Monday, January 22, 2007
Remember this Chicago? A defining moment of the 80's
Alright, I guess I am finally coming to terms with the Seahawks-Bears game last week in which the Chicago Bears defeated the Seahawks 27-24 in overtime. This was an excrutiatingly painful loss. The game was early last Sunday on the west coast with a 10:00am kickoff. I had vowed to eat a hot dog for every point that the Seahawks scored in the playoffs (along with a few other stipulations for eating).
Well, it was Sunday morning, the morning after Saturday night so I woke up a little late and I missed the first few minutes of the game. I had to scramble to throw some hot dogs on the skillet as the Bears scored a thouchdown on their opening drive and the Seahawks were driving. The first quarter ended with the Seahawks down 7-0 but with the ball inside the 10 and ready to score. Now since, the Seahawks didn't score in the first quarter, the rules of my hot dog challenge were that I would have to eat 4 HDB's before the start of the next quarter. But, I guess I was too in to the game and I forgot so when the Seahawks scored on the first play of the second quarter, I was already behind 11 HDB's and I had already violated the rules.
I quickly ate 5 HDB's but you know I just wasn't in to it. Maybe it was that there was still a hangover from the previous week's high after eating 22 hot dogs at the game and I couldn't get that same feeling sitting on my couch, but my spirit just wasn't in it and so I decided I was going to just eat casually and enjoy the game. Fuck, what a mistake.
I don't want to go over the whole casualty of the game but it ended up being extremely tight and down to the wire with the Seahawks having multiple opportunities to pull off another stunning victory in a tough environment of Soldier Field. But, as you know if you watched the game, the Bears pulled it off in overtime making that one more play that the Seahawks were desperately lacking to get in to field goal range and give their kicker a chance. That was it. The season was over and I couldn't help but feel somewhat responsible after not carrying out my vow to eat hot dogs to give the Seahawks support. I let them down again, but like last year I guess the feeling is mutual.
To make matters even worse, Pat Bertoletti was very timely with his text message after the game politley rubbing in the fact that his Bears had crushed the Seahawks and my spirit. Not only that, but he also claims to have eaten 54 Hot Dogs during the game - 2 hdb's for every point the bears scored. You fucker, could you make it any worse? Okay Pat, I give you that, you and the Bears kicked our arses (nothing new actually) and blah, blah, blah, the Bears are going to the Superbowl now. But I do appreciate the added motivation to get better as a fan and an eater and I don't take it personal.
Oh and the perverbial "there is always next year." I hate that saying, there is now and only now, when you have a shot you have got to take it and on that note...I can't wait for the new year of eating.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
“Seahawks Respond to Hot Dog Challenge with Win.”
As I was getting prepared for eating hot dogs and watching football yesterday afternoon I received an offer from my Brother-in-law Matt, whose family has season tickets, to go watch the game in person. Of course I was elated to have the opportunity to get in to the sold out game but I was also very determined to carry out my promise of eating a hot dog for every point that the Seahawks would score.
My first thought was that I would just buy hot dogs at the stadium as needed for each time the Hawks scored. But not only would this be costly but it would also be very distracting to the game. I decided to make a batch of hot dogs to bring with me to the game to get started and if I ran out I would buy more. I made 24 Nathan’s hot dogs but I gave away one to Matt and one to my roommate, Tim, leaving me with 22.
22 would turn out to be a very serendipitous number.
The game began with a blast, the crowd in Seattle was LOUD.
I wrapped each hot dog and had them in a bag under my seat
The Seahawks scored a field goal on their first possession to open the scoring and the hot dog consumption. I ate them quickly, they were still warm. That would be the only points for the Hawks in the first quarter.
1st Quarter Score: Cowboys 3, Seahawks 3.
3 points = 3 hot dogs
The Seahawks never really got in to any rhythm on offense in the first half and only managed to score a field goal in the second quarter as well. The hot dogs were no longer warm but still enjoyable and no real sense of urgency to the game or eating yet.
2nd Quarter Score: Cowboys 10, Seahawks 6
3 points = 3 hot dogs
I still had 16 hot dogs left and with both defenses actually playing very well it didn’t seem like I would need a whole lot more so I didn’t buy any at half time. The third quarter began with a great drive by the Seahawks methodically moving the ball and squeezing the ball in to the end zone finally to take the lead in the game. The extra point was made and I had seven more dogs to put down, YES! Except, just as I started my second hot dog the Cowboys struck on a shocking kickoff return for a touchdown to take the lead back and the momentum. Suddenly, the hot dogs were cold and dry and difficult to eat. But I finished them and no more points were scored in the quarter.
