The West Michigan Whitecaps finished the Minor League Baseball season 13 games out of first place, but the franchise scored big with the Fifth Third Burger.
During the 73-game home schedule at Fifth Third Ballpark, the Whitecaps reportedly sold 1,948 burgers, each one featuring five third-pound burger patties fanned across a layer of chili and topped with five slices of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and a helping of chips and salsa. The burger cost $20 and untold time off consumers' lives, yet an astonishing 298 fans (of the 476 who approached the meal as a solo mission) packed away all 299 of its fat grams in the span of a single game. One guy ate the 4,800-calorie concessions curiosity in just over 11 minutes.
The patty alone was roughly the size of a cake pan, and the whole entree was served on a tray typically reserved for large pizzas. Having had my own eating prowess chronicled in a coworker's column during my days as a daily newspaper sports editor, I took it upon myself to coach this complete stranger. "Eat half in 20 minutes," I advised, the thought being that a full 40 minutes would be required for the second half. He devoured that first half - the equivalent of eight quarter-pounders - in 15 minutes. But with just five minutes to go in his hour-long odyssey, five bite-size morsels still remained. He paced. He perspired. He was followed into the men's room by purge police. And ultimately, as with all those before him, the clock ran out. I can't say what fate awaited the guy's own ticker.
I have no desire to ever step up to the Kelly's plate. However, AB group publisher Shawn Gahagan threw down a tempting gauntlet of game-day gluttony last month when he ate for the sausage cycle at Miller Park. I think I can stomach a bratwurst, a hot dog and Polish, Italian and chorizo sausages in one nine-inning sitting, but I've lost my appetite for the 2009 Brewers. There's always next year.