A full review of the Birmingham Krystal qualifier and stuff will follow, but here's all you need to know:
Here's the trip. I think chronologically is a good perspective. All times are local (home is Mountain, Atlanta is Eastern, Birmingham is Central).
Friday, 5:00am - wake up and stuff, go to work.
Friday, noon - leave work, eat, pack, get to the airport.
Friday, 5:00pm - Frontier to ATL.
Friday, 11:30pm - arrive in Atlanta. Get the car ($5.95/day on Hotwire. Get thee there.)
Ho hum up until now.
Saturday, 12:30am - start the drive to Birmingham. 150 miles or so.
Saturday, 2:30am - find the Anytime Fitness in south Birmingham and go check it out:
It's as expected: new, clean, and great equipment.
After checking out Anytime, I check in the Pontiac Inn.
Saturday, 3:00am - get some shut eye.
Saturday, 6:00am - get up and go work out.
Saturday, 8:00am - leave to scope some of Birmingham, and find two bottles of water for the eating.
Saturday, 9:00am - pick up my parents at the Birmingham International Airport. They are great athletic supporters who have witnessed some great performances other than those of myself. Sonya does the Barrick. Pat in pizza. The Locust in Perry. And today it's Kobayashi.
Saturday, 11:30am - arrive at Legion Field and find the Krystal site. Late last week the word was the contest would be in the stadium, on the field, and on the Jumbotron. It ended up being outside the stadium, in a field, and maybe-or-maybe-not on the Jumbotron. I wasn't in the stadium so I don't know.
Saturday, 12:30pm - fill out that freakin' god forsaken form. Hang out, meet the other eaters. Not a great turnout of "professionals", only three, but along with some legitimate hopefuls and the five chosen ones there were 12 in the contest.
(Super Senior Big Mouth Burger Boneyard Breaker Big Man On Campus Tropicmon Barlow)
Steve-o, he of 2nd
The cool guy
Saturday, 1:30pm - the 5 are picked, intros go, eating begins.
Kobayashi takes it. Not any surprise. But what was a surprise was how "easily" he did it. Push him, like Joey or Pat or Bob or whoever will in Chattanooga, and Koby could turn out the lights. Sure on Any Given Sunday who knows what might happen but the US guys better watch out. I've seen Joey and Pat and Bob and whoever eat balls out like they do. Not taking anything away of course, but they seem to work much more. Koby was money, smooth as silk. Look out.
89 of them in there
After a few more photos and stuff, everyone scatters.
Saturday, 8:00pm - I head back to Atlanta. On tap...
Saturday, 11:30pm - it's crowded, it's greasy, but it's good.
You might have heard talk of the chili at The Varsity. Not a lie. It is to die for. Delicious. The fries are another story.
Sunday, 2:30am - I return the car and get to the airport. There's not a whole lot going on then:
I pass the time until we board.
Sunday, 6:00am - board flight. I don't remember even taking off. I didn't wake up until somewhere over Kansas.
There are more photos. View them all here.
5 years in the making.