RIP Scott Bickel 1990-2012

(via emails) Some extremely sad news happened last night. Scott Bickel posted a suicide note on his facebook page last night and he carried through with it by jumping into the Cuyahoga River (link fixed).

update 8:22 pm has a news video

update 1:09 pm now has a article identifying the body.

update 12:45 A memorial facebook group has been started.

update 12:15 NewsNet5 has a new article identifying the body.

update 11:58 Cleveland Scene now confirms that the body found was Bickel’s (via Will Millender)

update 11:53 A blog entry identifies the victim as a 21 year old man from North Royalton, OH, but does not give a name.

update 11:08 am Cleveland Scene has a new blog entry about Scott Bickel. The found body has yet to be officially identified.

update 9:30 am NewsNet5 has an article and short video about the death that does not give a name.

Comments (30)


  1. SPBBBMBBSTBarlow said

    January 12, 2012 @ 6:57 am

    My sympathies to his family.

  2. Jamminjoe said

    January 12, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    no one knew of the personal torment he must have been suffering from… RIP

  3. Jon Bello said

    January 12, 2012 @ 7:51 am

    You left your mark on the world and may have inspired someone out there, job well done. Rest in peace.

  4. Larellmarie said (Registered May 9, 2010)

    January 12, 2012 @ 7:52 am

    I learn of this w/such a heavy heart. How terrible that this young man felt he had no option but to end his life. My thoughts & prayers go out to his family. What really upsets me is when I think back to the hate comments & ridicule that were posted here about Scott when he was bragging himself up, making fun of his failure when he didn’t meet his goal. Bullying is not just done in school & I consider what was done thru posts to hv been “virtual” bullying. There is no excuse for it. Please, if you don’t hv something nice to say (write), just don’t say it then. Try to be a little kinder each day b/c EVERYONE is fighting some kind of battle. We just don’t know what demons they’re fighting. RIP Scott….so sorry you felt this was the only release from pain you had.

  5. ojrifkin said (Registered July 27, 2005)

    January 12, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    Comments not about Scott will be moved here

  6. Rhonda Evans said (Registered March 6, 2008)

    January 12, 2012 @ 9:08 am

    There are no words … 🙁

  7. Hmm said (Registered November 12, 2009)

    January 12, 2012 @ 9:08 am

    May his family and friends and those who surely did try to help find comfort and solace. LMM expresses beautifully and firmly a reminder and warning to all of us to be more vigilant and monitor ourselves better in what is written here and how we treat each other virtually and in person. Suicide is most painful for those left behind. A tragedy of this kind also serves as a reminder that what we sometimes or often think is important is so trivial in the big picture. I am deeply sorry that this has happened to anyone, in any family, any community, any country. May we all be wiser in trying to recognize some forms of illness and how they are manifested and not contribute to the pain of those individuals who are suffering from them.

  8. Furious Pete said

    January 12, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    My Condolences to his family. His ambition towards the sport was amazing.

  9. Marcos The Monster Owens said (Registered August 16, 2011)

    January 12, 2012 @ 10:13 am

    This is very sad to hear, he was so young

  10. Steakbellie said (Registered August 11, 2006)

    January 12, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    Freaking horrible that his Demons caught up with him. This tragedy doesn’t end here as his family and friends have to go forward without any chance of reconciliation. I wish them some sort of peace and I hope Scott is finally at rest

  11. some thing Fishy said

    January 12, 2012 @ 11:36 am

    Again Noting has been CONFIRM . Nonone as name the body as that to be of Scott Bickel………. How dare you state he is dead. Police have not confirm ANY THING. You people are sick saying good bye while you not knowing any thing.

  12. BigWillTheChamp said (Registered February 1, 2009)

    January 12, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    The article has been updated:

    “(Update: Guenther now confirms that the body has been positively identified as Scott Bickel.)”

