Saturday, June 24, 2006


Today's paper had the good news for a courier from Moonachie, NJ. Pat Philbin managed to beat out 12 others who were hoping to be named the New Jersey Turnpike Regional Hot Dog Eating Champion. Mr. Philbin, in what was reported to be a "machine-like" performance, sucked down 22 hot dogs and will now move on to the World Cup of Competitive Eating - The Nathan's Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Competition held every July 4th since 1916.

America is rounding the corner on our 230th birthday and as we approach the 4th of July and all of it's usual revelry and feasting my mind immediately wonders if "THIS WILL BE OUR YEAR?"

Perhaps 2006 will be the year we win back the Mustard Yellow Belt at the Coney Island hot dog eating contest.

For the past five years the venerable Kobayashi of Japan has out-scarfed everyone to achieve legendary status in this marquee event in the ever-expanding world of competitive eating.

For those who avoided the news last year, 27yr old Kobayashi downed a mere 49 hotdogs in 12 minutes - missing his own record of 53 1/2 set in the 2004 contest - but still enough to easily best American challengers Steve Kiner and the 105lb Sonya Thomas who set an American record consuming 37 hotdogs in the same 12 minute period. Ms. Thomas has promised to work on her speed and ultimately unseat the champ. Last December in Atlantic City, N.J., she finished off 89 meatballs -- about six pounds' worth -- in 12 minutes. And in August, she won a lobster-eating contest in Maine by consuming 38 of the creatures in 12 minutes.

My stomach starts to hurt when I consider these folks shoving massive amounts of food down their throats and NOBODY GETS UPSET ABOUT IT? Where is the outrage over the wasted food? Where is the concern for the health of these people once the glow of the Competitive Eating Spotlight fades?

And how do their families explain these careers? At least magicians and ventriloquists, long since considered to be some of the most embarrassing vocations, can now point to competitive eaters and say, "At least I'm not doing THAT for a living."

Can you imagine a worse occupation for your mom or dad to have, especially when the teacher invites parents to school on career day?

Additionally, consider how much time and money is spent every single day dealing with the problems created by BAD EATING HABITS! We are bombarded daily about the obesity epidemic among children, the looming diabetes crisis which will cripple and blind many Americans before eventually killing them. Wanna bet that bad eating habits kills more people than handguns and cars combined?

So I say - no mas! Let Kobayashi take the Mustard Belt back home and keep it there... for once, let's promote something that might achieve a positive result.


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