Pensacola Blue Wahoo’s Heater Contest

This week the tour got postponed by Tropical Storm Isaac. One tour member already defrosted all the beef in his freezer and was having a pre-hurricane cookout in case his power went out. So to pass the time, we will be re-capping the Burger Tour’s visit to the Pensacola Blue Wahoo’s stadium as honorary judges for the Heater Eating Contest.

The original Heater Eating Contest had been cancelled a few months back, so it was rescheduled for “Man” night at the Blue Wahoo Stadium. Of course, for “Man” night, the burger tour guys were the first on the agenda. Although we were not asked to be involved in the push-up or pull-up contest, they knew we could handle judging a burger contest. On a beautiful night for baseball, before the teams had finished warming up, the Burger Tour rolled in.

The Heater Eating Contest was a competitive eating contest. Due to the reschedule, many of the original contestants could not make it and there were only 3 competitors when the bell went off to start eating. The instructions were simple: See how many giant “Heater” hamburger baskets one can eat in 30 minutes. The heater burger basket is the Blue Wahoo’s signature burger. It is a grilled 100% all beef patty with cheddar cheese, peppered bacon, onion rings, lettuce, tomato, pickle and Wahoo sauce and a heap of French fries. Each contestant was given a 5 gallon bucket beside his chair for the last rule: All food MUST REMAIN IN YOUR STOMACH for 5 minutes after the contest is over!

The 3 contestants squared off with various eating styles. Front-runner “Joe”, a thin middle aged man, jumped in and started chowing down with conviction from the get-go. In contrast, “Dr. K”, the senior doctor with the scruffy beard, was just behind him, but with a more methodical, convincing pace. Lastly, there was “Terry”, the older gentleman sporting a large green bib, looked like he just wanted a free burger, eating at the slowest pace and talking and joking with the on-lookers. The Burger Tour Guys urged the contestants to eat faster and were somewhat interested in seeing if the buckets would come in to play. Our accountant gave an on-camera interview and some play by play of the contest as the competitors got underway.

Cheering after each “Heater” basket was demolished, the Burger Tour Guys and the small crowd that had gathered encouraged the 3 would-be Kobayashi’s on. Each contestant was nearing the end of their second basket, closely monitored by our tour members to make sure each shred of lettuce was devoured. As he finished his 2nd basket full of fries and huge burger, Dr. K pushed back from the table. It was down to Joe and Terry. Terry had somehow to the amazement of the spectators, come back and had moved ahead of Joe. As Joe could see the writing on the wall, or maybe a premonition of using his bucket if he kept going, he also conceded to the new Heater Eating Champion, Terry, who’s favorite comment was that “his tape worm was working”!

The evening was complete as the tour got to sit down and enjoy their own Heater baskets and watch the Wahoo’s shutout the Biscuits 6-0 on a gorgeous night for baseball. If you have not visited the stadium, we encourage you to get out to see a ballgame before the season ends, or make it a priority to go see a game next season. And if you get out to the park, be sure to get a “Burger Tour Worthy” Heater basket and let us know how you liked it!

(This burger does not qualify for the regular season burger tour since it adds some special toppings, such as bacon, onion rings, and special sauce, so it will not actually get score. The accountant had it right though, when he said it was definitely a “tour-worthy-burger”!)

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