Last November, Carrie Underwood took a nasty fall outside her home which caused a broken wrist and an injury to her face which led to some 40+ stitches.  Over the past several months, the country superstar had been hinting that when the healing had completed, she may not look quite the same.  This led to all kinds of speculation from the media and fans, and eventually to the 'grand reveal' at the ACM Awards Sunday night.

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To the left is Carrie at the ACM Awards, to the right is Carrie at a concert before she took the fall.  Notice the difference?  Me neither.  Thousands of folks took to social media following the show to echo those sentiments.  The basic underlying theme was Carrie is still just as beautiful as ever.

On a side note, I ran into Carrie Underwood a few years ago in Memphis while she was there to lend her support to the kids at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  I've noticed through the years that when many singers reach superstar status, they tend to stop lending their 'in-person time' for charities.  That's not the case with Carrie, and this is why I will always consider her one of the most beautiful-on-the-inside celebrities I know.

But, back to the story at hand.  Underwood's courage to talk about her accident, stitches, and subsequent scar (although I couldn't see it), has finally allowed me to have the strength to talk about an accident that happened to me in the early 90's, as well as to reveal the scar it left behind.

The year was 1991.  I was the DJ at Bullwinkles Nightclub in Nacogdoches.  On this particular night, the club had an 'Urban Cowboy' type promotion which included a mechanical bull.  I was not going to ride it, but after much prodding and liquid courage, I decided to give it a shot.

I clumsily mounted the over-sized saddle, put my right hand in the air, and signaled the operator that I was ready.  1, 2, 3 seconds went by...the moves of the automated bull were similar to those of the horse I rode in front of the grocery store as a kid, but judging by the look on the operator's face, he was about to take the level up several notches.  4, 5, 6 seconds went by...now I was doing circles, but, I was still able to keep my balance centered.  7 seconds...and now the bull was quickly pulsating back and forth while spinning quickly around...8 SECONDS!!

I MADE IT!!  There was no prize for the ride, but there was pride for the ride.  For those 8 seconds, I could have been Tuff or Ty.  I was wearing Wranglers, I had on a cowboy hat, and I had stayed on through the best that menacing mass of plastic and hydraulics could dish out.  As I tried to dismount, I began to realize that lack of flexibility and gravity aren't a good combination when getting off an contraption that's wide and slippery...oh, and that liquid courage doesn't do much for coordination, either.

I fell.  I fell off the bull...while it was completely still. Yes, there was padding to comfort the fall, but, in a last ditch attempt to save my pride, I reached up to try to hold on and somehow my middle finger got caught on something sharp and metal.  I felt the slice, I saw the blood, I was injured...and I made sure everyone knew about it.

(The following is being said in my best Sam Elliott deep drawl)

My name is Danny Merrell.  I rode a bull for 8 seconds.  He made me bleed and I'm scarred for life...but I rode that bull for 8 seconds.

Here's the evidence of the scar that ornery beast left behind.  (You made need a magnifying glass)