Mark "The Gripper" Klobusz won Bartolini's amateur meatball eating contest in Midlothian, IL with a total of 40 meatballs. Teddy Delacruz was runner up with 39. Kyle Hanner announces he was disqualified for being a "professional".


  1. Anonymous said

    July 20, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

    seiken ratted on him

  2. Anonymous said

    July 21, 2014 @ 9:35 am

    Clearly you cant be surprised that he was disqualified? He has pages upon pages of contest history.

  3. Anonymous said

    July 21, 2014 @ 10:33 am

    It’s utterly ridiculous that no professionals were allowed.

  4. anonymous said

    July 21, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

    Kyle getting DQ makes about as much sense as Opie and Anthony saying that Philbin was thrown out of the IFOCE because he had a girlfriend

  5. Anonymous said

    July 21, 2014 @ 1:27 pm

    I was in the Lucky’s contest and Bacci’s last year against the Gripper and he won both of those. He won $2000 in just those two contests. I heard he won a 3rd contest for $1000 also Gripper’s contests just didn’t get listed. It might be Hammer’s fault for promoting all his results.

  6. Anonymous said

    July 21, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

    What defines someone as a professional?

  7. Randy Santel said (Registered June 2, 2010)

    July 21, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

    Not allowing real professionals to enter a contest makes sense in many different scenarios, including this contest, since people who have never done an eating event before are unlikely to participate if they know they are going to get smoked before even signing up. The issue is that the current definition of a professional eater is absolutely stupid. A few weeks ago I watched my buddy attempt a 10 sandwich challenge with a partner for a magazine article and the chef told me he did not think it was that much food, and that a true professional should be able to eat it pretty easily. Lol I informed him that there are currently less than 10 people in the world that can finish a true 10 lb sandwich in less than 1 hour. The idiot looked at me like I was stupid haha. Checking a person’s eatfeats profile at a quick glance is not a good way to judge whether somebody is a professional. Kyle, like me, lives in St Louis, and I’ll be the first to say that winning a contest in St Louis is not something to really brag about, and I know Kyle agrees.

    Judging Kyle as a professional is completely stupid and goes against everything that needs to happen in order to build the sport of eating, which hardly anybody does. Kyle actually has a Facebook page and is putting in the extra effort to try to build a fanbase which can then be leveraged when contacting restaurant owners and promoters about their contest. The restaurants and events that Kyle competes at get advertised to people that only find out about them simply because they follow Kyle. Because Kyle puts in the effort to promote stuff, he has many things come up in searches with his name. Kyle has competed in many of the same contests as a few of the other contestants and the results were never that far off. I follow Teddy and all of this events, and in this case he did very well. He gets better with every event he does!! I competed with him in a hot dog contest and he did awesome in that too!! He, like almost all eaters, is pretty “quiet” about what he does and just posts a few pictures at most, and therefore his name does not come up too much via searches. Because of that, he was able to easily enter this contest, which is good because he should have been able to enter it in the first place, just like Kyle.

    Keeping a contest “fun and local” is one thing and is great, but restaurants just need have a better understanding of what the hell a real professional is. They were trying to avoid having people like Jamie, Pat, Molly, Bob, Tom, and other people that can put up huge numbers enter the contest which discourages the local people from entering, which they did, but comparing Kyle to them because he has a list of contests that he has done is just stupid. My team beat some kids in volleyball the other day, but that doesn’t make me a dam professional volleyball player lol. Even if you only allow amateurs into a contest, some amateurs are going to be better than others. The sames goes for professionals. There are a lot of professional soccer players that weren’t good enough to make the olympic teams.

    When people bitch about “professionals” being in a contest, the restaurant should just buy the person a bottle of hand sanitizer and tell them to quit expecting the world to give them a 9th place medal. People act like good competitive eaters are some form of mutants and that they have super powers. No, we just practice and have a different mentality than them. We don’t go to Subway just to order a 6″ sub sandwich.

    In this case, the stupid decision lead to looking stupid. The special guest “professional” got 3rd which makes a ton of sense lol. Hopefully we start to soon see a reduction in cases like this, because all it does is move the sport of eating in a backwards direction.

    Keep up the good work Kyle, and get ready to dominate Tour de Donut: Ohio in September :) #hammertime

  8. Anonymous said

    July 21, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

    “Lol I informed him that there are currently less than 10 people in the world that can finish a true 10 lb sandwich in less than 1 hour.”

    Completely wrong. Anyone in MLE top 20 should be able to and at least another 20 independents and that’s just in the US

  9. Anonymous said

    July 21, 2014 @ 6:49 pm

    Good post.

    Here’s an example of what Randy is talking about. In the link below, Frank complains about the fastest qualifying time on the board as being that of a “professional” and then proceeds to eat only 2 meatballs less than the same guy he was complaining about. Frank also tied for 5th but lost an eatoff.

  10. anonymous said

    July 21, 2014 @ 8:45 pm

    Seiken should be thrown out of MLE for forcing Dudzinski to drink too much wheatgrass juice. It cost MLE a great prospect

  11. Randy Santel said (Registered June 2, 2010)

    July 21, 2014 @ 8:48 pm

    Anonymous 6pm I am not exactly sure which world you are referencing or commenting on, but in reality, that makes no sense. The sandwich I was referencing was a legit 10 lbs. It would be an unsafe bet to say that 6 MLE competitors would be able to finish it and about 4 independents could finish it. And what are you talking about “that’s just in the US”? There is no current organization that realizes that there are eating contests and competitions outside the USA. Hell, they don’t even social media. What non USA eaters can eat 10 lbs? We aren’t talking 10 lbs of milkshakes and watermelon. & I am not talking crap on anybody, because I know that I sure as hell wouldn’t finish it, or want to for that matter. That ignorance is why eating is currently on a downhill slide in the first place.

  12. Anonymous said

    July 22, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

    10 pound sandwich is not a lot for many MLE eaters. Former MLE eaters Rich Lefever and Stephanie Torres have done it and they would not be ranked very high

  13. Anonymous said

    July 22, 2014 @ 5:30 pm

    They would probably be ranked somewhere between 14-22.

  14. Anonymous said

    July 22, 2014 @ 7:37 pm

    “because I know that I sure as hell wouldn’t finish it, or want to for that matter”

    So because you cant do it Randy that must mean no one but the 10 best eaters in the world could do it haha

  15. Randy Santel said (Registered June 2, 2010)

    July 22, 2014 @ 8:46 pm

    Lol responding to that is just as dumb as responding to stupid YouTube comments, but just because somebody could at one time doesn’t mean they can now. If they can’t now, that does no good for the restaurant does it? If I bid a job with 10000% profit and don’t get the job, I made no money. If a restaurant has a challenge that nobody can beat and therefore will not try, that restaurant makes no money and therefore the challenge is just stupid and worthless for everyone involved. That was the point I was making, and it is completely accurate. Debating about whether the number is 10 or 20 is as meaningless as caring about the price of eggs in China while shopping in the USA

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment

Log in | Register | Comments by users who have not logged in will be held for approval