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Eater Review Panel Recommends Philbin Reinstatement
A panel of IFOCE eaters, established to review the controversial expulsion of Pat from Moonachie from the IFOCE for his participation in the Baby Bird video, has released an expedited report on the incident that recommends that Pat be reinstated.
Following is a copy of the report secured by the reporting team at CEN. The IFOCE is expected to issue a formal response imminently.
BABY BIRD INCIDENT PANEL
Analysis & Recommendations
Issued December 6, 2006
The Baby Bird Incident Panel
The Baby Bird Incident Panel, a group of professional competitive eaters, was convened by the International Federation of Competitive Eating to address the so-called Baby Bird video and the participation of Patrick Philbin in this video. The BBIP has been mandated to analyze the actions of Mr. Philbin and determine if they contradict the IFOCE Code of Conduct. Further, the BBIP has been instructed to consider mitigating factors, including Mr. Philbin’s history as a loyal member of the IFOCE, his extensive fan following and manner in which he was expelled from the IFOCE. The BBIP will weigh these factors to determine if the IFOCE acted precipitously in its expulsion of Mr. Philbin, failing to fully examine the situation and consider alternative remedies. Finally, the BBIP will propose recommendations to help guide the IFOCE in its effort to achieve justice.
The Baby Bird Video
The Baby Bird video focuses on Pat Philbin, who has consumed an estimated 75 glasses of eggnog. An aspiring Opie & Anthony intern, in a test of loyalty and commitment to the show, lies prostrate and open-mouthed under Mr. Philbin as Mr. Philbin evacuates the contents of his stomach (predominantly eggnog based on a casual visual inspection) onto the intern.
IFOCE Code of Conduct
The IFOCE Code of Conduct covers a variety of issues relating to the public behavior of eaters. The Code of Conduct touches on one issue in particular that is relevant to the Baby Bird video when it states that eaters shall not act in a way that purposefully diverges from common decency, offending public morals and debasing either the eater or the sport of competitive eating. The Code of Conduct allows for disciplinary action if eaters fail to follow the guidelines.
IFOCE Expulsion of Patrick Philbin
The IFOCE, after viewing the Baby Bird video, took immediate action by expelling Mr. Philbin from its membership and de-listing him from its international rankings. Mr. Philbin was notified of this action via email. The IFOCE justified the expulsion by citing a breach of the Code of Conduct.
The IFOCE received hundreds of emails, most citing the qualities of Mr. Philbin and asking for immediate reinstatement, others directing IFOCE officials to perform a sexual act commonly acknowledged as taboo among all cultures that proscribe incestuous contact between a mother and a son. These emails also asked for Mr. Philbin’s immediate reinstatement. Fans noted that they were not offended by the video or the actions in it and that Mr. Philbin should not be penalized for actions away from the competitive eating table.
After lengthy review, the BBIP concurs that the actions of Mr. Philbin can be viewed as a blatant affront to the Code of Conduct and the gentlemanly spirit of the sport of competitive eating. However, it is also clear that the IFOCE decision was made too quickly, and did not include a full review.
The BBIP feels that while the actions in the Baby Bird video are likely to offend the vast majority of Americans, the IFOCE acted with undue haste in its expulsion of Mr. Philbin, failing to conduct an administrative review of the incident and failing to provide Mr. Philbin with the opportunity to present a defense of his actions. What’s more, the BBIP believes that the IFOCE had other courses of action to express its distaste for the video without expelling Mr. Philbin. The BBIP recommends that the IFOCE reinstate Mr. Philbin after delivering to him a strongly worded censure condemning his actions.