Things That Matter

Cautionary Tale: A Fresno Man Died During A Taco-Eating Contest And People Are Left Wondering How

Tacos are our witness. We’re guessing yours too. If we could only eat one kind of food for the rest of our lives, it would probably be tacos. The taco phenomenon has gone global, we’ve got Taco Tuesdays, a variety of tacos in every country, and taco accessories to fill our heart’s desire. But where’s the limit? Unfortunately, there is, in fact, a limit. 

A 41-year man died while participating in a taco-eating contest at a baseball stadium in Fresno, Ca. 

According to news reports, Dana Hutchings was at the Grizzlies and the Memphis Redbirds game and entered a contest that took place between innings at Chukchansi Park. Hutchings had told his mom and sister that he would be participating in the taco-eating contest hours before it took place. 

The Fresno Bee reports that Hutchings went down seven minutes into the contest. 

During the contest, the man started choking. He fell and subsequently hit his head on the table. 

Credit: Instagram/@bodegasobe

According to CBS Sports, medical professionals performed CPR on him until the paramedics arrived. They pronounced him dead upon arriving at the Community Regional Medical Center. The autopsy with the cause of death has yet to be released. 

“He told us he was going to a taco eating contest, but we didn’t think something like this would happen,” his sister, Mecca Hutchings, told ABC30. His mother added, “He said my son wasn’t responding to anything. How they identified him was that he has a tattoo on his hand that says Dora.” 

One person that saw him eating the tacos noticed that Hutchings “was eating so fast compared to the other two (contestants),” Matthew Boylan told The Fresno Bee. He added, “It was like he’d never eaten before. He was just shoving the tacos down his mouth without chewing.”

It’s unclear how many other people were participating in the contest, or what type of taco they were consuming. 

Credit: Instagram/@hooplacatering

“We are devastated to learn that the fan that received medical attention following an event at Tuesday evening’s game has passed away,” the Grizzlies said in a statement provided by Deadspin. “The Fresno Grizzlies extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the family of Mr. Hutchings. The safety and security of our fans is our highest priority. We will work closely with local authorities and provide any helpful information that is requested.”

The contest, which occurred on Tuesday, was scheduled as a kick-off to the main event, Taco Truck Throwdown 9, that is set for Saturday. 

Credit: Instagram/@itsgonzilla

The taco party on Saturday includes a live musical performance by A.B. Quintanilla’s Kumbia Kings. There was also another taco eating-contest for that day, but they have since canceled that portion. 

Andy McMurray, a fan of the Grizzlies baseball team, said it was right for them to cancel the taco-eating contest after the tragic event that happened earlier this week. 

“It’s a sad thing to see happen because people are just trying to have fun. It’s sad to see, I think the Grizzlies acted in the appropriate way considering,” McMurray told ABC30.

Some people are not happy about the cancelation of Saturday’s taco-eating contest. 

The contest is being canceled out of respect and also out of concern. It is a freak and rare event that happened earlier this week, but imagine if someone else had an accident during the taco-eating contest? There could be serious repercussions for the event organizers. Instead, they should do some kind of tribute to Hutchings by having his family say some words about him. 

While this is no laughing matter, people on social media couldn’t help but see the irony of someone dying by eating such a tasty dish.

This is not the first time someone has died in a food-eating contest. These sorts of competitions shouldn’t be taken lightly. A lot of training goes into this competitive eating sport.

Do you think you’d rest in peace dying in such a way?

As much as we love tacos, we don’t believe this would be a good way to go. What do you think?

READ: These Wild Taco Creations Have Us Feeling All Sorts Of Ways 

From Nipsey Hussle To Jose Jose, This Year We Had To Say Goodbye To Many Icons—Here’s A Roundup Of Celebrities Lost In 2019

Entertainment

From Nipsey Hussle To Jose Jose, This Year We Had To Say Goodbye To Many Icons—Here’s A Roundup Of Celebrities Lost In 2019

Jose Jose / emilyhartridge / Nipsey Hussle / Instagram

With 2019 ending in just a couple weeks, we’re taking a look back at the stars we lost in 2019. Learning of the death of a childhood hero, or an icon you look up to is always a sad experience, and unfortunately, 2019 was a year when we had to say goodbye to too many of them. From political big-hitters, to rappers, reggaeton artists and dancers, many icons passed away this year, and all will be greatly missed. Here’s to them:

Jose Jose

The Mexican musical icon died this year after battling pancreatic cancer. “El Príncipe de la canción” (Prince of Song), had tweeted in June that he was undergoing therapy and thanked his fans for their support. He was known for romantic ballads like “La Nave del Olvido,” “40 y 20,” “Gavilán o Paloma” and “El Triste,” and many more songs that became hits throughout his career of more than half a century.

