1932: Jack rabbits and football
Jack rabbit rodeo: Odessa made national headlines when organizers of the American Legion's annual Memorial Day Rodeo added a controversial new feature: a jack rabbit roping match. Whether a prank or an ingenious publicity stunt, the competition created quite a furor. The story quickly spread to newspapers across the country, and provoked a rash of indignant letters, including missives from Stewart Bruce and 21 others from Denver, who denounced the community for its "cruel and discreditable sport." In an effort to quell the uproar, Sheriff Reeder Webb issued an order prohibiting the event as unlawful. He did not provide any legal grounds for his interference, however, so the American Legion filed suit.
Judge Henry Webb ruled that "a jack rabbit is not an animal but a rodent and a pest. I deeply resent the fact that a few old hens and antiquated roosters from Colorado or anywhere else attempted to infringe on the rights of the Citizens of Odessa." Capturing enough rabbits for the event proved more troublesome than the legal battle, however. A few days before the event, 200 Odessans gathered to help the American Legion round up rabbits for the competition. During the rodeo, 7 of the 50 contestants roped rabbits. Sheriff Arden Ross of Loving County won the competition by roping his rabbit in 9 seconds. None of the rabbits were injured, although 4 contestants nearly collapsed from exhaustion.
They don't do that anymore. The Bunny Lobby works furiously against anything that dooms bunnies. We should have a rabbit rodeo and all rabbits are sent to the death chamber for their crimes against ptarmigans and humanity.