AC Interview: Jet and Cord McCoy

An exclusive interview with brothers Jet and Cord McCoy on Amazing Race: Unfinished Business, ranch life, and the Cowboy Way.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
An exclusive interview with brothers Jet and Cord McCoy on Amazing Race: Unfinished Business, ranch life, and the Cowboy Way.

Jet and Cord McCoy are ranch-raised brothers from Ada, Okla. Cord is a well-known PBR bull rider, but the pair really stepped into the spotlight after competing on the Amazing Race 16, where they finished second in a down-to-the-wire finale. Fan favorites for catch phrases like “Oh, my gravy” and for personifying the Cowboy Way, the brothers recently packed their bags again for Amazing Race: Unfinished Business.



HOW DID BEING BROTHERS AND GROWING UP SO CLOSE IN AGE HELP YOU DURING THE AMAZING RACE?

Cord: Most of our lives we’ve competed against each other in every kind of competition you can think of, so it was a neat opportunity that we could actually do together. It was pretty cool just to get to race with Jet instead of trying to beat him. Everything he did well made me look good, too. We got so close to winning the first time—not that we had an axe to grind—but we really felt like we could win, and to come that close in the last leg and not win it we were just thankful for the opportunity to go after ’em again.



WHAT’S THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT RACING AROUND THE WORLD?

Cord: Staying focused on everything that’s going on for 40,000 miles. That’s one of the toughest wears on ya. Whether you’re in an airport or on a boat, or whatever you’re doing, you have to stay focused to try to get there faster or do things better to complete your task. Even when we were doing tourist stuff, it was still at a dead run. We’d be running and say, “Oh, look at that,” but we’d never stop running. We’re probably the fastest tourists in the world.



WERE YOU SURPRISED BY ALL THE PUBLIC ATTENTION AFTER THE FIRST SEASON AIRED?

Jet: That’s one of the nice things about being from a small town. We pretty well know everybody here already, so it wasn’t like all of a sudden we were running into people who were big fans or anything. I definitely noticed a difference when I went to an airport or somewhere like that, though. It seems like little kids will recognize us before adults will, for some reason.
Cord: Somebody said to me the other day “Sorry you didn’t get the million dollars,” and I told him “Me and Jet are probably going to get that million dollars one free cup of coffee at a time.” People have been so nice to us after the Amazing Race 16. Then again, I’m standing here holding a grey horse right now, and he doesn’t know anything about the Amazing Race. Our lifestyle hasn’t changed much.



HOW HAS GROWING UP ON A RANCH AND WORKING WITH ANIMALS SHAPED THE WAY YOU LOOK AT LIFE?

Cord: The thing about working with livestock is the only thing you’re going to get out of it is what you put into it. That holds true for a lot of things. It’s hard work, but there’s a lot of satisfaction in it. The horse that I’m standing here holding was born right here on the ranch. He’s 13 years old now, but everything he knows are things that I’ve taught him.



WHAT’S LIFE LIKE FOR YOU THESE DAYS?

Jet: Cord’s still riding bulls and ranching, and I’m just ranching. I go to a few competitions—some horse shows and ranch rodeos and stuff—but I’ve kind of backed off from the regular rodeo circuit.



CORD, YOU HAD A MAJOR INJURY WHILE COMPETING IN 2004. DID THAT AFFECT HOW YOU LOOK AT THINGS?

Cord: Yes, Sir. I had a horse kick me in the head and crush my skull at the State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City. I got lots of cards and lots of prayers after that. It just goes to show how closely knit the rodeo community really is. It’s a tight family. I would definitely say an incident like that also made me appreciate how quickly everything can be gone. It makes you realize that just being able to get up and get on your horse and ride across the pasture is a huge thing. I try to keep that in mind and be thankful for whatever I’m doing, whether I’m competing or just enjoying
the day.



CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR CHARITABLE EFFORTS?

Cord: I’ve had the Cord McCoy Invitational the last three years, and I started another event in Atlantic, Iowa [the Cord McCoy Challenge] last year. At the Cord McCoy Invitational, we did a fundraiser called the Pink Tie Affair and raised a little more than $30,000 for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. I’ve also been sending a lot of stuff to different charity auctions and things like that. Anytime I get a request for something like that I try to help.



WHAT DOES THE COWBOY WAY MEAN TO YOU?

Jet: The Cowboy Way is born from a way of life; it’s not something that you can learn in a classroom. It’s hard to pinpoint, but it comes out of necessity more than anything else. Things like getting along with your neighbors and helping people out when they need it and building good relationships—plus just the hard work of it all. Horses have to be fed whether it’s raining or snowing or it’s a hundred degrees outside. All of those things together are the kind of things that make cowboys who they are. To be able to represent cowboys and that lifestyle is definitely an honor, and I can only hope that we’ve represented them well.
Cord: I didn’t really realize to what extent all that was true when we first took off on the race, but after the Amazing Race 16 was over, it became clear just how much we were representing cowboys and our family and our community—even the United States of America. We were representing all of the above and we definitely felt a responsibility to do it well. That said, anywhere you go around the world, if you’re wearing a cowboy hat, you don’t have to explain to somebody who you are.



HAVE YOU ALL TAKEN ANY OF THE TRIPS THAT YOU WON ON THE AMAZING RACE?

Cord:
My wife and I went to Maui.



HAVE YOU GUYS TRAVELED TOGETHER AGAIN SINCE THE SHOW?

Cord:
No. I’m not going to Maui with Jet.

McCoys_opener