Maybe it's better if you didn't know how competitive eater Tim Brown acquired his nickname "Gravy." But here it goes anyway: "I was given the name by [fellow competitive eater] Ryan Nerz because when I eat, after about five minutes I start to sweat. Like a lot. And snot comes pouring down my nose and the combination of the snot and sweat looks like gravy ... yeah fortunately I already have a girlfriend because it's not too appetizing."
But then there isn't much that's appetizing about competitive eating, especially hot dogs. But that's what Brown and others from around the nation will be eating this Saturday at the Sam's Club at 8300 W.135th Street starting at 11 a.m.
Brown (he commissioned the accompanying portrait, which depicts him riding a unicorn and holding a turkey leg) lives in Chicago and is flying to KC for the event. As much as he's looking forward to seeing the city -- he's never been here -- he's dreading the actual competition.
"I hate hot dogs. This is the worst time of year for me. They're salty,
they're garlicy and really hard to eat. One, two aren't bad but by the
fifth it's terrible."
Nonetheless, Brown will
try to stuff down 30-plus of them in 10 minutes this weekend. Why?
Because the Sam's event is a regional qualifier for the grand-daddy of
all competitive eating: Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International
Hot Dog Eating Contest.
If Brown wins on Saturday then he's off to
Coney Island to compete in front of thousands, broadcast live on ESPN. He made it the last two years and is desperate to get back. "It's the
biggest show in the world. Rolling out of the bus and having people
cheering me -- they don't know who I am they're cheering me anyway --
it's one of the best feelings on Earth. Worth every one of those dogs."
fans of the sport, there will be plenty to do at Sam's. Besides a DJ, music and giveaways, the
real action will take place at 12:15 p.m. Flying all the way
from Buffalo to compete is Jim Reeves, who Brown calls the
most-underrated eater in the country. "I didn't know Jim was competing," Brown says. "Oh
God, he's good. I've only beaten him by a hair. I respect him a lot."
epic rivalries such as Ali versus Frazier, Carthage versus Rome, Toby
Keith versus good taste, you can add Brown versus Reeves. See it all this Saturday for free at Sam's Club.
(Note: Our dining newsletter, Pitch Forks, originally reported an incorrect date for this event. It is in fact Saturday, June 6. We