But hang on, I have a point to this patriotic blasphemy. There's one more professional sport that has been happening over in Northern Europe for the past few years that is just too cool to ignore. And quite frankly, I'm surprised as hell we haven't stolen it yet!
The sport I'm talking about isn't played with batts or sticks, though some may argue that it takes balls to play. And no, it's not really a "physical" sport either, but a particular type of Motorsports.
I'm talkin about Truck Trials.
I understand coming across an 8x8 Tatra truck is no small feat here on this side of the pond. But let's think up some replacements...
In Europe they have the Tatra 813, the Man 8x8 and other various European heavy lifters
Here in the states, one North American made replacement seem to stand right out at me; the Oshkosh hemtt
Now let's compare the two different trucks:
Let's be totally honest, all of these trucks are cool.
The Oshkosh is a heavy truck. Much heavier than the European counterparts. But it's also got quite a bit more power. (Welcome to America) it's also going to run you a pretty penny. I recently saw one of these sell at a government auction for just over $2,000,000. Not too bad if you're a Rockefeller.
On the other hand, while the Tatra may not be as domestically plentiful, I have seen them imported and for sale in the us, for a price around $20,000 in "old but still pretty good" condition. Which is more than I could say for the two Oshkosh trucks that were on their last limb. And at 1/100 the cost.
So the options are out there. Let's go a little further.
Over there they also use "medium trucks" like the 6x6 Ural. But every country has medium trucks of some form or another, including us! I'd like to shift your attention now to the m35 "deuce and a half" a very capable vehicle and a popular platform for "bobbed" pickup conversions.
I personally think the deuce would be a fantastic platform with relatively very little in modification. And there are other trucks as well!
While I think this is one of the coolest Motorsports out there, I can say for myself that it's something that id like to follow, and possibly be involved in in some way or another. It is however, a problem when everyone you see speaks German and Russian and you can't really understand what's happening competition-wise. So I'll close with this:
I'd like to challenge anybody and everyone stateside with an entrepreneurial drive, a love of cool trucks, an affinity of off roading and a competitive spirit to fund and found an American truck trial league. Heck crowdsource fund it if you have too. It's just something way too cool to let Europe have all the fun.
*** see something wrong? Inconsistencies? Questions? Comments? Fan mail? ... Uh... Hate mail? We wanna hear it! Shoot me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org !