Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who wrote this chiasmus, "Eat to live, don't live to eat," in "Poor Richard's Almanack" (1732-1758) would probably agree with Julia Swan's sentiments in her Another View on what she calls "the disgusting spectacle" of hot dog eating contests.
I, however, owing to my heritage, (Yes, I do blame my Italian grandparents, great-grandparents and all the Middle Paleolithic relatives from the Italian Peninsula for my being just a "bit" overweight.) don't have such a caustic view of "overeating" as a sport.
Just eating dinner in the home of most Italian families in America, whether first, second or third generation (Note: I did not put in the dreaded hyphen) involves being bombarded by the home-team cook and his or her cheerleaders shouting, "Mangia! Mangia!" (Eat! Eat!) to invited guests whenever they perceive a slowdown in forks or spoons going over the goal post, bringing food to the digestive end zone.
If you don't have a taste for gluttony, don't ever visit an Italian home on Christmas Eve.
This is when both the table and the dinner guests are weighed down by the Feast of Seven Fishes.
Think stuffing oneself with 69 hotdogs is a spectacle, try eating and digesting an antipasta of meats, cheeses, olives, vegetables; before diving into dishes of shrimp, baccala (dry, salted cod), anchovies, lobster, sardines, smelts, eel, scallops, squid, octopus (Yes, they are different.), mussels and clams.
This plethora of ocean occupants, in addition to various pasta dishes and desserts of tiramisu, spumoni or biscotti, would give Joey Chestnut a 5K run for his money.
Physicians and dieticians have long touted the Mediterranean diet (which initially received fame from clinical studies done on Italians living in Roseto, Northampton County) as promoting lifelong good health.
If the choice is between eating or chasing some ball across a field, I take eating.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and breaking bread with family and friends is better than a homerun any day of the week.
Maybe ESPN2 should broadcast from an Italian home on Christmas Eve.