Would you buy a ticket to watch a man coax 1700 horses into submission while the steeds haul 12,000 pounds of steel and fling their load 25 feet into the air? Multiply the spectacle by about a dozen and you've got an event that's something close to this weekend's Superbowl of Motor Sports Monster Truck Jam. The 12-foot-tall vehicular beasts, equipped with Hemi engines capable of launching the trucks headlong over 14 parked cars, will be kicking up dirt tonight at Pro Player Stadium (2269 NW 199th St.). Cockpit Gladiators will compete in two arenas: freestyle and side-by-side racing. In an apparent nod to the ancient Romans, the crowd will get to pick the freestyle winner. There's always been a soft spot in our nation's soul for the grotesque and gaudy, and monster truck races are as American as professional wrestling, weeping evangelists, and bodybuilding governors with heavy foreign accents. Who wins in the end is an afterthought in a sport whose real pleasure lies in dramatic rollovers and all sorts of vehicles -- about 3000 total last season -- getting pulverized in this testosterone-injected ballet. The metal-mashing begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $5 to $20. Call 305-573-8326. -- By Victor Cruz
Gringo tradition redefined
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You don't have to be a drawling country redneck to enjoy the Homestead Rodeo. Just remember it's happening in Homestead, the South Miami-Dade town that has been booming since Hurricane Andrew with all kinds of cowboys from Colombia, Mexico, and Little Havana, U.S.A. Still there will be plenty of honky-tonkin' prairie dogs yodeling longingly and pulling stunts on the back of pissed-off bulls. It wouldn't hurt to break out your supersized John Wayne belt buckle anyway. The rodeo begins at 7:00 p.m. and runs through Sunday, January 25, at the Doc DeMilly Rodeo Arena on U.S. 1 and SW 312th Avenue. Tickets cost $6 for kids and $14 for adults. Call 305-247-3515. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez