This Man Had To Spend The Night In A Waffle House For Coming In Last In His Fantasy Sports League

Journalists are known for long nights and working tirelessly to get the story that will capture the world’s attention, but sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. Mississippi-based reporter Lee Sanderlin’s hilarious tale of a man forced to spend the night at a local Waffle House captured a lightning-in-a-bottle moment.

As it turns out, Sanderlin was the person at the center of the viral sensation — a classic twist in the tale of an author crossing the line into his own story.

Sanderlin’s extended stay at the Waffle House in Brandon, Mississippi was the result of a fantasy football bet that backfired.

AP Photo/Russ Bynum

“This was all my fault. I’m the one who suggested we make the person who finished last in our fantasy football league spend 24 hours in a Waffle House,” he wrote in a column for the Clarion-Ledger. “I had seen it done before on the internet and thought: ‘’That would be hilarious to watch one of the other 11 members of our league go through that. Surely it won’t be me.'”

Like any tragic tale, the hero’s bravado tempted fate, which quickly worked against him.

About half of the players Sanderlin picked for his fantasy team members got injured, and others just didn’t do well. He ultimately lost the bet he created to torment his league: the last-place finisher had to spend 24 hours at Waffle House and every waffle eaten would take an hour off the sentence.

Sanderlin accepted defeat and at the appointed time sat down at the Waffle House. It was 4:07 p.m. CDT on June 17. Whether it was his reporters’ instincts or just a means to pass the time, he decided to live-tweet the experience. Shortly after his arrival, he ate the first two waffles and posted a photo on Twitter.

As the hours ticked by, he shared updates on his physical and mental state. The waffles went down quickly and confidently at first. It didn’t take long, though, for Sanderlin to wonder if he bit off more than he could chew. He humbly posted his progress to his followers.

As the night wore on, the reporter’s tweets gained traction and started trending. Sanderlin shared in his column that people showed up to cheer him on, take photos and even provide antacid tablets.

One of his tweets in the middle of the night showed him keeping an eye on a seemingly empty restaurant while the staff took their breaks.

In the end, Sanderlin ate nine waffles, which meant he was free to leave the Waffle House after 15 hours and an overdose of carbs.

Was it worth it? In his column, Sanderlin shared a touching story about a mother who drove 15 miles to encourage him. And, it showed how the reach of social media can have a positive impact.

“And that, I think, is the point of all of this. I saw people genuinely enjoy something on the internet,” he wrote.”Sure, there were some nasty comments (there always are), but mostly people experienced real joy. And that is something worth feeling, even if it came at my arteries’ expense.”

You can read Sanderlin’s entire Twitter feed here. It just might be one of the best things you’ll experience on social media today.