Monday, April 20, 2009

Somewhere, someone is writing a blog about sitting next to the fat guy and the crying baby...

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how swell April was going to be. It didn't start out so great. I headed out to Connecticut to compete with my partner Joel "The Cannon" Podelsky at a nice little Bar and Restaurant called The Wood N Tap. We were in search of giving Joel his second year title of Munch Madness Burger Bites Champion and winning my first title with them.
Unfortunately, this was not to be. I held up my end of the bargain by performing in 30 seconds on each attempt. Joel had a little trouble with debris and in the end, it cost us the win. Joel had rough day and couldn't match last years performance. It wasn't a big money deal and the event went to charity, so in the end, it's all good and hopefully the winners will enjoy the game.
Things went back on track last week. After I wasn't able to take on the Hulk Burger challenge, and soundly defeating the Ice Cream challenge, myself and Paul "Pork Slap" Acaria made plans to get back into Harlem and take the Hulk down. My friend Jamal, who is not a pro eater, also wanted a shot at it. Jill and my girlfriend Jessica accompanied us.
Paul called up the owner and worked it out that we would be able to attempt the challenge outside of normal challenge hours (the general public can only participate Monday - Thursday during lunch time hours). Paul went first and was able to take the record, cutting it really close due to some pickle problems, with a time just under 5 minutes. Paul also says that meat products are not a good discipline for him which hindered his performance.

Here is his attempt...

After Paul, it was Champ time...

The new record of 2 mins and 18 seconds was established and will hopefully stand for awhile.

The record attempt was just a warm up the weekend to follow. It was time for the Alt Games. It's an event that showcases college students in X-Games style competition. The contest was being held in San Diego at The Wave House. The plane ride going there was ok. I had a connecting flight to Baltimore. I was lucky enough to be able to sit without someone next to me on the first flight but each flight thereafter, going and coming home, not so lucky. Or I should say, not so lucky for the poor girl next to me who not only had to deal with me, but the baby that started crying as soon as the plane engine got into gear.
It wasn't as bad as it sounds though because she was a tiny thing and had enough room and the baby wasn't crying the whole way through and in fact the parents were extremely nice people.
Once I touched down in San Diego, I was informed, not only that my ride wasn't coming, but also that my room mate to be, Rich "Big Rig" Brooking wasn't able to make his flight and I'd be chillin out solo for the night, which was great to have a room to myself but in the end was pretty boring. Arnie and I did get to talk over particulars of the event that night so I had a better idea of things to come, and other CE related things and I also got to meet the great Coondog O'Karma for the first time.
The next morning, we all went out to breakfast, now with Kevin "The Lion" Kordalski in tow and had a nice meal. I should have used my better judgement in breakfast choice however, because it definitely affected my performance later.
We had mucho time to kill between breakfast and the contest because we had to get there early to make sure the event went off without a hitch. This particular contest was not only streamed live for the Internet audience, but was also filmed for CBS Sports and will be making the regular CBS channel next month. "Big Rig" finally made it and after hanging out with "The Lion" for a bit, me and Rich did some hanging. From our brief conversation I figured we'd get on pretty well and I gotta say I was right. The kid's a decent kid with a good head on his shoulders. We share a lot of the same viewpoints and philosophy. I look forward to competing with him in the future.
It was finally time to get down to business. The last 3 contestants made it. They were all locals that attended the qualifiers with their frats. We lined up behind the big banner and were introduced one by one starting with Arnie, who was co-MCing, Coondog, the ref and the competitors.
I got out there and really wanted to put on a show. When the crowd saw the biggest dude pop out from behind the banner, they knew it was on and got pumped up. I got off to a quick start finishing my first basket in under 2 minutes or so, but for there it got harder. The food was Mac and Cheese Balls and were good, but the breading was killer. It was really scratchy and hurt the throat going down. I got my rhythm on but slowed down little by little. As I looked over, I saw that even though I had a tremendous lead but it was dwindling away while Kevin had a huge come from behind charge. With Rich, I could only imagine how he was doing because he wasn't really in my view and if anyone expected an upset, it would have come from Rich. But against all odds, Kevin "The Lion" roared his ass neck and neck with me. Damn you wonderful Denny's Slamwich Sandwich! As the clock ticked down to the last ten seconds, I took a moment to clear out all the remaining Mac And Cheese in my mouth and juuuust as a precaution, unsure of where I was at, downed one last Mac And Cheese Ball. Turns out that last one was the difference maker. I edged him out by just one. The kid was impressive and I definitely want to see him in competition again. Had this been any longer, I might have been in trouble keeping up with him, giving him a big upset. After the contest we all just chilled out for a bit and called it a night.
This was my first big contest and it was a great one. I've now earned more than half of last years winnings already and am a top 5 earner to begin the year. (Or at least I should be, for some reason the eatfeats site wouldn't accept my submission of the first $250 I won earlier in the year) It won't last long, but it's nice to see my name up with the big boys to start out the season.
The flight home was a pain in the ass, but I was glad to finally get home. Myself and Arnie did some philosophical chatting on the car ride from the airport and I can see a lot of our ideas and personality are pretty similar. This was my first time actually getting to know the "Chowhound" and he's a pretty solid dude. I look forward to working with all my new found friends.
Video, Pictures and Article of the Alt Games can be found by clicking HERE
Fast forward to about 18 mins into the video for the contest. It will also be airing on CBS on May 16th.

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