Monday, September 7, 2009

Speed Demon

Along the way of this Competitive Eating journey I've been on, I've made a friend in Joel "The Canon" Podelsky. Since the last year that I've become more involved in CE, Joel and myself have gotten closer as buddies and often hang at contests since we're in the same area. The same could be said for Paul "Porkslap" Arcaria, however his schedule is not as flexible as ours and so we don't see him as often. Unfortunately, Jill has been MIA due to the whole Jo Rose fiasco.
At any rate, Joel and I decided that we would expand our horizons and go to some of the bigger contests that were outside of our local area. We'd take a road trip, stay the night and do some challenges along the way. We decided that a little contest in North Carolina would be worth our while. It was a Hot Dog contest and the prize was $1000. We found a nice room in at the Charlotte Omni, which would be about half an hour from the contest location for Troutman, NC and we figured out the expenses, that either the winner would cover (assuming it would be one of us) or, in the case of a loss, we would split. Everything seemed to run smoothly.
And then Dale Boone called... Dale Boone has a reputation in competitive eating. It's not one that you'd want to have. I had never met the man until May at the Rocco's Pizza Eating Contest so I had always given him the benefit of the doubt. I know, first hand, that sometimes people are misunderstood. He didn't really do anything at the Rocco's contest to warrant the reputation but I also knew we weren't going to be good buddies or anything. He placed 3rd at Rocco's with 17 slices, knocking me down to 4th by 1 slice. While he's known for his negative personal reputation, he's done pretty well in contests and is not to be underestimated. I was glad that I hung within just a slice if a 3rd place finish even though I was in the middle of a bad CE streak.
Well, Dale called as a little intimidation tactic and it worked. He told Joel that this was a WLOCE contest (his "organization") and that we were going into his "territory". Kinda funny mentioning territories seeing as how the contest I mentioned that I met him at was in New York. At any rate, we decided to pull out of the contest and cancelled the hotel room because, if it was indeed a WLOCE contest, it would be a conflict of interest with All Pro Eating (Joel's organization) and would end up with him getting kicked out of the org. or some other type of retribution.
I emailed the sponsor since I had been in contact with him and tried to get a refund on our entry fee. Turns out that this was not a sanctioned contest and the sponsor was pissed. Chris Gibson, who owns the Ole World Market apologized profusely and told us that if we were still interested he would like us to come down. He said that Dale would still be in the contest because his entry fee was already accepted, but was excited that someone from as far away as New York was interested in being in the contest. So me and Joel talked it over and decided that the best revenge would just be to win. We found a cheaper hotel that was closer to the event and booked it for two nights so that I could attempt a challenge for $500 the next day.
On the way over, we were tempted into trying a challenge at the Clinton Station Diner. The challenges are hamburgers of varying size with a different prize associated with each one. We had been mulling over doing a 12 pound burger for the $500 prize with Paul as our partner, so our temptation got the best of us. If we could do a 5 pound burger, it would be free. The first problem is, the Clinton Station Diner is notorious for not accurately weighing the burgers correctly and we did not bring a scale with us. The other problem us that they were out of the bun for the 5 pound burger. We asked to speak to the manager and was able to negotiate to do two of the 3 pound burgers which, in theory, would add up to 6 pounds. I was pretty confident we could knock it out in the 30 minute time period. I was wrong, but just barely. The first problem was defiantly the case. These were not 3 pound burgers, they had to be at least 5 pounds a piece. We trudged on anyway. These things were huge. The buns, are like 2 loaves of bread. This was the toughest part for me. Not only were they hard to eat, but they packed on the slices of cheese, and it was terrible cheese. I got down to half of the bottom of the bun and had to tap out. I wasn't too full to finish, it was just that the taste of the cheese was so hard to take that another bite would have made me hurl. Joel got to the bottom bun too, but couldn't finish because the allergies hit him pretty hard. Otherwise he would have cleaned up for both of us because he wasn't full either. We will be back to conquer the larger burger with Paul, but with a scale next time.
We continued our trip to NC and got to the contest the next day. Seeing as how Boone attempted to sabotage us, I wanted nothing to do with him and did everything I could to hold back and keep my mouth shut. I wasn't going to cause a scene and be unprofessional. It seemed to me like he was intent on doing that. The contest was split into two rounds and he was in the first heat and won, as was expected, with 2 minutes and 36 seconds. Once I saw that time, I knew it was a wrap. At the pigs in a blanket contest, where we were given 4 hot dogs, I killed them in under a minute. So I expected to do about a minute and a half to two minutes and only hoped Dale wouldn't come close to that and he hadn't. I did 2 minutes and 10 seconds and won the contest.
There were some shenanigans and smack talk after the contest, which I won't even get into because of how ridiculous it all was. The important part was that I won the contest as planned. I celebrated later that night with a few beers and the UFC pay per view at a local bar and chatted it up with a few locals.
The next day I attempted the 32 inch pizza challenge at Paventi's Pizza. I tried to figure out what the best topping would be in advance and thought about how much the topping would weigh and taste. I thought that Olives would be the best way to go because I enjoy them and it seemed like it would be the lightest ingredient. Again, this was a challenge fail. The pizza itself was great but after tasting the same thing repetitively for a half an hour, I started feeling sick. Again, I wasn't really full, but my body just wanted to reject anymore of the taste that was just not stopping. After getting half way through, I again tapped out of a challenge. If it was a partner challenge like Clinton, me and Joel would have killed it in record time. I would definitely like to try both again in the future.
Since the first road trip was a success, we are planning our next one. More on that when it happens.


  1. that is a disgrace that poor Jill cannot even compete due to a stalker

  2. I find it heartwarming that you and Joel have a bonding relationship with eating. Not like that with certain individuals in the IFOCE. Everyone is all smiles and good to see you blah blah but afterwards they dont want to know you. The camaraderie is not what it appears to be. Doesnt apply to everyone in IFOCE but just some

  3. Yeah, about the Clinton burgers, those are the after cooking weight of the meat alone, so two of the 3 pound burgers, which are about 3.9 pounds each,(7.8) are going to weigh a whole lot more than the 5 pound burger(6.2 total)