3rd Quarter Score: Dallas 17, Seahawks 13.
7 points = 7 hot dogs
As the fourth quarter begins I have 9 hot dogs left in my bag and Seattle is down 4 so I know I will need to eat at least 6 more hot dogs in order for Seattle to win (5 for the points + 1 victory HDB), but the game is too close for me to want to get up and buy more hot dogs at that time. Dallas puts together a long drive and they get a field goal out of it to make the score 20-13 and now my hot dog number is exactly 9. In reality though, it would be very unlikely that the Seahawks would score 8 more points exactly considering the most likely outcome for them to win would be a touchdown (7 points) to tie the game and a field goal (3 points) to win it.
It was about midway through the fourth quarter, the Seahawks had just gotten the ball back, I only had a half a bottle of water left, and I needed more reserve hot dogs as well. I rushed out of my seat to the nearest concession stand which, to my surprise, was shutting down and they were sold out of water and hot dogs!? I ran to the next closing stand and it was the same story, and the next one as well. Crap, no water and no additional hot dogs, I was in trouble.
I went back to my seat when the Hawks drove the ball quickly to the Dallas 1-yard line. First and goal from the 1-yard line, surely this would be a touchdown. But no, the Hawks lost yardage and on fourth down from the 2-yard line they failed to score. Great, my bad hot dog karma was affecting the game. But the craziness that ensued can hardly be explained. Let me do it quickly to save the drama - the Cowboys fumbled from the 2-yard line in to the end zone, the Seahawks recovered out of bounds for a safety. The score was now 20-15 Cowboys ahead, and I needed to eat two HDB's quickly as the Seahawks would get the ball back.
The hot dogs were getting hard to eat, the meat was cold and rubbery, the buns were devoid of all moisture, and I had almost no liquids to get them down now. I shoved the two dogs in and with a mouthful of meat and buns, I screamed in jubliation as the Seahawks struck for a 37 yard TD to Jerramy Stevens with 5 minutes left in the game. The Hawks went for the two point conversion and missed making the score: Seahawks 21, Dallas 20. I had 7 hot dogs left in my bag and needed to put down 6 for the score. Perfect, now we just need to hold Dallas and the last hot dog could be saved for the victory.
But Dallas came back and moved the ball down the field with ease while taking time off the clock. They moved the ball inside the Sehawks ten with two minutes remaining. Dallas then got what seemed to be a potentially game clinching first down but the referees reversed a third down spot making it fourth down. Dallas would have to go for a field goal which would give them a two point lead with under one minute remaining. I still had 3 hot dogs remaining to eat and the only liquid I had left was a quarter of a beer I had bought back in the first half. Oh, this was not good, not good.
But once again the unexplainable happened as Dallas rookie QB Tony Romo quizzically fumbled the field goal snap and went frantically running for the end zone but somehow came up short - the crowd is going wild, pandamonium, uncontrollable excitement and shock is consuming the stadium. The Seahawks got the ball back with the lead and I still had time to finish my hot dogs. With the adrenaline pumping I mashed the final hot dogs in and washed them down with the warm beer - could it be? And I still had one hot dog left for the victory.
Dallas got the ball back with 2 seconds left on the clock and a Hail Mary shot at the end zone. The video below captures the last play of the game and a bite of my final hot dog.
Seahawks Win: 21-20
Hot Dogs Eaten = 22 (21 points + 1 victory HDB)
So, now Mr. Pat bertoletti, I pose the question to you - how many hot dogs should I make for next week's game at Chicago? I am thinking a lot.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
So, I contemplated whether or not I will still try to honor my challenge and eat a hot dog for every point the Hawks score while at the game and I have decided that YES I still will do it. This could end up being very costly with stadium hot dogs costing around $5 dollars but I am confident that it is neccessary for me to uphold my end of the deal and the Seahawks will as well.
I will take pictures to document the eating and the progress of the game while I am and update my site when I get home with the results later tonight. Go Hawks!
Thursday, January 04, 2007
The game was close in the first half and I had put down 18 hot dogs through half time. The second half was devastating though with poor play by the Hawks, deplorable officiating, and my stomach swelling, I only ate 2 more hot dogs to finish with 20 and the Seahawks lost the Super bowl to Pittsburg 21-10. I will take part of the blame for this loss as I did not have the stomach capacity and like the Seahawks, I did not have the will to push through the pain of the game.
This year the Seahawks are in the playoffs again but have struggled mightily to get there going 9-7 and losing 3 of there last 4 games. I think it is apparent that the Hawks will need a lot more help this year to make it back to the Super Bowl and fortunately I am much better equipped now to provide them with the support they need.
