The Challenge

Probably one of my new favorite TV shows is Man vs. Food. The Travel Channel show features Adam Richman on his various adventures trying different restaurants across the country as well as a challenge that has him eating some type of ridiculous meal.
For whatever reason I find this show highly amusing, which is why I gladly spent last Saturday night at the Pizza Pit for New Albany’s own Man vs. Food competition.
I learned last week that the restaurant is currently running a challenge, where groups of eight can compete on a team, trying to eat two of the Pit’s 28-inch pizzas. Sounds easy enough, until the food is placed in front of you.
I’ve seen these pizzas myself in many hospitality rooms during basketball tournaments, so the thought of trying to eat two of them, within a time limit, was mind boggling.
When I was asked to attend one of the competitions, it was explained to me that it would be a “competitive eating” match, which I guess is good, so that way I can claim it’s a sport to justify its existence in my section. Everyone saw the picture I printed on Wednesday, now here’s the story of the young men whose fate had them at the Pizza Pit last Saturday night.
Several groups failed in their attempts to conquer this challenge, but eight students from New Albany were confident they would be the first to finish. Cade Simmons, Taylor Goode, Zach Hand, Collin Stubblefield, Luke Foley, Sam Jackson Dunnam, Shawn Smith, and Matt Frazier met around 7:30 p.m. with empty stomachs and no money in their wallets, as they were sure they would finish.
Here are the rules for the challenge: The group must finish the two pizzas within an hour and all keep it down for 30 minutes. Failure to do so would result in $90 (or $12 per member of the team), the cost of the two pizzas plus drinks.
The boys had a large cheering section on hand, but they were quickly overwhelmed once the first pizza was placed on the table. Focused, they began the challenge and well more over half way through the first pizza when the second was presented to them.
They were able to pace themselves, and for most of the hour, I honestly believed they would complete the challenge. Unfortunately, the bread, among other things, became too much for them, and they fell just shy of finishing (seriously, I think they counted seven pieces remaining).
MVP for the match, hands down, Sam Jackson Dunnam, whose clutch move of grabbing a large handful of pizza within the last 15 minutes was nothing short of epic.
I’m not sure how long the Pizza Pit will run this challenge, but I will be more than happy to catch another match or two if my schedule allows it.
Just don’t ask me to be a member of your team unless you want to lose.