By Matthew Curtis | Enzian Theater July 5, 2007 at 10:38AM
But this week's "Sign of the Apocalypse" crossed my TV screen in the early afternoon prior to my July 4 barbeque activities. You may think I'm referring to ESPN's incredibly tongue-in-cheek coverage (complete with mock gravitas) of the 91st Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, with American upstart Joey Chestnut defeating six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi by "gurgitating" a record 66 dogs in 12 minutes--ugh! Or the repeated slow-mo replays of Kobayashi's "reversal of fortune" (puking, as it's known on the professional competitive eating circuit) above the "spray zone" where all the judges and cameramen are lined up in front of the stage below the contestants--much grosser but probably more entertaining than a Gallagher performance. Or even ESPN's comparisons between the end of Kobayashi's reign of dominance to the end of assorted sports dynasties throughout history, though these were probably prepared with tongue planted firmly in cheek as well.
Nope, I refer to an ad during the hot dog eating contest for the "U.S. Rock, Scissor, Paper Championship" on ESPN 2 this Saturday night at 9 PM. I shit you not. I don't believe this is a goof, but rather ESPN filling its airtime on its vast empire of channels with anything and everything (kind of like the old days 25 years ago). I guess once they found out there's an audience out there that'll watch people sitting and playing cards (not to mention wolfing down weiners and sawing through logs), anything is fair game. Maybe they'll start televising the Air Guitar competitions also...we can only hope.