“Every American is eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day,” says the eponymous hero of Danielle Franco and Chris Kenneally’s lighthearted foray into the world of competitive eating. “They’re just not eating it on the professional level.” That’s the thrust of this hour-plus profile, which argues—not entirely without founding—that competitive eating is just like any other sport, requiring discipline, training, and even an ethical management agency, the International Federation of Competitive Eaters (IFOCE). Mysteriously healthy and always good-humored, Crazy Legs himself seems oblivious to the more grotesque aspects of his art; it’s also less than appetizing to picture him making ends meet, as he does, by donating sperm. But anyone who can down 34 dozen oysters in three and a half hours deserves props of some kind.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 22, 2005