Sports Briefs: Real Wieners

(Originally published July 9, 2008, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt) 

Brad: Move over, Truck Stop Bob, we got a new king of eats around - it's the skinny Japanese guy who spends as much time at sushi bars as he does on the toilet!

Chris: In terms of most challenging columns to keep family-friendly, I'd say this one annually comes out on top. But Takeru Kobayashi actually came in second in last year's Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest to Joey Chestnut. Joey had more buns and wieners.

Ralphie: Yeah I want to watch it!

Joe: Those hot dog eating folks are crazy. And stupid. Nathan's hot dogs suck. Plus, hot dog eating contests are so yesterday. I enjoy some of the other competitive eating categories much more. There are dozens of competitive eating choices, including: chicken wings, spaghetti, meatloaf, gruel, Playdoh, paste, cardboard and sand, just to name a few. You haven't lived until you've seen a bunch of fat guys chomp on corrugated cardboard and glass for five minutes. Those are the events worth watching.

Ralphie: I want to be in an eating contest. I will train to eat that fast just like they do.

Chris: Those competitions are clearly meant for the young. I participated in an ice cream eating contest when I was in fourth grade. Contestants weren't allowed to use their hands, and I therefore can now relate to animals who eat from a trough. And not only was brain freeze a concern, but having frozen dairy products lodged in my nasal cavities was not exactly a bowl of sunshine.

Brad: This isn't a sport, but it isn't a game - this is just a competition. Like a chess match, just because it is competitive doesn't make it a sport.

Ralphie: They get a prize and people watch it.

Joe: If competitive eating is a sport, then so is NASCAR.

Brad: Moving on with our lives, I have to say of any hot dogs, Nathan's are the BEST! There's a little shop in New York Penn Station that I go to when I'm in the city. Two dogs, a bag of fries and a fresh squeezed lemonade for five bucks; not bad compared to what you get on Amtrak's 145 regional to Washington DC.

Chris: Though it is sheer audacity of the competitors to forgo sauerkraut, relish and mustard. Their preferred condiment is water, which could be looked upon as a good thing, since it enables the contestants not to choke and die on dry meat and buns.

Ralphie: I love hot dogs. Hot dogs are my favorite food next to pizza. I like em on buns and cut up with mac n cheese and ketchup.

Joe: Those ersatz meat items enabled me to pay my mortgage payments, buy diapers for the kids, and cover Mrs. Joe's gambling debts. Nobody could sell a hot dog like Joe in his prime. I was the best hog dog salesman in the business. There's nothing quite like ground-up meat byproduct to get your day started. Don't worry about all those tales about what really goes into hot dogs. It's all hogwash. Or rat tails. Or cow dung . . .

Ralphie: You are a hot dog! How many can you eat?

Brad: Deal with it, kid. You think eating a hundred hot dogs in one sitting makes it come out any easier? Sheesh, you'd think these guys would have heard of dietary fiber by now.

Chris: Are hot dogs supposed to have bones in them?

Brad: I, myself, am actually on a health craze right now. This little Scottish nutritionist named Gillian McKeith has a show on BBC America called "You Are What You Eat." She even wrote a book; it's incredible stuff when you think about it.

Joe: Brad/Chris, enjoy your lettuce wraps and tofu delicacies. Real men eat hot dogs, glass, barbed wire and tree bark.

Ralphie: I could do that!

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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