The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000

Book Reviews

complex but these men's interaction with family, friends, and community.
After allowing the coaches a forum to explain their methods, Cashion weaves
their remembrances into the history of the state. It is during the latter that the
book offers the most. Here the old coaches, some legendary for their storytelling
abilities, describe their lives and Texas during the hardscrabble days of the Great
Depression, the uncertain times of World War II, and the affluence of the post-
war years. Pigskzn Pulpit explains how these men "drew upon values that reflected
an older, bygone era" (p. 175) to instill character in their adolescent charges.
This claim of character-building usually attracts the most criticism, and in his
conclusion Cashion allows the coaches to answer those attacks, thus adding
another meaning to the title. For here the coaches truly preach the gospel of the
gridiron. Whether purposefully or not, Cashion, a believer in the coaches' mes-
sage, delivers ample ammunition for critics of the game's social doctrines, often
by using the coaches' own quotes. For example, Cashion supports his claim that
"coaches tailored punishment to fit the offense" (p. 266) with examples such as
Moon Mullins's method of stopping a player from smoking by laying a lit ciga-
rette on the boy's chest and Leon Vinyard's solution to poor grades, "a good
butt-busting" (p. 273).
Cashion admits the major limitation of Pigskin Pulpit-its reliance on anecdo-
tal evidence-and he acknowledges the need for more study in areas such as the
origins of football and the Prairie View Interscholastic League. Additional
research could also balance the coaches' view with comments from players,
wives, teachers, etc. Hopefully, Cashion's work will ignite further scholarly inter-
est in a part of Texana previously unexplored by historians. Whether it does or
not, Pigskzn Pulpzt is a welcome addition to the study of Texas history and should
prove valuable to anyone studying the state's recent past.
Southwest Texas State Universzty ALAN C. ATCHISON
Belly Full of Bedsprings: The Hzstory of Bronc Ridzng. By Gail Hughbanks Woerner.
(Austin: Eakin Press, 1998. Pp. ix+26o. Preface, introduction, epilogue,
appendix, glossary, resource materials, index. ISBN 1-57168-20o9-o. $18.95,
paper).
This book provides an interesting overview of the history of bronc riding,
identifying prominent broncbusters and broncs of their era. Woerner obviously
loves her topic, and her narrative is a blend of history and anecdote. Classic pho-
tographs enhance the book. Belly Full of Bedsprings traces the evolution of the
sport, noting how the timed length of a qualifying ride has changed, for
instance, and documenting the emergence of today's highly specialized and pro-
fessional sport. Throughout there is careful differentiation between saddle
bronc and bareback riders. Use of corporate sponsors, cowboy unions, and the
virtual presence of ProRodeo.com are a far remove from the days when the
broncbusters "rode'em till they stopped buckin"' (Chapter 2). The book con-
tains a nod to women's professional rodeo, a look at some of the stockmen of
the sport, and a discussion of the evolution of rodeo sports medicine. The

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/. Accessed April 20, 2014.