It’s all about labor stories right now in the sports world.
NFL players and owners are in frantic talks to get a new collective bargaining agreement in place by March. An inevitable lockout looms in the NBA, with the commissioner saying the current economic model is “broken.”
Even beyond sports, there’s a bill in Wisconsin on its way to being law that would end unions for government workers.
Well, Major League Eating isn’t exempt from such labor issues either. The eaters union demands higher wages and more protection, while the MLE says it just isn’t making enough revenue.
If there isn’t a new deal in place by the end of the spring, it could mean a labor stoppage. Which would put the July 4th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (the Super Bowl of competitive eating) in serious jeopardy for the first time since 1993.
In that eventuality, the league promises it will fill the contest with replacement eaters.
Here are some of the demands of the eaters:
-All hotels need to have continental breakfast.
-Licensed doctors need to be present at all competitions. Not just fat Italian chefs who laugh at competitors when they throw up.
-Kosher alternatives must be provided for every contest.
-First class tickets for air travel. Or, at least two seats.
-Full medical and dental benefits. Including a lifetime supply of Tums.
-A shellfish competition cannot be followed by any cured meats competition in back to back weeks.
-Some sort of minimum salary or stipend for being in the league.
-Contest winnings cannot be paid in gift certificates to Bubba Gump Shrimp.
-The water provided for drinking and/or dipping hot dog buns into must be Evian, Fiji, or an equivalent brand of bottled water.
-Never, at any time, can the league force a competitive eater to eat vegetables.