The waitress looks on, stopwatch in hand, as The Blazin’ Challenge riots on
Ah, the Blazin’ Challenge. Friday night, we celebrated two birthdays — mine and my buddy Josh’s (my brother’s wife’s brother) — at Buffalo Wild Wings. The previous time we’d been there, we had noticed with some degree of curiosity the “Blazin’ Challenge” sign and honor wall. Unfortunately, this was on the way out. We decided the next time we went, it would be high time to give it a whirl.
Friday night was that time.
There were three of us that attempted this spicy contest — my brother, Josh, and myself. Now, I don’t usually like high-end spicy food, or at least, not to the extent of those two. Their tolerance for spice borders on masochistic. But I couldn’t say no, not when it was a celebration.
The waitress immediately said, “Are you sure? You know its the Blazin’ wings, right?” as though she was literally scared for our livelihood in the aftermath of the contest. We nodded and said we understood this to be true.
Moments later, the manager came out for a pre-game pep talk and rundown of the rules, much like a boxing referee does before a match. The rules for this contest were much more restricting than any of us had anticipated:
-No drinking during the contest
-No eating other foods, such as potato wedges or fries
-No using napkins to clean hands or face
This last rule was of particular concern — apparently the sauce has been known to chap lips and sensitive skin with its extreme spice. Leaving it on your skin for six minutes seemed a tad excessive. Then again, it was a celebration, and I am a man, so to hell with chapped lips. To hell with it!
They brought out the wings, and at ten inches away (roughly the distance from the top of the wings sitting in their container on the table to my face), the smell was already making my nose twitch. Oh boy.
The manager busted out an old-school stopwatch like a track coach, gave us the ready-set-go, and we began in earnest.
Dude. Dude! Dude, Dude. Dude. Dude! Dude, Dude…
Two wings in, my face was beading up with little sweat beads. Four wings in, my nose was running. Six wings in, my eyes were watering. It was the 3 minute mark, and I had used up half my time — but eaten half the wings. My brother was already done.
Already done! He ate 12 Blazin’ wings in 2 minutes, 20 seconds — just 19 seconds off the all-time location record. That’s an average of 11.5 seconds per wing. Here’s the amazing thing: during the official discarded wing count, it was discovered the kitchen screwed up and gave him 13 wings. 13 wings! That made his already unbelievable time borderline ridiculous. 10.7 seconds per wing!
At the 3:20 mark, Josh finished. The kitchen obviously cannot count, as he had 14 wings, but he finished them all. 13.3 seconds per wing, a respectable average.
Meanwhile, I was struggling. My heart was beating fast, my body unable to handle the extreme nature of the spicy wings. At the 4 minute mark, I had finished only 7 wings. 6 in the first 3 minutes, just 1 the next minute. Clearly, I was slowing down. Being openly mocked by the crowd watching this disgusting display didn’t help. At the five minute mark, I had downed 8.