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Monster Jam: Expectation versus reality


I have no idea what a Monster Jam is.

I know its a touring show of monster trucks, which are huge, decorated, souped-up pickup trucks that are loud and have names like, “Grave Digger” and “Maximum Destruction.” On the internet, you can see videos of these trucks doing flips and jumping over cars and through flaming hoops.

It reminds me of a documentary on demolition derbys that I saw last semester, crossed with the Nascar race in Indiana that my dad dragged me to when I was 12. I’m expecting a lot of drunk middle-aged white men with hairy beer guts. I’m expecting a lot of sweat. I’m expecting congealed nacho cheese and hot dog relish on the ground. I’m expecting to hear some country metal over the loudspeakers.

I imagine the vibe to be that of a Nascar race mixed with a tractor pull mixed with a metal concert.


There are children here, and hordes of them. I could not have possibly been more wrong. No one is even slightly drunk here, and no hairy men are shirtless. Monster Jam is 100 percent for the children, judging by the crowd that’s here.

The show starts out with introducing some of the trucks, and an ATV obstacle race. Then there’s a two-wheel skills competition between monster trucks, a donut competition, another ATV race and then a monster truck freestyle, where the drivers do tricks as they please.

Drivers won points via voting by audience members, and each run by each driver was punctuated by announcers begging the audience to pick up their phones to vote.

The overall winner in Columbus throughout the course of both Saturday and Sunday’s shows was a truck called Mutant, driven by Coty Saucier.

While Mutant certainly pulled out some sick donuts and cool two-wheel tricks, the hardcore effect of the truck was perhaps slightly mitigated by the fact that, unlike the other trucks, Mutant was a walking Monster energy drink ad. It also had a Kroger flag flying out the back of it.

I was personally excited to see Grave Digger, because that is the only monster truck I knew, and my brother had a Matchbox version of it when he was a kid. Grave Digger was driven by Krysten Anderson, and came in second overall.

If you ever decide to go to Monster Jam, bring your children. If you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon activity to get out of your head for a bit before exams start, or looking to get wasted with your hillbilly friends, maybe this event isn’t for you.

Although, not going to lie, there is something intensely thrilling about seeing a walking energy drink ad do donuts and fling dirt all around the floor of the Schottenstein Center.

One comment

  1. Hi Emily, can I ask you if there was a racist climate at the event? I have a son what wants to go, we are not white and I have heard that there is some aggressive people at events like there.

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