Shelley Morrison 

twitter @deanrichards

The actress best known as Rosario Salazar, Karen Walker’s maid and confidante on “Will & Grace” — died on Dec. 1 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from heart failure following a brief illness, publicist Lori De Waal told People magazine. She was 83. “Shelley’s greatest pride as an actress was in playing the indomitable Rosario, in a comedy series that furthered the cause of social equity and fairness for LGBTQ people. 

Alicia Alonso 

twitter @luis81710730

Legendary Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso passed on October 17 at the age of 98 in a hospital of La Habana. She was the first western dancer to perform in the Soviet Union in 1957. She was the Cuban government’s highest artistic figure. 

Edith Gonzales

twitter @olivercampox

The Telenovela star lost her battle with cancer at 54 on the 13th of June, after two years fighting against the disease. There was a public homage in honor of her at the Jorge Negrete Theater in Ciudad de Mexico.

Carolina Bittencourt 

instagram @fofocalisany

Brazilian model Bittencourt died in São Paulo at the end of April after she drowned in an attempt to rescue her dogs who fell out of the sailboat she was on with her husband, Jorge Sestini. She was 37.

Nipsey Hussle

twitter @1johnpapi

The rapper Nipsey Hussle died in April after a shooting in Los Angeles near a clothing store he owned.

Fabio Legarda

twitter @actualidadrt

The Colombian reggaetonero died on February 7 during a shooting in Medellin. The musician was in his car, where he received a shot to the head which caused severe damage. Fellow Colombian artists like Juanes, Maluma and J Balvin expressed their condolences for the loss of this young talent.

Fernando Gaitan

twitter @mrintruso

The writer and producer of the world’s most famous telenovela ‘Betty La Fea’ passed away at 58 years of age. His iconic telenovela is considered to be the most successful in the world. He also worked on the adaptation of Betty, for US audiences ‘Betty en Nueva York’, coming to Telemundo on February 4, 2020.

Silver King

twitter @milenio

Professional lucha libre wrestler and actor King died after collapsing from a heart attack during his performance in London on May 11, The Guardian reported.

Kevin Fret

twitter @reggaetonxgata

The Latin trap singer was murdered this January. He was the first openly gay trap singer and debuted in 2018 with his single “Soy Asi.”

Juice WRLD

twitter @marshmellomusic

The Chicago-born artist, whose real name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, died after reportedly having a seizure at Chicago’s Midway Airport. 

Sulli

twitter @ecpv1

The former member of the popular K-Pop girl group f(x) was found dead in her Sujeong-gu apartment on Oct. 14. She was 25. 

Carl Ruiz

@luis81710730

The beloved Food Network star died on Sept. 21 at 44. His official cause of death has not been announced but Ruiz’s family confirmed the sad news by creating the Twitter account, @wemisscarlruiz.

Emily Hartridge 

twitter @thepophub

The YouTube star died on July 12, at the age of 35, in an electric scooter collision. An announcement was made on her official Instagram account on Saturday.

Cameron Boyce 

twitter @misslu96

The star of the Disney Channel franchise Descendants and the television series Jessie died on July 6. He was 20.

Gabriel Diniz

twitter @jubzinha

Brazilian pop star Diniz died in a plane crash in Brazil in late May, his record label confirmed. He was 28 years old. The singer was reportedly flying from Salvador to his girlfriend Karoline Calheiros’s birthday party in Maceió on May 27 when the small plane he was a passenger on crashed in the town of Porto Do Mato, Estância, on the southern coast of Sergipe, Brazil.

Doris Day

twitter @peterkidder

Day, the beautiful blonde whose sunny screen presence and singing voice guaranteed box-office and record-chart hits in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, died on May 13, her rep confirmed. She was 97.

