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MARCH 6 & 7

“Professional Bull Riders Landover Open”

Beware the hillbilly flu, folks: A few years ago, this dusty epidemic started spreading like prairie fire, showing no fear of sweeping down the plains, hitching a ride on Highway 61, and heading straight for a once-immune metropolis near you. The outbreak was quick and widespread, culminating just months ago when Patient Zero himself, Garth Brooks, played Central Park. The extremely unfunny Jeff Foxworthy was given a major network sitcom. Your aunt started wearing designer shitkickers and calling you “pardner.” And with the help of wunderhick/Pepsi shiller Jeff Gordon, NASCAR somehow became the fastest growing spectator sport in America. Redneck culture became hip culture. Now, yet another nail has been driven into our ponderosa pine coffin: mass-marketed rodeo. Bud Light is wedging a whole heap of cash behind the “Professional Bull Riders Tour,” a 24-city hoedown, with more than $4 million in prize money, featuring 45 black-lunged cowboys, delinquent rodeo clowns, and pissed-off bulls with names like Baby Face, Dash Riprock, and Raisin’ Cain. Rodeo is dirty, violent, and, after a few watery cold ones, a helluva lot of fun. So if you’re already planning on trading in that dusty StairMaster for a shiny new mechanical bull, you might want to head for the “Professional Bull Riders Landover Open.” At 7:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday at the USAirways Arena, Landover. $10-50. (301) 499-3000. (Sean Daly)