"It is possible to die from eating. But I think to be professional means you don't die." (Takeru Kobayashi)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The man they call Badlands

The 420-pound man standing next to me in the picture above needs no introduction for those who follow the sport of competitive eating. For those who don't, he's Eric "Badlands" Booker, the 9th ranked gurgitator in the world. The picture was taken last month at the Phillips Crabcake Eating Competition in Baltimore. It was covered in a previous post, but Badlands was in attendance that day not as an eater, but as an entertainer (he rapped a song from his new album during the few minutes after contest while the totals were being tallied).

A few facts about Badlands need to be pointed out to truly understand the awesome eating power this man possesses. As a New York City subway conductor on the 7 train -- the same train that transports New Yorkers to see my beloved Mets at Shea Stadium -- he holds records in all the foods we love to eat: donuts (49 glazed in 8 minutes), candy bars (two pounds of chocolate in 6 minutes), pumpkin pies (4 and three eighths of Entenmann's pies in 12 minutes), and some foods we like not so much, including 8 and a half ounces of onions in one minute and 9 and a half POUNDS of peas in 12 minutes.

This year will mark Booker's 10th appearance in the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Of course, that's assuming he makes the cut in one of the upcoming qualifiers. But anyone who watched him eat 30 baseball-sized matzo balls in 5 and a half minutes at the Friar's Club in New York on April 20, 2005 knows there's little doubt that he will.


Anonymous Liz said...

The South Street Seaport qualifier BELONGS to Booker.

Also, our camera man, Josh, is standing right behind you guys in that pic!

9:59 AM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

Good to hear he has a spot at the table pretty much locked up. It wouldn't be the same without him!

8:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:41 AM


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