Blacktop Cowboys chronicles the 2004 rodeo season through the eyes of several steer wrestlers trying to make it back to rodeo's version of the Super Bowl, the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas.
Steer wrestling is an adventure that entails riding into an arena at 25 mph, sliding off a horse while taking hold of a 500-pound steer, and then throwing the animal to the ground. The best cowboys often accomplish all this in less than four seconds. The two main characters of Blacktop Cowboys are Luke Branquinho, a young carefree cowboy on a quest for his first title, and his best friend, Travis Cadwell, a veteran trying to make the NFR one last time. Much of Blacktop Cowboys unfolds in trucks, trailers, arenas, behind the chutes, casinos, beds and everywhere else cowboys spend their time. By taking the reader deep into the cowboys' lives, Blacktop Cowboys offers a true and intimate portrait of men having the time of their lives while living on the road in pursuit of the dream to be the best.