Working for that . . . 8-second ride
Just in case watching 160-pound cowboys trying to hang onto the backs of 2,000-pound bucking bulls isn't exciting enough, here are five other things that will entertain you Saturday night at the Alerus Center during Professional Championship Bull...
Just in case watching 160-pound cowboys trying to hang onto the backs of 2,000-pound bucking bulls isn't exciting enough, here are five other things that will entertain you Saturday night at the Alerus Center during Professional Championship Bullriders tour.
1. Jake Owen: After the dirt stops flying, Nashville recording artist Jake Owen, whose 2006 debut album was "Startin' With Me," will sing. Extremely country-music capable (and easy on the eyes), Owen's hits include "Eight Second Ride," "Yee Haw" and "Startin' With Me."
2. Women's championship barrel racing: No, they don't race rolling barrels. Horses and riders rip through a zig-zag course around preset barrels (typically three 55-gallon drums) as quickly as possible. The tricky part? When you're done, all the barrels should still be standing.
3. Funnyman/barrelman "Radical" Ryan Rodriguez: Guys like Rodriquez dress like clowns and do silly stuff to make people laugh. They also help keep 2,000-pound bulls from stomping 160-pound cowboys into the dirt.
4. Bullfighter Don "Hollywood" Yates: You may have known him as Wolf from the 2008 season of TV's "American Gladiators." In a news release, Yates compared what he does to earlier arena spectacles, when the Romans threw the Christians to the lions.
5. Rodeo announcer Roger Mooney. Mooney hails from the Cherokee Indian town of Ellijay, Ga. With his booming Southern drawl, he's worked rodeos for more than 20 years.
The Professional Championship Bullriders tour will come to the Alerus at 7:30 p.m. Saturday featuring top cowboys in the PCB such as Tylor Wojciechowski of Greenbush, Minn., and Ronnie Uptegraft of Manton, Mich. The bulls and bull riders are the big show, but Robert Sauber, president of the Chicago-based PCB tour, said he believes in giving fans as much entertainment as possible.
"Jake Owen brings great music and an awesome show, which is why we love having him at our events," Sauber said in a news release. "With that in mind, we wanted to bring Hollywood in and show everybody that kind of entertainment."
Don "Hollywood" Yates said bull riding and bull fighting both have an element of danger that, to many, is a crowd pleaser.
"When people see (rodeo) freestyle bullfighting, they see the fact that it's a big bull that's basically trying to kill a guy," Yates said in a news release. "Putting a human being into that mix is like being back in the days of the gladiators, like throwing Christians to the lions."
In freestyle events, bullfighters are matched one-on-one with the animals. Bullfighters are judged on how close they get to the animal and their athletic maneuvers around the beasts. Protection bullfighting is about keeping the bull riders and others in the arena out of harm's way.
And just like he did on TV's "American Gladiators," Yates says he will let "Wolf" make an appearance and handle the trash-talking that comes with competition.
Rodeo clown and barrelman Ryan Rodriguez has begun entertaining audiences with his 5-year-old son. Rodriquez explained that as his son grew old enough to walk and talk, he wanted to help his father make people laugh. Rad Rain Rodriquez made his debut in December during a featured specialty act at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Rodriquez said he found his son may act shy around a couple of people, but in front of a crowd of thousands, it's a whole 'nother story.
"When he put on the greasepaint and walked into the arena, he was a natural entertainer," Rodriquez said in a news release.
Rodriguez has worked some of the biggest events in rodeo, from regional championships to tour finales in Las Vegas and Omaha to the National Western Stock Show in Denver and the prestigious Calgary Stampede. He's been featured at Professional Championship Bullriders events for several years.
Professional Championship Bullriders is an organization that has events all across the northern Midwest. Saturday's competition in Grand Forks will be the last event before the PCB World Tour Finale, which will be Feb. 4-5 in Chicago.
Reach Tobin at (701) 780-1134; (800) 477-6572, ext. 134; or send e-mail to email@example.com .