Let it be known that one should never assume that they are incapable of losing their fantasy football league. It’s an even worse idea to create a penalty meant to make others suffer because you never know if that person might be you. Journalist Lee Sanderlin learned this the hard way after spending 15 hours in “Waffle hell” as punishment for coming in last place in his fantasy football league.
The rules for his punishment, which he himself suggested before losing, were simple: he had to spend 24 hours in a Waffle House, and every waffle he ate in that Waffle House would take away an hour of his sentence. Finally, Sanderlin, reporter at Bugle Ledger, went viral on Twitter when he decided to live-tweet his trip, which he took to a Waffle House in Brandon, Mississippi. Its popularity comes as no surprise – it’s the kind of whole-hearted craziness the internet loves.
“I’m coming to you live from a Brandon, Mississippi Waffle House. I, a total loser, came in last place in my fantasy football league, ”Sanderlin wrote in a Thursday tweet which had received over 119,700 likes, 18,700 retweets and 11,100 quotes tweets at the time of our blog publication. “As a punishment, I spend 24 hours in a Waffle House. Each waffle I eat saves me an hour. It is 4:07 Central.
Sanderlin started off strong. He managed to slice the first two waffles he ate, easily scratching two hours of his sentence. The high didn’t last long, however. While working on two more waffles, he said he was “dead inside”. Sanderlin managed to knock out waffles three and four, bringing his total time served to an hour and a half. His “Immense discomfort” had started, and his tweets were starting to take a lots of traction.
It didn’t get any easier from there, but the reporter’s tweets just got more entertaining. In addition to commenting on his stomach and the waffles, Sanderlin gave the audience a glimpse of what was going on in the restaurant. Some kids chose to play “Eye of the Tiger” on the TouchTunes jukebox, which inspired them to get another waffle.
In another shocking revelation, Sanderlin said his league commissioner informed him that he can sit in the parking lot and also vomit if necessary without being penalized. After four hours and five waffles, the reporter reported that the waffles “were coming down like cement now.” He said his heart was beating “really really hard”, and folks, I’m not a doctor, but I guess it’s because of the food and the stress this man has been going through.
Unfortunately, Sanderlin’s problems don’t end there and he throws up. By this point, he had consumed six waffles. Two merciful souls gave him Rolaids, the pills used to treat heartburn and acid indigestion. Sanderlin then spent some time in his car to charge his phone and had a coffee to try and make room in his stomach, if you know what I mean. Back in his “waffle house”, he tried to conquer his seventh waffle. It took him over three hours.
After a few more twists and turns, Sanderlin dons his eighth waffle. He only had one more to do until he could get home. Finally, 3 p.m. and nine waffles later, Sanderlin left the restaurant. Through it all, the man captivated Twitter, gaining thousands of interactions on his posts and generating pleasure and admiration on the social media platform. He also picked up a few slurs, in the vein of “oh I bet I could do it in less time,” but the haters are going to hate it.
“The sun is rising, it’s a new day and I will never eat waffles again”, he said wrote on Twitter. “It’s been 9 waffles and 3 hours in this restaurant. N / A to the staff for letting me hang out on a slow night (I tipped them don’t worry). It was awful and I recommend that no one ever do that.
After the emotional turmoil we’ve all been through over the past year and more, Sanderlin’s story is the comedic tragedy we all need. Although it is clearly not funny, I admire the man for honoring his loss and choosing to share his grief and his face right after vomiting in the bushes, with all of us. We could all use more laughter these days.
Sanderlin wrote his own account experience at the Clarion Ledger, which is definitely worth reading. You can also watch him in a video in the sixth hour of the Waffle House saga in which he reports that he feels “like trash” and is “full of regrets.” Alas, the price of pride.