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San Francisco King of the Pig People

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'Don King' Newton, serving as manager to Eric 'The Terrible,'
cheers on his charge with the standup colors of San Francisco and the USA, entertains an applauding crowd filled to the corners of North Light Court at City Hall moments before the annual Smoke Stack Lightning BBQ Eating Contest got underway.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Pat Murphy

August 3, 2006

The big pig wanted more.

He won -- the big pig -- satiated by neither trophy nor seven sandwiches gut pummeled in nine minutes.

"There's more backstage and I'm going to go back there and have some more," breezed 'The Terminator.'

They took on nons de plume of champions, these City Hall people who yearlong work their backsides off.

Yesterday became the day to risk their stomachs, bellies up and bottoms girded.

After 12 months of providing the mortar to keep San Francisco national leadership intact - universal health care, unprecedented partnering of private, public, and ordinary citizen resources for community improvements; dead serious decision to implement community policing, inverting decision making back to distressed neighborhood residents - their work year was coming to an end.

A $5.8 billion service rich City budget had been approved, the Board of Supervisors was about to go on three-week hiatus, and the mayor was out greening the streets.

It was morning again, if not in America, and San Francisco front lines turned to the hoot and the holler.

Gathering all to the strains 'Rocky.'

Eric 'The Terrible' in early lead with formidable chomp.

The great Pulled Pig Eating Contest gassed City Hall North Light Court noon hour with multiple failsafe oversights in place.

Corry 'The Ref,' ruthless in adherence to The Rule Book, introduces those who mattered most - The Honorable Judging Triumvirate. From right, Jurist Jake 'No Veto Here,' Jurist 'Hang Em High' Hanson, and Jurist Harold 'The Buck Stops Here.' Impeccable time keeping entrusted to irreproachable 'Timeless' Barbara.

As microseconds sped toward whistle start, seven sandwiches were placed before contestants. Each plate was weighed for precision match by Margaret 'The Multiplier.'

Contestants and cheering partisans alike knew that agony or ecstasy were only ten minutes away when the whistle blew. Each hopeful had nine minutes to finish first.

And one minute to swallow every morsel with mouth inspection mandatory.

'Chomping Mama' hauls it all in.

No pain, No Pig Trophy, reminds Manager 'Got Your Back' to Shiny 'The Bald Stallion.'

Uh Oh, fears contestant 'Slick Rick' as top hatted manager 'K Boom Boom' Matthews abandons all pretense of concern. At right, 'The Terminator' contestant keeps on keeping on.

'Empty Belly' Kelly recalls a more delicate deli.

A potential winner emerges.

Check that man's mouth ordered the wigged Judge

An unmasticated morsel remained.

A winner proclaimed - THE TERMINATOR.

Elevated to historic San Francisco lore, 'The Terminator' enters winners circle with Manager 'Jimmy The Greek' at his side. Emcee 'Pulled Pig' Delong imparts backslap confirmation as Announcer 'Speak No Evil' Lesley passes finals to CNN.

All food, the eaten and the foresworn, provided by Smoke Stack Lightning BBQ.

Smoke Stack Lightning BBQ proprietor 'Pulled Pig' Delong.

Contestant Supervisor Aides Boe Hayward and Cassandra Costello reveal new dental work to help give Team BOS Hogs an extra biting edge for the contest...

Consoled by adoring fans after defeat.




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