12:55 Well, it's over. Bertoletti won. Chestnut got behind early and was never really able to catch up. He lost by a couple of ounces. Like 7 pounds 2 oz. To Bertoletti's 7 pds. 4 oz.
They're hanging around talking and taking pictures now. Badlands Booker beat boxed about his $500 3rd place prize.
12:20 Introductions are complete. Everybody's setting up their drinks. They're introducing the scorecard holders who are usually some the city's movers and shakers. Las year we got to heckle the Sheraton owner. Sherrif Steve Moore is here. Doug Wilhoit's a card holder. Wayne Hose ex-police chief is here. Current police chief is here. Kate Post just said some words. Shit's about to go down.
11:55 The event's starting. The guy who's name I didn't catch because he speaks fast is pimping the event and competitive eating as an olympic sport. He also introduced the World's first competitice eating themed rapper (Badlands I wanna say?) and he's rapping right now with the asparagus mascots (one who can't keep their head erect) dancing in the background. Yes, it's awesome there are multiple Joey Chestnut shirts in the crowd. Pat Bertoletti also has a vocal group of supporters.
11:35 So with 30 mins to go the crowd is showing up. I staked out a pretty good spot in front. They're prepping the trays of asparagus a half hour in advance. So they're eating half hour old deep fried asparagus. You gotta respect anybody who can do that in bulk. Nameplates are out. The media's out taking a few prep pics. Noone I recognize yet. Just San Joaquin Magazine. Don't worry, nobody else has heard of them either.
11:10So I've already inhaled my first pound of asparagus and now I'm working on some pasta. Sure, it took longer than 10 minutes but I'm not a competitive eater. They're professionally trained athletes. One of the O'Shea bros (heads of the International Federation of Competitive Eating) is here. He was talking with Festival Director Kate Post for a bit before she walked off to check on other things. The Lightening cheerleaders are over buy 104.1 the Hawk's tent. I should head over there.
10:45 Oh, did I forget to mention I'm live blogging the Asparagus Festival and the World Deep-Fried Asparagus Eating Championships? Because I am. Expect it to be on par with the EliteXC liveblog I did way back when.
It's about 10:45 right now. When I got here I beelined it for the ID wristband check, then bought my tickets to enjoy booze and asparagus. What can I say? Any excuse to drink before noon. Apparently I wasn't the only one with this line of thinking as the line was long and somebody had to come by and tell us the ticket booths deeper in the festival by the main stage were empty. Anything to drink before noon! I'm enjoying some deep fried goodness by the main stage right now where the eating competition is going to be. Somebody's already staked out some lawn chairs right in front of where Chestnut is going to be. The trophy is in the background. But the place is otherwise empty besides the band on stage doing a sound check. Exciting, I know.