Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Untelevised George Shea

I mentioned the other day about how badly I thought ESPN screwed up with their coverage of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4th. Basically, they had the ESPN announcers trying to give their lame-ass commentary over the brilliant commentary of the great wordsmith (and chairman of Major League Eating) George Shea.

Fortunately, due to all of the tubes and wires that make up the Internet, footage of the Hot Dog Eating Contest and George's poetic verses were available online for all to relish and enjoy. But what wasn't contained in that coverage was the pre-introduction introductions of the contestants. It is thanks to Vidiot over yonder at telescreen.org (C-list blogging since last Tuesday.) that I became aware that George Shea was in rare form and that his genius had started shining through before the contest did. He even performed a marriage ceremony right there after some guy asked his girlfriend to marry him and she said yes! (Turns out, George had been ordained by the Universal Life Church. A revelation which I'm sure that the guy who proposed was NOT expecting. I hope you meant it, dude! Oh, and congratulations!) But it gets better!

Vidiot made a recording of the national treasure that is George Shea! And he has provided the link to this trove of auditory jewels! It's about 21 minutes long, but it's definitely worth giving a listen to. The words will become part of Americana. I guarantee it. Below is but a small, small sampling of what to expect on the MP3. He does not disappoint.
  • "He is a cheese fry eating champion from Temecula, California. Five feet, eleven inches tall. And you know what he calls himself? He calls himself Double-Oh-Kevin. Kevin Ross! OH there he is! I sort of imagined him figuring that one out in his bedroom upstairs. At home with Mom and Dad."


  • "He was once the bologna-eating champion of the world, but he lost that title and the prestige that went with it. And it burned him. He felt as does the old man who has lived long enough to watch his son hang from the gallows. And like that old man, he won't be shamed to remember that his life had no meaning, and no hope. But he is here today to reverse that trend. He has the sharpest incisors in the sport. Let me hear it for The Shredder, Allen Goldstein!"

  • "He is a genius of competitive eating. He knows why they call it couscous, and not just cous. He remembers what he had for lunch on March 17, 1996: tuna salad." " This is a great eater who will use his brains to win this contest. "


  • "I have seen dark visions of the future, signs of the apocalypse. Smoldering rubble. A tearful girl holding a limp doll. A monkey riding horseback on a poodle. My ears have been shredded by the mournful news they have heard, because I have witnessed the horses riding! I have witnessed the coming of the leader of the Four Horsemen of the Esophagus! He has a cloven tongue with which he eats the cloven hoof! He is the pig's-feet-eating champion of the WORLD!"


  • "13.7 billion years ago, all matter and energy in the universe was compressed into one single infinitely small point, and the pressure was such that it created a singularity, an explosion that sent matter and energy outward, creating the universe, as it did. And as that matter cooled, it became gas, and as the gases cooled, they became planets. And as the planets cooled, chemicals combined on their surfaces, in ever more complex ways, until one day life was born. And one form of life climbed from the ocean, and gained it's self-consciousness, the ability to observe that the observer and the observed are one and the same. And as he stood on his wobbly hind legs and opened his round wide eyes, what did he see? He saw the frybread-eating champion of the WOOORRRRLD!"


  • "He was first seen at the edge of the shore, between the ancient marks of the high and low tide. A place that is neither land nor sea. And as the blue lights of morning filter through the blackness it revealed a man who has tales from the far corners of the globe where the dark arts are still practiced. He has been to the beyond and has returned with the wisdom of life and death. He was buried alive under sixty cubic feet of popcorn and he ate his way OUT TO SURVIVAL! He is the pancake eating champion of the world! the lumberjack breakfast eating champion of the world. The David Blaine of the bowel! The Evil Knievel of the alimentary canal! The Houdini of linguini!"


Yeah, I'm pretty sure I love that man. Thanks again, George.

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