Happy X Games. An Xcellent time to watch Xtreme athletes Xcel in hurling themselves around snow in an impressive and Xcessive manner. All that X is enough to make someone hyped and hungry, which is where xtreme eating challenges come in.

In case you doubt how xtra a food competition can get, I’ll have you know there is a Major League Eating association that officiates consumption challenges worldwide. And, just like the X Games, ESPN broadcasts some of the best-known eating challenges, like Coney Island’s Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest.  

I’ve been to that contest. Throughout the day there are side contest rounds for the common folk – not the famous xtreme eating athletes. I distinctly remember a young skinny guy repping his hood by screaming at the top of his lungs “Sheepshead Bay, Sheepshead Bay!” before his round started. Later I saw him alone, behind the stands, puking into a bucket.

Hooters had a wing-eating contest; the challenge is the most wings consumed within 10 minutes, and nearly $20,000 in prize money is awarded. In 2017 the winning number was 250 wings. Other impressive feats are 359 dumplings in 10 minutes for the World Gyoza Eating Championship, 55 glazed donuts in 8 minutes for the Salvation Army National Donut Day, and 81 four-ounce mutton sandwiches for the Owensboro International Bar-B-Q Festival. All of these records are held by Joey Chestnut, the Shaun White of stuffing your face. Master of chow meets the master of pow.

As brutal as the 10 minutes of gorging seem on the body, I can’t help but think of the aftermath. However bruised up a crash in the halfpipe might get you, can you imagine how torn up the contestants of the La Costeña Jalapeño Eating Contest feel after downing 270 of the spicy peppers? Xcrutiating. Or the contestants of the Indiana State Fair who, in just six minutes, consume more than 15 pints of ice cream?! Xplosive.

The one contest I think I could be even remotely competitive in is Ellsworth Wisconsin’s Cheese Curd Festival. Like the X Games, the multiday festival includes musical entertainment along with daily contests, culminating in the spectator sport of the Cheese Curd Eating Contest. How hard could that be? Not only is it a perfect, xtra delicious food, it comes pre mushy. Like, honestly, I am going to start training now and by June you will be the proud friend of the curd champion of the world.

But wait, we can’t go without touching on the most xtraordinary contests in the xtreme food world. Balls and brains. Minneapolis’s Zombie Pub Crawl includes the Major League Eating-sanctioned brain taco eating event. In 8 minutes, more than 50 pork-brain tacos are consumed in the Halloween celebration. And the now defunct Testicle Festival in Montana included a fried Rocky Mountain Oyster chow fest in honor of the regional delicacy.

If all of these festivals makes you crave some xtreme eating without the travel or the wait, remember, Monster Energy sponsors the X Games, and a quick look at their product list is guaranteed to get you xtremely hyped. For instance, the Java Monster, which is described as premium coffee and cream brewed up with killer flavor, supercharged with Monster energy blend. Can you imagine? The taste of monster energy, whatever that might mean, with the xtra flavor of cold brew! They also have a flavor named Assault which I think matches the arrest record for the weekend pretty spot on, or you could stay on-theme and have a little Monster Blue Ice. Be safe out there, and Happy xtremeing!