もちろん、来年も出場します。(There are many photos from west coast hot dog contest on my facebook page)
July 4th, 2011 I ate hot dogs against a clock, in New York City.
It was at a special stage with a view right in front of the Empire State Building, called 230 Fifth
Rooftop Bar (the biggest rooftop bar in NYC).
Last year, when it seemed impossible to confirm a reasonable contract, I finally had my lawyer
Chet Olsen, contact the president of the hot dog company (Nathan's), I had problems with, (who is the host of the competition); to let me compete. The answer from the hot dog company was, to have a
contract with the association (who does the pr for this one day event every year).
In the contract, it did not allow me to participate with a hot dog in any way, in any event, under any circumstance - so the hot dog company, would have been able to guard and control my actions of work, through the association. It was a contract for only one day to be in a hot dog contest, which took over all exclusive rights to work for over one year (including "food" in general!)
" 6. Non-Compete. During the Term of the Agreement, Competitor
agrees not to engage in any of the following activities without the written consent of the IFOCE:
A. Endorse, or participate in any way in an event or promotion, for a brand in the following categories: Hot Dog (This includes any brand that is primarily known for frankfurters/hot dogs such as Hebrew National, Oscar Meyer, Ball Park, Bar-S, Sabrett, Kahn's, Eckrich, Kayem Foods/Al Fresco and FUD).
. . . .
B. Participate, compete, host, judge, endorse , promote or participate in any way in any event, exhibition or performance wherein a person eats as a stunt, consuming a very large amount of food, consuming food very quickly, or attempting to establish or break a food consumption record, or
competing against another person(s), animal or time clock. "
(This contract is the same as the original one, which my lawyer Chet Olsen also has. )
I still tried to negotiate through my lawyer Chet Olsen, but since they did not have a lawyer, we could not seem to have a conversation based on professionalism and law, to reach an agreement.
I believe that the contestant's private agent and publicity should be separated from the competition, so I had explained to my manager that I was not going to participate in their hot dog competition from an early time- if the contract could not be changed.
As the story goes, eventually we never came to an agreement and I was unable to take part in the contest. The rest is history as you know it- as for me getting arrested, being dismissed from the courts, and gaining my freedom.
Thankfully, as soon as I left that cell, I had requests from Las Vegas, Los Angeles and all over the States, saying they would like to sponsor me for the next July 4, 2011. This event which was just held at 230 5th Rooftop Bar by Steven A. Greenberg, was one of the projects that I t looked closely.
My first feeliing was that I wanted to have it in New York City. Mr.Greenberg (the owner of the bar where the event was held), had researched in detail about my issues and the relationship between the hot dog company and the association which controlled the competitors.
So, I decided to do this event with Mr. Greenberg, and I am very happy that I did.
The event went amazingly at 230 5th, where I consumed the most amount of hot dogs this July 4th, including the scores of the hot dog contest in Coney Island.
The association (which does pr for the hot dog contest), says they will not admit my score because it did not take part in Coney Island. Also, the winner of that contest this year, mentioned that "I've recorded world's best at home during practice" through press.
I have no intention of denying the winner or his record ...
but I DO believe, that it is not necessary to have the certification of that competition to record a score, or break a record.
I am very thankful that I had two official judges from New York, the same hot dogs and buns as the hot dog competition, and that they created a great event at a great location- to allow me to compete at my best performance!
I just did my job, and ate the hot dogs.
Spies from the hot dog company and association, who were sent to our event to check on the judgment, started doubting my record. It was strictly judged and double checked. I had eaten infront of the press, the fans, and the official judges.
I had many worries. Not only the typical anxious feelings of how well I would do.. but if the event would be a success, if fans and press would come, if my sponsor would be satisfied that he had invited me on this July 4th.. as any human being, I went through all of those anxieties. but In the end, I am very satisfied with the event and how it turned out.
I hope this brings some awareness to problems between companies & associations, unfairness in details of contracts, which many times go overlooked or ride along at a speed where things just keep going that way. I believe things have to change.
At last, I thank Steven A. Greenberg for giving me this opportunity to make this happen.
I thank all of you who closely stood by me since the arrest, and took part in the event to help me all the way to make this event amazing.
As ALWAYS, I thank ALL my fans for your amazing support. Thank you so much.