As we mentioned over the course of the season, the hit concession item of the season had to be the West Michigan Whitecaps’ “Fifth Third Burger,” a four-pound behemoth that clocks in at nearly 5,000 calories. It’s good for you, though. Just, um, take our word on that and eat it. Do it.
Turns out plenty of Whitecaps fans did - over 100 on Opening Day alone - which means many are about to die of massive heart attacks within the next couple months. As CNBC’s Darren Rovell reports, the team sold almost 2,000 of the culinary monstrosities, meaning one thing: GREAT SUCCESS! But hey - what’s a gluttonous food item worth if you can’t make a competition out of it?
Today, we give you the final update and that’s on what a success the item was at the ballpark. The team sold 1,948 burgers this season at $20 each. There were 298 fans - one fewer than the amount of calories in the burger (299 grams) - who took on the meatstrocity and ate the whole thing themselves.
Mickey Graham, the team’s director of marketing and media relations, said that 476 people attempted the meat feat, meaning that 62.6 percent of people who tried to do it actually finished it.
For the record, we would absolutely be part of that 62.6%; granted, it would only be after a breakfast of a couple Saltines and a pot of coffee. Eating this burger is a test of manhood and virility, after all, and the last thing we’d want is to be betrayed by a lunchtime sandwich.
But if nearly 2/3 of the people who order it can eat it, well, what’s the competitive value of that? Isn’t competitive eating all about
delivering the largest middle finger to the malnourished testing the limits of human achievement? So last week, the Whitecaps went one step further and made it a timed challenge. There’s two things that worry us about this fact.
1) The winner, Steve Landis, did it in only 11:01;
2) A real competitive eater would blow that record out of the water.
But really, though we get the point of trying to eat four pounds of food as quick as possible, we don’t totally get the point of doing it with this:
Start with an 8-inch sesame seed bun that requires 1 pound of dough and is made specially for the Whitecaps by Nantucket Baking Co. of Grand Rapids.
Spoon on nearly a cup of chili and place five one-third pound hamburger patties on top of that. (Get it, 5/3 pounds of beef for the Fifth Third Burger?)
Add five slices of American cheese and liberal doses of salsa, nacho cheese and Fritos. Top it off with lettuce, tomato and sour cream, and you have a burger that can be sliced with a pizza cutter and feed four people for $20. Jalapenos are optional.
It’s not a foodie’s wet dream, of course; Fritos sort of rule that out from the start. But there are so many toppings and ingredients that just shoving it down your gullet as quick as possible ruins the complexity of the burger. Oh sure, it’s still gross to eat it all by yourself no matter how long it takes. But if you’re going to harden your arteries beyond repair in one evening, you ought to at least do the dish the decency of savoring it.