked in the Top 5.
“It’s going to come down to Vegas and, I tell you what, all of these guys have so much talent,” said Seay, of this year’s title race. “It’s really the luck of the draw. If you (have) a bull that’s going to hook up for 45 seconds and you can put it on him, you’re going to have the high score.”
However, he’s quick to point out that he’s not looking at the numbers.
He’s focused on being ready for every opportunity he’s afforded to show up every and compete.
“I’m going to let the pencils take care of the rest,” Seay said. “I’m just showing up to fight my bulls.”
Seay added, “Even though it’s my rookie year and I’m still learning, when I’m in the arena I don’t look at myself as a rookie. I’m a professional bullfighter. This is my job and that’s what I do. It’s like being a true freshman on a college football team, if you’re out there playing then you’re a starter. If you’re out here and you’re in the Top 3 and you’re winning events people don’t look at you as a rookie. You’re battling with the best of them.”
The Nampa event will be broadcast live on Ride Pass during the intermission of the first round of the PBR event. A recap of the event will be telecast Sunday during the PBR broadcast on CBS Sports Network beginning at 6 p.m. ET.
The AFB Finals can also be seen live on Ride Pass November 6-9.
“Sometimes I look back and I think, shit, I still am in my rookie season,” Seay said. “I still have so much more to learn and so much more potential.
“This sport has helped me out in life,” he continued. “These guys have helped me to grow my faith. I love traveling with them. I hate having to go home. Heck, I wish we could travel week-in and week-out.
“I’ve enjoyed every second of it.”