Scott Swanay Fantasy Football and Beyond

July 8, 2009

When I started this blog I knew I wanted to include sports…I have never been a “jock” but I have always been an athletic supporter – (wink) – Now reread that please it is pretty good for a mid afternoon play on words.

Anywayyyyyyyyyyy – I have officially made Scott my go to guru for all things sports related and I plan to give him absolutely NO CREDIT.  So as we chatted and reflected on tight ends and well all those other positions blah, blah, blah Scott came up with a genius idea. In honor of our most recent July 4th holiday, The Mustard Belt and my cool friend Scott – Away we go!

 mustard belt

When most Americans think of July 4th, images that come to mind include the stars and stripes, parades, and fireworks. However, an increasing number of sports fans also look forward to Independence Day for the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest on Coney Island, the Super Bowl of the competitive eating circuit.

Source: NBC Sports

The Mustard Belt may never be as widely recognized as the Stanley Cup or the Masters’ green jacket, but it also represents its sport’s pinnacle of achievement. While the Nathan’s contest has been held almost every year since 1916, only recently has the event grown to the point where an estimated 40,000 watch the spectacle live and many more watch the live broadcast on ESPN. Contestants won’t get rich on the $20,000 in total prize money, but just think of the endorsement opportunities! The International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE), established in 1997, oversees the Major League Eating (MLE) circuit. Besides hot dogs, contests feature matzo balls, oysters, asparagus, blueberry pie, brats, and cow brains, just to name a few. Women compete alongside men, and contestants range in weight from barely 100 pounds (Sonya Thomas and Juliet Lee) to well over 400 pounds (Eric “Badlands” Booker). By far the two most recognizable names in competitive eating are American Joey Chestnut and Japan’s Takeru Kobayashi, the Ali and Frazier of their sport. Kobayashi won the Nathan’s contest an incredible six times in a row starting in 2001. During his first victory, Kobayashi ate 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes, which doubled the previous record! In 2007 Kobayashi was dethroned by Chestnut, who ate 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. In 2008 the contest was shortened to 10 minutes; the two heavyweights were tied at 59 hot dogs apiece at the end of regulation, but Chestnut retained his belt in a 5 hot dog “eat off”. Chestnut won the 2009 contest this past weekend by downing 68 hot dogs (in 10 minutes!) and stated his desire to break the 70 hot dog barrier in a future event.

Although several other competitive eating events have also been televised on various cable stations, don’t look for a network television contract any time soon for the ultimate “don’t try this at home” sport.

Even in an age where a new reality show sprouts up seemingly every five minutes, health concerns associated with binge eating almost ensure competitive eating will never attract more than a(n oyster) cult following. Scott Swanay – President & Chief Sherpa

 @fantasy_sherpa on Twitter Guiding you to victory!


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