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The Great Hot Dog Caper of 2019



The Hot Dog Man, Carl Baker.

Really? We’re going to fight over a hot dog eating contest?

In case you didn’t know, this story is big. It dominated local social media Monday. It is getting a frightening number of views from overseas on our web page, and friends and family of mine in other states are following the hot dog story and sending me messages.

See what y’all have done now?!

As best as we can tell, here’s what happened: All the contestants agreed before the contest began that the winner would be the person who ate the most hot dogs. The time limit was lifted and the contest would go until there was a winner. After about an hour it became obvious that these champions were going to keep at it, and no one was going to give up any time soon. So the house decided it was time to put a time limit on it and end the misery of the increasingly rough looking contestants, five of whom had already dropped out.

On the left was Jeremy Summers, competitive to the finish. When it came down to the end, he made a massive power move and tried to eat two dogs as one. He was sending body language signals that it wasn’t going well. In the final seconds (graphic content at this link), just before the countdown ended, he disqualified himself in a glorious rush of remnants spewed earthward.

Elijah Rosenthal, son of the guy passing out the cash—and the eventual winner, —held steady and didn’t seem to stress too much. He was showing signs of fatigue, and it was obvious those hot dogs were not as delectable as they were when the contest began. It wasn’t until Summers revealed his, er,  inner morsels that Rosenthal could no longer hold his in. But, and this is everything, he did hold them for two more seconds. Long enough to last out the countdown. But then he also let go, creating a magnificent pile of partially digested hot dogs for all to admire.

And then we have Chris Boone. Steely eyed, focused, deliberate and determined to win he, not unlike the steadily paced tortoise of fairy tale lore, kept chowing through those hot dogs. When it came to the final moments of the contest, it was clear Chris’ plan was to outlast the other two in the race.  He needed them both to no longer hold down their hot dogs while trying to eat more hot dogs than the other.

It was a brilliant plan, and a single second of time stopped him from claiming the $400 prize.

In the end there was no rule about throwing up after time ran out, and clearly Rosenthal held his in until the final buzzer as the video apologetically shows.

The winners here should have been Carl Baker, owner of the Hot Dog Man, and Robert Rosenthal, the promoter, who organized the event. It should have been good, fun marketing for them both. As it stands now, I don’t think many people are mad at the Hot Dog Man, but Rosenthal is probably feeling some heat.

Why the controversy?

According to those involved—and unhappy with the outcome—the time limit changed and the rules were not clear regarding holding the food in. Also, and this is probably the big deal, the winner shares the same last name as the person passing out the money. There was nothing illegal, but the smell test, like the remnants spewed to the ground, isn’t going well.

No one asked for my advice but that’s seldom stopped me in the past. So, Mr. Rosenthal, is this how you want most of the community to find out about your product? If so, congrats. If not… Holy social media hits, Batman!! This story is hot! Act now and hold another contest this week. A rematch.

This time, carve some stone with the rules, and for the love of all that is good, don’t have any family members in the contest.

But keep the firefighters as judges. They rock.

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