The Back Story
by Henry Otley, co-founder
The history of National Corndog Day dates back to 1992 to the sleepy college town of Corvallis, Oregon. Young Brady Sahnow and Henry Otley had just spent two solid days watching “the big men’s college basketball tournament” in the basement of Brady’s house. It was during the middle of the third day that Stan Sahnow (Brady’s father) realized that Brady and Henry had been living off of soda pop and potato chips for two days.
Figuring the boys needed some sort of sustenance to keep their attention and focus intact for that day’s tournament games, Stan rushed to the kitchen to see what he could make them. He passed by the muffins in the oven and the fruits in the basket. He opened the fridge and saw pastas, vegetables, sandwich fixings, juices, turkey, mashed potatoes, chicken soup, Chinese food, Mexican food, Greek food, even an entire ham, yet he knew that none of these foods would suffice for those two starving young men.
In desperation Stan opened the freezer door, and miracle of miracles what appeared in front of him was one box of 24 corndogs.
Knowing that there was little time before Henry and Brady might do something stupid like stop watching TV and go outside for awhile, Stan quickly prepared the corndogs. As he baked them ever so carefully, the corndogs turned golden brown, and as the corn batter began to crisp up Stan knew those dogs would ensure that Henry and Brady could continue to watch that days’ quadruple header from start to finish. Rushing down the stairs with a platter of corndogs in one hand and the ketchup, mustard, napkins, and perhaps some nacho cheese in the other hand, he placed the corndogs in front of the two avid basketball fans.
Brady, knowing exactly what to do with a batch of corndogs, began eating, taking caution to not over dip in any of the condiments. Meanwhile, Henry struggled with the whole idea of a hotdog on a stick wrapped in cornmeal, but with a little tutelage from Brady and some encouragement from his father, Henry too began to stuff his face with those very tasty wieners. Stan was triumphant. Henry and Brady would not leave the warm glow of the TV set the rest of the day. And so it was deemed that the first Saturday of “the big men’s college basketball tournament” from that day forward, be celebrated as National Corndog Day.
Since that day in March of 1992, National Corndog day has been celebrated on a regular basis. To this day Stan Sahnow does not know how that box of corndogs made it to his freezer. He is sure that he never put them there and swears that never had a corndog been in his house until that day. Perhaps something magical and divine placed those corndogs in that freezer, something watching out for Henry and Brady, or maybe it was Brady’s step mom. At any rate that first box of corndogs, that immaculate box of corndogs, is still sacred to the many people that have since celebrated National Corndog Day and to the many more that will continue to celebrate it in the future.