[ Monday, June 30, 2003 ]

Hot dogs, get your hot dogs

William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry could lose a chunk of his body the size of Takeru Kobayashi and still be overweight.

Perry, a former Chicago Bear from the 1980s, tips the scales at over 400 pounds. Kobayashi weighs about 130 pounds. Logic would suggest Perry could just about eat Kobayashi for a meal.

Naturally, logic would also suggest betting on the big man in a food eating contest.

But the odds are Perry will find himself nowhere near Kobayashi during Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. In order to participate in the event, Perry won a qualifier by eating 12 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

"This gives William Perry the chance to follow in the footsteps of other two-sport stars like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders," said Richard Shea, spokesman for Nathan's Famous, in a statement at the International Federation of Competitive Eating website. "Competitive eating requires a unique combination of athleticism and discipline, and only time will tell if Perry's talent on the gridiron will carry over to Coney Island."

However, Kobayashi eats a dozen dogs for a warm-up.

Last year, the Japanese eating machine set a world record and won the Nathan’s event - sponsored by the IFOCE - by cramming 50.5 hot dogs and buns into his body in 12 minutes.

Still, Perry has his supporters - most notably the folks at

That offshore betting service will sponsor Perry in the gorging festival. It will also look to make some money through one of mankind’s noblest pursuits - gambling. Through the service, people can bet on The Fridge or other competitors to win. Other types of bets exist, like whether or not Perry will eat more hot dogs than the New England Patriots scored points when the Bears dropped them 46-10 in Super Bowl XX.

To put the gambling line into perspective, the site lists the competition under its special events category. Currently, that section also features lines on the Tour de France. It also features odds on which city will host the 2012 Summer Olympics. The list includes some of the world’s most well known cities: New York City, Paris, London, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Havana, Madrid and others.

Right now, the favorites in all three are Kobayashi, Lance Armstrong and Paris.
Dave Sutor [11:38 PM]