A-Bomb and ...

Eating contests and Eating challenges around Kona & Denver

Big Eyed Fish

Click here to see the Krystal video.

So this one, while still fun and a great experience, will probably go down as one of my least favorite IFOCE events I've been able to be in.

It started out well - T getting me to the airport, breezing to the gate, and arriving in Phoenix without any problems.

I get to the fair. I pass by some booths that have the World's Smallest Horse, World's Biggest Gator, World's Hairiest Man but go by those to the area where the Sky City Casino World Fry Bread Eating Championship will be. Nice area with three separate stages. On #1 is the AWAA championship. On #2 is USDOS championship.

On #3 is Sky City Casino World Fry Bread Eating Championship.

Oh, for those who don't know AWAA is the Arm Wrestling Association of America and USDOS is the United States Dutch Oven Society. What a lineup - AWAA, USDOS, IFOCE.

Here's a photo from behind the stage showing the large crowd. You can get an idea of how large the fry bread was.

There were 12 eaters. 8 ranked, 4 local guys. With the stage being on the small side this necessitated the tables being in an L formation, 8 at one and 4 on the other. As nobody went over to the kids table when they were announced there was a little re-arranging by Ryan before the eating began. But 10-9-8 and it was on.

From that photo above you may have gotten an idea of the size of the fry bread, but you got no idea of the consistency. From what I've heard about indian fry bread, when freshly made, it is sort of like a doughnut without the hole. But when it sits around and is allowed to cool off it often becomes hard and not too enjoyable. That's what people had told me. I thought no, let it sit around and it may get limp like french fries. But no, the fry bread was rock hard. A few times I let it soak in water but that didn't soften it at all. Then it was just wet beef jerky. And the chewing - very difficult to chew and tear bites off. Yeah, that strong jaw idea, it is important. I've always minimized chewing; any preparations I do focus on getting the food down the throat, not chewing it. I wasn't as prepared for this as I thought.

But everyone faced the same thing. Like the 3 Brother's pizza competition, determining where everyone finished is almost impossible because Ryan only looked at a few plates that could have been in the mix. My stack of 10 was down to 4.5 left, so 5.5 eaten but 1.0 was deducted for leftovers on the table beside my plate because I was not the neatest in trying to find edible pieces. I put my placing at 5th because when I was standing around I looked at the plates and just saw one other plate that looked to have a shorter stack than mine. But it's hard to say who finished where when you take into account bread detritus both on the table and in cups.

With not having much to eat for 24 hours, afterwards I did see one thing that I wanted to try. I originally had hoped to try Indian Fry Bread, fried Twinkies, and fried Oreos. But I struck out on all 3. I don't want to call the fry bread we ate real fry bread - I still say I haven't had it. I did not see any fried Twinkies. Same with the Oreos - I found none. But I did see this:

Fried Snickers! So I got one:

To make the Snickers, the guy unwrapped a bar, shoved a stick in it, dipped it in batter, and put it in the oil for a couple of seconds. End result was sort of like corn dog coating wrapped around a melty-ooey-gooey-nougatty-nutty center. I got through 3/4 of it, took some photos, and threw away the remains. Why didn't I try some good fry bread?!?

But the day wasn't a total loss. Bodog.com had odds and was taking bets on 3 different wagers surrounding the Krystal Square Off III World Hamburger Eating Championship held in Chattanooga, TN this same day. One wager was who'd win. Another was would a contestant eat more than 70 hamburgers. Another was would the total eaten by all the competitors be over 645. Each bet had a $50 max. I bet $44 on #2 and #3. Both won - Kobayashi ate 97, and the total eaten was 740 or something. In 8 minutes!

Hello Again

So this didn't quite work out like I wanted. Below is a series of 5 pictures I took looking outside a window a work. In the course of about 12 hours yesterday the weather went from clear and 40 degrees, to blizzard & 12" of snow in the southern Denver area, back to clear and 40. It's all over now - today is 50 degrees, blue skies, and sunny.

From reports on 9news.com, here are some other snow reports:

Agate 12 inches
Arapahoe Park 1.3 inches
Aspen Park 25 inches
Aurora 11.5 inches
Bailey 19 inches
Black Hawk 22.5 inches
Boulder 4.1 inches
Breckenridge 17 inches
Brighton 4 inches
Castle Rock 12 inches
Centennial 8 inches
Conifer 25 inches
Elizabeth 8 inches
Evergreen 25 inchess
Genesee 16.3
Georgetown 21 inches
Genoa 3 inches
Golden 10.5 inches
Highlands Ranch 9 inches
Hugo 1.5 inches
Idaho Springs 20.4 inches
Lakewood 9 inches
Last Chance 1.5 inches
Louisville 7 inches
Nederland 22 inches
Parker 10 inches
Punkin Center 3 inches
Strasburg 6 inches
Westcreek 12 inches
Winter Park 26 inches


Say Goodbye

Sorry for the political topics recently. Here's one more. This is the current cover of Rolling Stone. The cartoon capitol is classic. There are many good quotes in the cover story - The Worst Congress Ever by Matt Taibbi - but a few stand out:

"It has become this sad session of members sitting down and drinking Kool-Aid delivered by Karl Rove."

