Friday, May 16, 2008

Hot Diggity Dog!


Post Contest Misery
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Some of you are kind enough to follow my career as a Competitive Eater. There’s a lot of Hub Bub going on right now because it’s HotDog Season! Many people have seen or heard about the Nathans Famous Hot Dog Contest Finals held in Coney Island on July 4th every year since 1916. Well in order to get there you must win one of the 18 Qualifiers held around the world, but mostly in the North East US. ALL of the best Eaters compete in this one.

These Qualifiers have been going on for a month now, and my first one is next Saturday. I’m allowed to compete in 3 Qualifiers, so that’s 3 shots at crossing off one of my goals in life. This is my third year trying, and I don’t want to wait a whole nother year. It has to happen this year.

There’s some changes this year to the contest and they directly effect me. The first is that this years contest will no longer have a Wildcard Category. If I want to get in I must win a Qualifier, no matter who shows up. In years past they allowed in 2 people with very high totals but who didn’t win.

The other change affects my dream of eating 20 Hot Dogs and Buns in 12 Minutes. This year the Qualifiers have all been shortened to 10 Minutes. Many of you remember the last 2 years me trying to do ‘The Duece’….well it just got a lot harder. I am certain I would have done it this year if it was 12 minutes and I hope I am not showing too much Bravado by saying I will STILL be able to pull it off in only 10.

Now this contest is the most physically demanding of all the regular contests. Hot Dogs take rhythm to eat in large numbers. It’s painful for your throat and stomach. The salt, fat and chemicals are overwhelming to your concentration. You become satiated within 3 minutes. Uncomfortable within 8 minutes. Utterly Miserable after 10.

I should be happy it’s been shortened. It’s like someone giving me 2 less minutes of Water Boarding…but I’m not happy about it. There’s at least 20 years of records with the contest at the 12 minute length. Changing that will be like making a major change in Baseball and having all the records have an asterisk from now on.

I propose that the 11th and 12th Minute of this Contest should be kept BECAUSE it is so hard. Two years ago I would have won the QVC Qualifier if it was only 10 minutes. I was leading, and smacked into a wall of meaty misery and was passed with a minute left by the great Seaver Miller and Buffalo Jim. They were able to make their move at the toughest part of the contest, when most of the contestants had completely stopped eating.

Traditionally I have had very poor performances in the last two minutes, and may even be that I win a qualifier this year BECAUSE it’s shortened, but I’d still like to keep the tradition of modern eating and go for the whole 12.

I don’t like change (unless it involves my underwear)

12 comments:

Liz said...

You can do it! This is your year.

Winter said...

Holy crap I thought that was a joke.

steakbellie said...

crazy, but true.

r cubed said...

Do you practice with broccoli?

katrocket said...

well, the new rules will make things intersting, that's for sure...

Chris said...

Just out of curiosity, what's their reasoning and rationale for going from 12 to 10 minutes?

I'm excited for you!

MsAPhillips said...

Joke, or excellent idea?
Competitive eater for VP!

http://www.236.com/blog/w/lee_camp/obamas_short_list_for_vp_leake_6489.php

"Sweet" Jill Stoler said...

Kick ass, Steakbellie! I want to meet you...at Nathan's!

Matthes said...

Are they going to 10 minutes in the Big Event too, or just the qualifiers? If the former, I have to agree, that sucks. Part of the fun every year is to see if the big guns will up the # from the previous year.

As always, I'll be pulling hard... I think you deserve a place on that stage July 4th.

INVADER said...

Great analogy using baseball records, Steak. I can always start a debate here by mentioning Bonds' record (with a potential asterik looming) but I won't.

Anyway, not only do I hate explaining to people that I didn't get accepted to do a qualifier, I may possibly have to explain what the asterik means and that "yes, the contest was always 12 minutes in the past and no, I do not have a 'confirmed' reason why." Just adds insult to injury. Don't change the formula or you may get something not near as cool, i.e. Coke 2.

Good luck and I'll be sure to think about your struggle with hot dogs as I struggle with strawberries...

steakbellie said...

Thanks Guys!
I'll dedicate a whole post to answering some of these Questions.

Ian, Good luck with Strawberries. I really wish I could be eating those instead of these Toxic Tubes of Death!!

Leonesse said...

Go Bellie, Go!