Fargo man downs 10 hot dogs for win
Rick Isbell finds room to keep eating during the hot dog eating contest Saturday in downtown Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum FARGO - Fourteen men competed Saturday to see who could eat the most hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Some contestants were big guys.
Some hadn't eaten all day.
Some brought smack talk and fans to cheer them on.
But it was the unassuming Chris Deery who entered the contest on a dare who had the edge.
The 30-year-old Fargo man had competitive eating experience: Though Saturday was his first try at hot dogs, Deery once won a contest by eating 15 chicken wings in 87 seconds.
Deery had strategy: He watched YouTube videos of competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut to learn techniques.
And perhaps the most important advantage: He had sweat pants.
Deery ate 10 hot dogs and buns to claim a $300 prize at Fargo's Oktoberfest.
He had to beat Joey Roeder, visiting from Bemidji, Minn., who ate nine hot dogs during the first round.
Roeder won that round by default after another contestant ate 9½ but broke one of the contest's cardinal rules:
"Competitors who suffer a reversal of fortune or urges contrary to swallowing will be disqualified."
Deery's trick was to separate the hot dogs from the buns and eat them two at a time - a technique he called the double dog. He followed that up with the "bun dunk" - that is, dipping the bun in water and shoving it in.
Some of Roeder's friends and other contestants made gagging noises to try to get Deery to lose his lunch, but it was to no avail.
"I don't actually feel too bad," Deery said right after the contest.
Lori Stenerson, owner of Broadway Dogs, which provided the hot dogs for the contest, said she plans to make it an annual event.
"It will just get bigger," Stenerson said. "The crowd loved it."
Rick Isbell, 41, of Moorhead, ate 6½ hot dogs but said he could have won if it were a 20-minute contest.
"I'm actually still hungry," Isbell said.
Vincent Favard, a North Dakota State University student, entered the contest to increase his roommate's odds of winning.
Favard came in last place with three hot dogs.
"I don't really eat much, so three really got me full," Favard said.
His roommate, Blake Elsen, ate 6½ dogs during the contest. But after the time was up, he finished off his plate and had all 10.
"I got a free meal out of it," Elsen said. "Next year I've got to come prepared."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590