Monday, July 14, 2008

Year Three

Another Fourth of July and another year watching the Nathans Hot Dog Eating Finals from the couch. It's a habit that I have been trying to break, but another one has gone by with me staring at ESPN.

The fight between Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut was stunning. The rivalry between them should pay off hugely for them personally in the coming years. They have already been hired to face off against each other in Singapore in a few weeks. Thats exciting!

I had some generous offers from friends to attend the Coney Island event and after-parties, but I had to decline them. Mostly I just think it would be too painful to be there and not be participating. I'd be too jealous and moody, even around these sweet people. My feeling is that it's only for Champions to enjoy, and if I was a Champion I'd have a trophy on my mantel. I dont.

I figure if I'm going to blow a whole weekend it has to be really worth-while to miss all that time with my wife and kids. It wouldnt have been worth it because I'd just be jealous. I made the right choice and had a restful few days with my family.

It's easy to say 'next year' for making it to Coney but honestly thats pretty far away and I can only count on the Competition to get more difficult. In fact the new Rankings are likely to come out in the next few weeks and despite my slow and steady improvement year after year, so many new stomachs have blasted onto the scene it will be hard for me to maintain my ranking of 18. I'll keep trying, and can only hope to outlast them burning out.

The next big contest for me is probably the Krystal Burger Championship. It's the most wonderfully run contest and my favorite. I've eaten 31 Krystal Burgers in 8 minutes and this year I'm going to try to eat 40. All of the Qualifiers are held down South, so hopefully I'll be able to get enough money and time to attend one, once they are announced. I'd really like to attend the Atlanta one so I have a chance to meet up with my old friend, DW.

The last time he saw me I wasnt a Competitve Eater, so this must be kinda weird for him. I know it's been weird for me.


DW said... , I always knew that you would do something great, on your own terms. If you don't come here and stay at my place and eat those shit rockets I will be pissed.

steakbellie said...


Matthes said...

Is DW someone I know from HS?

steakbellie said...

it's his initials.
I'd tell you flat out but dont know if he wants Google all in his face.

katrocket said...

I have never really cared what your ranking is - you've got charisma in spades.

steakbellie said...


Matthes said...

I'm pretty sure I know who it is. The initials rang a bell immediately, that's why I asked. I'm pretty sure I went to an Ozzy/Anthrax concert with him in 1988.

Liquorman said...

Tell John Matthes Ozzy still rocks. I think we took my 1981 Firebird T Top Trans Am to the Meadowlands and had security take all are beer. Fck I wish I still had that car

Mega Munch said...

The fourth was an awesome show, I'll agree. I can't wait to see you there man.

INVADER said...

What's funny, Steak, is that I am literally with you 100% on not going to Coney Island on the fourth. I find it difficult for me to go do Peggy O'Neils when I know that EVERYONE is there to see Nathan's (seriously, who could I be kidding)! Despite the contests being two separate entities entirely, aside from the eating aspect of things, the draw IS Nathan's.

If I ever made it to Nathan's on the fourth it would be as an eater, just like yourself. Unfortunately, that will probably never happen. Maybe next year (4th try) they'll let me qualify for a shot. HA! I think we both know the outcome of that, but it never hurts to try.

steakbellie said...

I really feel for you. We're all big fans of this sport, and it is very hard to be excluded from something you would be very good at.

I get feelings of regret when I see local independant contests that would be 1. Easy to Get to and 2. Easy to win. 3. Fun

I have spent considerable expense and discomfort on this hobby, but havent been able to ever win or actually win a single dollar because I'm up against the top players every time.

Certainly I'm not in this for the money as I would be better served putting the time into my work, but I think the prizes help justify the pain.

We've both sacrificed something.

Never say never, as you may someday have a chance to try your hand at Dogs.