    Also, it was pretty clear that this was real. People that new him confirmed it on his status…

  13. Big Sexy said (Registered May 8, 2009)

    January 12, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    I remember when I first got a random friend request from Scott. We used to talk 2-3 times a week about eating, life and other topics. He would ask me all of my secrets, techniques, what I used to drink during contests, etc… Then, when he started making proclamations about being able to eat 40-50 hot dogs in 10 minutes, talking about destiny…. he stopped talking to me. I just let him go on his way, as I believe people have the ability to leave your life just as quickly as they came into it. He was always a positive guy and even though we lost touch, never met each other and obviously never shared a table together, I find myself saddened to the core about his passing. Regardless of what people thought about the way he portrayed himself, off the camera and outside of the eating world but the face of the matter is, he touched a lot of people. A lot of people are proud to call him a friend, brother and a son. I feel for those people that are directly effected by what happened last night and I pray for Scott knowing that he is finally rid of all of these demons that he has had to live with throughout his short 21 years on this earth. I hope that everybody else will learn from his words, thoughts and actions and better your own lives and those around you, as that was one of his last wishes. God Speed Scott Bickel.

    Bryan Beard

  14. Big Sexy said (Registered May 8, 2009)

    January 12, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    fact* of the matter

  15. Rhonda Evans said (Registered March 6, 2008)

    January 12, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Bryan. I could not have stated my feelings any better.

    You’re a good man, my friend. … 🙂

  16. WingKong said (Registered December 19, 2006)

    January 12, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

    My condolences to his family, he was one of the most energetic and entertaining people I’ve had the pleasure to meet.

  17. Dave UK said

    January 13, 2012 @ 7:00 am

    Bless him. No Words.

  18. Hmm said (Registered November 12, 2009)

    January 13, 2012 @ 9:28 am

    Thank you all for your tributes and condolences shared with the competitive eating community. Bryan Beard’s words shall echo. It is hard to find words at times, this is certainly one of those times.

  19. "Tiny" said (Registered March 5, 2008)

    January 13, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    Scott was a good kid. He put so much preparation into the Nathan’s Qualifier that he lost alot. He quit his job. Broke up with his girlfriend. Left home. Lost his car. All of these things to “get ready” for the qualifier. When I first met Scott, at a sushi buffet, he was a happy kid. Good job, nice ride, nice girl, wanting to get in to CE. He was all about wanting Nathan’s in his future. So he did just about every restaurant challenge in the area. Did some eating stunts in a couple restaurants. He had good capacity, 8-10 pounds without a problem, but the problem was his speed. 4 weeks before the Nathan’s qualifier Bickel and I went to the Nathan’s at the downtown mall where the qualifier was being held. The owner gave him 40 frozen dogs in a bag to take home and he cooked him 15 dogs there for him to eat. Took him a little of 10 minutes to eat them. He just struggled with speed. He did get a ton of media hype. A TON.
    The day of the qualifier is the day that stomped on Scott’s heart. When Bertoletti beat him, Scott looked like his dog, best friend, and mother died at the same time.
    He was intense. He had a ton of talents. He always talked about his “gift” of being bi-polar. Telling me that because of his bi-polarness he is able to really concentrate on a single task and give it 100% dedication.
    The next couple months after the qualifier Bickel layed low. Turned his phone off. He was hurt.
    Bickel started to communicate back with me in early October. He said that he was homeless. He was working again. But couldnt afford an apartment yet. I hooked him up with Volunteers of America in Cleveland. He came over and cut the grass for some $ and we had lunch at the house in late November. He was really excited to start to train for Nathan’s again this year. He had plans to do a few eat-offs in the next few months. And I did not talk to him after late November.
    The suicide note on Facebook thing is crazy. I never thought I would see anything like that to someone I know. The bridge he jumped off of is a big ass bridge. It goes over a river in the National Park. Just unreal shit. I think suicide is selfish. He said something about a girl on his Facebook suicide post. Just crazy to kill yourself. He is the second friend of mine to do that. Suicide is stupid.
    But I will miss Scott Bickel. I liked him. He was a bit wierd, but that is my style.
    Rest In Peace.

  20. Anonymous said

    January 13, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

    He did help the world of competitive eating. It is a shame that he did that. All the negative talk on here probably didn’t help his mental problems. Deep dish calling him his bitch was alittle uncalled for and bad taste. Bickel will always be remembered in competive eating as the guy who didn’t. But in reality he did what most of us do. You cant blame him for shooting for his goals. At the end of the day we don’t know why he decided to do this. I just can’t believe it and I am still shocked.

