They'll have a cow man!

Dan Kroffat was one of the great wrestlers from Stampede wrestling in the 70’s and, by the way, was the original creator of the ladder match concept. These days he’s tagged up in the car biz with community crusader, Alex Baum, captain of Cochrane Dodge, whose latest effort to help Alberta’s beef industry is The Great Alberta Beef Eating Contest. It’s a genuine sanctioned contest in an attempt to claim the Guinness world record for downing hamburgers!

Dan called me the other day to tell me he’d see me there and asked me who I’d rounded up for the competition so far as serious eaters go. I immediately thought of the late great Haystacks Calhoun, who made no bones about how much he enjoyed a good eight pound steak!

I told Dan there was a good chance that Jim The Anvil Neidhart would drop in and stay a while as I’ve never known him to turn down a free meal.

I’m also working on someone who I consider a shooter in an event like this, top Canadian strongman, Grant McReynolds, who just happens to be my personal trainer. Grant has confided in me that he is going to fast for the three days before the event and told me that he wants to shake the hand of the man who beats ‘em.

I reasoned to Dan that size isn’t necessarily a factor when it comes to these things and I reminded him of the famous midget wrestler Sky Low Low , who is known to have routinely polished off a three pound prime rib in one sitting.

I should have known what I was getting into by bringing up his wrestling past to Dan. Dan went on ... and on ... to recall numerous wrestlers from his era who emptied many a roadside kitchen and never saw a buffet table they didn’t conquer! The infamous Tor Kamata, Dan’s old nemesis from his ladder match days, opened a fast food chicken teriyaki place here in Calgary a while back and is rumored to have eaten himself out of business!

A little known fact, and maybe better left that way, is that Andre the Giant loved to watch The Flintstones. He could recite from memory the dialogue from any episode and his favorite past time was to put his size twenty two feet up and annihilate three barrels of KFC before Fred dropped the cat out the back door!

When I asked my father who he thought might fare well in an eating contest, without hesitation he quipped, “Eh ... the world famous McQuire twins, they had a healthy appetite .... !” He had a point. At five hundred pounds - each! - it wasn’t unusual for a crew of wrestlers to see the McQuires down five hundred, twenty five cent McDonald’s burgers between them! And then the twins would argue about which one had eaten more and end up not talking for days!

I recall once that Yokozuna, while taking in a Baltimore Oriole baseball game, inhaled fifty hot dogs. It wasn’t surprising when everyone in the dressing room at the Cap Centre that evening heard a big kaboom and we all went running to see what it was only to find Yoko had collapsed our lady of porcelain and sat there on the floor of the toilet stall with a stunned, mortified look on his face.

According to the IFCE - that’s the International Federation of Competitive Eating - (and you thought wrestling was strange?) the world record for hamburger eating is currently held by Donald Lerman who gulped down eleven quarter pound burgers and buns in ten minutes.
The Great Alberta Beef Eating Contest at Cochrane Dodge will kick off at 12:30 on Monday, September 1st with the eat off at 1:00. A lot of familiar faces will be there to join in the fun and I look forward to seeing you all there to help raise awareness for such a worthwhile cause.