VarsityGram 2019

Hello, Varsity Red Team riders!  We know that at Stock Show you’re very busy sometimes, but that you also have some downtime too.  In the interest of fun and silliness, we’d like to challenge you to a secret mission.  Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to work together to complete the following tasks before the end of NWSS on Sunday.  Involve the entire team – some of these are easily completed in small groups, while some require a large group.  Can you collectively do it? 

This message will (probably) self-destruct at the end of Stock Show.

Quality counts with your submissions!  Be sure that your camera settings are optimized, feel free to use a photo filter app (like Snapseed), that you’re close enough so that the audio is loud and clear.  Take the time to edit your rough footage, if possible.  Unless otherwise directed, please submit your completed missions via email to:  Be sure to include the Mission # with your submission. 

It IS possible that we add an item (or remove an item) from the list, so check back here frequently.  Have fun!

Need to reach us? DM, email, or text us!


Text:  303.800.7699

Facebook: @westernairesalumni  #Westernairesalumni #varsitygram2019
Insta: @westernairesalumni  #Westernairesalumni #varsitygram2019

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Mission 1 -- Submit via email, DM, or by the button below

Originally from Japan, a haiku is a short poem about the images surrounding the poet.  They’re often time very Zen, and other times a bit comedic.  A haiku is three lines only: the first line is 5 syllables long, the second is 7 syllables, and the third is 5 syllables.   Write and submit to us as many 5-7-5 haikus as you can about your life at National Western Stock Show.


National Western
Oh, how I’ve missed your barn smell
Who stole our stall doors? 

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Mission 2 -- Submit via email or DM

Video or Photo: The National Western’s marketing & media crew has an equivalent of “Elf On a Shelf” called “Nate On a Gate”.  We’ve heard through the grapevine that Nate has always wanted to hang out with the Red Team riders as they hang out in their dressing room or tack up for a show.  Capture a picture of Nate chillin’ in the dressing room, or being helpful in the barns.  Nate has a “handler” (show-biz stars always do), and his handlers reside in the NWSS Media Department.

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mission 3 -- Submit via email or DM

Photo or Video: Sunward Steel Buildings is the sponsor of the Westernaires act in the rodeo.  Take at least 6 team members (bonus points if more) to the Sunward Steel Buildings display in the Hall of Education.  Introduce yourselves to the folks working the booth, and thank them for their sponsorship. Be kind, and be classy!  (The people working the booth are sales reps, but they'll still appreciate the interaction.)  Have someone take a picture of all of you posed in front of Sunward’s display.  We’ll send it to them with our thanks as well.  Bonus points if you wear your Red Team sweaters for this, and bonus points for bringing as many teammates as possible!

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Mission 4 -- Submit via email or DM 

Photo or Video: Find one young visitor to the Stock Show (who you don’t already know).  Introduce yourself to them, and explain that you’ll be performing in today’s show.  Tell them briefly about Westernaires and what you’ll be doing today in the arena.  Gift them one of your pins off of your Red Team sweater.  Or, introduce them to your horse.  Need more pins to give to people? Just ask us alumni for some and we’ll provide! Take a selfie of you and your new friend.  Congratulations, you’ve just made someone’s day really special!

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Mission 5 -- Submit via email or DM 

Video: Create a rap song using the sequence of Firelight.  Bonus points if you can get at least 3 Possemen/women to beatbox in the background of the video of you performing the rap. 


Mission 6 -- Submit via email or DM 

Videos: Video each one of your teammates telling us about themselves.  Ideally, every single Red Team rider should have a video.  The video must consist of: 1) the rider stating their name, 2) 30-second speed round for the rider to tell as much about themselves as possible (E.g., Horse’s name?  Favorite color?  Likes / dislikes?  Hobbies?  Favorite movie?  Where do you live?  Pet’s names?  Irrational fears?).  You only have 30 seconds though, so talk fast -- it's harder than it sounds!


Mission 7 -- Submit via email or DM 

Videos or Photos: How many games are being played at NWSS?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Every time one or more riders (or volunteers) plays a game at NWSS (e.g., Solitaire, Heads Up!, Duck-Duck-Goose, WoW, Red-Light/Green-Light, Monopoly, Fortnite, War, Pie Face, etc. – ANY game), try to capture it in a picture or video.  


Mission 8 -- Submit via email or DM 

Video: Speaking of games, are you familiar with the game “Taboo”?  In Taboo, you must describe objects or scenarios without using certain words.  It got us thinking: why not kill two birds with one stone?  Let’s make an instructional video for riders in Red Ranger training about how to get costumed up for Firelight (not Grand Entry).  The only catch is: you can’t use the words:

costume, shirt, belt, boots, sleeves, cuffs, horse, saddle

The better your video is, the more points you get!  Hey, maybe it becomes an official training video.

