Thanks to the nationwide shutdown, March Madness and the famous brackets that come with the NCAA college basketball tournament did not happen this year. There were no big upsets, no champion crowned, and no montage recapping all of the memorable moments throughout the tournament. And there were definitely no wagers placed on the games, which are so highly bet on every year that only the Super Bowl and the World Cup have more money on the line.
Thankfully, the sports betting site BetOnline has teamed up with Major League Eating to give us the next best thing: competitive-eating brackets. It's like a Zoom meeting, but instead of your boss in the background, it's stacks of bologna. Seemingly everyone, from the famous hot-dog king Joey Chestnut to YouTube star Matt Stonie, is taking part in the quarantine competition, which began with bologna and continues this week with baked beans and containers of chicken-flavored ramen noodles. Tonight in the semifinals, competitors will see who can eat ten pounds of baked beans the fastest.
We're here for it — mostly because we're here. We are unable to go much of anywhere. But this challenge got us thinking: What if Major League Eating took this show on the road, city by city, challenging celebrities to stuff their faces in the name of charity? We're all binge-eating at home anyway, so why not put it to a good cause?
We had some ideas as to who could represent Miami. Here are our contestants.
Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson. If having the Rock on Team #MiamiEats doesn't let you know right away we're serious about winning this thing, nothing will. Dwayne Johnson is known for his intense workouts and skyscraper-hopping roles in films, but our favorite detail about this ex-Miami Hurricanes-football-player-turned-highest-paid-actor is the fact that he absolutely crushes cheat days. Not cheat meals — cheat days. Entire days of the good shit.
Johnson is known to kill two dozen brownies, 13 huge pancakes, four pizzas, and a party-size platter of sushi in one cheat day. He isn't playing games with this Man v. Food thing. Other teams are gonna fake a bad Zoom connection when they get a load of our star.
Rick Ross. What the Rock brings to the dinner table in pure thoroughbred pancake-and-pizza-eating skills, Rick Ross brings to chicken wings. Though the Boss has slimmed down over the years (shout out to all the pear), he still brings his A-game when it comes to chicken wings. He's the owner of nine Wingstop locations, and as evidenced by his laid-back demeanor when discussing his casual daily consumption of chicken wings, he would attack an eating contest like late-career Dwyane Wade driving to the basket — pure old-man game. Let those young bulls wear themselves out.
Ross is our coach on the competitive-eating field. He's good for a solid showing in the chicken wing department.
Dwyane Wade. We're not sure if Major League Eating normally has an alcohol division, but because this is a pandemic edition of its programming, we're gonna go ahead and add it because we're all sitting around drinking wine anyway. Wade has his own wine label, and unlike Notorious B.I.G., he definitely gets high on his own supply. The Miami Heat's greatest all-time star is not shy about his consumption of vino. It's more than branding at this point — it's a way of life. We feel good about our chances with a 250-pound wine enthusiast in our corner.
Since he retired this time last season, Wade has been training while waiting for someone to call upon his wine-drinking talents. Now is the time to tap into his postplaying potential and put him up against other cities' best.
Davon Godchaux. This is where our wildcards come in. We're scouting talent at this point. Where is the first place you'd look if you needed a big man who can throw down on some red meat? The Miami Dolphins' defensive line, that's where. That brings us to Davon Godchaux, who mentions barbecue on his Instagram page @Chauxdown quite a few times. He's 311 pounds of solid man. You don't get built like the side of a mountain by nibbling on SkinnyPop. This guy eats.
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Defensive linemen are big but in shape. They eat with purpose, unlike offensive linemen, who seem intent on just getting fat. We'd put big money on Godchaux devouring an entire pizza like the average person consumes a single pizza roll. He's on the team. We'll figure out his specialty later.
Bam Adebayo. Bam recently took on competitive-eating legend Takeru Kobayashi in a hamburger contest. The thing about that contest, though, is that it was a joke. Bam didn't even try. He was eating with one hand and filming Kobayashi with the other. In the end, Bam ate all of one burger in 20 minutes to Kobayashi's 20. But his form was solid, and we think the experience gives him a leg up on the competition.
Past embarrassing results aside, Bam is a 6-foot-9 burger-loving beast. When choosing your warriors, these are facts you must take into account. If we're going to take down Joey Chestnut and the rest of the ringers, we'll be doing it with our biggest and brightest.