  21. Hmm said (Registered November 12, 2009)

    January 13, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

    His death is a tragedy and suicide is never an answer to problems except that clearly the person feels that they have no other choice. It is a terrible terrible horrific act which inflicts pain upon all who are left feeling helpless and perhaps as if they had only said such and such. We have already had many say that we should all be more careful about what we write on here, and that is very very true. But things are never so easy to explain away, things which happen always have multiple causes. For anyone to point fingers on here is a bit overblown.

    Scott Bickel had huge dreams and went after them with passion and talent and dedication. From a distance, not knowing him in person nor knowing his demons, still, there seemed something amiss, that someone relatively untested would believe that he could triumph over current champions. Thus, his well publicized and sought after press caused people to write and wonder, to respond. I think that is appropriate and fair.

    That being said, Mr. Anonymous mixes things in here. No need to repeat something negative and name names and point a finger at Bertoletti. Really, many people responded, that is simply out of line. Keep it on topic or your comment should go to the off comment thread.

    Rest in Peace Scott Bickel, many admired you and you DID make a difference. To his family and friends, may you find comfort and solace in that.

  22. Anonymous said

    January 13, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

    You are right I shouldn’t have pointed fingers. Nothing we did should of mattered to him. No matter what he really felt. He was a big fan of this site like we all are. For some reason I feel some what guilty about how Scott felt about himself. We wanted him to prove himself for us because we all work hard. When I met him in competition I wasn’t how I usaully would act and I feel bad. I didn’t treat him bad I just didn’t go out of my way. Back to the point, Scott has affected us all and he will not be forgotten. My deepest regards to his loved ones.

  23. Larellmarie said (Registered May 9, 2010)

    January 13, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

    Tiny – its nice to hear from someone who obviously knew Scott well. Thank you for sharing your memories though heartbreaking to read.

  24. anonymous said

    January 13, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

    It’s funny how some of you taunted him on this very blog to the point of no return and now you want to clean it up with condolences.its too late the man is dead now live with the misery and curses for the rest of your lives

  25. Anonymous said

    January 13, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    8:14 you have some issues. Don’t try to hold hostage the good memories of and thoughts for Scott.

  26. BigWillTheChamp said (Registered February 1, 2009)

    January 13, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

    Here’s a short tribute video that was posted on his facebook. Sad stuff…

  27. Anonymous said

    January 14, 2012 @ 12:19 am

    What happened to his adopted parents? If I remember correctly, they were at the gyro challenge Scott did a week or two before qualifier.

  28. BigWillTheChamp said (Registered February 1, 2009)

    January 14, 2012 @ 12:22 am

    Someone also made a tribute song…

  29. Anonymous said

    January 14, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    As a longtime fan of competitive eating and someone who has worked in the mental health field, unfortunately, if someone is determined to commit suicide, despite all kinds of watchfulness of those who care about the person, they usually eventually succeed. Even (sometimes) someone confined to a mental hospital finds a way to succeed in taking their own life. For all who wish they had done something differently or tried to help, please do not be too hard on yourself. I am absolutely certain that Scott’s parents and many many friends did all that they could to try to help him. Bi-polar disease often causes, in its manic stages, overblown expectations and of course manic behavior. Mental illness in its many many forms remains one of the most challenging and heartbreaking illnesses to treat in spite of and sometimes because of medication. There are no quick cures, no magic bullets. Let’s honor Scott by continuing to celebrate his positives and try to be supportive of all who have different challenges.

  30. anonymous said

    January 14, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    Give Scott credit where credit is due. He has most of us fooled into believing that he could pull off the miracle of the century by getting to the finals and possibly beating Joey Chestnut. With all the fake hype leading up to the Cleveland qualifier he did manage 17 which is fairly decent but a far cry from what he made us believe he would actually eat. With more practice he might have become a name to be reckoned with but then again these illusions of grandeur were based upon his illness

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