MLE Returns with Munch Madness

Wondering which major league sport was returning first during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Wonder no more says Major League Eating, whose competitive contests have long been a staple diet for fans of offbeat events.

Major League Eating (MLE) will stream the bracket-style elimination challenge (think of it as "Munch Madness), the Quarantine Challenge" starting April 17 on MLE's YouTube channel and in conjunction with the online betting site.

MLE calls it "a fun way to fill the competitive void being felt by bettors and sports fans alike."

As with many other alternative events--ABC's Disney sing-along special Thursday night (April 16), for example--it will be an eat-from-home challenge for the contestants, featuring eight of the top eaters competing for table stakes, as it were.

The contestants, according to MLE, will be top-ranked eater Joey Chestnut (12 time Nathan's Hot Dog eating champ, the July 4 event that has been on ESPN and ESPN2; Matt Stonie (255 Peeps in five minutes); Darron Breeden (528 oysters in eight minutes); chugging champion Badlands Booker; Miki Sudo; Gideon Oji (25 pounds of kale salad in eight minutes); Michelle Lesco (176 gyoza [wontons] in 10 minutes); and Nick Wehry (11 pounds of strawberry shortcake in eight minutes).

But they will all be tackling a new diet. The qualifying round will be two pounds of sliced bologna; quarterfinals will be a family pack of Oreos and a half gallon of milk; semifinals will be 10 pounds of baked beans; and finals will be 10 cups of ramen noodles.

Top prize is $11,500.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.