Bring It Back: The United States Hot Rod Association

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* America is currently obsessed with her shameful pop-culture past, reviving everything from Charlie’s Angels (TWICE) to Polly Pocket. Bring It Back humbly suggests bringing back these formerly hip fads, zombified and ready to destroy culture.

Before we start, yes, I know that there’s a thing called Monster Jam, and that it technically is run by the United States Hot Rod Association. I went to a monster truck rally in January and, shock of shocks, it was a lot of fun. But, sadly, it wasn’t the sort of fun I had as a kid. No quad racing, no dirtbikes, no 30-foot tall car-eating metal dinosaur. Just giant trucks, racing in a circle. Cars were only smashed on accident at Monster Jam, and this logo, like Bigfoot (the truck), had vanished:

That logo tells you everything you needed to know about the USHRA: As an outfit, they were only about victory, America, and giant goddamn tires. Like a huge, automotive circus, the USHRA traveled from NFL Stadium to NFL Stadium in the 80s and 90s, doing everything and anything to get people into a seat. Didn’t like monster trucks? They had dirtbikes. Not a fan of dirtbikes? There’s a dude sitting on a lawnmower that’s got a rocket strapped to it–go watch him. A veritable orgy of motors, trucks and machines, the USHRA should be brought back onto our television sets the way God intended: Big. Bad. Bold. (And possibly on VHS.)

I know what you’re thinking: Those bikini clad chicks are lip-synching the words “big,” “bag,” and “blow,” which probably marks its decade much better than pointing out that this is one in a seemingly endless series of pro-athlete music videos that ripped off the Super Bowl Shuffle. And yes, that is America’s heavyweight wrestling champion Sgt. Slaughter pretending to play a Budweiser guitar. You astute viewers may even notice that the tape is nearly worn-out where one of the women, demanding a big bag of blow, polishes a chrome pipe. Based on this video, why should we bring back the United States Hot Rod Association?

Because it’s in our blood. Because TV has been missing something since things like the Wide World of Sports went off the air, and having a variety hour dedicated to giant machines and rednecks smashing things up while scantily-clad, questionably attractive women shake their moneymakers seems like a good remedy for what ails us as a people. I, for one, can’t help but feel an enormous swelling of pride as a funny car pulls a tractor loaded with giant Budweiser cans down a quarter-mile of sand, nor can I help but feel it when the tape’s narrator proclaims that Bigfoot has saved the day…from another man driving a smaller truck. The glory days of monster truckin’ were not all that much unlike those of pro-wrestling, and that’s what needs to come back. I want pomp and circumstance. I want mud-bogging, sand-dragging, quad racing, dirtbike jumping and Truckasarus.

Truckasarus needed to be on my TV yesterday, preferably instead of MANswers or the day’s third repeat of A View to a Kill. If the relaunch of Motor Madness is successful, Truckasarus could be given a spin-off sitcom where he works as a mechanic despite his unending hunger for nuts and bolts, and that would be great, too. In addition to Truckasarus, monster trucks should be given a sense of character again. Yes, Gravedigger and Monster Mutt (a truck with big, floppy ears) exist, but there’s no real sense of rivalry amongst drivers or cars anymore. Before this year, the last Monster Truck rally I attended had Gravedigger, trucks modeled off of Hulk Hogan and Bill Goldberg, and Bigfoot. And Truckasarus. I can chant all day for Bigfoot, but I’ll be damned if you catch me screaming my head off for Tom Meents, driver of Maximum Destruction, because I don’t care about the driver. In the battle of Man vs. Machine, the machine has more charisma.

Speaking of Bigfoot, he hasn’t competed in USHRA events since 1998. Along with bringing the USHRA back to its former prominence, bring back Bigfoot and tear a page from pro-wrestling by selling me the story of Bigfoot trying to regain his supremacy in vehicular thunderdome after 13 years in the minor leagues. And if you want to bring in the human element, that’s fine. Book a man vs. machine angle, where men and women compete against the dominant monster truck in a deadly game of tug-o-war. Sgt. Slaughter will demonstrate how this works:

Granted, you probably want something a little more exciting than what goes on here, but it’s been 27 years since Slaughter led his battle battalion to a draw against Big Foot, and we can do a lot better than unknowingly-flamboyant musclemen throwing their weightlifting glovesĀ at Bigfoot’s driver.

Malibu the American Gladiator agrees, dude.

This vs. Bigfoot would sell out arenas worldwide.

It’s time America got in touch with her (questionably) masculine past. Grow out those mustaches. Break out them socket wrenches. Scarf down some nachos. You may pay $15 for a seat, but my friend, you’ll only need the edge. Put the United States Hot Rod Association back on TV, the way it was meant to be. Everyday should feel like Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.