FLINT — From Rodeo Barrelman to TV Personality

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Flint Rasmussen is known for his work as the entertainer of the Professional Bull Riders, but lately he’s been taking off the face paint and exchanging it for a sport coat, starched jeans and a cowboy hat. 

“It’s been kind of nice to dip my toe in TV commentary a little bit,” Rasmussen said. “I’ve done radio, talk show hosting, all of that for years. In my mind, it’s as much a part of who I am and what I do as the in-arena stuff. The clowning stuff.” 

Along with being the eight-time Profe ssional Rodeo Cowboys Association clown of the year and eight-time Wrangler National Final Rodeo Barrelman, Rasmussen has also hosted a live talk show called Outside the Barrel at the NFR. 

“It’s not as big a job as maybe a lot of people thought,” Rasmussen said. “It’s kind of a natural transition for me because I’ve had a microphone in my hand for a very long time. I’m intrigued by the commentary which commentators I liked best in other sports and things so it’s kind of a fun transition and not that unusual for me.” 

Growing up in Montana, Rasmussen grew up around rodeo and around the PRCA but he never saw himself being a rodeo clown. 

“Growing up I was more into football, basketball, track, baseball, track, those sports. I have a brother, Will, who is a great rodeo announcer. He’s nominated as Pro rodeo announcer of the year.” 

Rasmussen and his brother learned the sport of rodeo through osmosis after traveling with their father during the summers around Montana as he announced for rodeos himself too. 

“I was in college and we were having a conversation about rodeo clowns and entertainers,” Rasmussen said. “I just kind of said I can probably do better. I think that I would do this blah, blah. I gave my scenario and they dared me to do it. So, it turned into my summer job in college and it was fun.” 

At 21-years-old, Rasmussen was traveling around Montana to the little rodeos as the entertainer. 

“You don’t just start at Cheyenne,” Rasmussen said. “I did all these little rodeos in the summer and I taught school once I graduated college. I taught for a couple of years and really thought it was just a fun little summer job. I kept getting phone calls, so I quit teaching after two years and thought I’d give it a try.” 

Rasmussen has been the in-arena entertainer for the PBR since 1998. 

“My style fit the PBRs,” Rasmussen said. “The PBR was new, and as they developed, my style fit the direction they wanted to go. So, I was doing rodeo and PBR for a very long time together, a little half and half.” Observation has been part of Rasmussen’s life for quite a while. Rasmussen’s style of comedy has never been scripted. It has never been just telling jokes. It has always been observational. 

“There’s never really been a direction. It’s just what is all of this going to give me? What’s the rodeo or the bullriding going to give me? What’s the crowd going to give me that I can play off of?” 

Working with the PBR for more than 23 years, Rasmussen has seen more bull riding than many other people. 

“I’ve had a really good view of bull riding and rodeo for a very long time,” Rasmussen said. “I don’t try to be a former bull rider that analyzes a ride. Even though I probably could, I don’t think as far as fans looking in from the outside, they’re like, how would he know how to ride a bull? I’ve never been on a bull. But, I still think I can do that because I’ve watched tens of thousands of rides.” 

With the knowledge and comradery Rasmussen has with the bull riders and coaches, he is able to get a deeper insight to what goes on behind the chutes. 

“It was always a case of my mind always working really fast and to just pay attention to what’s going on and make something of it,” Rasmussen said. “The role I’ve been given with TV isn’t a play by play role. It’s behind the chutes and that’s exactly what it is. I’m paying attention. I’m listening. I know the riders, I know the guys that are coaching these riders and they’ll talk to me. So I just pay attention and take what their actions and contribute to the broadcast with it.” 

Rasmussen has had many years entertaining. Whether it’s entertaining the crowd during a PBR event or being in front of the camera, Rasmussen has had many opportunities in his life. 

“I’m gonna hold onto that for my career here and in the arena for good,” Rasmussen said. “Through the years, I’ve had up and coming musicians on my show. It’s been fun to be a part with those kinds of people as well as rodeo contestants that have gone and made it. So it’s been a valuable part of my life for sure.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brianna Garcia is currently obtaining a masters degree in communication. Garcia graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism and has interned as a sports reporter at the Douglas Budget Newspaper in Wyoming. 

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