Chad Berger took time while sitting in the Minneapolis airport for a telephone call with CLN last week. Berger was headed to Edmonton for the World Cup PBR and had just finished up in Las Vegas with the PBR World Finals. Thirty-four of his bulls were at the PBR World Finals over 30% of the stock, and 46 bulls competed in Canada the following week.
Berger is recognizable in his signature Cooper Tire shirt and cowboy hat at events. “American Hat is like my American Express card. I don’t leave home without it. Best hat ever,” he acknowledged. His closet has over 50 Cooper Tires shirts, and he notable wears one 365 days a year. Berger also spends plenty of time on the concourse at shows interacting with fans across the country. He is passionate about giving back and seeks out fans with special needs. “I’m in that position to make them feel better,” he noted. Berger acknowledged his friendship with Chris Pantani and Cooper Tire team members too saying, “I’m really proud of Margaret Snyder from Cooper Tires, she stepped in and grabbed the bull by the horns.”
The second generation bull man willingly answers questions about his bulls and the accolades from his business. In his own words, “All these awards are fine and wonderful and proud of them. I’m more proud of my family, friends, sponsors, and fans.” He admits being a 3x Grandfather trumps being a 7x Stock Contractor of the Year. Berger and his wife Sarah have been married for 36 years and have three adult children and three grandkids. “I stayed local (rodeoing). I had a family to raise,” he mentioned about his early days competing as a bull rider. His father started raising bulls in the 1960s, so when PBR came on the scene, he saw an opportunity.
Pearl Harbor, the reserve world champion bucking bull the past two years along with Asteroid and Little Yellow Jacket are household bull names for PBR fans. Pearl Harbor goes back to Black Pearl, and Berger acknowledged, “Pearl Harbor is the rankest bull I own.” His new bull RebuildTexas.org is a four-year-old he recently purchased.
Berger likes old country western songs, so he has a bull named Catfish John. Country Music artist Johnny Russell released the song in November 1972. It happens to be the same year Berger attended his first NFR at the age of 11. Berger told us the element that stood out for him at the NFR was “one true cowboy, Phil Lyne.” In 1972 Lyne won the PRCA All-Around and Calf Roping Championships. The south Texas cowboy, Lyne, made a huge impression on Berger as a kid. Lyne also won the NFR Average titles for All-Around, Calf Roping and Bull Riding plus took home his the third consecutive Linderman Award.
Smartphones come in handy during interviews. Berger texted over photographs as requested, and the one that caught our attention at CLN was him walking with his grandson, Rand. He wrote, “This is why I do what I do.”
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