The U.S. Capitol Police showed up with a chip on their shoulders. They'd lost to the Metropolitan Police Department two years running, and they were determined it would not happen again. Three minutes later, with the smell of beef on their breath, they tasted sweet victory. The three-man team downed 18 sliders in three minutes to win first place in the Hard Rock Top Guns Legendary Burger Eating Contest.
The Capitol Police have now won the title three of the past six years.
"Just get it in your mouth and put it down as quickly as possible," said Mike Hallas of his burger-guzzling strategy. "Couldn't really taste it, but we did what we had to do to bring the trophy back to the Capitol Police."
Hallas acknowledged he was a newcomer to the contest. "But I'm no stranger to the burger," he said.
Teammate Travis Wells noted that the Metropolitan Police Department team was a no-show this year.
"I wish MPD was here so we could beat them heads up ... so we're challenging them to come back next year," he said.
News4's Mark Segraves asked whether MPD might be avoiding Capitol Police.
"I believe so," Wells said. "I mean you see plenty of MPD cruisers but no one stopped by."
Teammate Jeff McGuire agreed.
"They knew we were gunning for them so they stayed home," he said.
Trash talk aside, all the officers agreed the contest was for a good cause. Money raised by the teams will benefit the Capital Area Law Enforcement Foundation. The group helps police officers who are injured in the line of duty.
The burger contest was part of the Hard Rock Cafe's Founders' Day celebration, marking the company's 42nd anniversary.