How does it happen5:28These two go crazy for hot dogs
Jody Matheson set a career high Tuesday when the Toronto Blue Jays played the New York Yankees in Toronto. But it wasn’t with a big hit, nor with a record number of strikeouts.
Matheson ate his 105th hot dog of the season.
“It was a tough last dog of the season. But it’s been a fantastic run,” the Blue Jays fan said. How does it happen host Nil Köksal.
“It was an emotional night to end a season. I left feeling fulfilled in every way possible.”
Matheson and his friend Ryan Rushton, who grew up in Brantford, Ontario, are the self-proclaimed Loonie Dog Kings and wear big hot dog suits to match the title.
Every Tuesday at the Jays game, the Rogers Center concessions sell hot dogs for just a dollar each.
This season, the Blue Jays hosted 11 such nights and, according to the team, it was a record year for the promotion. Fans ate 693,865 hot dogs, an increase of more than 200,000 from 2022.
Matheson and Rushton ate a total of 245 hot dogs, and Rushton ate 140 alone.
“Ryan has blown me out of the water every week,” Matheson said.
They have appeared on the video board and on the television broadcast frequently. Last Tuesday they were recognized for their enthusiasm and enduring appetite by having the honor of throwing out the first pitch.
As the two prepared to throw out the first pitch for Tuesday’s game, Matheson and Rushton were presented with another challenge: Blue Jays pitcher Erik Swanson asked how many hot dogs they planned to eat together.
“We shrugged and said, ‘probably about 25.’ That’s been our average this year,” Rushton said.
Swanson had higher expectations for the duo. He challenged them to eat 31 hot dogs, one more than his previous record.
The two achieved that record and received praise from Swanson for the effort on Instagram.
How it started
The tradition of $1 hot dogs at Jays games began in 2019. At first, it was only for the first Tuesday home game of each month. But the organization expanded it to all Tuesday home games in 2022.
Matheson and Rushton’s path to notoriety began at the end of that season. Matheson said his sons were going to a game and asked if he could join.
“I forgot to say, ‘Dad, you’re going to embarrass us now,'” Matheson said.
So he bought a couple of hot dog suits and asked Rushton to accompany him to the game.
“We walked in, put on our suits, thought we’d get on the Jumbotron, the kids would be in the 500 section, they’d see us and say, ‘Is that just my dad?’ And that would be the end of the joke,” Matheson recalled.
But the two became popular with the crowd and frequently appeared on television during games, so the duo continued through the 2023 season.
Eat early, eat often
Rushton says there are a few tricks to achieving a high number of hot dogs. It starts when they wake up in the morning. They still receive a breakfast and then a light lunch.
The heavy lifting is done before the game begins. The duo arrives at the Rogers Center early so they can hit their favorite section before getting to work.
“You pack in as many as you can early because the lines are short. And then it also allows you to, you know, relax a little bit more during the game,” Rushton said.
“So there are times where we’ll be 80 percent done by the time the game starts. And then we just slow it down and pick up the pace throughout the game.”
But will the star hot dog eaters be ready for the Blue Jays’ 2024 season? Matheson says it depends.
“We will be ready to report, pending physical examinations.”