Have you heard of the MLE?
I kind of pride myself on being a bit of a televised sports junkie. Watching the National Football league would be my favourite past time, followed by the NBA, some Major League Baseball, a little golf at the PGA level, I watched quite a bit of World Cup Soccer in the last couple of weeks and of course tennis - Wimbledon was full of surprises this year. I'll watch some NASCAR if there's nothing else on. Heck, last weekend I watched the Tour de France.
When things get really slow on the multi-channel universe, I know I've hit bottom when something like darts, snooker or poker holds my interest.
But I've come across a new, uh, sport. And I use the word advisedly.
What pray tell is the MLE? Why it stands for Major League Eating!
I'm not kidding. I found out about it when I started reading an article about the Japanese guy who, having said he wouldn't compete in this year's Coney Island hot dog-eating contest, jumped up on the stage and was promptly arrested.
Yeah, I know, what does this say about ME, trolling the interwebs for goofy tales of the wild and unimaginable.
Any way, turns out this guy, 30 year-old Japanese "eating champion" Takeru Kobayashi, wouldn't participate because the governing body - yep, the MLE - wanted Mr. K to sign an agreement of exclusivity whereby he'd participate only at MLE events. Mr. K refused. C'mon Mr. K. Just how much can you eat?
Now I checked out these guys' website. There are record holders in Major League Eating for virtually every food known to man...and some unknown to me. 47 slices of pizza in 10 minutes. 8.31 pounds of vienna sausage in 10 minutes. 6 pounds of baked beans in - get this - one minute and 48 seconds. I don't think I want to be around after that one! And the list goes on: birthday cake, blueberry pie, buffalo wings, chili cheese fries, cow brains, fruit cake, garlicky greens, hamburgers, pickled jalapeno peppers (275 in 10 minutes), pigs feet and knuckles...and the list goes on and on.
I had to laugh. One of the sponsors on the MLE website is Pepto Bismol. I don't think any amount of that is gonna help these guys. How do you train for such a thing? What kind of work-out to you go through? If it involves practicing eating don't you kinda screw yourself? If you've spent months filling your face, do you really want to jam down 275 more jalapeno peppers?
Um, no thanks, you go first.
And you've gotta love that some of these guys have knicknames. Like the guy who won this year's Coney Island delicious hot dog delerium: Joey "Jaws" Chestnut won by wolfing down 54 dogs in ten minutes. At the 45 second mark he'd already eaten 9. Man, I wonder what made him tail off? Jaws said he was disappointed with his finish. He wanted to set a record of 70. Last year, he beat previous champ Mr. K by eating 68.
Well, Joey, you'll just have to train harder...if you don't explode first!
...and, um, after - don't stand too close!
If you're interested, and why wouldn't you be, here's the Major League Eating website.
This post appeared earlier this week at my home away from home The Parody Files