Thursday, June 07, 2007

Nathan's Shea Stadium Qualifier, Queens,NY 6/3/07

Results, 12 minute contest, IFOCE rank in parenthesis:

1st – Erik the Red Denmark (14) – 26.5 HDB's, 3.5 in OT, first to swallow
2nd – Pat from Moonachie Philbin(24) – 26.5, 3.5 in OT, lost in swallowing
3rd – Allen the Shredder Goldstein(25) – 35.5
4th – Russ the Black Hole Keeler(30) – 20
5th – Big Brian Subich(26) - 19
6th – Darryl Newman (NR) – 17
7th – Pete Pretty Boy Davekos(40) – 15

That is a wince, trust me, I am happy but hurting

Uh, I am a little speechless. It is always hardest to find the words for things that are so gratifying. I definitely have been re-living the experience of this contest in my mind for the past four days. I would have to says without a doubt that this was the biggest win of my career up to this point. The win last year at Coney lsland the day before the fourth was huge but this one just feels so much more satisfying.

This contest was a serious battle. Allen Goldstein came out of the gates hot and held the lead for 10 minutes of the contest. Pat Philbin was probably keeping pace the whole way but he was two people down from me so it was hard to tell where he was really at. When regulation ended and I finally passed Goldstein, I thought all I needed to do was swallow what was in my mouth and the contest would be mine.

There was that moment when Charles Hardy told me that it was a tie that my body and mind said no, but it was only a moment, overtime in an eating contest are moments to live for and when it came I was ready.

I can't really describe what happened in overtime. My eyes were blurred not only because I was in such a zone of pain, determination, adrenalin and stress but also literally I did not wear my contact lenses for this contest. I thought it would help me a bit not to wear contacts because they have a tendancy to dry out my sinuses which is not good for swallowing. I guess it worked. Well we both ate 3.5 in overtime again and I needed the moisture to get those dogs down first.

Honestly, when the contest finally was called by Hardy and I was the winner, I was so happy and relieved but I was struggling to be able to smile. But that was such an awesome moment and an awesome contest. Not only for me, but for Philbin and Goldstein and the crowd as well.

It was a great crowd which included pretty much all of the NY eating legends: Cookie Jarvis, Badlands Booker, Charles Hardy, Don Lerman, Crazy Legs Conti, Brian Seiken, and Tim Janus. Not to mention the new world record holder with 59.5 HDB's, Joey Chestnut, my one and only west coast ally. I know that probably many of the eaters in the crowd were rooting for Goldstein because he is a NY guy that has been around the block as well. But I did also feel the love from them and I hope that they know I respect what they have done for the sport and bringing it to where it is today.

To say that I came from the West Coast and stole this NY qualifier from those guys might be somewhat true; but come on, it is a free-for-all on the circuit right now and you have to be willing to go anywhere to get a win. I hope that Philbin and Goldstein get their shot to make it as well, I have a feeling they will.

Click Here to read a post contest interview I with Liz K. and True Fan
Click Here to watch video of the contest provided by Beautiful Brian (the contest footage is at the end).
Click Here to see photos from the contest taken by Seattle Times Reporter Greg Bishop

I created a spreadsheet that identifies the growth in numbers being put up this year on the Nathan's circuit. Through 6 qualifiers, here is what I put together: A list of eaters' personal best HDB performance who had previously competed in a Nathan's contest before this year. Their previous PR's and this years' PR's are listed. The list is sorted in descending order by the percentage growth from this year:

2007 Nathan's PR Differential:

I retrieved most of my data from the Eatfeats database. If there are some people I missed or there is incorrect data, feel free to leave me a comment. The numbers are impressive. Obviously, those who had low numbers previously have a better opportunity to raise their percentage increase significantly. Anyway, I am ranked 7th on the differential list so far. I will update the spreadsheet as more contests go by.


steakbellie said...

Wing Kong ate 14 in Philly 2006 and 23.5 in Philly 2007.

I'm hoping you will update this once this player breaks the duece?

Unknown said...

Congrats, sounds like it was the best qualifier thus far. And rumor has it he did 14 last year

Liz said...

You know I love the number crunching! I noticed this trend, too, putting the numbers into the fantasy eating spreadsheet. There are a lot of "personal best" asterisks on there! Great job on this qualifier! I'm sure you'll sleep better this year on the 3rd than last year :-)

Erik "the Red" Denmark said...

I updated the spreadsheet with Wing Kong's info who is now on top, well deserved by the way.

Steak, are you gonna let Wing Kong do you like that? It is usually not a bad thing to be one notch below Sonya, but in this case I know you can do better.

Unknown said...

sweeet. nice work, homez!

Anonymous said...

Erik, you are truly one of the great ambassadors of CE. Great job at Shea and great job on the Nathan's spreadsheet. Very fascinating stuff...