My First Career Contest Loss Occurred on Saturday October 24th at the 2 minute dumpling contest in NYC.
It was my first time back in NYC since the summer and was looking forward to another competition. I love competing; the adrenalin rush is always there regardless of how big or small the competition is.
Going into the competition I knew of two eaters that I would have to worry about that specialize in short contests in the 1 to 3 minute time frame . “Gentleman” Joe Menchetti and Will “The Champ” Millender. My very good friend Paul “Pork Slap” Arcaria told me before hand that this just might be the contest that I lose, and said it would be tight regardless.
Competition day was a rainy one, but there were lots of competitors and a great crowd. 40 men and 20 women, which consisted of 4 men’s heats and 2 women’s heats. By request of the champion of the past 4 years champion, Joe Menchetti, I was placed in the first heat and he was placed in the last…
This year the contest was promoting Whole Wheat dumplings with chicken and mushrooms. I tried a few before the contest and must say they were pretty good. However the years prior they used regular white flour dough…and the whole wheat turned out to be a bad idea.
I had assumed that we would be eating normal plain ones so my prediction was way off. Entering the first heat we each got 2 bowls of dumplings with 20 dumplings in each bowl. I was in the first heat with my friend Paul and we had high hopes. The horn went off and we went to work…and quickly saw these were hard dumplings to eat because the whole wheat flour quickly dried up in your throat. There were many people that had a tough time swallowing these dumplings throughout the heats.
I ate hard, got down 20 in 25 seconds and kept on going, choked a little in the 1 minute mark and ended up eating 52 dumplings.
I had the highest total with Joe and Will going into their heat. Joe wanted to beat his old record of 66 and said he would stop when he reached 67. As the horn went off Will quickly ate a ton of dumplings but couldn’t swallow them and started choking…he was quickly DQ’ed. Joe kept on eating and with 10 seconds to go he turned red trying to get the last few dumplings in. With a second left he managed to get the one dumpling in to beat me (snorted apparently), and won the contest with 53 Dumplings.
While this loss was a tough one to take in, especially a contest that was this close…I am glad it happened here. I knew I would eventually lose, it was inevitable. And I lost to a great competitive eater, Joe Menchetti who is probably one of the best short distance eaters in the world and is truly a ‘hall of fame’ competitive eater (if a hall of fame existed, haha). If anyone was going to beat me, I’m glad it was him.
So I got my first loss, and I’ll have my usual hater’s say their usual comments…and I say bring more hatred! It just means I am doing the right thing and will keep on doing what I’m doing. I’m thrilled with how far I have come and the opportunities that come with it. I never once thought I would get so many TV opportunities, be able to help others overcome problems with Eating Disorders and get to travel the world and enjoy this sport as much as I do.
Thanks to all the people that continue to support me, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing now without you all.