Sink Your Teeth Into Competitive Eating


Super Bowl? What Super Bowl? This week’s main sporting event took place this morning in Philadelphia, where John Squibb was crowned the winner of Wing Bowl 2009 with a bellyful of 203 wings and a brand new Cooper Mini. Barf. (Except, by the rules, he’s not allowed to.)

Squibb, aka Cottage Cheese, beat out rivals El Wingador and defending champ Joey Chestnut, the Michael Jordan of Competitive Eating. Yes, it’s a real sport.

Want to eat your way to fame, or at least a hot car? Here are some places to do it:

  • The mother of all eating contests is Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Championship, bringing 40,000 spectators to Coney Island every 4th of July. Japanese eaters dominated the “Mustard Belt” until two years ago when Joey Chestnut crushed the record, eating 66 wieners in 12 minutes. Last summer the gorging went into overtime, with Chestnut narrowly beating a guy suspected of hurling under the table.
  • If meat’s not your speed, try the Stockton Asparagus Festival in California, where eaters gorge on “tempura” asparagus. Yes, that would be the bougie word for deep-fried. Another Chestnut special, our man digested 8.8 lb. of the stuff last year.
  • The Dennis Gross Memorial Sacramento Peep Off challenges you to ingest as many marshmallow Peeps as you can in 30 minutes.  Named for the record-holder who ate 102 sugar chickens in 2003, un-swallowing will get your disqualified. Unless you eat your puke. Which happened last year.
  • For the ladies: at the Iowa State Fair you can compete in the Erotic Corn Dog Eating Contest, banned in 2007 for “poor taste” but reinstated in 2008 due to “popular demand.” You have 30 seconds to demonstrate your, ahem, “technique.” On a corn dog. Creative use of mayo encouraged.
  • New Jersey found a way to out-gross even the grossest, with their the Pigs’ Feet Eating Championship, held at the Meadowlands. Arturo Rios, Jr. won $1250 for eating almost 3lb of pigs’ feet and also knuckles, which most of us wouldn’t even eat one of. To make the “challenging” fare more appetizing they were squirted with lemon juice. Um, yum?

Chow Down on More:

How to Win a Hot-Dog Eating Contest (wiki)

Taiwan cancelled eating contests last year after a guy suffocated

VIDEO of Joey Chestnut breaking the hot dog eating record

* * *

Word Up: Competitive eating – the official sport of stuffing your face with more food than should be humanly possible

By the Numbers: 203 – number of wings winner John Squibb ate during Wing Bowl 2009


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