Burger-eatin’ and diamond-diggin’

Our annual Jimmy Buffett Night festivities wrapped up with a pair of on-field promotions — one that was over in just a couple minutes, and another that seemed like it might never end.

Right after the Bees’ 6-4 loss to Quad Cities, we got the post-game fun started with the highly anticipated Cheeseburger-in-Paradise Eating Contest, sponsored by Mann’s McDonald’s.

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In this heated competition, 16 competitors set out to see who could eat five McDonald’s cheeseburgers the fastest.

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Brian Hopkins emerged the winner, completing the task in just 1:44. Simply put, the guy is a machine. Last year, he took second place as a late entry after eating a dinner buffet just hours before, then learning about the contest when he came to our 2006 Jimmy Buffett Night. This time around, Hopkins came prepared, and he un-crowned two-time defending champion Howard Wells.

Second place went to Cory Ligitt, who finished right behind Hopkins. Chris Armstrong took third place, clocking in at two minutes. The top three finishers won handsome plaques that they will no doubt proudly display in their bedrooms or living rooms. Sunny 97.7 FM provided additional prizes. The first-place winner scored a $100 FunCard to FunCity and a pair of tickets to see the Royals place the White Sox in Chicago. Another pair of Royals-White Sox tickets went to second place.

Paul Waring received the “Small-Fries Award” for his last-place finish.

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Right after the successful cheeseburger-eating promotion, we invited all ladies 18 and older to participate in the Diamond Dig, sponsored by Vaughn Jewelers, Inc. and Sunny 97.7 FM in Monmouth. The infield dirt was covered with women, each one armed with a plastic spoon, claiming her own territory.

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In pursuit of a $600 pair of ear rings, the ladies kept digging and digging, then digging and digging some more. After a series of hints, a band of about 20 determined “survivors” congregated on the left side of the infield. Things got pretty intense down there.

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And after nearly 54 minutes of digging, someone finally screamed with excitement that she had found the diamonds! Here, an exhausted but elated Jennifer Herrick waves her treasure as she is interviewed by Sunny 97.7 FM on-air personality Greg Ford.

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