2011 Flashback: Cleveland Scene profiles Scott Bickel

Flashback 2011 to Cleveland Scene’s profile of Scott Bickel (RIP) which included this section on how he hoped his competitive eating career could reverse the fortunes of his hometown:

The cult of Beefcakes Bickel has sprung forth from a specific time and place: post-LeBron Cleveland, a cityscape in a desperate scramble for self-esteem. The years of losing seasons, national punch lines, the very public breakup with our hero — it’s all taken its toll, shrinking our civic ego to that of a touchy teenager’s, always sucking in that gut and checking the fly.

Is relief on the way? With the city’s pro athletes useless to salve our wounds, a cottage industry has cropped up among the amateur ranks: the search for a championship — any championship whatsoever — for Cleveland. From women’s boxing to ultimate fighting to Harry Potter fandom, newsmaking residents are eager to bring distinction back home. Prime-time glory? Not exactly. This is ESPN3-caliber fame.

Bickel is the latest — perhaps greatest — of them. He decided early on that his mission would not be merely about himself, but about Cleveland. Some would raise championship banners. Bickel will raise hot dogs.

In January 2012, Scott Bickel took his life by jumping off a bridge.

Comments (1)

1 Comment »

  1. anonymous said

    June 20, 2016 @ 11:38 am

    It was obvious that he could not beat Pat . Way over his head but he had everyone believing including himself that he could pull the upset of the century. He might have qualified if he went up against someone with lesser skills which would have boosted his ego and he might still be here today

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