Saturday, February 16, 2008

Monster Jam and Truck Pull

Throughout the entire span of the last seven years that I have been working at the Allstate Arena, I have never seen such enthusiasm at any event than I did today at the Monster Truck Jam. It was wild to see these truck fans (are they truck fans?) get so into watching these big-ass engines and wheels with a truck body on top wreck cars and jump around in dirt. My best guess is that the sold-out crowd's jubilation was a direct result of the truck fumes they'd been inhaling for years. I am also pretty sure that the pitch and decibel level of their cheering is a result of their damaged eardrums.

I shouldn't be the one judging, and I won't. It's much too easy for me to criticize, who would ever understand my own addictions to baseball, topographical maps and sour patch kids? I won't pass judgment. To each his own. Having acknowledged that, I can say that I did not know that so many hicks lived in Chicago (and I use that term not in a denotative way, but purely in a circumstantial kind of way.) Where are they when their not at the Monster Truck Jam? What are they doing if their not cheering loudly for GRAVE DIGGER to rev his engine and smash up painted and stripped autos? I have no idea where they are. I can only assume that their driving their Ford F-150s down state to another truck pull.

I'll further admit that once I took the opportunity to put in ear plugs and venture out in the smog and dirt filled arena, I was drawn in. It was interesting to see the truck cabs bounce around on wheels bigger than my room. I watched IRON OUTLAW thrash around the arena floor and jumping over demolished cars. I felt the raw engine power of TAZ (One of Warner Bros. sponsored trucks) as I watched him freestyle over piles of dirt. Hell, I even watched the US AIR FORCE truck spin in circles until I finally got a little satiated. My indifference was clear when I realized I was spending much more time watching the crowd toss beer around and lift up their little kids over their heads. I could only assume that they wanted to offer sacrifices to the chrome Gods.

What was funny to me was how many dads had to buy their toddlers $20 Ear Muffs so that they could get through the sounds of the thundering engines. I noticed that a few families had to leave before the main event started simply because the kids were too scared of the noise. Good luck trying to get any of your $40/ticket back. Stop it Chris, you pay $40 to go sit 400 feet from a ballgame with hundreds of shirtless drunks on benches that can't pronounce the names of the Hispanic ball players for whom they are 'rooting', (and by 'rooting' I clearly mean 'shouting fewer obscenities at than they are shouting at the away players'.)

But anyway, watching the Monster Jam was a neat experience, however, instead of surrounding myself by frenzied fans and ear-splitting noises for two hours, I'd rather watch it on TV, not have to breathe in the exhaust and have the ability to change the channel at my leisure.

Now, I just have to get pumped up because tomorrow is the third and final Chicago competition, this event, of course, is preceded by a crew party for which we get to work and may be followed by a caravan of pickups and trailers driving down to the next jam. Maybe I'll join them, and then again I heard it was going to snow here and I'd rather shovel.

Oh, in case you want to know the results of Saturday's two Monster Jam competitions the link is here.

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