February 14, 2016

World's Toughest Rodeo in St. Paul, Minnesota


World's Toughest Rodeo in St. Paul, Minnesota
Todd Swank's Diary Update for February 14, 2015


We connected with our good friends, The Browns and The Zitzewitzes, for a Saturday night full of Mongolian Food and the World's Toughest Rodeo.  I'd like to say this ain't our first rodeo, but technically it was our first rodeo for all of us.


We had to walk through the St. Paul Winter Carnival to get to the Excel Center and there was a parade in progress.  This wasn't our first parade.  We've been to plenty of those before.


We came to the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota to watch the World's Toughest Rodeo.  We saw quite a few cowboy hats in the audience and on the floor of the event.  I think there were even some cowboy boots, but it was hard to tell from the upper deck.


We didn't really know what to expect, but we were pretty confident we'd see dudes riding horses and bulls and maybe some bullfighting.  We were wrong about that last part as it didn't appear that any of the participants were willing to actually challenge the bull to fight.  For the most part, they tried to run away from them.


They told us we could tweet to them and get on the big screen which I did.  I just love seeing my name on the big screen.  Come on, Karl!!


Before we knew it, they started the floor on fire and we were ready to go.  I've never really been to a show where they set the floor on fire before and all I could think of was that was gonna be pretty hot for the poor horses' feet.


The clown was kind of funny.  I guess I kind of expected that since he was a clown.  Be kind of sad if he wasn't funny.


He also was pretty good with a rope.  I'm pretty sure this wasn't his first rodeo.


Most of the show consisted of these guys letting horses and bulls out of the cage and then they'd go nuts trying to buck off the rider on top of them.  We soon discovered the reason they were going nuts was because they had a rope tied around their bellies and it probably was squeezing their crown jewels pretty tight.  I'd buck someone off my back also if they did that to me!


The cowboys could stay on the horses for awhile, but none of them fared very well against the bulls.  It was interesting to see how high in the air they could flip them.


The most controversial event of the evening involved Whiplash the monkey riding around on a sheepdog to herd up some big sheep.  They kept telling audience that the monkey had been doing this performance for 25 years and absolutely loved doing it.


I'm not sure I believe he loved it.  When the dog started running, the monkey bounced back and forth on his back and flipped from side to side really hard.  The dog sure looked like he loved chasing those sheep, but I have to think the monkey might have had some second thoughts about doing this at some point in the past 25 years.  He probably said he loved it at first, but I'm guessing they just haven't asked him lately if he's still loving it.  They probably don't even have anyone on their staff that really even speaks monkey.