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Hot dog trophyIf you’ve never heard about the 9-9-9 challenge, it goes something like this: eat 1 hot dog (with bun) and down 1 beer between the first pitch of each inning and the final out at the end of the inning. For mathematicians out there, successful completion of the challenge means participants will eat 9 hot dogs and drink 9 beers in the space of just a few hours.

Matt and his neighbor did the challenge last year and I must say I was intrigued. Matt was the record holder, making halfway though the 6th inning before “folding.” My goal was to make it over half way (through the 5th inning at least).

Nine of us showed for the challenge and Todd graciously donated the dogs and buns left over from his graduation party the weekend before. We each brought our own beverages and Matt decided to allow beverages other than beer (requirement: must be canned) for those of us who can’t hold our liquor. I decided to alternate between beer and canned lemonade and this turned out to be a wise decision.

After the second inning one of the participants, Eric, almost got caught with soda in his can following a double play and a quick end to the inning. After the fourth inning 4 were out and 5 of us remained. I made it through my 5th hot dog and drink and decided to call it quits – I was getting the sweats. Bob rocked steady through the 7th, then called it quits leaving just Kenny and our host, Matt.

Kenny showed no signs of slowing down and calmly downed his Nestea and hot dog within the first few minutes of the 8th inning. Matt struggled but stayed strong. After coming this far he was determined to finish! We decided that the true winner, should there be a tie for most innings completed, would be the man who finished his drink and hot dog the quickest in the 9th inning.

The first pitch of the 9th inning came and Kenny looked as if he were eating his first hot dog. Before we knew it, the contest was over – Kenny won. But Matt needed to finish the challenge and he decided to switch his routine up – dog first, then bun, then beer. Needless to say this only made things tougher but in the end, Matt did it. Unable to throw up, he spent the next 10 minutes with his head in a bucket trying to refund.

Based on nutritional information on the hot dog package, each inning packed a whopping 300 calories per dog/bun plus 60 to 160 calories per canned beverage (depending on whether it was light beer, beer, or soda). Kenny put away more than 300 grams of sugar and almost 3600 calories! It took me 2 days just to get my digestive system back on track but I’ll be back next year – ready to challenge the champ!

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