Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Kobayashi: The King of Consumption

Eating contests are something I know a little about. When I was in college I ate 24 plate-sized pancakes in 30 minutes, a fraternity record that still exists today as far as I know. Another time on a dare I ate 68 pieces of sushi. (Not sashimi but nigiri – the kind with the rice, which is much tougher to eat a lot of.) The mistake I made with that feat of gluttony happened when I drank a lot of water with the sushi, causing the rice in my stomach to expand. They had to carry me out of the restaurant and I was sick for three days. Then, of course, there’s the classic thing we do at ballgames called a “Babe Ruth.” This is where you eat one hot dog every inning at a baseball game. If the game goes into extra innings, you’re in big trouble.

In my younger days I could consume a lot of food and actually got 86ed from a couple of those all-you-can-eat buffets. The end result is that now I suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. At one time I actually weighed 355 lbs! Man, was I fat! Now I’m down to around 270 and dieting and eating right with the help of my wonderful fiancĂ©e Angelina. The difference between her and I is that we both love food, but it’s just not as big a priority in her life. Plus, she can go without eating meat, which I find difficult. I still eat well, and I get to have the occasional burger or steak every now and then, it’s just that now it’s a special occasion and not an every day thing. Once in awhile I’ll still sneak some chocolate or ice cream like a little kid, and almost every time Angelina will catch me. One of my favorite places in the world is called Coca Bella, a chocolate store down on Union Street in SF. It’s funny – I never realized how much of a sweet tooth I had until I learned I was diabetic!

This kid Kobayashi is an amazing consumption machine. He doesn’t look like a big eater – He’s a little guy who’s skinny as a rail. But, man can he pack it in. Joey Chestnut from San Jose Calif. is a great eater too, but he will always be in Kobayashi’s shadow as long as Takeru is in the speed eating game. Kind of like when Steve Young was backing up Joe Montana. Young never became a star in the NFL until Montana left the 49ers. Then, he cashed in.

Check out what Kobay-san did recently:

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) - Takeru Kobayashi downed 58 bratwursts in 10 minutes Saturday to set a new record at the Johnsonville World Brat Eating Championship.
The 27-year-old Japanese man, considered one of the world's greatest eaters, won $8,000 at the contest in Sheboygan.
"They're good," said Kobayashi, who won Nathan's hot dog eating contest in July. "I want to take some home."
Defending champion Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas was unable to defend her title, eating only 34 brats, half a brat less than last year. At the time, her performance set a new world record.
Joey Chestnut came in second by downing 45 brats before thousands at the annual Brat Days in Sheboygan.
The 160-pound Kobayashi, of Nagano, Japan, ate 54 hot dogs to win the contest in New York in July.
"Brats are a little bit harder to eat," he said. "With hot dogs, it's more volume. You're actually dipping the buns in water."
If you're interested in finding out more about eating contests, the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE), which is also a chapter of the International Federation Association Regarding Terrible Smells (IFARTS), their web site is: www.ifoce.com.

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