When I say the word “Sport,” what do you think of? For many of us Canadians, hockey will be the first thing that comes to mind. We sure are rabid about the ol’ stick-puck – especially with 5 of the 7 Canadian NHL teams in playoff positions a year after none of them made it. With the resurgence in recent years of the Toronto Blue Jays, baseball is another sport at the forefront of our attention. Other big popular sports like basketball and football might come to mind, as well as soccer, golf, lacrosse, auto racing, etc.
I would imagine that for most of you, Competitive Eating was not one of the first things you thought of – if you thought of it at all. Some people might argue that it’s not a sport at all, that there’s no athleticism involved. I’d have to disagree. While it’s not “conventional athleticism,” professional power eaters certainly do have to work quite a bit to get good at their craft. Plus, I’d argue that it’s a sport based on the fact that scores are kept – “so-and-so ate this many whatevers in this amount of time.” It’s not one of those “sports” where the score is decided solely by a panel of judges.
I’ve been fascinated by the world of competitive eating for years now, probably since I got my start working for our brother station The Wolf 101.5. In my first week working here, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Fat Tuesday Pancake Eating Contest that Pete Dalliday (who was doing afternoons on The Wolf at the time) and Alana Cameron were hosting. I’d won an eating contest or two in high school, but I went into this with minimal expectations… And I ended up coming out on top.
My interest in the “sport” was piqued after this. I managed to get into a couple more that Pete & Alana held, but couldn’t recreate my initial success… Until I entered the spaghetti eating contest that was part of the lead-up to the Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis. I somehow managed to regain my form enough to be crowned Spaghetti King of the Kawarthas:
— Lance Anderson (@lancerlens) May 15, 2015
— CHEX News (@CHEXNewswatch) May 15, 2015
Pete Dalliday was also there, but he had arguably the better approach: instead of making it a competition, I think he just enjoyed a nice spaghetti meal while I went all out and spent a few rather uncomfortable moments after trying to get the pasta sauce out of my beard.
I’ve written a number of blogs about the sport over the years. One of my favourite eaters to watch is Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, who has risen to prominence on the scene over the last few years. If you’re interested in seeing some of his work, watch him eat a dozen Taco Bell tacos in 80 seconds HERE.
So here’s a question for you: How many burgers do you think you can eat in a minute? If you said “half of one, maybe,” that sounds about right. I’ve done some experimenting with speed-eating burgers over the years. When I was a teenager, I once managed to eat a whole 10 oz. Wimpy’s burger in about 2 1/2 minutes. It didn’t feel great and kinda grossed out everyone around me, but I felt accomplished. More recently, I watched one of my coworkers at my pizza job smash a Burger King Big King in 58 seconds, which was pretty impressive.
There are Guinness World Records for this type of thing, including a record for “Most burgers eaten in a minute.” The old record was 4, set by Peter “Furious Pete” Czerwinski. The record for most burgers eaten in THREE minutes belongs to Takeru Kobayashi, one of the kings of competitive eating (think of that skinny Japanese guy who dominated the July 4th hotdog eating contest for years). He managed to scoff down a dozen burgs in 3 minutes.
As of a couple days ago, however, there’s a new record holder in town. I couldn’t imagine anyone eating more than one burger in a minute… until now.
Rix Francisco beat out Kelvin Medina to become the new minute burger champion, managing to shove 5 burgers down his gullet in that time. But don’t just trust the photos – watch the video! Unless you get a little queasy, that is…
These two had previously battled each other in a competition to determine who could eat an entire 12-inch pizza the fastest. Both managed it in less than 24 seconds (WHAT?!), but Medina had the slightest of edges:
I imagine many of you may not be too interested in eating after watching those videos. Believe it or not, I’m actually kinda hungry, so I’m going to go find a burger and eat it at a normal pace.