National Corndog Day harkens back to the Spring of 1992 in 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 the boys had been living off of soda pop and potato chips for two days straight.

Figuring they needed some sort of sustenance to keep their attention and focus intact for that day’s tournament games, Stan went to the kitchen to see what he could whip up. 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 normal foods would suffice for the two starving young men.

In desperation Stan opened the freezer door, and miracle-of-miracles, what appeared in front of his very eyes almost like a heaven sent ray of light with long brass trumpets sounding the presence of one box of 24 corndogs. Thanks be to above. He knew he had the solution in hand.

Knowing that there was little time before Henry and Brady might do something rash like dashing to the store for yet another load of chips and soda, 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 with no interruptions. His job would be done and he would be something of a local hero, at least in the mind of his son and his friend. Rushing down the stairs with a platter of corndogs in one hand and the ketchup, mustard, some nacho cheese and napkins in the other, he placed the corndogs in front of the two starry-eyed 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 Stan, Henry too began to slowly, and then with more deliberation, savor the flavor of the hot, crispy yet juicy, dogs. Stan was triumphant. Henry and Brady would not have to miss any of the college basketball action for the rest of the day. And so it was deemed, that the first Saturday of “the big men’s college basketball tournament in March” would be known far and wide and forever more 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. Who knows. What we do know is, that first box of corndogs, that immaculate box, of delicious, juicy 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.

-by Henry Otley, co-founder of National Corndog Day