This past Thursday Taste of Temecula was at it again hosting their Man V. Food competition and after watching the event it truly proves that eating can be a competitive sport. If you did not hear about the last Man V. Food at The Hot Dog Shoppe you missed a great time. Two locals battled it out for the prize of “Free Food For Life” and in the end the FOOD WON!
This time the challengers were three young football players representing the Chaparral High School Football Team “Pumas.” They came to play and with their best game faces as they lumbered onto the competitive field, each psyching himself up for the game. The game however was not measured in yards and points but rather in pounds and the playing field was a long picnic table which was placed on the 50 yard line at Sweet Lumpy’s BBQ in Temecula. These young men, at the peak of physical excellence, prepared to launch into Taste of Temecula’s Second Man V. Food Challenge. Fortunately, these brave volunteers were not unfamiliar with rivalry or the intake of mass quantities of food.
Many were anxious to see what these mighty men of Chaparral would do and brought banners to motivate, encourage and show their support. The patio area was filled with onlookers, made up of family, friends, boosters and team mates. but some were there just to watch humanity go head-to-head with a massive amount of food.
The crowd cheered and roared as the challengers made their way into the arena. The contestants were Matt Adamson (left tackle), Omar Herrera (right tackle) and Patrick Clifford (center) and before each of them lay their enemy…a behemoth platter of food. The band Acoustic Groove had been playing, but now the area was eerily silent as host Robert Rankin Walker started the clock and rang the bell…Game On! One hour was the allotted time for each player to polish off: one full rack of baby back ribs, half of a barbequed chicken, two huge hot link sausages, half pound of Texas beef brisket and a half pound of freshly cut fries. The only weapon these boys were armed with was their bare hands and a hefty appetite.
Adamson took the early lead as he easily conquered one mouthful after another. Not to be outdone, Clifford and Herrera steadily pushed forward. After nine minutes it appeared that Adamson may prevail over this juggernaut of food, with the other two considerably well behind. With dogged determination all three pursued to devour their formidable opponent. But at thirty-one minutes into the battle Adamson hit a wall. The bites of food that were previously shoveled into his mouth with gusto were now labored and infrequent. Clifford and Herrera, hung tough and painfully continued this grueling challenge. As the clock ticked down audience members encouraged their favorite competitor to attack the beast of food left on their plates.
With less than two minutes left on the clock Clifford came to a thundering halt as he looked up at the crowd holding back finally unable to keep it down he regurgitated his nemesis and was disqualified.
After seeing that, the others were a little thrown off balance. Both Herrera and Adamson looking a little “off-color” themselves at that point, appeared to yearn for the end to this debacle. The timer went off and the young, budding warriors ruefully admitted defeat. Food reigned victorious again.
Adamson and Herrera conceded that they didn’t win the prize of being able to eat at Sweet Lumpy’s for the rest of the year for free, but felt that they had overall achieved their goal of competing and finishing. And if determination to win is the better part of winning, then all three accomplished that objective and walked away victorious.