That is why I am instituting a new challenge for the playoffs this season. This year, I vow to eat a hot dog for every point the Seahawks score in the playoffs.
The stipulations of the challenge are as follows:
- I will eat a hot dog (hot dog and bun) for every point the Seahawks score during each game.
- I must complete the hot dogs for each point scored before the Seahawks score again with the exception of when the Seahawks score a touchdown (6 points), I will wait until the extra-point (1 or 2 points) is made or missed to start eating. The result will be 6 (if XP is missed), 7 (1-point XP is made), or 8 (2-point XP made) HDBs to eat before the Seahawks' next point is scored. Field goals = 3 HDBs, Safetys = 2 HDBs.
- If the Seahawks go an entire quarter without scoring, I must eat 4 hot dogs before the start of the next quarter. If the Seahawks do not score in the fourth quarter and the game ends (there is no overtime) I will not eat 4 additional hot dogs since the game will already be decided and I can do no more to help.
- If and when the Seahawks win, I will eat 1 additional victory hot dog at my own leisure.
- If the Seahawks lose I will throw hot dogs at the TV and drink beer.
The Seahawks first playoff game is this Saturday (5 pm PST) against the Dallas Cowboys. The Hawks are missing three of their four regular defensive backs with both starters out with injuries and the Cowboys have been horrible defensively of late. With both defenses struggling, this game could turn in to a shootout and could take at least 30 points to win which will equal many hot dogs consumed. I look forward to the game and the challenge and an opportunity to support my boys.
I will document this challenge real time with pictures and updates on my blog this Saturday. Go Hawks!
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
8 Minute Contest (IFOCE rank in paranthesis)
1st - Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti(3)- 29.5 Sandwiches, $2500
2nd - Joey "Jaws" Chestnut(2) - 26
3rd - Humble Bob Shoudt(5) - 18.75
4th - Tim "Eater X" Janus(7) - 16.5
5th(tie) - Erik the Red Denmark(14) - 13
5th(tie) - Juliet Lee(37) - 13
7th - Arturo "the Natural" Rios(9) - 12.75
8th - Justin Mih "So Hungry"(13) - 11.33
9th - Crazy Legs Conti(11) - 10.5
10th - Wild Bill Myers(29) - 7.5
Click Here to watch video of the contest taken by Brian Seiken
You can tell Pat wasn't even happy to be holding this
oversized $2,500 winning check...right
The contest was held in New York at historic Madison Square Garden and to me the venue of New York is uniquely suited for competitive eating. Although, I am from the West coast and would desperately love to see more contests closer to home, I do have an affinity for the Northeast region of the country. Although, I have had mixed results on the East coast, mediocre at best in fact, if you don't consider the final Nathan's qualifier that I won on July 3 (22 HDB's) and my performance on the fourth (22 HDB's) which I am very proud of. But, regardless I do welcome the challenge of competing in the home city of competitive eating and I hope for improved results on the East coast this coming year.
Here I am trying to catch some luck (not necissarily a miracle) on 34th street
The date nut bread sandwiches turned out to be a much bigger obstacle than expected. The bread was very sweet and dense and the cream cheese was spread thick whcich as the contest wore on became virtually unbearable to many. Pat and Joey perservered and pulled away from the pack, especially Pat who clearly has a great tolerance and technique for sweet foods. It was Pat's day all the way; he built around a 5 or 6 sandwich lead going in to the last minute or so and held on for a decisive victory. I was a bit surprised at how dominate Pat was considering I know he only slept for about 2 hours the night before. Chestnut flew in on the red eye once again to NY from San Jose the morning of the contest and I am sure he wouldn't make excuses but from personal experience that really fucks with your system.
I can't say the 13 sandwiches was a great accomplishment for me and really the totals 3rd - 10th should not carry too much weight in my opinion, everyone seemed to struggle. Juliet Lee was a bit of a surprise as she did very well and she is sweet too (personality). She will definitely need to work on speed and capacity though if she wants to improve. I think she is going on all natural ability right now which is impressive and potentially very scary how good she can be.
The night before the contest a few of us met up with Kobayashi for dinner (one should never pass up this opportunity), who was in New York to film a commercial with Sonya Thomas. We met up at Pizza Gruppo where Tim Janus was working the bar and serving pizza. We didn't get too crazy since it was the night before the competition though it was hard to hold back. The thin crust pizza was excellent and the service was even better. Some pics below:
Kobayashi looking determined to enjoy this pizza,
or destroy it, it's hard to tell
Janus takes a break to pose with us while Kobayshi plays photographer
Click Here to see the rest of the pictures from this set on Flickr