Bradley, We Hardly Knew Ye: Sciullo Announces Retirement
“Your candle burned out long before your legend ever did.”
--Elton John, “Candle in the Wind”
It is with humility that Major League Eating bids adieu to a promising young talent. Bradley Sciullo called MLE HQ via webcam at 10:53 a.m. on March 13, 2008. The purpose of the call was to announce his departure from Major League Eating. Like Barry Sanders, Sciullo had retired early.
The news took just hours to appear on www.competitiveeatingnews.com and it rattled many within the league. Eric "Steakbellie" Livingston, reached at his home in Drexel Hills, PA, refused to comment. Sean "Never Squirm" Verma, "Wild" Bill Myers, and Jesus "WWJD?" Cabrales also declined to comment. (To be fair, the Cabrales call went straight to voicemail and he never called back.)
Crazy Legs Conti, normally closed-mouth beyond the competitive eating table, was surprisingly expansive on the subject: "It's tragic when a rising star just up and leaves the sport like that. The rest of us eaters wonder: 'Why?' I mean somebody with so much promise and capacity, a guy who put up twenty-six dogs at the QVC qualifier, then just vanishes? We're left wondering what might have been. He is, in my mind, the Michael Schoeffling of competitive eating."
On cue, other eaters began to call in with such comments as, "I can't believe it," "I totally didn't see this coming," and "He is like the Michael Schoeffling of eating." The retirement was particularly surprising since Sciullo had only competed in eight events. A question began to circulate around the competitive eating rumor mill, started, as it is often is, by Beautiful "Brian" Seiken, who asked to no one in particular, "Just who was Brad Sciullo?"
We will likely never know. A 21-year old chef from Pittsburgh, Brad Sciullo arrived and flamed out with the intensity of a raging fire. He established his name at last year's Shoo Fly Pie Eating Championship, where he earned $500 for a sixth-place finish. Known alternately as "Old Skool Sciullo" for his air of sage calm at the table, and "The Lunatic" for his fierce eating style, Sciullo did the deuce-and-then-some at his first Nathan's contest—highly impressive stuff.
This year’s Wing Bowl in Philly would be his last contest. Sciullo ripped into the first round and edged out Pat Bertoletti to take second place. In the second round a Wing Bowl official made a controversial call. Sciullo was castigated for snotting a wing, a crime that results in immediate disqualification. The call upset many who felt he hadn't snotted any wing meat at all. The performance and unpopular judge's decision will be discussed for years. After all, who'd have known it would be the final notation in the journal of a promising young gurgitator named Brad Sciullo.
21 M 5' 11" 180 lb.
Ranked 26th at the time of retirement
February 1, 2008 - Wing Bowl 16, second after first round with 112, DQ'd for "snotting a wing"
January 14, 2008 - Wing Bowl 16 Wing Off - 37 wings, 10 min (1st)
October 7, 2007 - Waffle House World Waffle Eating Championship - 17.5, waffles, 10 min (4th)
September 1, 2007 - U.S Buffalo Wing Eating Championship - 65.6 ounces, 12 min (3rd - $300)
August 18, 2007 - 3 Brothers Pizza World Pizza Eating Championship - 11 slices, 10 min (7th)
June 28, 2007 - Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest qualifier - 26.5, hot dogs, 12 min (2nd)
June 23, 2007 - World's Greatest Shoo-Fly Pie-Eating Championship - 6.18, pounds, 8 min (6th - $500)
April 21, 2007 - Broadway at the Beach Ultimate Eating Tournament (8th)