Max Azria 

twitter @thestyledeskco

Azria, founder of the iconic American fashion brand BCBGMAXAZRIA, died on May 6 in a Houston hospital, WWD reported. He was 70. According to the outlet, the legendary Tunisian-born designer died of lung cancer.

A Geographer Just Created A Digital Map Of Mexico Highlighting Taco Shops And It’s A Thing Of Beauty

Culture

A Geographer Just Created A Digital Map Of Mexico Highlighting Taco Shops And It’s A Thing Of Beauty

@datavizero / Twitter

One of the biggest changes that the so called digital revolution has brought to our lives is the capacity that today’s computer systems have to process huge amounts of data. Processors today are able to run algorithms that bring together millions of data entries to find trends, cluster groups of similar objects and generate visualizations that can help us understand even the most complex aspects of science and culture. This is known popularly as “big data” and has changed the ways in which governments and companies understand reality and make decisions. For example, before high speed processing mathematicians took literally years to make sense of census data and find correlations between factors such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, age and literacy levels.

Guess what? This can be done today with a few clicks as computers bring together millions upon millions of data entries and make sense of it all. It all sounds very geeky, but big data is defining how we live our lives, from how traffic lights coordinate to how much tax you gotta pay each year.

So all this geeky, nerdy stuff should be put to good use, o no?

Enter Mexican geographer Baruch Sangines, a true wizard when it comes to generating great data visualizations.

Credit: @datavizero / Twitter

This young scientist is the Chief Data Scientist at a company called Jetty, and he does some pretty groundbreaking research on pressing social issues such as housing and poverty.

His LinkedIn profile is pretty impressive: “Experience in public and private sector with skills to analyze and visualize data related to: commuting, transit, housing, tourism, migration, security, and urban environment. Expert in territorial analysis and passionate about the cartography and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to visualize small and big data”. Wow. hold your horses, Einstein! He is a proud graduate of Mexico’s National University and has Master’s Degree on Demographics and Statistics. 

So why did he go viral on Mexican social media in the past few days? We mean, science is sexy but not viral sexy (sadly!). All because of this map:

Credit: @datavizero / Twitter

No, it is not a visualization of WiFi points in Mexico. No, it is not a rendition of cartel activity. No, it is not a highlight of the areas in which development runs at a faster pace. It is about something much, much more relevant to everyday life in Mexico lindo y querido. Any guesses?

Nothing is more important than a delicious taco when you most need it! 

Credit: The Splendid Table

Just look at that tortilla, a bit crispy, a bit soft… and that perfectly marinated meat… 

Well, Baruch created a visualization of taco stands in Mexico and nos ponemos de pie ante tal maravilla! 

Baruch called this visualization Taco Universe, and it showcases all the registered taco stands and shops in the country. We can clearly see that there is a high concentration of taco shrines in the capital Mexico City, and that hotspots like Cancun and Cabo are also highlighted, perhaps thanks to gringo tourism craving fish tacos. The scientists used the database Directorio Estadístico Nacional de Unidades Económicas (Denue) (Statistical National Directory of Economic Units) from the federal census agency INEGI. The map highlights how taco culture is primarily based in the center of the country, with local varieties such as Puebla’s tacos arabes (a shawarma like type) increasing the traffic in that area. 

But it is important to note that many taco stands are not accounted for (and that is not this scientist’s fault).

Thousands of Mexicans subsist in an informal economy with businesses that are not registered and pay no taxes. Among these businesses, mobile taco stands reign supreme. There are hundreds of taco stands all around the country that are set up informally. Sometimes you can find the most delicious tacos there! You can also find informal vendors selling tacos de canasta, a variety that is literally carried in a basket. This map does not take these informal enterprises into account, even though they are key to Mexico’s taco culinary tradition. 

So you are curious about tacos de canasta now, aren’t you? 

Well, just look at these crispy, sweaty, fat-rich babes. Tacos de canasta are filled with guisados or stews, or with refried beans. We are almost sure that Baruch did not include them in his map, but we can forgive him for making us crave unos taquitos (we bet you are calling your comadres or compas right now to hit the taco stand) and showing us how Mexico is a country that despite its many challenges still finds time to live up to the old adage: barriga llena, corazon contento.