FORT WORTH, Texas – Resistol steer wrestler Mike McGinn has been on a bit of a roll early this season, and he continued his hot streak during the first round of The American at Cowtown Coliseum.
As a cowboy who came through the series of qualifying rounds, McGinn has a shot of at least a share of the $2 million side pot available to “Contenders” – each event will pay out $100,000 to the winners, and 10 contestants in each event advanced to this weekend’s competition by finishing near the top of the 2021 world standings; the remaining group of cowboys and cowgirls were qualifiers.
Only 10 of the 16 bulldoggers advanced to Sunday, and McGinn is just one of the ones who had to work his way into the field.
“You hear about the $2 million a lot, so it’s dang sure in my head,” said McGinn, the No. 16 man in the ProRodeo steer wrestling world standings. “I’m just going to try to make a run. Sure, you want to have a second steer Sunday, but I’m just focused on one at a time. You have to throw the first one down before you have a chance at the $2 million.”
Each of the 10 combatants will make his runs Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The top four times will advance to the championship round, and the fastest cowboy on the final run will be crowned the titlist.
McGinn will be joined by fellow Resistol bulldoggers Tyler Waguespack, Jesse Brown, Will Lummus, Tristan Martin and Jason Thomas, the last of whom is also a qualifier.
The key for McGinn to return to compete was getting a good start. He and his red roan mare, Sassy, exploded out of the timed-event box, and he laid down his steer in 4.19 seconds; it was the second fastest time of the night.
“I had that steer on my first run (in the qualifying semifinals), and I was 4.4 on him, but I knew I could be faster,” said McGinn, who won the steer wrestling title in Denver earlier this year. “I was a little late the first time, but I got a way better start (Friday).”
He hopes to do that again Sunday, and he has $2 million reasons to do so.