Former NFL tight end hangs up cleats and picks up spurs

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 5:29 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - From Super Bowl Champion, to professional steer wrestler? Bear Pascoe can do it all.

“All the guys that I talked to playing football and stuff like that when they ask me what I’m doing now I tell them and they’re like ‘how do you do that?’”

If you know the name it’s because the former tight end spent some time at Fresno State before playing seven seasons in the NFL. Pascoe had stints in San Francisco, New York - where he won a Super Bowl with the Giants - Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and New England. In that Super Bowl XLVI win over the Patriots, Pascoe was the Giants’ third leading receiver with four catches for 33 yards.

But there was always going to be life after football, and Pascoe knew exactly what he wanted to do: become a cowboy.

“When I was done I decided to dive right into (steer wrestling),” said Pascoe. “It was something I was always interested in. It excites me.”

Going from the NFL to rodeo isn’t common. In doing some research only Walt Garrison and Jared Allen have made similar transitions.

The Central Valley kid from Porterville, California always had a little cowboy in him.

“I grew up in the western lifestyle working with my dad and my family on a ranch,” Pascoe said of his upbringing.

Pascoe started as a team roper in his younger days before learning how to steer wrestle from his father-in-law, PRCA Hall of Famer, John W. Jones Jr.

Some of Pascoe’s football skills have translated from football to rodeo.

“(Blocking in football) is kind of the same idea of tossing a steer - being low, being stable being able to use your body and have good techniques,” he said.

After hanging up the cleats and picking up some spurs Pascoe applied for his PRCA permit and has been competing in rodeos since 2018.

“Back in the box and going back and bulldogging a steer I tell guys it gives me the same adrenaline I get when I go out and catch a pass or go out and score a touchdown,” Pascoe said.

Pascoe’s had his ups and downs in rodeo, and sure he’s made his millions playing football, but there is money to be made this weekend at the Reno Rodeo. Pascoe hasn’t lost his competitive edge.

“Any time we show up to a rodeo we’re here to win,” he said of this weekend’s mentality.

In his run Saturday night Pascoe finished with a time of 8.1 seconds.

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