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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sportztyme! Glutton vs. Glutton

I know you've been sworn in, I have read your complaint......

Those who know me know it takes quite a bit to offend me. I am usually the offender, taking my enlarged sense of humor over the line. I can usually find either humor or value in just about every scenario you might encounter. Either that or I just don't give a rat's ass about it.

However, this past Monday, I watched an event so disgusting, so revolting, so utterly American I felt drawn toward violence. You know it better as Nathan's annual Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.

I realize this is a "competition" that has been around for a number of years... perhaps starting at county fairs as local displays of endurance. What this has blossomed into is an exercise in excess, gluttony, and bad table manners.

The man to beat in this "sport" is a Japanese national named Kobayashi. He's not your typical big eater: he stands less than 6 feet tall and weighs less than 160 lbs. But somehow, last year, he managed to down 55 hot dogs (buns included) in 12 minutes... the arbitrary length of time given these "competitors". This year... he only managed 49 or so... still more than enough to extend his winning streak to a fifth year.

The commentators had the gall to proclaim Kobayashi as "the Lance Armstrong of our sport". Were I the best cyclist in the world, I'd ride across the Atlantic expressly to beat the living hell out of that guy. They continued to describe this action as if they were witnessing an actual athletic event. It was putrid, vile, and the biggest waste of time and food I've ever seen.

Allow me to get on my soapbox for a moment. This is precisely why some people have the hatred towards this country that they do. We have people, kids, going to bed hungry tonight, and yet some feel that eating a lot in a little amount of time is something to be celebrated and honored. There are families working multiple jobs just to keep the staples on the table... and yet we parade freaks of nature in front of TV cameras to cram their pieholes with food they don't even want to eat... all in the name of sport.

It is a testament to our society and democracy that we have the freedom and the resources to actually have a contest such as this. But wouldn't it be nice if, next Fourth Of July, we have a Nathan's Hot Dog Giving Away Contest?

Uncle Buster writes Sportztyme every Thursday. He prefers Sabrett hot dogs with mustard and sauerkraut.

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