A Hot Dog Race for the Ages


Once every few decades there comes an event so monumental, so earth-shattering that it turns society on its ear, changing the world in a way few could ever predict. Last night, AutoZone Park played host to what turned out to be the greatest sports spectacle the Bluff City has probably ever seen. Dubbed the “War of the Weiner,” the best hot dog race in promotions history was held and those fortunate few able to witness its majesty will never be the same.

At the commandment of our superior, Alex and I, along with fellow intern Phil Simon, were pitted against one another in the Redbirds legendary hot dog race. From the beginning, the stakes were high; respect was on the line.

Before I go too deep into race details, let me first say that Phil showed up looking like he was trying out for a roster spot on the New Orleans Hornets, clad in an outfit comprised of teal basketball shorts and a t-shirt. Alex and I were dressed in our game day attire, like we actually had jobs or something. Phil’s behavior is widely regarded as both illegal and grounds for dismissal for many hot dog racing
enthusiasts, but whatever, on to the race.

The race started tame enough. Each racer was introduced, with Phil as Megan Mustard, Alex as Katy Ketchup and myself as Heather Hot Dog, and we all lined up in our race positions. Then, in a blur of both nerves and fear, the command came and we were off.  With Phil taking the early lead, we barreled down the initial decline, bolted left and headed toward the center field bushes. I was gunning with Phil for the top spot while Alex “The Asthma Avenger” Wassel was bringing up the rear, when the unthinkable happened.

In what played out as a slow motion tragedy, I fell to the ground going into the race’s final straightaway at the hands of a freak ankle injury, forced to watch as Phil sped on to sure victory. Bloodied and bruised, I managed to stay on the ground long enough to see my so-called “communications brother” and friend hurdle over my obviously lifeless, gnarled body and dash toward the finish line. I got up to the echoes of the PA announcer broadcasting my collapse and tried to salvage what little self-respect was left.

At that point I was reserved to being the Jamaican bobsled team of hot dog racing, minus one John Candy. There was no chance of pulling out the win and the best I could hope for was to serve as an inspiration to those in the crowd. Listen, we’ve all fallen at some point in our lives, and I just wanted to be a wiener-clad beacon of hope for all those out there who thought it was impossible to get back up again.

You’re welcome, Memphis. Consider yourself inspired.

It was a good race and we all had a good time. Sure I fell, but Phil’s the one who has to live with himself after winning under tainted circumstances. Congrats and good luck looking in the mirror, buddy.-

Alex here. It’s clear Phil pulled a quick one on us with his little Clark Kent maneuver, but I’ll let him battle with those demons on his own. The race went on. And apart from the aforementioned wrongdoing, two things prevented me from winning.

1) The Starting Gate – Before the race started Phil and I ‘Paper, Rock, Scissored’ for the outside lane. He beat me 2-0 to stick me in the middle. A bad place to be, considering what was about to happen. Knowing I’m not quick out of the gate, I decided to trail the pack in order to avoid the bumping and conserve energy for the final stretch. That’s when it happened.

2) The Human Obstacle – As the three of us were rounding the last turn, emerging from the trees, Ben took a spill. It was like his right foot never found the ground. Down he went, quickly to be forgotten with the all the other riff-raff that had tried to round that turn too
sharp before him. At that point Phil had a pretty good lead and I still had to hurdle my broken comrade. I quickly gained on Phil, but ran out of real-estate in the end. Perhaps a fairer run can be
arranged for a later date. If so, we’ll be sure to let you know. Thank
you Allison Rhoades for providing the pictures below.

threewayrace.jpg

Race contestants Megan Mustard, Katy Ketchup and Heather Hot Dog at 130 meters.

tworace.jpg

Katy Ketchup and Megan Mustard sprint to the finish.

bendog.jpg Alone after the crash, Heather Hot Dog displays painful determination, finishing the race.

2 Comments

It was, indeed, a race for the ages. I just hope that when the hot summer nights arrive and I am able to get back down to the beloved AZP, a rematch can be arranged. Next to Bears-Packers on MNF, Yanks-Red Sox, and Duke-UNC, this matchup serves as an example of true rivalry.

I look forward to reading your eloquently phrased dialog from all the way up here in the windy city (where a low of 24 degrees can turn to a high of 77 in just 36 hours – ridiculous!)

Best of luck with the rest of the season, and Go Blues! (and Redbirds, of course)

Now that’s one piece of meat I’d like to get my hands on!!

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