Battling the Gravedigger

Big man = big sandwich By Jon Meerdink

Gilbert Brown was a big dude. Jake's Deli in Milwaukee makes big sandwiches. When you put them together, you get The Gravedigger Challenge.

Simply put, it's you vs. a five pound* corned beef sandwich, designed with the original Gravedigger himself in mind. You have 39 minutes to eat it, and if you don't finish you get the honor of paying $29.93 for your failure, half of which is donated to Gilbert Brown's charity.

Now, I'm an extra-large sized human being. I stand 6'5" and weigh about 225 pounds. I can eat a lot. My claim to fame is eating one and a half Pizza Ranch pizzas. In six minutes. Without using my hands. The Gravedigger seemed like a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

I was wrong, and I knew it almost right away.

WTMJ sports guy Greg Matzek and I teamed up to take on the Packers-themed sandwich Monday morning, and while I felt like I was prepared, as soon as I walked into the studio I knew I was going to have trouble.

This sandwich is a monster:

The reason I put an asterisk next to the weight up top is that I don't actually believe this sandwich is five pounds. This thing is HUGE. It's so big that you get a free signed picture of Mr. Gravedigger himself just for trying.

I was feeling much less confident upon actually seeing the sandwich, but I still had some faith in my abilities. I did, that is, until the boys from Jake's Deli told me that Gilbert Brown himself only at half the sandwich. He took half home.


All things considered, I thought  did pretty well...and I only ate 2.2 pounds of the alleged "five pound" sandwich.

It was a hard battle, but I walked away thoroughly defeated. Still, it's kind of a fitting metaphor, don't you think? Many people thought they could handle Gilbert Brown, only to get squished. I guess it's pretty fitting that his sandwich would be the exact same way.

Jon Meerdink