What is BeefStakes?
A joy. A curse. A lifestyle. A burden. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. BeefStakes 2004 is a beef-eating competition featuring two participants and one judge. Although the rules are a little more complicated, the basic gist is simple: who can eat more beef during the calendar year 2004?
Who's in it?
The two participants are Gerhard "Guy" "Alyosha" "Mordecai" J. Petzall, Jr.; and Eric D. "M." Waggoner. They met in college, which is typically a time of experimentation, an era of personal flux, a chance to test the waters to see what one can be and do. Some people find answers to these questions during their school years; Guy and Eric are apparently still learning their limits.
The Judge, Max, is also a mutual and trusted friend from the same era. Impartial and wise, Max gets to rewrite the rules at his whim.
How did it start?
As a horrible mistake. During a casual holiday-greeting email back at the end of 2003, Eric mentioned to Guy his new year's resolution was going to be to "eat more beef in 2004". Guy, foolishly perhaps, countered with his own resolution: "to eat more beef than [Eric] in 2004". Hastily written, often regretted, set in stone and sealed with a formal contract finalized a few days later. That's it.
Do you get sick of it?
Not that either participant would admit. And Max seems to enjoy his power over them both.
It is at the discretion of the Judge to reveal or conceal the players' respective consumption data as he sees fit. Interested audience members can inspect the public register of consumed beef here whenever it is available.
What's the prize?
Several things, each more trivial than the rest. The loser has to create an advertisement declaring the winner's supremacy, and publish it in the winner's local newspaper. The loser must then frame two signed copies of this ad and present them to the winner and the Judge. And finally, the loser must refer to the winner, in all verbal and written communication, as "Your Majesty, the Beef King" for one year.
But mostly, the winner wins satisfaction, the kind of pleasure that comes from beating an old friend at a ludicrous game.
Are you crazy?
Can I join the game?
Sure, why not? But you've got a lot of catching up to do!