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How Much Bratwurst Are You Willing to Eat for $4000?

8:49 AM EDT on October 20, 2016


A man has got to know his limitations, and, over the past few years, I’ve come to know mine intimately, like a well-heeled but moderately scorned lover.

One of those limitations is how many frankfurters I can eat in five minutes, as I learned being the undefeated winner of the 2013 Plaza District Hot Dog Eating Contest. In what is both the proudest and most shameful moment of my life, the over-consumption of wieners earned me a nice little gift basket to many stores in the area and a fleeting moment of fame that has since been long forgotten by everyone except my cardiologist.

Many people asked at the time what was the secret to downing so many hot dogs in such a short period of time and to be truthful, I had no answers then and honestly still don’t. Maybe it was the years of growing up in poverty, maybe it was the prospects of a free dinner, maybe it was just the attention, no matter how negative, that would be lavished upon me… Either way, when I was done, breathing heavy, fighting to keep those barely chewed tubes of lips, ears and eyes down, I knew that I wouldn’t want another hot dog for quite a long time. Children, don’t do what I have done.

Of course I say that now, but, then again, $4,000 was never on the line…

If you’re a better man than I and feel that you can quickly digest traditional German bratwursts without embarrassing yourself before a reich-ful of Deutschlanders, then head on over to Tulsa this Sunday for the Siegi’s World Championship Bratwurst Eating Contest at the Linde Oktoberfest.

(Siegi’s, in case you’re not in the sausage game, son, is a fairly famous family owned and run local business helmed by Siegimund Sumaruk, a fifth-generation sausage maker from Harthein, Austria, who uses traditional recipes passed down from his family. It’s the best of the best, holmes.)


With a total prize purse of $4,000—that’s enough to save the old community rec center, gang!—the contest will take place at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016, at the Warsteiner EssZelt Buhne Stage at Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa, at River West Festival Park, 2100 S. Jackson Ave. Click here to register for this event.

Last year’s winner was the infamous Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, a notably fierce competitive eater who downed 66 of Siegi’s brats in ten minutes. This California interloper has set world records for hard boiled eggs (141 in 8 minutes), hot dogs (72 in 10 minutes) and shrimp wontons (380 wontons in 8 minutes). I know there’s just gotta be an homegrown Okie sitting alone in his room right now, softly crying while working on his 10th Totino’s Party Pizza of the night as a TLC documentary about Prader-Willi syndrome plays in the background; here’s your chance to shine brightly, oh insatiable star of Heaven!

As I think about the actually digestive logistics of this competition, I’m guessing the hardest part of this contest would be not only the tough homemade casings one would have to rip through, but the immediate hit of heavy German herbs and spices with each act of oral contemplation. At least with typical American weenies, especially ones that have been traditionally boiled, the flavor drifts away fast and you’re just left with this…porky mass…in your mouth that, with enough bottled water, is easily swallowable.

But with brats...I don’t know if I’d chance it, lest I end up kicking it David Hogan—style all over the front row, and I already have enough problems in my life. However, if you, the TLO reader in need of $4,000, think that you can handle it, by all means, we’re behind you. We’ll sponsor you and even make you a commemorative shirt (3XL, right?). Just promise to take some pictures and bring me a plate of leftovers.


Louis Fowler wouldn't mind meeting a nice girl who's day job is competitive eating. Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler.

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