"After all, if a hairy-necked, raincoat-clad freak like Rep. Mark Foley can get himself named co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, one can only wonder: What the hell else is going on in the corridors of Capitol Hill these days?"

Everybody Wake Up (II)

You might remember a couple of posts about Congress passing, and W signing, the Port Security Bill with the Act added on that caused GoldenPalace.net to exit the world of competitive eating. See here and here.

Here is a link to an article by George Will that is in the current issue of Newsweek.

Here is the article text:

Prohibition II: Good Grief
When government restricts Americans' choices, ostensibly for their own good, someone is going to profit from the paternalism.
By George F. Will

Oct. 23, 2006 issue - Perhaps Prohibition II is being launched because Prohibition I worked so well at getting rid of gin. Or maybe the point is to reassure social conservatives that Republicans remain resolved to purify Americans' behavior. Incorrigible cynics will say Prohibition II is being undertaken because someone stands to make money from interfering with other people making money.

For whatever reason, last Friday the president signed into law Prohibition II. You almost have to admire the government's plucky refusal to heed history's warnings about the probable futility of this adventure. This time the government is prohibiting Internet gambling by making it illegal for banks or credit-card companies to process payments to online gambling operations on a list the government will prepare.

Last year about 12 million Americans wagered $6 billion online. But after Congress, 32 minutes before adjourning, passed its ban, the stock of the largest online-gambling business, Gibraltar-based PartyGaming, which gets 85 percent of its $1 billion annual revenue from Americans, declined 58 percent in one day, wiping out about $5 billion in market value. The stock of a British company, World Gaming PLC, which gets about 95 percent of its revenue from Americans, plunged 88 percent. The industry, which has some 2,300 Web sites and did half of its business last year with Americans, has lost $8 billion in market value because of the new law. And you thought the 109th Congress did not accomplish anything.

Supporters of the new law say it merely strengthens enforcement; they claim that Internet gambling is illegal under the Wire Act enacted in 1961, before Al Gore, who was then 13, had invented the Internet. But not all courts agree. Supporters of the new law say online gambling sends billions of dollars overseas. But the way to keep the money here is to decriminalize the activity.

The number of online American gamblers, although just one sixth the number of Americans who visit real casinos annually, doubled in the last year. This competition alarms the nation's biggest gambling interests—state governments.

It is an iron law: When government uses laws, tariffs and regulations to restrict the choices of Americans, ostensibly for their own good, someone is going to make money from the paternalism. One of the big winners from the government's action against online gambling will be the state governments that are America's most relentless promoters of gambling. Forty-eight states (all but Hawaii and Utah) have some form of legalized gambling. Forty-two states have lottery monopolies. Thirty-four states rake in part of the take from casino gambling, slot machines or video poker.

The new law actually legalizes online betting on horse racing, Internet state lotteries and some fantasy sports. The horse-racing industry is a powerful interest. The solidarity of the political class prevents the federal officials from interfering with state officials' lucrative gambling. And woe unto the politicians who get between a sports fan and his fun.

In the private sector, where realism prevails, casino operators are not hot for criminalizing Internet gambling. This is so for two reasons: It is not in their interest for government to wax censorious. And online gambling might whet the appetites of millions for the real casino experience.

Granted, some people gamble too much. And some people eat too many cheeseburgers. But who wants to live in a society that protects the weak-willed by criminalizing cheeseburgers? Besides, the problems—frequently exaggerated—of criminal involvement in gambling, and of underage and addictive gamblers, can be best dealt with by legalization and regulation utilizing new software solutions. Furthermore, taxation of online poker and other gambling could generate billions for governments.

Prohibition I was a porous wall between Americans and their martinis, giving rise to bad gin supplied by bad people. Prohibition II will provoke imaginative evasions as the market supplies what gamblers will demand—payment methods beyond the reach of Congress.

But governments and sundry busybodies seem affronted by the Internet, as they are by any unregulated sphere of life. The speech police are itching to bring bloggers under campaign-finance laws that control the quantity, content and timing of political discourse. And now, by banning a particular behavior—the entertainment some people choose, using their own money—government has advanced its mother-hen agenda of putting a saddle and bridle on the Internet.

Gambling is, however, as American as the Gold Rush or, for that matter, Wall Street. George Washington deplored the rampant gambling at Valley Forge, but lotteries helped fund his army as well as Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth. And Washington endorsed the lottery that helped fund construction of the city that now bears his name, and from which has come a stern—but interestingly selective—disapproval of gambling.

