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

Monday, May 07, 2007


It’s long been the goal of competitive eating (in particular, the MLE brand of competitive eating), to be viewed as a legitimate sport. With contests televised live on ESPN, that goal is closer to tongue-in-cheek reality than many people think. To help speed that process, I’ve developed the following system which can be used to report the results of contests in an easy to read format. Its inspiration comes from the box scores used by Major League Baseball.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the narrative format the IFOCE currently uses to report results is a little difficult to scan and read, especially during those rare contests when eater rankings and totals are available beyond third place. This new box score will alleviate that. Everything you need to know can be found in one simple and concise block of names and numbers. And, just like Major League Baseball, a narrative write-up about the contest can still be provided to fill fans in on all the details, quotes and controversy not captured within the statistical confines of the box score.

It’s my personal hope (and the hope of many other eaters and fans, I’m sure) that the box score also helps improve post-contest results reporting by the IFOCE. Here's what I was thinking.

It’s all pretty self-explanatory. The “PTS (TOT.)” column will be used to track how many points each eater earned during the contest and his or her total points for the season. If the points system is abandoned (I’m holding out hope that it’s not), that column of information can be abandoned as well.

I know I haven't done anything particularly ground breaking here. It's just a chart of numbers created in Microsoft Word, but it's a start. Any thoughts anyone has would be welcome.


Blogger Carey said...

well, combine that with some of the ideas about the league format, and you have a real sport. I feel that if a promoter were to use these ideas, he could definitely rise above the popularity of the IFOCE.

8:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's bring these ideas to AICE!

Arnie will actually use eater ideas and put them into practice.

He doesn't claim to have it all figured out. He gladly accepts eater input at all events.

Hell, I ruined my own cause at the Wing contest last summer when it was my bright idea to have a .5 lb deduction for not clearing the mouth. Hickman was anti... guess who got busted? TUT

9:01 AM

Anonymous liz said...

This is beautiful. I hope your idea gets picked up. It seems like having a chart to fill out would make the job of reporting scores much easier, too. Or at least remind them of what data needs to be collected.

10:43 AM

Blogger Skinnyboy said...

But, c'mon Dave, that is way too hard.

10:45 AM

Blogger steakbellie said...

we can design them forms!
i know all about that!

nice work Dave. This needs to get infront of the MLE

11:36 AM

Anonymous KevinRoss said...

That is easy to view and use, so it seems like a winner to me. It basically is what they are supposed to be doing now, but maybe if there was an official format, it would make it more painless for them to do each time. I think you should write a well thought out letter and send it certified to MLE (to make sure they read it). That has more impact than an email. Whenever you want someone to really listen, a real letter is still best, because they know you took the time to do it and therefore it comes across as more important. Make sure to explain why it will help not only the eaters, but also their bottom line and increased popularity/legitimacy of the MLE brand.

11:47 AM

Anonymous INVADER said...

Ah, yes. I remember it well. It affected your overall total and my end performance as well as other eaters I am sure. Deductions for not clearing the mouth blow but make the sport more difficult and more legitimate. Hell, I have often wondered how much additional shit I could have crammed in my mouth knowing I wouldn't have to swallow it by contest end.... Aside from that, the point system is awesome and the format is even better: clear cut, straight forward and easy to read. Dare I ask who is going to implement this idea first?

11:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Steakbellie works with me. Always a form to fill out.

Hell, I'm MC for strawberries, and I can implement this box score sheet ASAP!

Add a column for belt buckle size!
I have a feeling Carey might challenge Ian for that title!

12:44 PM

Blogger Carey said...

WT, you better have that new column on there by the 26th. Oh, and another column for how much alcohol drank the night before, that has a major effect on the outcome.

1:30 PM

Anonymous I love Kevin Ross said...

the mle doesnt need a letter. they read stuff. the idea is out there so lets see who jumps first. mle or aice or whoever wants it.

1:42 PM

Blogger Carey said...

Dave, you should open a new blog called "the Eating Sports Page" where you write stories and put up stats. Everyone will be coming to you for the inside scoop.

2:51 PM

Anonymous Erbivore said...

You continue to amaze with your groundbreaking ideas. Keep up the good work!

3:29 PM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

Thanks for all the feedback! I agree with Kevin about presenting the idea formally to the MLE decision makers. I'll put together a little something and send it their way.

The bigger issue here is accurate (and timely!) reporting of post-contest results. Without that, this box score is useless.

In my whopping one year in CE, post-contest results reporting has been the most universally grumbled about issue of them all. We complain about it to each other, but we have to let the right people know about it too. An unranked guy like me has little clout...we need some ranked eaters to take this message to powers-that-be.

5:58 PM

Anonymous Philly Guy said...

I like it. It'll pick up big and you'll say how you invented it and nobody will ever believe you.

7:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say we treat it more like horse racing!

Check out my new post!

1:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And input would be nice... so I can move the lines!

1:33 PM


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