(NEW YORK) — With sporting events of all kinds cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, one league is looking to take a bite out of the under-served market of bored sports fans: Major League Eating.
The MLE, arguably most famous for staging the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th, actually holds competitive eating contests of all kinds all throughout the year. It’s now teamed up with the gambling website BetOnline.ag to “meet the overwhelming demand for sports content.”
The “BetOnline Quarantine Challenge” is a bracket-style elimination eating tournament that will feature eight gastronomic giants facing off via video from their homes. It happens Friday, April 17, at 7 pm ET on various platforms, including MLE’s YouTube channel.
Competitors include the #1 ranked eater in the word, Joey Chestnut, 12-time winner of the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, and his female counterpart, Miki Sudo, the #1-ranked female eater in the world.
Joining Chestnut and Sudo are these hopefuls: Matt Stonie, famed for eating 255 Peeps in five minutes; Darron Breeden, 528 oysters in eight minutes; chugging champion and yearly Nathan’s competitor Eric “Badlands” Booker; Gideon Oji, who ate 25 pounds of kale salad in eight minutes; Michelle Lesco, 176 gyoza in 10 minutes; and Nick Wehry, 11 pounds of strawberry shortcake in eight minutes.
Foods for each first-to-finish round are as follows:
Qualifying Round: Sliced Bologna — two pounds
Quarterfinals: Milk and Cookies — one family pack of Oreos and a half gallon of milk
Semifinals: Baked Beans — 1.125 gallons (or 10 pounds)
Finals: Ramen Noodles — 10 individual ramen cups
“While there has been substantial discussion about which professional sport would be the first to return — with baseball, basketball, golf and MMA all floating recent potential return plans — competitive eating is first to come back. It is a powerful statement of American resilience,” said MLE Chairman George Shea, who will host the Quarantine Challenge with MLE President Rich Shea.
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