Friday, July 13, 2007
Meeting a matador
It may not look really dangerous, but bullfighting certainly can be.

The recent bullfight we attended in Segovia, a lovely ancient city an hour's drive northwest of Madrid, was a case in point. Of the three matadors originally scheduled to fight, two had to drop out, because they were gored in other fights just days before the Segovia event.

The third bullfighter, Alejandro Talavante, 19, had been gored only last May -- he showed us the big scar on his leg -- and he missed two weeks of work, and the accompanying income. If you don’t face bulls, you don't get paid.

But Talavante wasn't alone in Segovia. The fight promoter found two substitute bullfighters -- each seasoned matadors -- but one of them, Juan Bautista, was thrown by his first bull, whose horn tore his matador's elegant "suit of lights." Bautista got up, the leg of his pants ripped, and finished the fight, to the delight of the crowd.

My favorite part of the fight is when the matador deftly works the cape as the bull passes close by and they twirl around. But I don’t enjoy seeing the "picador," on horseback, drive his lance into the bull's back, early in the fight, drawing first blood.

Nor the ending sword of death that the matador pushes into the bull, which by that time can be wheezing and bleeding profusely. A lot of Spaniards don't like the fights and never go. But some do, and the fights -- which are covered in the newspapers as cultural, not sporting, events -- do offer insight into the essence of the Spanish identity, or at least a fundamental custom for a part of Spain.

Watch my report

From CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman
Al:
I guess that is why we like seeing the bulls gording people in the "Running of Bulls." It is payback time!
Bullfighting can be dangerous?-Who would have guessed?
ABOUT THIS BLOG
Hear from CNN reporters across the globe. "In the Field" is a unique blog that will let you share the thoughts and observations of CNN's award-winning international journalists from their far-flung bureaus or on assignment. Whether it's from conflict zone, a summit gathering, or the path least traveled, "In the Field" gives you a personal, front row seat to CNN's global newsgathering team.
SUBSCRIBE
    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.