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The CEN Catches Up With Helen Haggerty
What follows is a transcript of an interview conducted on October 6, 2014. It was a discussion led by Competitive Eating News staffers and Helen Haggerty. Note: Haggerty was not joined by her publicist and insisted we not edit her responses.
CEN: Helen, despite your inactivity, the Eating Community still values you as a member. What have you been up to of late?
HELEN: Well, I grew my hair out. The back of it. Otherwise, I adore needlepoint and Dave Matthews shows.
CEN: Is Field Hockey still an integral part of your life? Are you coaching?
HELEN: Field hockey is more than just a part of my life. It's a metaphor for life itself. The lessons I learned from competing -- what it means to work towards an individual goal every day; what it means to work together as a team towards a shared goal every day; and what it means to try, to fail, and to get up in spite of your disappointment and try again -- I'll take those with me everywhere I go. I wish everybody could be a three-time All-America field hockey player. Maybe then the world wouldn't have so many problems.
CEN: Critics will say that’s a Humblebrag. The bit about you being a three-time All American.
HELEN: Critics gonna critique, my dear.
CEN: What do you think of Miki Sudo overtaking Sonya in the rankings?
HELEN: I didn't realize Miki was ranked ahead of Sonya. Why? What happened?
CEN: Hot dogs, primarily, but not solely.
HELEN: They can rank Sonya below this Miki at their own peril. We had a saying at Bryn Mawr: “She leaves it all on the field.” Well, Sonya is a gal who leaves it all on the field.
CEN: Do you think Sonya would have excelled at your primary sport, Field Hockey?
HELEN: There are fundamental skills that every player needs. Dribbling first, if you want to get down the field. The “Indian Head,” or being more PC, the “reverse dribble.” That is used to get around an opponent just prior to a shot. I remember one of my favorite girls, Meghan from Duxbury, Mass. One of my very, very favorites. She had an incredible reverse dribble. Text book. She spelled Meghan with an “h” so I always made a point to pronounce it Meg-han, out of respect and fondness. I don’t hit the “han” part too strong, but I always offer a slight touch of “h.” I used to practice saying it the way I knew she liked. My trick was, and I am happy to share this, to mentally place the "h" before the "g." Mehgan. It allows one to get sort of, well, Lauren Bacall. As for Sonya, who is to say?
CEN: Bob Shoudt has been a tad inactive of late, but he is competing in Chili down in DC. Do you think he has what it takes to beat Joey in that event?
HELEN: Humble Blob? Joey owns the record. Advantage: Joey.
CEN: What do you think is the biggest challenge for mobile advertisers these days?
HELEN: Cell phones are personal devices, and unwanted advertisements on them therefore amount to an invasion of personal space. Resentment towards mobile ads will be difficult to overcome and can probably only be overcome with time, as our memories of the relatively ad-free days of the early mobile and social networking eras slowly fade away. I don't see any other way of making them truly palatable.
CEN: Kanye and Kim have been dubbed Kimye. Should Joey and Neslie have a nickname?
HELEN: Couples need separate identities. Also we need to stop giving out bad nicknames. Modern nicknames all seem to be acronyms, portmanteaus, or combinations of letters and numbers that sound like action movie sequels. I much prefer the poetic nicknames of decades past: the Splendid Splinter, The Doomsday Defense, Gorilla Monsoon, Eater X.
CEN: Temple is above Penn in the NCAA Field Hockey rankings, is this deserved? And, two part question, how do you feel about your alma mater not even breaking the NCAA's top 78?
HELEN: Seventy-eight seems like an arbitrary number of teams to rank, doesn't it? I’ll answer: Yes it does. Ask yourself, why stop at 78? I'll tell you why. Because they, the NCAA, don't want to acknowledge #79. Oh and try to guess who the 79th most elite team in the country is right now? According to my ranking system and any student of the game, it is The Lady Owls of Bryn Mawr! Someone's got it out for Bryn Mawr, I tell you. Something stinks these days. And why doesn't spell check recognize "Mawr"? What year is this? I’m done.
CEN: Thanks for the time Hel. Be well.