Saturday, January 13, 2007

All-You-Can Eat Baseball Seats? I'm in Dodger Blue Heaven!

I read the other day where the LA Dodgers are going to be offering $40 all-you-can-eat seats in a special section of the right-field pavilion at Dodger Stadium. 3,000 fans will have the pleasure of consuming as many hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos and sodas that their bellies can hold. Beer, ice cream and candy will not be included in the deal, most likely so that drunks and diabetics won’t kill themselves in a free-for-all eating/drinking frenzy.

Personally, I am in heaven. I know that I’ll be one of the first fans to try and turn it into an eating contest. 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 at San Jose State to this day 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 baseball games called a “Babe Ruth.” This is where you eat one hot dog every inning. If the game goes into extra innings, you’re in big trouble. I know some guys back in New York who actually eat one dog every half inning, but that’s insane!In my younger days I could consume a lot of food and actually got ejected from a couple of those all-you-can-eat buffets. At one time I actually weighed 355 lbs! Man, was I fat! Now I’m down to around 270 and dropping fast, thanks to eating more sensibly 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 nowadays, 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 everyday thing

One person could shut down the Dodger’s decision to provide all-you-can-eat seats and his name is Takeru Kobayashi. Kobyashi is a champion eater and 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.

The Dodgers are entering a new era of MLB baseball gluttony. And, I for one, love it! Bring on the hot dogs, baby! And keep ‘em coming!

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