You Might Die Trying


Last night on the Food Network was a showing of Record Breakers Unwrapped. It originally aired in September of 2002. There were 3 segments that may be of some interest..

1. Short segment on the IFOCE. A burrito contest. Ed Jarvis, Charles Hardy, and the eventual winner Booker.

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2. Segment about the Big Texan and the steak challenge. (Not the one with Rich & Carlene)

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3. Segment on a 1.25-pound hamburger in Laughlin, Nevada.

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Get on the Boat

Though he probably doesn't want the mention, I have to recognize mega munch for what he is doing. Read about it here. My conscience is A-OK so I won't be doing the same, but he is to be commended for what he is doing.

Smooth Rider

After the Port Security Bill passed through Congress and now awaits W's rubber stamp, some thoughts.

Of course, I'm only referring to the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act (introduced by *shock* a Republican and supported by *again shock* more Republicans). There is a lot of commentary about how this Act was tacked on to the Port Security Bill by Senator Frist and some House counterpart (you mean, they're Republicans too?!? Who would've guessed).

Some comments...

Don't you think that the American government should have bigger fish to fry than to be messing around with Internet poker !!! The reason they are messing with it is simple as most Internet poker sites ( if not all )are outside of the US they don't have to pay tax to them if they had been in the US nothing would of been said !!!!

Our government (i.e., Senators like Frist) are every bit as 'immoral' as gambling is.

I think there are some evils to gambling. But what people do with their own money is their bussiness, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody. How dare the congressman have such a nerve to look down on what we do as immoral. Screw them.

Thank you to all in the Senate for making this wonderful country even more free and safe from all the terrible internet gamblers living in the US.

There are many more comments on the online petition.

Yeah, it sucks that this pork got added to a totally unrelated bill. But it happens all the time. Yeah, I feel wonderful that Republicans want to protect our morality with this Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act. Hi, Bill Bennet! Hi, Mark Foley! But it's not a Republican thing. Or a Democrat thing. It's a politician thing. It's happened in the past, it's happening now, and it will happen later.

We can blame the politicians, sure, but this Act probably was kept alive because there was not more of an outcry from people. And that's because opponents of this Act did not do enough to make anyone aware of the Act. I am fairly well-read and aware of what's going on, but I did not know about this. I think I first became aware of this Act when the bill passed the House. And most of the voices online only offered their comments AFTER the bill passed via voice vote in the Senate. Citizens cannot affect Congress and the government too much, but they certainly cannot do much if they don't know about things.

We'll see what happens...

UPDATE: the Association of Professional Casino Webmasters has some more info, and a video, about this Act.


On 10/6/06, Kate Westfall wrote:

Attention Gurgitators:

I am extremely sad to announce that the breakfast burrito eating championship in Albuquerque on October 11, and the pickle eating championship in Raleigh on October 16 have been canceled. It is likely that the chicken strip contest in Columbia on October 13 will also be canceled, but that is not yet confirmed. Due to a decision made by the U.S. Congress having to do with their parent company, GoldenPalace.com, GoldenPalace.net is exiting the world of competitive eating. I understand how frustrating this is, and I know that everyone probably has a lot of questions, concerns and requests. I ask that you please send these by email. Emails will be answered as quickly as possible. I will check my personal email (westfall_kate@_____.com) this weekend as well.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Kate Westfall
Manager of Operations and Client Services
International Federation of Competitive Eating
151 W. 25th Street
4th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Fax: 212-627-5430

So Damn Lucky

Check this. Remember the article that was on the front page of the Sunday Denver Post? The day after it appeared T got a call from a solicitor. They said they had a product that mounted the article, blah, blah, it looks good and there is no obligation. T had them make it, and send it. Last week it arrived, and we looked.

Not bad I guess. Good colors. Very high quality. But I wasn't too enthused. See that silver square? That's where this plaque was:

That's not what T wanted!! And even if she wanted her name on the plaque, it is spelled wrong!

Here's the invoice:

So T calls. We'd be all for sending the whole thing back, but the girl on the phone says pry off the name plaque and JUST SEND THAT BACK AND THROW AWAY THE REST. Uh, yeah, here's the plaque you wanted and we'll throw out the whole thing.


Everybody Wake Up (I)

This post is from ojrifkin at eatfeats. It's about Congress passing a ban on bank payments to online casinos. It's added to a port security bill (which I'm sure will do a lot of good) so you know W won't veto the bill. Or read it for that matter. He can reach for his rubber stamp yet again.

The Washington Post reports that a measure banning US banks from making payments to online casinos was attached to a Senate port security bill that passed today. The House passed a similar measure earlier this year so the bill awaits presidential approval. The prohibition will not take effect until after a 270 day window for the financial industry to figure out how to prevent transactions to online casinos. Internet gamblers will still be able to use foreign financial institutions. The online casino / card game site GoldenPalace.com/.net is a major sponsor of IFOCE events.