Breakfast of Champions: Wednesday Morning Hot Wing Challenge
|All photos by Danny Fulgencio|
|Rudy "the Civilian" Almaguer, who trained for the event with a visit to Plucker's last weekend.|
While Jesse Hughey had a corn dog eating crown to defend, I thought I might settle the score, and it would mark the competitive eating debut for production man Ricky Fandrick, whose instant demolition of Ojeda's enchiladas plates have grown into office legend.
The only problem: the contest was live, not taped. And the name of the show isn't Good Lunchtime Texas. So at 9 a.m. yesterday, we took our seats beside two Arlington firemen, two local radio personalities and one recent grandfather with some serious chops.
Here's the Good Morning Texas video, and to see how the contest shook out, with a few more photos, read on after the jump.
|A platter of wings before one of Arlington's finest.|
|Donovan from The Ticket's Bob and Dan Show enjoys water after finishing two wings and calling it quits.|
The biggest threat at the table proved to be soft-spoken Rudy Almaguer, who Vanderoef called "the civilian", who kept a quick pace and never showed signs of succumbing to the hot sauce.
The sauce was plenty hot at the time, bright orange and dripping with chunks of hot green and red peppers, but even a day later it's the persistent burning sensation on my fingers that has been the biggest surprise.
I'd studied up on technique before the contest, but found the "meat umbrella" unnecessarily complicated in a slow-moving 30-minute contest like this one. As Vanderoef suggested at the start, this contest was about handling the heat from the wings, not about stomach capacity.
I was ready for the feeling of too much food in my stomach, but the light-headedness that set in after the first five wings was the real surprise. At one point with the cameras on me, a wing slip out of my fingers and it took a good five or six seconds for the fact to register.
|Brett Dillon, KHYI The Range's afternoon DJ, tears into a wing fierce as Robert Earl Keen.|
|Pure intimidation with his Joker smile, Jesse finished with 13 wings.|
That total's a joke next to Joey Chestnut's half-hour record of 182 wings (can't be sure, but those were probably not coated in hot sauce), but it was more than enough to kill my appetite for a few days, and keep the first-place prize (a $100 card for more wings at Plucker's) unused for a good long time. Maybe it'll resurface as an end-of-the-week prize here on City of Ate.
Looking ahead to the next City of Ate eating challenge -- we're working on hosting one that's open to the public -- expect a return to a 12-minute format focused on volume and speed, not technique and spiciness. Burritos would be a classic competitive eating choice, and well within Ricky's wheelhouse, though a corn dog repeat could put Jesse's credentials back on the line. Stay tuned, once we regain our appetites and the feeling in our fingers.
|Ricky contemplates the heat.|
|Arlington fireman Jonathan Patton, who prepared for the contest with a special diet, deals with the heat.|
|Along with the free T-shirt and more free wings, I get a few minutes as an honorary Arlington fireman.|