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

Thursday, May 03, 2007


The poll of the week over at Eat Feats is about the financial benefits of being an IFOCE eater (the fact that OJ still doesn't call it MLE is proof that he/she isn't inside the organization) versus the financial benefits of being an AICE or independent eater. More specifically, which IFOCE eaters benefit most from being members of the IFOCE? The top five? The top 10? The top 20?

The question is a good one because it addresses the long-standing view that unless you're a top-ranked eater in the IFOCE, the financial benefits are minimal. In fact, when you figure in travel expenses, some guys are actually losing money. Of course most of those low-ranked eaters who are travelling and consistently finishing out of the money are rewarded in other ways. For many of them, I suspect (and know from conversations) that the thrill of competing and hanging out with a great group of guys is worth the price of travel. I'm the same way.

Money (or lack thereof) aside, what about the competitive benefits of independent and local eating vs. the competitive benefits of IFOCE eating? Like most eaters, I have a competitive streak. I don't like to lose, although I am more gracious in defeat than most people (probably because I have lots of practice). That said, my chances of winning in indy/local contests is high. Every event is an event I could potentially win. Not so with IFOCE events. I know I'm going to get my ass kicked there. By multiple competitors. My only goal at that table is to not finish LAST. Using that measuring stick, I'm 2-0 in IFOCE competition.

What's my point? (I'm trying to remember.) Oh yeah, competitive benefits. When I lose in a local contest, I'm a lot harder on myself afterwards than if I lose in an IFOCE contest. Because I expect to do well in one and not the other. Could this be the lure of the IFOCE for many eaters, including myself? Does it provide my fragile ego with a safety net? "It's okay to lose at this table," the IFOCE beckons. "Besides, if you're gonna lose why not lose to the best in the world?"

I guess that's true. Unless you like to win now and then.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I blogged it... eatfeats reported it.... eatfeats polled it... now you blogged it.

We are at the forefront of change!

9:14 AM

Blogger Carey said...

Well if the main drive is competition, then there should be a formal league where each week you compete against different eaters in a round robin type structure, points get awarded, and there is an end of season play off. No more of this "wait for a county fair to put on an eating event" erratic eating. Pit the MLE against the APE (ok, does Arnie realize the acronym he created?) at the end of the year in an all star game.

9:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That may be UEPa's niche!
We'll carve that out and take a piece of the proverbial pie for our selves!
One week speed, Next week capacity.

10:48 AM

Blogger Carey said...

We got some major recruiting to do. We need 10 teams of three people each at least. We can use the bowling format. totals of all three on the team, points awarded for winning teams each week. Wow, this could really take off. We need to hold an emergency meeting really soon and jump on this idea.

11:27 AM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

What Carey described in his first comment (creating your own eating event in a formal league instead of waiting for state fair contests) is essentially what the IFOCE is.

The truth is, in any "league" -- especially one in which so much money is at stake -- there's going to be a division of average, good, and great talents. The bigger the prizes, the better the top tier of talent (and talent overall) will be. You've got it in the IFOCE and in AICE.

What's great about local events is that the talent is pretty much all the same. Just regular guys whose eyes and egos are bigger than their stomachs. Anyone can win...especially me!

1:00 PM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

But I do like Carey's idea of forming a league of regionally divided teams. Just like MLB, NFL, NBA or any other pro team sports league.

I've always like the concept CE team events. You can bond with your team mates while still enjoying the thrill of competing against rivals.

1:04 PM


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