It's not exactly 58 brats in 10 minutes. But for amateurs, it's not an unimpressive feat, either.
A few years ago, a buddy sent out an e-mail with a unique contest that he'd seen attempted at Wrigley Field, I believe. And he thought it would be a fun way for a bunch of guys to spend a few hours around a television set or a radio. Or...in person at the game, if you happened to have an extra hundred bucks to throw away on food and beverages.
The contest is called The 999.
Nine hot dogs.
Nine 16-oz. beers.
In nine innings of baseball. From first pitch to final out.
The first year, no one in a group of about 10 people who attempted it made it to the end. Last year, one lone Champ(!) did it in about seven innings, topping a couple of his dogs with chili just for extra added oohs and ahhs.
And this year, three out of a group of seven crossed the finish line late in the eighth inning or early in the ninth. I may or may not have been one of those three. I admit to nothing.
Fine. It was me. I'm a Nine-Nine-Niner.
The key to finishing is knowing which method of attack will best suit your digestive system. The neat-and-orderly method of one hot dog, one bun, one beer, one inning may work well for some. But we've modified the rules a bit to allow for 12 12-oz. beers instead of nine 16-oz. beers, so as to bypass the plastic bottles. Same amount of beer, though.
One participant in the inaugural contest opted to eat all of his hot dogs in the first three or four outs of the game. That's just hot dogs...no buns. But the bread got to him before he got to the finish line.
This year, one of the winners drank all of his beers (or perhaps it was 11 of them) before going to the grill for a dog. I had three or four beers and then told myself, "I'm hungry," and went to put a couple notches in the dog-and-bun column.
It becomes a grind near the end, and the one main rule of NO digestive system reversal can be difficult to avoid. That's how we lost two of our participants this year, although one of them gave it the old college try to remain a contestant. I'll spare you the disgusting, but valiant, details.
Oh, and what did we do to celebrate our 999 victory? Drank beer and played cards for much of the rest of the night, of course.
I went grocery shopping on Monday night after getting back from my weekend. Hot dogs were not on my list.
Can't wait to see which one of the seven deadly sins they create a contest for next.
"Lust, Pride, Sloth and Gluttony, or as we call them these days,
"getting in touch with your sexuality," "raising your self-esteem,"
"relaxation therapy," and "being a recovered bulimic."