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World's Weirdest Food-Sporting Events

Posted: 08/17/11 05:44 PM ET

2011-08-18-5cheeseroll_Hauggen.jpgThere is a very human itch that we all need to scratch. While you peel your mind out of the gutter, we'll clarify that we're referring to the thrill of competition; the need to experience the adrenaline rush that comes with trying to squash your competitors. And there are manifold ways to satisfy a competitive spirit as evidenced, if by nothing else, by the innumerable food-sporting events that range from bizarre to more-bizarre.

It doesn't take much to spark that familiar rush. Competition doesn't care if you're throwing a football or a pumpkin, which is why sports like Pumkin Chunkin' and cheese rolling have reached a popularity perhaps only rivaled by beer pong (which has a World Series, FYI). And while part of the thrill of competing does come from the fans, particularly if they're cheering for you and not against you, there's something to be said for banding together with a smaller group of folks as obsessed with stinging nettle eating as you are.

They may not get the same airtime as, say, soccer or basketball, but some of these food-sporting events, like olive oil wrestling, have made a name for themselves around the world and have even spawned copycat versions played during festivals and parties.

Just because you couldn't make the junior varsity team as a senior doesn't mean you have any less of a competitive spirit than the guy still reliving his high school quarterback glory days.

- Nicole Campoy-Leffler, The Daily Meal
Photo Credit: Flickr/Hauggen

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Pumpkin Chunkin'
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The popularity of this food-sport reaches far beyond whatever you're thinking. If the book, Pie in the Sky: the Authorized History of Punkin Chunkin' isn't enough to convince you, perhaps 2010's multi-part show on Discovery's Science Channel (one of its highest rated shows ever) will drive the point home. People just love (and excel at) building machines that will chuck pumpkins as high and far as possible. This year's Chunk runs November 4 - 6 and will air on the Science Channel yet again.

Related: 10 Craziest Road Trip Snacks

Credit: © Flickr/nickjbyrnes
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