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Mission 9 -- Submit via email or DM 

Video: And now for the opposite of “Taboo”…  Record a video of one or more riders sitting down and having a nice conversation with Bob Parson.  In this conversation, see how many times you all (Bob included) can incorporate the following phrases into the conversation (i.e., more than once):

“Well, I'll be go to heck”
“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens”
“Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!”
“Acme anvils”
“Twenty-Three Skidoo” 


Mission 10 -- Submit via email or DM 

Video: Unless you’re “of a certain age”, you probably don’t know about the tunnel, also known as the “Stadium Walkway, Livestock Bridge and Flyover”, that exists at NWSS.  Constructed in 1951, this is an enclosed walkway that crosses over East 46th Avenue underneath I-70.  It connects the Coliseum to the Stockyard Stadium (where Westernaires used to perform Horsecapades).  Rumor has it that it was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  For many years, this tunnel kept Stock Show visitors out of the snow and cold as they crossed between buildings.  In other years, it was a perfect way for horses and riders (performers) to walk between the barn facilities.

Interview Pam Skelton, Bob Parson, or Glen Keller to tell you about the “stadium walkway” tunnel.  Bonus points if you can find someone who will permit you to access it!  (See the Hints section below.)

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Mission 11 -- Submit via email or DM 

Video or Photo: Pull a prank on a Westernaire Posseperson.  Choose your Posseperson wisely.  (No putting live snakes in boots, no stealing, no endangering lives.  Get creative.)

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Mission 12 -- Submit via email or DM 

Photo: In the Hall of Education, there’s a large longhorn steer (sometimes it’s a brahma bull, depending upon the time of day).  Have a trick rider, in costume, perform a trick on this standing steer/bull (we’re thinking something simple like a Layout, or a Midge McLain Back Drag, or hey, maybe even a Slick Stand...).  They normally charge people to take pictures on the steer, so bring some money (which the Alumni Association will reimburse you for 100% of the cost).  The folks working that booth have told us that they open at 9AM, and that Tuesday at 9AM is the ideal time to hit them up with this request.  


Mission 13 -- Submit via email or DM 

Video: There is a vendor in the Hall of Education selling “Pony Pal” PonyCycles.  Find this vendor, and introduce yourselves.  Explain that you’ve been asked to do a video scavenger hunt and that you’d like to use a few of their PonyCycles, if possible.  If they let you do so, perform a drill maneuver on PonyCycles (think: Passthru, Propeller, Wedge, etc.).  Record your Pony Pal “drill” on video.

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Mission 14 -- Submit via email or DM 

Video or Photo: Capture, in photo or video, your team’s favorite Stock Show traditions.  Some traditions change wildly over the years, so be sure to tell us about your tradition.

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Mission 15 -- Submit via email or DM 

Photo: Gather the entire team together and construct a picture for the ages.  Make this a picture that we ask Red Team, 50 years from now, to recreate.  Bonus points for involving your instructors and monitors (all of them).  

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Mission 16 -- Submit via email or DM 

Photo or Video: Find your team's "spirit animal".  Capture it via photo or video.


Mission 17 

No submission: Play the "Meow Game" during your graduation speeches.  During your graduation speech, work in the word "meow" at least once. (If this gets you “disowned” by your family, please refrain from doing it, unless you’re seeking to be disowned by your family already.)


Mission 18 -- Submit via email or DM 

Video: Nearly every Friday on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show, Jimmy writes thank-you notes.  He claims that Friday is the day he catches up on "personal stuff" like checking his inbox, returning e-mails, and writing his weekly thank-you notes.  He explains that he is running behind and asks the audience if they wouldn't mind if he took time out of the show to write them, and asks James Poyser to play some accompanying music (a sped-up version of U2's "October").  The notes are a bit sarcastic in tone and should involve Westernaires events, content, people, or things that annoy you (e.g., "Thank you, Westernaires head scarves, for giving me a cruel cowlick I didn't need.")

Film various Red Team members writing their Thank You Notes from their Westernaires career -- the more, the better.  Bonus points if you add music (the real Thank You Note music) to your videos, found here: .


Hints!  If you’re stuck, need help, or need inspiration: 

  • Ask alumni. Most of them know much more than one would initially think.

  • Ask the Alumni Association. We’re happy to clarify any of the challenge items. And we like shenanigans (obviously).

  • The National Western’s marketing & media crew is located on the South East corner of the 2nd Floor of the Hall of Education in the South-East corner. They are very nice people, and they can likely help you with many of these challenges.