By John Hornacek and Sam Szotkowski
Some of the nation’s top competitive eaters, such as Jamie “The Bear” McDonald, travelled to Madison last Saturday to compete in All Pro Eaters’ National Pizza Eating Contest, sponsored by Ian’s Pizza on State Street. The competition was won by Molly Schuyler, who took home $1,000 cash and a world record setting 12.9 slices of pizza in her stomach. Sword and Shield caught up with Sammy “Two Stomachs” Szotkowski, a competitor in the amateur eat-off, and John “The Coach” Hornacek, who helped take Sammy to his stellar 3rd place finish.
John: Well I don’t know about you, but watching that little lady scarf down those 13 slices of pizza in 10 minutes was just short of disgusting. Skillfully straddling that line between gross and inspirational, I think it’s safe to say that Molly was our motivation for putting that pie down the ol’ hatch as fast as we did.
Sam: I’m not sure how I feel about you saying “we” ate the pizza, considering you just stood there screaming at me while I struggled to smash those two 8.8 ounce mac and cheese slices down my gullet, but I’d be a liar if I said Molly wasn’t the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. There’s just something about a petite woman with the esophagus of an ox and the stomach of an Arabian camel that really gets me going. I didn’t need pump up music like some of the other contestants, I just needed some Molly.
John: You said it, pal. So were ya nervous at all? I know I was.
Sam: I don’t get nervous. Just hungry. I’d been training almost all night and all morning, starving myself, working out, and watching tape of famous eaters to get that tummy grumbling like a troll upset about a debt you owe him.
John: Despite all our preparation, we did face a few setbacks on game day. We entered this competition expecting a marathon, but were surprised to find it was a sprint. While the pros ate as much pizza as they could within a time limit, us amateurs were given just two slices of pizza. Speed was the name of the game.
Sam: Again with the “we” thing, you’re not the one who woke up the next morning with an expanded throat and an intestine full of nearly whole slices of pizza. Nonetheless, my stomach was flexible so I took the unexpected format in stride. This was my career debut eating competition, so I didn’t really know what to expect.
John: Two Stomachs and I did not disappoint; we walked away with $25 in Ian’s gift cards, two tickets to an Andrew W.K. concert, and a participation t-shirt. Not to mention the variety of souvenirs thrown out to the audience, such as a Frisbee and a coupon for a free slice of pizza at Ian’s.
Sam: All in all, I’d say beating out 11 opponents (including one rather large man going by the name of “Chubs,” who I narrowly defeated in a photo finish) and taking home those prizes made this a night to
John: We did great.
Sam: I did great.