This is one of the strangest, most insanely detailed tips on a story we've ever received. It's from a fanwho says that competitive eater Crazy Legs Conti, one of the more popular food-inhalers on the circuit, cheated.
A man named "Sam" claims that Conti was spitting bits of hot dog back into his cup and throwing them out during a Nathan's qualifying event. How does he know this? He watched the footage very, very carefully. He has pinpointed the seconds in which Conti's offending detritus was illegally disposed. He has spoken to cameramen who also witnessed the infraction. He is seeking justice. He will not rest until the integrity of the world's most famous eating competition is restored. Follow him twisting, turning, flailing down the rabbit hole. Back and to the left. Back and to the left.
This tip is regarding the upcoming Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating contest to be held on July 4th, 2010 at Coney Island.
First of all, as you know Takeru Kobayashi will NOT be competing in this year's contest.
Secondly - MORE drama has unfolded as Crazy Legs Conti (Jason Conti) was caught on video cheating his way to the Nathan's table in one of the last qualifiers of the season in Escondido, CA on June 26, 2010.
There were several infractions. To win the qualifier, you MUST eat AND swallow the most hot dogs in 10 minutes. Crazy Legs did more spitting hot dogs out in his drinking cups than eating. He wears gloves so that he can scoop up and hide the debris in his gloves when he thinks that no one is looking.
Another rule is that in order for the hot dogs eaten in the last moments to qualify, they have to be completely inside the mouth, chewed and swallowed. That didn't happen either as he continued to feed himself afterwards (spitting the food outside the mouth and feeding it back in.
This has been going on for years, we now have proof.
At 3:16 the contests officially ended. What he does for the next couple minutes is unbelievable.
3:25 is where he begins to gather the debris and hold it in his right hand, squeezing the liquid out.
3:25-3:40 is where he clenches his hand, rolls the glove off with the debris in it and throws it under the table.
3:40 – 3:50 He continues to clean the table and appears to put something in his mouth.
3:50-4:15 The food is not in his mouth and he is still feeding himself a full minute after the contest has ended.
4:28 – 4:40 After he gives the Nathan's emcee the thumbs up, he starts cleaning up the table again – puts the debris into a pile. He takes the left glove off and fishes hot dog debris out of two cups, puts it inside the glove and then puts the glove on top of the pile he just gathered.
There are several instances where he spits hot dogs into the cup – especially after the 15th hot dog. You will see him with his whole mouth in the cup with barely a tip on many occasions. The cup levels go up, not down as the contest proceeded.
Dave Wagner – the cameraman and blogger
Moments of interest:
0:25, 1:22, 1:37, 2:10. 2:45, 3:33, 4:13, 4:20, 4:37 4:40-4:45
Uncut YouTube video:
Eatfeats – BIG discussion about the Escondido Qualifier
Dave the man behind the camera / blogger sent me copies of the pictures his wife took. You can download them from here. http://rcpt.yousendit.com/899063287/674155e73721fc0017f9015da648d150 (must download asap since the file is only active for another 3 days)
Pic # 25 has pieces of hot dog falling along side of the cup, obviously he missed the cup when spitting (or hand dropping) the dogs in there.
Our whistleblower also included a laundry list of contacts for us to validate his claims — including Crazy Leg Conti's mother's Facebook page, for some reason — so we went to IFOCE president Richard Shea for comment on some of the evidence. He had this to say:
Major League Eating takes allegations of dirty play very seriously and we are always looking for ways to improve the officiating at our competitions. While the video that's circling is perhaps not as professional as the video showing England's second goal against Germany, I applaud the passion of our fans and am pleased that the videographer submitted his footage to MLE headquarters. The officials at this particular qualifier reviewed Crazy Legs Conti's eating area and determined a deduction should be made for detritus. After the deduction, Conti's total was still enough to win the event. The ruling stands and Conti will compete in Coney Island on July 4th. In the meantime, MLE is seriously considering the adoption of spray zone technology."
And Gawker says it's not a sport. Shame on them.