Krista Lander is the sports director for CBS 7 television in West Texas. Part of her shtick is to challenge local athletes in "Krista's Sports Challenge," in which she competes in their respective sports or in more madcap contests. She's competed in wheelchair basketball against a local kid going to Oklahoma State; in a field-goal kicking competition; and in a power-lifting contest against an athlete who could squat 685 pounds.
She's never won. Not once.
That could change today, as Lander is scheduled for a competitive eating showdown with two players from the Central Hockey League's Odessa Jackalopes at a Fuddruckers in Midland, TX, at 2 p.m. local time. Attractive blonde vs. hockey players vs. one-pound hamburger ... color us intrigued. So we called Lander on Friday to find out how she plans on eating her way to glory.
"I think they are. I think it'd be different if I were going up against some offensive linemen. So, I think I have a shot to win this one," she said.
"Now, I haven't won a challenge yet, and I'm not sure if this is the one I'd want to win. As a woman, you never want to out-eat guys in a one-pound hamburger eating contest."
Too true. So what's her competitive eating background? She can eat ice cream quite quickly, she said. Brain freeze? "I would say so. On some days, yeah."
Ice cream prowess aside, this is competitive eating we're talking about here. We've seen guys eat entire heads of iceberg lettuce to expand their stomachs in preparation for their competitions. Did Lander have any dietary training for downing a one-pound hamburger before two hockey players do?
"My diet, on most days, contains Healthy Choice meals. I'm a little scared about this. I did have a Wendy's hamburger the other day, which is a fourth-pound. So I was thinking, 'Oh man, just four of these,'" she said.
What about technique? Kobayashi has that "dunk the hot dog in the water" thing he does. What about Lander?
"I'm going to wait for my competitors, and see what they do. If they do it, I'll do it. I'm a competitive person. But I don't want a glass of water like Kobyashi, because the hamburger might not fit in there. I need, like, a bowl of water," she said.
"And I'll definitely wear a pair of elastic pants to give myself some room."
So there you have it. Lander said the hockey culture in West Texas is rather strong, with a ton of youth hockey being played and with the Jackalopes aggressively reaching out to the community. As for her own puckhead credentials, Lander is a Chicago Blackhawks fan who is stoked by the idea that the next Winter Classic could be at Wrigley Field.
"The Winter Classic in Buffalo this year, I loved. To put it in Wrigley Field would be amazing. It would be awesome. I really, really hope they do it and I really, really hope it's snowing," she said.
Can the opponent be any other team but the Red Wings?
"Oh yeah, it has to be the Red Wings. I hate the Red Wings," she said, lamenting their Stanley Cup victory. "I hate Pittsburgh too. I like the Penguins, but I hate the city of Pittsburgh."
CBS 7 will film the contest today, and the story will air on Thursday, June 12th during the 10 p.m. newscast. It should be available on the station's Web site later this week.