There’s always a risk when amateurs try to imitate the professionals. Somebody will see a big-time athlete do something on TV and decide he can do it, too. The result isn’t always pretty, as Dizzy Dean can attest.
Dizzy (not his real name) watched the Nathan’s Famous hot dog battle between Joey Chestnut and Kobayashi, athletes who are to their sport what Federer and Nadal are to theirs. Dizzy thought he, too, could eat a bunch of dogs, and he told the friends with which he watched the hot dog duel. Dizzy announced he could eat 10 in 12 minutes.
A bet was made and money was pledged. Dizzy was to get some money if he ate five, much more if he ate all 10, provided he kept them down for 30 minutes.
The crowd gathered at 7 p.m. and filled Dizzy’s suburban Charlotte driveway. Spectators brought video cameras and beer. A banner was hung (My Daddy is a Weiner). Trash was talked. Beer was swallowed.
The timer was ready and so was Dizzy. Go!
I told onlookers that he would be fine until he reached his eighth dog. As somebody who knows what IFOCE stands for (International Federation of Competitive Eating). I was entitled to share my expertise.
Dizzy tore through the first three dogs, the first five, even six and seven. Then it happened. Time didn’t stop. Dizzy did. Even the people in the driveway who had been joking about oysters and odd food combinations to make him queasy shouted encouragement.
Now there was a minute left. There also were two dogs and three buns. Dizzy flurried, but it wasn’t enough. An inspection of his paper plate revealed one dog and a piece of at least one other dog and bits of bun.
But there was good news. He kept the food down for 30 minutes. He said he felt fine but did not expect to eat in the near future.